Thursday, July 6, 2017

Our Dysfunctional Health Care System part 2: Single Payer & the Ted Cruz Con.

To start, here's what I've been saying for some time:
All payer, single payer, Medicare for all, universal health care is simple: All doctors are your doctors, all hospitals are your hospitals. No bills, co-pays or deductibles. We could cut costs by a third to half of of what we're paying now. We won't. Are we insane?
And yet, as this reaction to a recent story about Medicare Advantage demonstrates, many people don't seem to understand our health care all:

MSNBC's Ali Velshi gave us the best presentation yet showing us how backward and downright bizarre the Republicans free market idea of health care is; we're the only country doing it. He followed that up with the effect cut backs on Medicaid would have on dementia and Alzheimer's seniors on Medicare:

My favorite candidate running against Paul Ryan recently tweeted this simple truth:

Another great look at the myth of health care greatness before the ACA was discussed belwo on WPR's On Point. I edited the discussion to hit on the main points, especially the "free market" control wielded by insurance companies, which is anything but:

The Ted Cruz ACA "Poison Pill" Con: The Senate's BCRA is going to get passed, even if 22 million people will lose their health care insurance.

The Ted Cruz plan will please his GOP base; by purposely making ObamaCare's plans collapse. When they do, Cruz can say, "I told you so:"
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) conditioned his support (of the BCRA) on an amendment proposed by his colleague Cruz. The gist is this: Health insurers could sell non-Obamacare plans as long as they also sold Obamacare-compliant insurance. The proposal does (eventually) erode Obamacare's protections for people with preexisting medical conditions, because it would likely segment the insurance market into healthy and sick pools. Healthy people would buy non-Obamacare plans, while sick people would buy the more robust Obamacare coverage. That would drive up premiums for the ACA marketplace.
Clever. It would also make people appreciate their stripped down high deductible junk insurance policies.

Not Letting the Free Marketplace Work: For a party touting the wonders of the free marketplace, they sure know how to mess with it. While complaining about some insurers leaving the ObamaCare marketplaces, they never waited around to see other insurers take their place. That's what markets do:
Centene fills Missouri's empty counties. You might have missed it in the rancor over the health care debate in Washington, but health plans have been stepping in to fill Obamacare's bare-shelf markets. Missouri is now the latest state to benefit, after Centene announced it would sell plans there next year.
 That's right, the latest state.

Republican "Health Care" Tax Cut Plan and Stock Market Payoff: If you're going to make insurers lots of money, buy their stock:

Health industry stocks, including insurance giants like UnitedHealth, have surged as Republicans have moved forward with their repeal effort, which rolls back broad taxes on healthcare firms while loosening consumer regulations.

Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma purchased between $50,000 to $100,000 in UnitedHealth stock ... Rep. Mike Conaway, a Texas Republican and member of Speaker Paul Ryan’s leadership team, added a health insurance company to his portfolio ... An account owned by Conaway’s wife made two purchases of UnitedHealth stock, worth as much as $30,000, on March 24th, the day the legislation advanced in the House. 

As we’ve reported, the House of Representatives has actively fought efforts to enforce the law after the Securities and Exchange Commission attempted to investigate one congressional staffer accused of passing healthcare information to a set of hedge funds.
Here's one former Republican making an amazing admission:

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