Healthcare

Republicans And Trump Are Wrong On Obamacare, but So Is The Dreamy Left

Excerpt from NYT editorial 11-28-16. What will happen if President-elect Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress carry out their pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the 2010 health reform law? By most estimates, up to 22 million people, many of them poor or older Americans, will lose their health insurance. Mr. Trump seems to recognize this would be disastrous — to an extent.

Since the election, he has said that he wants to keep the part of the law that prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. Without this provision, insurers can deny those customers coverage, charge them exorbitant rates or refuse to cover treatment for those conditions.

Lets face it, if Obamacare was truly working there would be no people with a pre-existing condition because they would have been insured years ago.

That aside, if you prevent insurance companies from charging risk appropriate premiums (exorbitant as the Times ridiculously claims), the costs don’t go away, they are simply allocated over the entire insured population driving up premiums for everyone.

If you do as Paul Ryan suggests; set up high risk insurance pools (which were in place in some states prior to Obamacare), you accomplish nothing except create a quickly unaffordable group of insured individuals.

There is nothing you can do to lower premiums if the insured pool includes individuals with high cost health care claims. You can play games, shift costs, isolate them, etc. but if individuals are allowed in any way to avoid paying premiums until they are certain they will collect more in benefits, you lose, period.

Insurance, any insurance, works because among those who pay premiums are individuals who have large claims, small claims, moderate claims and absolutely no claims (a group I highly desire to be in for all my insurance). Any attempt to ignore that merely demonstrates the ignorance of the effort. 

The idea that free choice and free markets work for health care is bunk.

imageIf the freedom not to carry health insurance is all that important, let those people provide a guarantee, perhaps a bond or lean on their assets, that they will not seek dollars from society for any health care they receive. 😜

If this sounds like an argument for some form of universal coverage, maybe it is. Maybe that answer is that if you choose not to buy the insurance you want, you are enrolled in a separate Medicare pool and that costs of that pool are taken from your pay in the form of a special payroll tax. Don’t like that; then show responsibility and carry insurance like the majority of Americans. 

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1 reply »

  1. Your blog is true in all regards in my opinion. Likewise the conclusion you draw in the last paragraph is also true. The fact is we do need universal health care. If those who disagree are placed in a separate pool and no one bails them, out it won’t be long until the ‘special pools’ disappear and universal health care becomes truly universal. Then the trick will be to make sure health care costs are kept honest. I look at medicare and see so many problems insofar as how certain costs are blanket approved while others are nitpicked. The problem of course is overseeing health care is a monumental task and so controlling all the various pieces requires legions of people to safeguard the process. All too often that becomes the big issue but to do away with the Affordable Health Care act is not the correct answer rather it should be to embellish it and continue monitoring it for the 10 or 15 years it will likely take before it is really operating well. I have felt this way about Obamacare from the day it was passed because as you are well aware Medicare is still being tweaked 50 years after it’s passage. The problem as you so often state is that politicians don’t have the disposition(read balls) to be honest and call out the problems but prefer to just allow their comments to be pigeonholed into the comfortable leanings of their particular party. Women rights, abortion , employer costs la la la.

    Anyway keep blogging maybe someday enough of the moderate heads on both sides of the aisle will decide these things need to be addressed.

    Like

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