ENERGIZED BY TRUMP’S ELECTION VICTORY, THE GOP VOWS TO REPEAL, AND REPLACE, “OBAMACARE”. BUT, WITH WHAT?

House Republicans have voted 50 times already, to Repeal the Affordable Care Act, which they derisively call “Obamacare”.  Over the six years, since ACA became Law, they have constantly been attacking it; however, the GOP has never presented a rational plan to substitute in its place.  Additionally, looking at the World around us, all 19 of the other most-industrialized members of the OECD have Universal Health Care.  Shouldn’t that tell the Republicans something?  What do those nations know, that we don’t?

Let me respond to some of the GOP’s fallacious attacks on ACA.  Web sites always seem to overload when a new program, that potentially expects tens of millions of applicants, has some problems at the start! Health insurers did cancel some older plans; however, they replaced them with updated ones, in order to qualify under ACA.  Many medical conditions, which had been covered, were added—such as Maternity and Pre-natal care for young women!   Annual insurance premiums did not rise as much as they would have, had ACA not been in effect!  Also, the “Mandate” that required Americans to buy insurance, which might be subsidized if necessary, is necessary to eliminate the potential refusal of coverage, by the insurance companies, for “Pre-existing Conditions”!

It is important for ACA to be retained, and improved when necessary, as it was always expected to be.   That “One Payer” system, by the way, does not mean just “One Provider “, as had been suggested by the nay-sayers.  For instance, my Wife and I each have Medicare, and we still go to all the same doctors, and facilities, as we had before.  When a One Payer system is established, the costs of health care can be reduced considerably.  And, that is how ACA had always been intended to work!

When the overall participant pool increases, insurance companies are able to estimate the various medical factors more accurately, across the larger number of participants.  That allows for more accurate health care expense projections, as well as a reduction in administrative expenses.  For instance, the Medical Loss Ratio, under ACA, requires that insurance companies spend at least 80% of the premiums on Health Care, and no more than 20% on Administration.

Over the past six years, the two alternatives to ACA, which some Republicans have floated, are:  a “Voucher” system (Speaker Paul Ryan), which means out-sourcing insurance coverage; and “Block Grants” (Mr. Donald Trump), which distributes funds to each of the states, so each might meet their health care needs, as they wish. Vouchers do not guarantee minimum services, co-pay limits, or maximum percentage used for administration. Block Grants have neither national consistency, nor federal oversight–and they are subject to the vague whims of each state.   Neither Vouchers nor Blcok Grnts necessarily works in the best interests of the average consumer.

Lastly, the assumed underlying reason for the GOP’s numerous attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, currently enjoyed by some 20 million previously uninsured Americans, is Money.  The maximum tax rate for higher income individuals was raised partially to help fund the ACA.  Most of those tax-payers, all of whom assumedly have gold-plated health insurance plans themselves, seem to feel that they shouldn’t have to help make life a little safer for those at the bottom of the economic ladder.  And apparently, these are the people that the Republican Party prefers to cater to.

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  1. #1 by cheekos on January 5, 2017 - 2:03 AM

    Let me suggest an easy example as to why one large participant pool improves any form of insurance. Several years ago, a ranking of the per capita incidence of brain cancer was tallied, by state. South Dakota was #1 (highest incidence), and North Dakota was #49. The more populaces states–California, Texas, Florida and New York–ranked in the middle, even though they had a greater overall incidence of brain cancer. What does that mean?

    Think of the populations of the states with larger populations as being larger pools, which they are. All five of the states at the top of the list, and the bottom, had sparse populations. The states with the denser populations, on the other hand, come out closer to the Law of Averages. In the smaller pools, minor quirks can skew the results of those smaller pools, to one extreme or the other.

    Therefore, when an insurance company projects the expenses of whatever type of coverage–life, health, auto, homeowners–they account for that Uncertainty by assessing higher premiums.

  2. #2 by cheekos on January 5, 2017 - 6:58 PM

    Welcome to my readers from Turkey.

  3. #3 by cheekos on January 21, 2017 - 3:19 AM

    Notice the letters regarding the speed with which Trump and the GOP are tearing-down the Affordable Care Act, linked from the NY Times, as follows: “https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/13/opinion/the-republicans-vs-obamacare.html.

    The last letter very specifically suggests that health care insureers might be intimidated by Mr. Trump, if they resist him. Notice also, that several of them come from Cambridge, Mass. Current or Retired Professors?

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