Thursday, June 22, 2017

Senate "Healthy Tax Cut Care" ironically renamed "Better Care" Reconciliation Act!

Pure politics...(see below).

I'll be taking a look at the plan right here later. What I did find interesting was a point made on NPR this morning; the argument that insurers were abandoning the market in so many areas means Republicans must do something now. Aside from the fact their uncertain plans are making insurers run from the individual market completely, on and off the exchanges, the number of people effected is misleading...big surprise. 
It's a sign of the uncertainty in health insurance right now in the United States, with insurers like Anthem unsure what the market will look like going forward. "Until there’s some certainty about what the market is going to look like, it won’t be surprising to see insurance carriers more and more saying, we don’t think we can go forward in this kind of business environment that’s very uncertain. We need some kind of certainty.'"
While around 50,000 people might not have a choice of insurers around the country, that pales in comparison to the 23 million people losing insurance if the Senate bill is passed.
And rural areas will be most negatively impacted due to the Senates changes to Medicaid:The GOP's American Health Care Act would cut Medicaid — the public insurance program for many low-income families, children and elderly Americans, as well as people with disabilities — by as much as $834 billion.

Since 2010, at least 79 rural hospitals have closed across the country, and nearly 700 more are at risk of closing. These hospitals serve a largely older, poorer and sicker population than most hospitals, making them particularly vulnerable to changes made to Medicaid funding. And a rural hospital closure goes beyond people losing health care. Jobs, property values and even schools can suffer.
Pure Politics: With an eye toward the presidential election, and further gerrymandering in 2020, Republicans are delaying changes to Medicaid expansion. There is no other reason. VOX.COM:
The Senate bill begins to phase out the Medicaid expansion in 2021 — and cuts the rest of the program’s budget too. The Senate bill would end the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid to millions of low-income Americans. This program has provided coverage to more Americans than the private marketplaces.

The Senate bill provides smaller subsidies for less generous health insurance plans with higher deductibles. The Senate bill will tether the size of its tax credits to what it takes to purchase a skimpier health insurance plan than the type of plans Affordable Care Act subsidies were meant to buy. Essentially, these tax credits buy less health insurance.
Here's a little more on the above changes. Remember, Republican falsely claimed people on ObamaCare could get sick and then buy insurance...not true, but the Senate plan does just that. Any complaints voters?
The Senate bill repeals the individual mandate — and replaces it with nothing. takes away a key incentive healthy people have to buy coverage, meaning only sick people may sign up.  Building a health insurance system without an individual mandate or any replacement policy runs a significant risk of falling into a death spiral, where only the sickest people buy coverage and premiums keep ticking upward.
 The bill would cut taxes for the wealthy.

The Senate bill would tether its tax credits to less generous health insurance. Specifically, it would provide subsidies that make a plan with a 58 percent actuarial value (meaning, on average, it covers 58 percent of enrollees’ costs) affordable. This means that the plans people could afford under the Senate bill would likely have more copays and higher deductibles as a way to bump up the amount enrollees have to chip in for their own coverage. 

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