Health Care


Senate Republicans were unable to come to agreement on health care reform. F$#^’n dolts.

All is not lost. Here are 14 ways Trump can pressure Congress and build public support to repeal and replace Obamacare.

John Daniel Davidson:

Before Obamacare, states had significant discretion over their individual health insurance markets and many created high-risk pools for people whom insurers turned away. Most of the people insured by these pools received subsidies, paid for by premium taxes imposed on insurance companies. Of course, since different states ran their high-risk pools differently, they had varying degrees of success, usually pegged to how much the state subsidized the pool (Maryland’s high-risk pool provided $120 million in subsidies, California’s only $40 million). But at least the pools provided a way for people with expensive or chronic health problems to have some form of health coverage.

All those high-risk pools disappeared with Obamacare. Since insurance companies were barred from turning anyone away because of a preexisting health problem, there was seemingly no need for high-risk pools anymore, and states wound them down.

That brings us to the present day. Under Obamacare, all those people with preexisting conditions, who previously had been in high-risk pools, were lumped into individual insurance markets with everybody else, which of course caused premiums to rise. As premiums rose, younger and healthier people, who didn’t think coverage was an absolute necessity, simply didn’t buy insurance. That meant the people left in the individual market were on average older, sicker, and more costly to insure. Hence the skyrocketing premiums under Obamacare.

There’s more to this article than that but I wanted to illustrate the problem. Read the whole thing here.

Stephen Moore:

Republicans are finally getting smart on Obamacare. It took one of the savviest Republican senators — Ted Cruz of Texas, with an assist from Mike Lee of Utah — to get the GOP ‎to figure out how to replace Obamacare, reduce premiums, and save money for the government. And all without alienating millions of voters.

How it does that:

The Cruz amendment — which has been inserted into the GOP Senate health plan — is smart,because it doesn’t take anything away from anyone. If you want Obamacare — you can have it. You can have the coverage for the 10 “essential benefits,‎” you can have the subsidies and the exchanges that were supposed to save $2,500 per family. It’s still there for you.

I agree. It is a difficult challenge for politicians to take away a government benefit after you’ve become accustomed to having it, regardless of its effects on the government budget or taxpayers.

Here.

Senator Rand Paul (R, KY):

Obamacare regulations? Still here. Taxes? Many still in place, totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.

Insurance company bailouts? Those, too. Remember when Republicans complained about Obamacare’s risk corridors? Remember when we called the corridors nothing more than insurance company bailouts? I remember when one prominent GOP candidate during a presidential debate explicitly called out the Obamacare risk corridors as a bailout to insurance companies. Does anyone else?

Here.

 

In an effort for more transparency and accountability within the VA, Secretary of Veterans Affairs David J. Shulkin announced that a public list of employee “accountability actions” will be posted online and updated weekly.

The list outlines a total of 747 disciplinary actions including 526 employees who were fired since January 20. The actions affected a myriad of positons ranging from a tractor operator to VA attorneys.The list does not include employee names due to privacy reasons but does note the employee’s position and VA region.

Here.

 

 

Asks Mark Z. Barabak at the LA Times.

Another day, another insurer leaving Obamacare.

“Amid significant uncertainty surrounding the future direction of U.S. health care policy, Premier Health Plan will join several other health insurers in exiting the federal health insurance exchange in Ohio by discontinuing its Premier HealthOne On-Exchange plan at the end of 2017,” the company said.

We don’t have this kind of commercial problem when we buy other products and services in the marketplace. We pick, choose, browse that fit our needs and price points and are generally happy with the choice. But not with health insurance.

The bottom line is that no matter how much politicians fiddle and tinker with Obamacare and government involved in health care, government must be pulled out by its roots.

Virtually everything we buy or produce are considered commodities, not rights or privileges. So when you hear someone ask if “health care is a right or a privilege” the correct answer is neither. This doctor thinks there’s a combination. He’s stuck. It is a commodity like everything else we buy and produce and those posing the question are trying to persuade your into thinking otherwise.

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