After weeks of closed door meetings, the Republican senate leadership has unveiled their “Obamacare Replacement” bill; which preserves everything in Obamacare that has driven the costs of health care skyward. The onerous regulations will remain, responsible people who buy insurance before they need it will still be gouged to pay for irresponsible people who don’t buy “insurance” until after they need it, the modest “opt out” provisions in the House Bill are gone, the subsidies will actually increase. The main thing it does is shuffle taxes around and bail out giant insurance companies.
More generally, it represents a failure to think beyond the confines of the law that is already in place. At a fundamental level, the Senate plan accepts Obamacare’s premises about the nature of health insurance and the individual market. It works from the assumption that the only way to make expensive health insurance cheaper is to subsidize it through the federal government. It is a plan that subsidizes, and therefore disguises, unaffordability, rather than attempting to bring down costs directly.
Precisely. The Republicans are really no different than the Democrats; they love Government and see Government as the solution to every problem.
Here’s what I don’t understand. To set this up, I don’t think the Government has any business regulating health insurance beyond protecting people from fraud. People should be able to work out any contractual arrangement with an insurance company they want. The Government’s only role should be to enforce that arrangement should either party try to renege; which would be done through the judiciary, not the legislature. That’s what I believe, but apparently, I’m in the minority. All right, fine. So, the majority believes that the Government should be able to tell insurance companies what kinds of policies they have to sell.
OK, if that’s the parameters for this discussion … why would it be so BAD, even in that scheme… for the Government to set a Minimum Coverage Baseline that was just Catastrophic Coverage + one check up per year? People would be covered if they got cancer or had a heart attack or were attacked by a bear … big expensive stuff. And they could get an exam from a doctor once a year if they want. That wouldn’t cost much, and the minimum that anyone needs. And if you have a minor medical issue, you assume the risk of paying for it out of pocket. From that baseline, you could modularize coverage, paying more for prescription coverage, and more for mental health treatments, depending on what you think you might need in the future.
You may not personally like that choice… but why doesn’t the Government even allow that choice?
I kind of suspect that its the insurance companies that want the Government to force middle-aged gay men to pay for insurance that covers obstetrics and gynecology, and tee-totaling Mormons to buy coverage for alcohol and drug addictions. And forcing normal people to pay for sex reassignments for those with body dysphoria. Having the Government force people to buy sh-t they’re never going to use is sort of Crony Capitalism 101.