Friday, February 17, 2017

Conservative Estimates say 165,000 Wisconsinites will Spend More and/or lose Health Insurance!

Repealing the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is going to force tens of millions of Americans off their health care plans. 

Let's take a look at Wisconsin, district by district, and see who's constituents will suffer the consequences of a purely political decision:
Between 20 and 30 million people will lose their health insurance if Obamacare is repealed by Congressional Republicans with no replacement plan. Charles Gaba, a Michigan-based health care analyst and owner of, wants to remind people that “each one of those numbers is a real, live human being.” That’s why he decided to break down the number of people who could potentially lose insurance after a full repeal of Obamacare by congressional district, so people could get a sense of the impact a repeal would have in their own community.

Estimates are fairly conservative—does not account for the number of people under the age of 26 who could be thrown off their parents’ plans or the repeal’s affect on Medicare. The actual number of people who would lose insurance is likely greater (a recent estimate from the Urban Institute puts it at 32 million).
Paul Ryan to the Rescue? While Paul Ryan waits for the cost estimates for his repeal and replace health care plan from the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, news outlets obtained the actual outlined repeal/replace Republican plan. 

I think "driving off a cliff" best describes what the Republicans have in mind. There is no global example where a country thought this was a good idea, or for that matter, worth trying.

With a "free market" health care plan corporate profiteering will kick into overdrive as time goes on, forcing "consumers" with cancer, heart conditions, and victims of accidents to pay a majority of the bills headed their way. It's not like anyone can afford to stick $2,000 to $12,000 away in a savings account.

Warnings have been issued from both political camps on the dangers of destroying the taxing sources needed to fund the Republican plan. Remember, Republicans have pledged never to raise taxes, so just keeping in place Obama's ACA's taxes would help the GOP keep that pledge and fund their plan:
Republicans want to change all of that. To lower the cost of healthcare, Republicans would provide relief from all the Obamacare tax increases, including: 
• The tax on health insurance premiums • The medicine cabinet tax • The tax on prescription drugs • The tax on medical devices • The increased expense threshold for deducting medical expenses. 
My very well off younger brother mentioned that he had one major pet peeve over ObamaCare; he thought it was unfair his higher earnings prevented him from getting subsidized help. Well, that's no longer a problem:
The credit is not based on income. This will help simplify the verification process and expand access for Americans who have been left behind by Obamacare.
The CBO has already panned every one of Ryan's previous versions of this cruel profit based plan for sick people that assumes medical treatment is a consumer product that we shop for. Not one of the following items lowers the cost of health care, unless you consider not having decent coverage a good idea:
1. Americans would no longer be required to purchase health insurance.

2. The plan also calls for ending the health insurance exchanges.

3. The federal income-based subsidies given to Americans will also go away.

4. The government would offer refundable tax credits based on age.
Taxpayers, Not Insurance Companies Pay For Sick: The most insulting part of Ryan's plan is his no nonsense admission that taxpayers will be footing the bill to treat sick people, instead of insurance companies, who are left with health premium paying Americans. Here's what Ryan said when asked who would pay for taking care of the sick:
PAUL RYAN: By having taxpayers, I think, step up and focus on, through risk pools, subsidizing the care for people with catastrophic illnesses. Those losses don't have to be covered by everybody else, and we stabilize their plans.
The House GOP plan also seeks to provide "State Innovation Grants" so states can establish insurance pools for high-risk consumers with preexisting conditions. The grants could be used to establish something similar to the Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan (HIRSP) Wisconsin had in place prior to Obamacare taking effect. The goal is to reduce out-of-pocket costs like co-payments, premiums and deductibles for people who have more health coverage needs.

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