Monday, January 16, 2017

Ryan's ACA Replacement Plan isn't about Health Care, it's about the Health of the Insurance Industry: Part 2

A few thoughts on repealing ObamaCare, otherwise known as the ACA (so many people thought they were two totally different plans).

When I saw actual side-by-side "competition" between insurers force some off the exchanges, it was my epiphanic moment. Insurers not only don't like competition, it would actually kill them.

So the ridiculous idea that insurers would lower their premiums once they had to compete across state lines didn't make sense anymore:

1. They'd take a huge hit on Wall Street.

2. We already saw what would happen if insurer premiums simply grew too slowly, like they did on the exchanges; insurers gave up and left the exchanges.

3. If prices do decline or rise too slowly, small insurers won't survive, and only the strongest and largest insurers will be left. Again, this creates large closed noncompetitive monopolistic networks, the ones Paul Ryan claimed destroyed ObamaCare and raised premiums.

4. Insurer "competition" doesn't have anything to do with the actual prices charged by doctors and hospitals. The repeal/replace plan is all about the insurance industry. What part of this reigns in the rising cost of health care?

Then I saw this analysis. It confirmed what I was already thinking:

Republicans have sucked so much of the air out of the room, just debating repeal and replace, that what I've listed above is not getting any attention. It's even more difficult to deal with 2 or 3 years from now.

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