Fix health care act, don't end it

Apr 15, 2017, 01:23

It would have given millionaires, billionaires, and insurance and pharmaceutical companies huge tax breaks, while taxing good health insurance plans, like those bargained for by the UAW, to pay for them.

But the transactions that produce all of that wealth are not made by people who have enough freedom of choice to make a market function. There are different prices negotiated by every insurance carrier, and billing is not the doctor's job.

Problems with our health care systems don't stem from government-controlled programs.

Other aspects of the regulation could make coverage less comprehensive, reduce the value of the tax credit subsidies that make premiums more affordable for low- and middle-income people, and allow insurers to offer plans with fewer medical providers in their networks. But what's usually forgotten is how the government is involved with the other two-thirds of us.

"For some people, the hassle or difficulty in pulling together verification could discourage them from signing up altogether", said Larry Levitt, a health insurance expert with the Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health care issues. "But 2018 and beyond are still uncertain given potential legislative changes to the USA health insurance market and the pending legal battles over the cost-sharing reduction subsidy". Out-of-pocket costs are also deductible. It also found more than half of Republicans at least somewhat anxious about leaving more people uninsured, as the House plan is projected to do.

More will leave, or set higher-than-expected premium rate increases, if more is not known about the future of market stability, he said. "And that would dramatically disrupt the insurance markets, and we should not let that happen".

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Frustrated, Trump is seeing his promise slip away to quickly repeal "Obamacare" and replace it with something better. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., Mike Coffman, R-Colo., Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and David Valadao, R-Calif., according to Politico. The reform law caps how much low-income consumers have to pay for these health expenses, reimbursing part of the costs to the insurance companies.

Nearly universally, it was the market reforms in the ACA that had the most support. However, there is a small population of women who are in a bind - they either have no insurance, or find that their current insurance does not cover pre-natal care and their pregnancy does not coincide with the ACA enrollment period. No insurer can cancel someone's policy because they have a pre-existing condition or if they become so sick they hit a lifetime cap. "But when right-wing politicians tried to pass a disastrous health care repeal bill that raises costs and cuts coverage, McSally wouldn't oppose them".

So with this temporarily out of the way, how does the overall Obamacare market look?

With Republicans in command, their health care proposals as now formulated have generated far more concern than enthusiasm. “There has been a shift in focus from the ACA itself to the Republican plans, and who might lose benefits as a result.”. It's because it can't be done. That might work on for campaigning, but, as we've seen, it's a flop in office.

Greg Kesich is the editorial page editor.