Thursday, October 2, 2014

Ryan's free market "patient centered" health care plan is anything but. Here's the breakdown...

Your everyday newspaper, TV and radio reporters don’t know squat about health care. That means a lying politician can spout pure drivel and never get called on it.

Take Paul Ryan for instance. In today's 1st District profile of the candidates, Ryan repeated his call to end ObamaCare and move to his “patient centered” reform plan...a free market experiment. It’s a plan dummy reporters have allowed to gain traction by never pointing out how ridiculous and
contradictory it was. Let's do a little pointing.

Big Example #1: Ryan makes free market privatization sound like single payer health care:
“Obamacare should be replaced with patient-centered reforms that empower individuals and their doctors, not bureaucrats and insurance companies.
What, insurers can't get in the way...of their own plans? That’s pretty hard to do when you get your doctor through your insurer. Not to mention the small, legalese that keeps your doctor on a tight leash. So Ryan is lying about his plan. It can't do what he says it will do. But it sounds great.

Big Example #2: Losing your doctor is nothing new if you've been buying your insurance on the individual market. ObamaCare is marketplace reform. 
"Wisconsinites have experienced the painful consequences of Obamacare: losing their doctors"
Doctor retirements and insurer rate increases were forcing people like me to change insurers all the time before ObamaCare, something the press didn't know. And many times that meant a change in doctors too. 

Big Example #3: Part time jobs are not replacing full time jobs because of the individual marketplace.
"...full-time jobs cut to part time..."
The Small Group Marketplace is about to go online, but even in preparation for that, smaller companies are not contorting themselves around a part time work force. The graph to the right shows that. Again, Ryan is lying about the consequences of the Affordable Care Act. The Great Recession (free market failure) did more to reduce full time work, since big businesses reduced full time employment by bringing in part time workers during peak periods of demand.     

Big Example #4: Increases have slowed dramatically: The ACA has kept rate increases historically low, and Ryan's reference to "expanding access" simply means health care is there...if you can afford it. And "affordable" means his plan allows you to buy only what you can pay for, leaving you with a junk policy that doesn't cover what you don't buy: 
“…and paying more for coverage. We deserve better. That’s why I will continue to offer solutions that expand access to affordable, quality health care.
One caveat about future cost increases: Because we're dealing with the private sector, insurers are finding ways to game the system, charging more, separating out drugs, and weeding out high risk patients again. This has nothing to do with the ACA, and everything to do with the private sector, where Ryan wants us all to be. 

High copays and outrageously high deductibles were created for the individual market and encouraged by Republicans as a way to make sure patients had a little skin in the game (health savings accounts). The sick had to shell out more money so they didn't overuse their health care benefits. Now Republicans are pretending to whine about ObamaCare's copays and high deductibles. More phony baloney the media failed to recognize.

Replace Ryan with Democratic candidate Rob Zerban (zer-bon).
"The ACA was an important first step toward universal health care. But I think we should work toward a fairer, cheaper and more efficient system: Medicare for all. We need to ensure coverage for all Americans so that we can control costs, improve quality and give American companies a competitive advantage internationally by reducing their health care costs."

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