Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ObamaCare troubles a Republican Creation!

The Affordable Care Act is in trouble because Republicans refused to tweak the system as problems cropped up. 

Another problem is the introduction of competition in the insurance marketplace. Consumers finally had a chance to compare insurer plans side-by-side, forcing insurance companies to provide lower premiums to get their business. But that hurt their bottom line, and they left the exchanges. Real comparison shopping for insurance in the individual private market is impossible, which is why many sought out insurance agents for advice.

The three other biggest reasons? Republican Sabotage:    

1. See, Insurance Companies are Leaving the Exchanges…ObamaCare Failed? 
Rep. Marco Rubio severely limited the supposed "bailout fund" in the Affordable Care Act for what are called called risk corridors, a temporary aid for insurers to adjust premiums.

Rubio helped persuade Congress to prevent Health and Human Services from being able to cover expenses in its own budget. But experts have said Rubio is wrong to call the program a bailout, and that the program is supposed to pay for itself through fees from insurers.
2. See, since CBO wrongly estimated ACA enrollment, can't believe 24 million will lose insurance? Only 32 states expanded Medicaid, instead of all 50 states after the Supreme Court struck down the coverage mandate. That blew a hole in the CBO estimate:

3. See, Medicare is Going Broke, so now we have to Privatize to Save It: 
A key Ryan change would repeal a Medicare tax on high earners a year earlier than originally proposed. Obamacare imposed an additional payroll tax of 0.9% on individuals earning more than $200,000 and couples earning more than $250,000 (among other changes to Medicare) … leading to about $10 billion of lost revenue. “Here you have a bill where Congress is voting to actively undermine the trust fund, and it’s singularly for the purpose of providing tax breaks for the wealthy,” says Stacy Sanders, federal policy director for the Medicare Rights Center.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Insurance Industry Insider Shreds GOP's RyanCare plan.

There is one shining spot for insurers in the GOP health care plan (remember, insurance has nothing to do with providing health care).
The Republican plan does allow insurance companies to offer coverage that pays for a lower share of a person's health care costs — just half of all costs rather than the 60 percent to 90 percent mandated under the ACA.
Funny thing though, according to a former insurance industry insider, Republicans don't know what the hell they're doing. I know I've said this same thing before, but now I've got backing. From NPR:

Scott Horsley, NPR News: There is some political irony here. The people and places most likely to be hard hit by the change - older, rural, lower income - are the same ones that helped to elect the president. That's why some Republican senators who represent those areas are now talking seriously about possible changes to the GOP bill.
But there are also many Republicans who want to prevent the government from helping anyone buy insurance. And they would try their grand experiment on the entire U.S. population…which should make you wonder if they’re not the most reckless irresponsible people ever elected into public office.

What never gets enough attention are the dramatically reduced services in the GOP’s insurance policies. This is big, because it’s what made many Americans not even bother to get insurance before the ACA. It’s another big reason health care bankruptcies skyrocketed, destroying families along the way.
NPR: Republicans have said repeatedly that they want insurance companies to be able to offer cheap, stripped-down policies that don't cover as many services as those under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. That way, consumers will have the choice to spend less on premiums if they don't want comprehensive coverage.

The problem is Republicans have a three-part strategy to reshape health care. The first is the American Health Care act, which essentially repeals Obamacare's individual mandate, taxes and subsidies, and replaces them with smaller tax credits to help people buy insurance.

Then they intend to make changes in regulations and pass additional legislation to reduce the benefits insurers have to offer and allow more competition between insurers. They say their ultimate goal is to reduce the cost of insurance so more people will buy coverage.
Stripped down coverage. Want to pay a monthly premium, that increases every year, for that? Just to be clear, if the plan below sounds good to you, well, maybe the GOP has a bridge you’d like to buy too:
The Republican plan does allow insurance companies to offer coverage that pays for a lower share of a person's health care costs — just half of all costs rather than the 60 percent to 90 percent mandated under the ACA. 

John Oliver on Trump's America Busting Budget.

The best look at Trump's recently release morally bankrupt budget, what he thinks will make America great again (besides wearing his hat), is nicely delivered by John Oliver.

Funny thing, after I post Oliver's look at health care, right-wing trolls wondered "who the heck is John Oliver?" You mean the former reporter from the Daily Show...?
Tonight with John Oliver. He is the recipient of five Primetime Emmy Awards and two Writers Guild Awards
Eh, so what!

Here's Oliver's take of a CNN video clip of Trump's defense spending along side a long scrolling list of cuts:
Oliver: "You know what, it's sort of fitting the list of budget cuts scroll by like the end credits for America. Thanks for helping us out Agriculture Department, hope you find a gig with the next country that rises from our ashes."

Free Market Medicine: Hospitals to Prioritize, take Privately Insured over Medicare and Medicaid Patients.

TrumpCare/RyanCare is "free market" voodoo: The CBO analysis may have freaked Republicans out, but that bad news only scratching the surface. There are so many moving parts in health care, that it's like a game of whack-a-mole.

The GOP's "free market" voodoo gives insurers and hospitals unlimited control over 17.8 percent of the economy. With that much money on the line, what do you think will happen?

Profit over People: Hey, it's business:
Dr. John Noseworthy, the chief executive of the Mayo Clinic, recently told his employees that the prestigious health system will prioritize the care of privately insured patients over those on Medicare and Medicaid.
That's bad news for the massive number of baby boomers moving into Medicare.
That bold pronouncement reflects the growing unease among hospital executives who are watching profits shrink due to steady increases in the number of government-insured patients. Noseworthy said...
“We’re asking … if the patient has commercial insurance, or [if] they’re Medicaid or Medicare patients and they’re equal, that we prioritize the commercial insured patients enough so … we can be financially strong at the end of the year.” 
While we were concentrating on the huge number of people losing their insurance in the individual market, Medicare patients are getting pushed aside by hospitals as well:
“There is this thought that hospitals treat whoever comes to their door, but this is a statement that lays out what happens,” said Christine Spencer, a health economist at the University of Baltimore. “It’s a surprise to hear it out loud like that."
Hospital Power Play: This isn't a new concept either, and its created inflated insurance premiums in the past in regions where hospitals have monopoly power. 
The health system’s market power gives it the ability to charge more for its services and command high payments from commercial insurers, a clout it can’t wield with the federal government. So, in prioritizing those commercially insured patients, it is following the money.
According to Harold Miller, chief executive of the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform:
“It’s a very lucrative thing for them to do." While it makes sense from business perspective, it doesn’t help to solve the underlying problem of America’s sky-high medical costs. “True leadership would be to figure out how to deliver high-quality services at the lowest cost possible. If institutions are simply going to say, ‘I’m not going to serve patients unless I get paid more,’ that’s only contributing to the problem.”
While Republicans feign concern over the poor, and play them for saps by giving them a false sense of security with bare bones catastrophic junk insurance policies, hospitals are aiming for much higher:
The hunt for higher-paying patients plays out in all sorts of ways, experts said. A medical center may locate its satellite offices and target its advertising in wealthier suburbs. Hospitals might reduce emergency room services so they do not have to handle the chronic yet untreated issues — such as diabetes or high blood pressure — that regularly bring people without insurance to the hospital.
Regulation is another way of saying Protection: Word smith George Lakoff came up with this simple interpretation. Once I had a chance to absorb the concept, I immediately saw how it works for "free markets" and "social" programs.

In reality, government doesn't get out of the way in a free market system, it actually establishes regulations - or protections - that let businesses do things.  "Socialism" also provides regulation - protections - but for the public good. So which side do you want to protect more?    

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Blind Obedience of Trump Voters, an Update!!!

Many Trump voters aren't really paying attention to the Paul Ryan health care sausage being made in D.C., because to them, they believe a multi-millionaire who can't stop lying, and campaigning, is going to take care of the forgotten little guy. Yes, now they want help from the government.

Like Captain America's Chris Evan explained:
Esquire: "I feel rage. I feel fury. It's unbelievable. People were just so desperate to hear someone say that someone is to blame. They were just so happy to hear that someone was angry. Hear someone say that Washington sucks. They just want something new without actually understanding. I mean, guys like Steve Bannon—Steve Bannon!—this man has no place in politics. Some people say, 'Don't you see what's happening? It's time to yell.' 

Yeah, I see it, and it's time for calm. Because not everyone who voted for Trump is going to be some horrible bigot. There are a lot of people in that middle; those are the people you can't lose your credibility with. If you're trying to change minds, by spewing too much rhetoric you can easily become white noise."
With that, here are two recent clips featuring Trumpian followers. In the first video, one fan was asked what Trump could improve on:
Fan: "Yea, health care, he needs to rewrite that Paul Ryan plan because honestly it's terrible. (audible laughter)...straight up terrible."

The clip below starts with Trump voters, and continues with HHS Sec Tom Price's empty promise of a 3 part plan. Like that'll happen. In fact, the clip ends with Rand Paul saying what I've been saying all along about the high risk pools paid for by taxpayers. I thought Republicans didn't want to pay for someone else's health care?:
Paul: "We're certainly not for when you get sick, the taxpayer takes over the tab for the insurance company. It's a terrible situation. What you do is socialize the insurance company losses, but you privatize the billions of dollars that they make. I'm not for giving a gift to the insurance companies, and that's what this house plan does." 

My own plan is simple; the universal "Every Doctor-Every Hospital Act"  

Trump: "All of these no's, or potential no's, are all yeses. Every single person in this room is now a yes. We met with pretty much 12 no's or semi-no's....."

There was a time when George W. Bush clips were a laugh riot. Well, Trump matches that, but with a repetitive, scary, dark, unsettling undertone bordering on stupidity.

Superintendent Tony Evers' challenger Holtz a drooling anti-Common Core tool of the Legislature.

You're in big trouble if you're running for state superintendent and you're still complaining about the "federal intrusion" of Common Core and the now discontinued Badger Exam (based on Common Core).

Tony Evers' challenger Lowell Holtz used the common trick of pointing out a district opposed to CC. Usually the problem is based something else, like convoluted local district policies and requirements that teachers are opposed to. Common Core standards have no such requirements but are blamed anyway.

And instead of working with the 400 school district that have adopted Common Core, Holtz said he would work with the legislature. Amazing.

The normally laid back Tony Evers had had enough, asking him what Common Core standard he didn't like. "Federal intrusion" was Holtz's answer, which of course has nothing to do with Common Core and is not a federal program. From Upfront with Mike Gousha:

Ryan: ObamaCare won't exist in 10 years, so CBO can't compare it to his Plan?

The CBO simply projected what seniors would be paying on ObamaCare 10 years out, and what they would be paying for Trump/RyanCare 10 years out.

Trying to calculate projected costs is nothing new. But that didn't stop Paul Ryan from saying that because ObamaCare was collapsing and wouldn't be around, it was wrong to make that comparison. Uh, no.

I wish Ryan hadn't filibustered Fox News' Chris Wallace, who was trying to confronted Ryan on his trip down the rabbit hole of reasoning.

Even former governor Jan Brewer was repulsed:

“It just really affects our most vulnerable, our elderly, our disabled, our childless adults, our chronically mentally ill, our drug addicted. It will simply devastate their lives and the lives that surround them. Because they’re dealing with an issue which is very expensive to take care of as a family with no money.”

Patient + Private Business = Doctor? What's wrong with this equation?

Republican rhetoric is filled with "buying" insurance, the one thing that has nothing to do with treating sick people or promote prevention.

So we're not asking the most obvious question; why are we inserting a for profit business between a doctor and their patient? Think about how odd that is. And yet Republicans think this is normal, a sign of freedom?  

Actually, Republicans are just defending freedom and liberty. It's that natural born God give freedom to buy things, or not buy things.
1. In Wisconsin, Scott Walker tried and failed to make protesters buy a license to protest.

2. That's why they supposedly hate corporate boycotts, because it's unfair and asks people not to buy things.

3. It also explains why money is speech, because it buys things. 
Their anger is all starting to make sense; not being able to buy big gulps, incandescent light bulbs, guns, and now...being forced to buy health insurance? Goodbye freedom and liberty.

24 million people may lose their ability to buy affordable health insurance, but that's not a Republican concern. What's really important is having the freedom and liberty to buy or not buy insurance. 

Or how about the freedom to raise money on your own to help pay your medical costs:
A GoFundMe page that aims to help the family has raised nearly $90,000 in less than three weeks. The money will be used to cover medical costs and efforts to help him adapt to life without appendages.
Car washes and bake sales anyone?

Insurers will have total control over the price of health care services, not the free market. NOTE: A single payer system, where we can see any doctor or go to any hospital, actually does create competition between providers, right? 

Where am I wrong here? Why have we plopped a for profit middle man between a doctor and their patient. Is this really the place for someone to make a profit?

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trump makes America Great for Survivalists?

I love interactive graphs. Here's Trump's proposed budget priorities, highlighting the GOP's moral decay:

Here's how health care reform will effect Wisconsin and other states:

Republicans open door for Genetic Discrimination and higher Insurance costs to Employees.

Imagine giving out your genetic code to a Target store, a grocery store, Sam's Club or Costco, just so you could get a discount. How would that make you feel?
In the 1997 film Gattaca, the protagonist is unable to pursue his dream job because of his “sub-optimal” genetic makeup. 
Tea party Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx is sponsoring H.R. 1313, the “Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act,” which would coerce employees into giving up their genetic information for a discount on their insurance.

In time, insurers will be able to use the information not just to give discounts for wellness programs, but to raise premiums on genetically risky customers.

Your genetic code would then be simply marketing information, and not highly private and sensitive medical information protected by Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). And while there are already privacy protections in place, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as they relate to employee wellness programs, those protections don't exist under the ACA, while it still exists.
Under the proposed bill, health insurers and employers could simply comply with the Affordable Care Act to gain access to employee health data for use in wellness programs.
According to a Winston-Salem Journal editorial:
The Post reported; if enacted (it) would undermine basic privacy provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 2008 Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA. Congress passed GINA to prohibit discrimination by health insurers and employers based on the information that people carry in their genes. There is an exception that allows for employees to provide that information as part of voluntary wellness programs. But the law states that employee participation must be entirely voluntary, with no incentives to provide it, or penalties for not providing it.”
Uh oh, the Trump administration is going to "interpret" the bill. Gulp, we'll see....:
StatNews: Tom Price, the secretary of Health and Human Services, was asked about the bill on NBC’s “Meet the Press” over the weekend.
“I’m not familiar with the bill, but it sounds like there would be some significant concerns about it.”
Do I have to say it again? How can we allow, with a clear conscience, a profit making business to stand between a doctor and their patient.

Trump White House can't or won't read...

Nancy Pelosi continues to get razzed for not reading the ACA: "We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It."

And yet, reading anything is not something Republicans were ever interested in doing themselves. In spades:
The White House's newsletter, 1600 Daily, sends out details about President Trump's schedule, updates about policies and special guests, At the very end of the newsletter, 1600 Daily linked to a Washington Post article called "Trump's budget makes perfect sense and will fix America, and I will tell you why." The only problem? It was satire, written by humor columnist Alexandra Petri.

If you actually took the time to read the column, you would know instantly it was a joke. Here's a brief excerpt:
"This budget will make America a lean, mean fighting machine with bulging, rippling muscles and not an ounce of fat. America has been weak and soft for too long. BUT HOW WILL I SURVIVE ON THIS BUDGET? you may be wondering. I AM A HUMAN CHILD, NOT A COSTLY FIGHTER JET. You may not survive, but that is because you are SOFT and WEAK, something this budget is designed to eliminate."
And one more for good measure:
"All schoolchildren will be taught by an F-35 wearing a Make America Great Again hat. They will also have new school choice options including the choice not to afford any school at all, because at school you are taught things like grammar and pronouns and spelling and history, and these are all potentially inimical to the future we are trying to build. We will also be cutting Meals on Wheels programs to feed children, because they are not improving performance as we would like. Feed children just to feed them? What are we, SOFT? No. No we are not."
The article is still linked on the White House's website, and so far there has been no comment about the mixup.

Friday, March 17, 2017

OMB's Mulvaney carries out Vindictive Trump Cuts, while HHS's Price defends $500,000 Tax Cut for Insurance CEO's.

The brutal vindictive nature of Office of Management and Budget Director Mark Mulvaney's comments are still sinking in for many:
Mulvaney: "...focusing on the recipients of the money and the folks who give us the money in the first place."
No, the focus is on the "givers," because it's clear the recipients are getting cut off...the recipients being senior citizens using Meals on Wheels.

Nothing said class warfare more than telling a single parent they should be resentful of a senior citizen using their taxes for Meals on Wheels.

Like Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said:
"The cuts are devastating. This is not a budget prepared out of ignorance, but more one prepared out of malice."

Soglin: "The statement that these are programs that aren't working is just plain stupid, and I really believe it's driven by a right wing political ideology. That the taxpayers can't afford it is bullshit."
Despite Mulvaney’s claim, a peer-reviewed analysis of eight studies in 2013 found that six of them found “home-delivered meal programs to significantly improve diet quality, increase nutrient intakes, and reduce food insecurity and nutritional risk among participants. Other beneficial outcomes include increased socialization opportunities, improvement in dietary adherence, and higher quality of life.”

Some food recipients are in their 90s and fairly isolated, without any other relatives to help care for them ... drivers develop a rapport with the senior citizens and check on them if they their routine is thrown off and they do not answer the door.

“They have nobody but us. We’re the only contact that they have with another human being ... There have been a lot of times when my drivers have found these people on the floor after a heart attack or stroke. Without us being there to see it, they could lie there for hours and possibly pass away before somebody would notice them.”
The eye opening cold cruel week continued with this jaw dropping defense of a half million dollar tax cut for the insurance CEO's making out like bandits under a "free market" health care system. Price first denied it was in the reform bill, before realizing it was, and for good reason (he thinks). NOTE: There's nothing free market about insurers setting prices with doctors and hospitals for care - there's no competition between insurers because their negotiations are confidential. There wasn't any before the ACA.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren laid it out for everyone to understand:
Warren: "Freedom and choice. Freedom and choice to have a heart attack and not have any health care coverage? Freedom and choice to have a child with complex medical needs and not have any kind of health care coverage? Freedom and choice to need access to nursing home care and not have any way to pay for it?

It is only the Republicans who can come up with this kind of double speak. There is nobody in America who thought that knocking millions of people of their health insurance was the way that we were going to improve health care."

One pundit warned Republicans that their constituents, who didn't know they were on the ACA or Medicaid program, who no soon enough what has happened to them.

Here's Vox's Ezra Klein with a total look at the problem:

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Walker "qualifies" Jobs Promise..."not how many's how many people are there to fill them."

See what happens when you let Scott Walker get away with one major line of BS? He can say anything now...

Walker's campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs during his first term was flat out ridiculous, beyond ridiculous, impossible. No one with an ounce of integrity would have made that claim. Yet Walker did, and surprisingly, voters bought into it hook-line-and-sinker. Walker won based on that single promise. A few years later, Walker repeated his promise based on anecdotal BS from corporate CEO's. This was posted at Office of the Governor Scott Walker:
"In 2010, a mere 10 percent of employers said our state was headed in the right direction; in 2014, 96 percent said Wisconsin is headed in the right direction. Creating jobs is about more than just a campaign promise." (hey it was a promise, not just a goal!)

Ah, Never Mind? Is there any doubt Walker is a conniving career politician

Gov. Scott Walker is brushing off a Milwaukee newspaper article claiming Wisconsin is about 60,000 jobs short of his 2010 promise to create 250,000 private-sector jobs in four years. He's adjusted that pledge...

"I qualify that now saying ... I got more people employed than ever before ... it's not how many jobs are created, it's how many people are there to fill them. And so, I've shifted from that, and said my number one issue is workforce. I need to find those people."
Walker will find them leaving for other states:
Economists quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on Sunday said Wisconsin suffers a "brain drain" of college graduates to other states, and that Wisconsin needs to focus on improving the pay of current jobs.

Walker committed to Manufacturing Renaissance! Would I kid you? It was always painfully obvious that U.S. manufacturing was not coming back. But Walker wasn't having it, no matter how many experts and Democrats said otherwise:
Wisconsin's ranking was unchanged from a revised rank of 33rd for job creation, last in the nation for the second year in a row in terms of start-up business activity.
After 6 years, Walker is now reacting as if he'd discovered something new, acting like we were all just as backward as his administration, thinking tax cuts, out of state recruitment, tax free manufacturing...etc. would make Wisconsin a manufacturing mecca again:
Retired executive and business climate analyst John Torinus, who advised Walker on the original jobs pledge, said: "We know now that recruiting from out of state doesn't work. We know that manufacturing is automating and leaning so rapidly that it will not be an engine for job growth, even though its exports help the state's wealth creation greatly. Ditto for agri-business, the other major platform for the Wisconsin economy."
Walker ignored pleas to support small business startups until just recently, again, making Wisconsin last in the country:

Most new job and economic growth will come from start-ups, Torinus said, adding that "we are doing better on that score" in part due to state tax credits.
And while Walker continues to blame former governor Jim Doyle for the Great Recession, Doyle's recovery efforts would have resulted in higher monthly job growth than our duped business friendly Walker. Check out Political Heat for the complete analysis:

The MacIver InstituteMatt Mitchell, a Senior Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, looked to see if government incentives were all they cracked up to be. He discovered that states with more incentives per capita actually have slower real economic growth.
"If local subsidies worked as advertised, we'd expect to see greater economic growth in those states that give away more subsidies. But simple analysis of [Louise] Story's data suggests that, if anything, there is a negative  relationship between per capita subsidies and economic growth. Experts argue that offering these massive incentives are actually an admission of failure. A state with a great business climate should be able to attract business without the need for extra incentives."

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

UW Madison on "2018 Best Graduate Schools" list in U.S. News & World Report

Republican hate higher education because it's filled with naive liberal young people filled with hopes and dreams, instead of paranoid fears of the "other." They're easily manipulated by their socialist commie professors who spend almost no time with them. So...
Gov. Scott Walker’s state budget proposal would create a “faculty accountability” policy to monitor how much time UW professors spend in the classroom “ensuring student success in the workforce” and “administrative efficiency” — that will make up the performance categories.
Yup, gotta make sure those university professors stop ripping off the taxpayers and students...oh wait...:
UW-Madison graduate programs are ranked among the nation’s best in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools.” 
Even though the following list just isn't good enough to our college dropout governor and career politician, nationally, it's rankings tell a different story:

Republicans Amy Loudenbeck and Dale Kapenga to start Dismantling Child Labor Law in Wisconsin.

If Trump is going to throw out our hard working immigrant laborers, repealing and restarting child labor to fill that void makes a lot of sense:
The Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing and State-Federal Relations is preparing to discuss a bill that would weaken child labor law in Wisconsin. 
Sure our kids may still be in school, but if they want to work, why should we let parents get in the way. Still, you have to wonder, don't parents know best about their child's education? Guess not:
Senate Bill 11 and Assembly Bill 25, introduced by Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R- Clinton) and Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), will make it easier for businesses to use child labor without sign off by parents by completely eliminating the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) permit process currently required for children aged 16 and 17 entering the workforce. 
I know, it's hard to believe your reading this now, in this day and age. According to Stephanie Bloomingdale, Secretary-Treasurer Wisconsin AFL-CIO:
"This bill undermines parental rights by eliminating the requirement for moms and dads to approve their kid's work schedule and other workplace conditions. Everyone who had a job during high school remembers how important a first job can be to teach young people responsibility and important life skills. The point is that parents should still have the right to sign off on their child's work permit."
What could go  wrong with this....
If a child has no legal guardian available, a Department of Workforce Development officer can sign off on a work permit for the 16 or 17-year-old, which they do routinely.

Republicans Encouraged 24 million will lose Insurance.


High Deductibles or Health Savings Account = Huge out-of-pocket costs under TrumpCare making Insurance unaffordable.

Not many reporters know enough about the ACA, or health care in general, but CNN's Bob Acosta does.

Sean Spicer scrambled at today's press briefing after getting peppered with legitimate questions and criticisms of the GOP health care plan and the CBO's devastating report.

Throughout the debate, Spicer continued to bash the ACA's high deductibles, clueless to the fact that the GOP plan leans on them heavily on them. They're called "Health Savings Accounts." HSA's don't automatically come with thousands of dollars in them. It's not a pot of gold at the end of Paul Ryan's rainbow. Americans everywhere will have to put the money in them, just like deductibles, cash they probably won't have. Again, it's no different than being stuck paying a high deductible. Spicer continues to use the words "product" and "buy" as well. Our health is not a product.

By the way, the White Houses Office of Management and Budget did project how many people would lose insurance, 26 million, more than the CBO. Spicer denied they did, "not something OMB does," at the end of the clip. He lied.

The Director of Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, treated health savings accounts like they're already filled with money, that they are somehow completely different from high deductibles. You'd think he would know better. Both require out-of-pocket costs that make health insurance unaffordable. Note: The ACA also provided an extra subsidy to help low income families pay for deductibles and copays, dramatically reducing them:

Trump White House's OMB report estimate higher than CBO, 26 million losing insurance.

Nothing says irresponsible more than Trump's willingness to let the ACA collapse, to see the devastation, just to prove a point and leave 20 million people without insurance:
Trump expressed doubts about the political wisdom of pressing ahead, repeating his frequent musing again Monday that it would be easier to just let ObamaCare fall under its own weight. 
“The best thing you could do politically is wait a year, cause it’s going to blow itself off the map. But that’s the wrong thing to do for our country. It’s the wrong thing to do for our citizens.” 

And yet, Trump already knew what the CBO report would say, because his own Office of Management and Budget forecast came in a little over the CBO's conclusion.Politico:
A White House analysis of the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare shows even steeper coverage losses than the projections by the Congressional Budget Office, according to POLITICO on Monday.

The Office of Management and Budget forecast that 26 million people would lose coverage over the next decade, versus the 24 million CBO estimates. The analysis found that under the American Health Care Act the coverage losses would include 17 million for Medicaid, six million in the individual market and three million in employer-based plans. A total of 54 million individuals would be uninsured in 2026 under the GOP plan, according to this White House analysis. 
And yet…
The White House has made efforts to discredit the forecasts from the nonpartisan CBO.
You won’t believe the excuse Trump tried to sell to the press; the OMB didn’t look at the GOP plan, but tried to predict what the CBO would come up with. Another lie:
White House officials late Monday night disputed that the document is an analysis of the bill’s coverage effects. Instead, they say it was an attempt by the OMB to predict what CBO’s scorekeepers would conclude about the GOP repeal plan. According to documents viewed by POLITICO, the OMB analysis intended to assess the coverage and spending outcomes of the legislation.
GOP hurts older Base Voters Most: Remember how Ryan assured senior voters his Medicare reforms wouldn’t hurt them, keeping them as a reliable voting block? Well, those soon to be on Medicare, after paying in all their lives, just got a nasty wakeup call:
While premiums would fall 10 percent overall by 2026, CBO found, they would increase by an average of 20 to 25 percent for a 64 year-old. Premiums after financial assistance for a 64 year-old making $26,500 would increase from $1,700 to a whopping $14,600 under the GOP bill, the report said.
And about the CBO prediction Republicans claimed was way off? Well, the CBO prediction included a 50 state expansion of Medicaid, which was later struck down by the Supreme Court, thanks to forgetful Republicans.
The nonpartisan budget office predicted that 21 million individuals would gain coverage through the exchange markets in 2016, but only about half that many actually enrolled. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

The TrumpCare Patient Death Spiral!!!

I love this Paul Ryan metric...
Proponents of the plan, led by Ryan (R-Wis.), have argued the total number of people covered is the wrong way to measure the law’s impact.
A few other facts:
14 million people would lose health coverage next year alone, the report stated. Premiums would be 15 to 20 percent higher in the first year compared to the ACA, and 10 percent lower on average after 2026. By and large, older Americans would pay “substantially” more and younger Americans less, the report states.
I'm also fascinated by the game of symantics; the health care coverage vs the health care they receive.

My head is spinning from the contradictions; Republicans disagree with the CBO report, but agree with the CBO report that by 2026, premiums might be lower by 10 percent. So...which is it?

The reason premiums might be 10 percent lower? Thanks to generous taxpayers willing to dole out their hard earned money to support risk pools (Patient and State Stability Fund), giving insurance companies healthy people and healthy profits. Real free market like:

Don't forget, the state risk pools were a disaster and mostly unaffordable to those who needed them.

The other reason premiums will be lower in 2026? Stripped down insurance policies that leave more of the cost to you and me: Check out the highlighted areas yellow and blue:

Then there's this;
According to the CBO, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured in 2026, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.
...but there premiums would be 10 percent lower...than what, already through the roof premiums? Does that include copays and deductibles? How does that work if healthy individuals don't buy insurance? Did CBO even think to look at health care before the ACA, because that's where we're going.

But the Republicans get to save money by killing subsidies and block granting Medicaid that cuts federal funding dramatically to the states:
The CBO also estimated that the GOP legislation would reduce the federal budget deficit by as much as $137 billion ― to $353 billion ― by 2025.
According to Think Progress, after looking at two studies to determine morality rates due to lack of health care:
Approximately 17,000 people could die in 2018 who otherwise would have lived if a House Republican health proposal endorsed by the Trump administration becomes law. By 2026, the number of people killed by Trumpcare could grow to approximately 29,000 in that year alone.
The prediction that

More to come...