Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Rise of Faux Think Tank Research in the rubble left by Scott Walker and Trump!

Faux research and analysis now has market in Trump believers everywhere. The alternative world of resentful politics is expanding in Wisconsin. Thinking they were pretty damn smart, the GOP lawsuit mill Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty took their legal successes in front of right wing activist courts and decided to make even more money as a think tank pushing fake research and policy "ideas" that don't make any sense.

Unable to start, compete, and grow on their own, WILL in the beginning accepted a political special interest handout that made them a think tank arm of the right wing Bradley Foundation: 
With the help of a $500,000 grant from the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, WILL launched as a law firm ... now includes research and advocacy arms and employs 18 attorneys, researchers, writers and other staff, plus two contracted advisers ... receiving a $1 million grant from the Bradley Foundation to launch its Center for Competitive Federalism. 


Let's takes a look at WILL's "nibbling around the edges" ideas, that will do nothing to lower health care costs. Eventually, everything below would be exploited by insurers and the health care industry to increase profits on the sick and dying. My comments are in red:

1. Direct Primary Care – (DPC) offers one of the best avenues to cut out the costly insurance middlemen and allow patients and doctors to decide on care through transparent, up-front prices. In this system, clients pay a monthly fee to a DPC provider for the majority of their health services. 
Reality: This assumes you'll always be in the area where your DPC's are located. Seriously? 
2. Create a Dental Therapy License – The creation of a dental therapy license (less than a dentist but more than a dental hygienist) could increase access and lower the cost of routine dental care, particularly in rural Wisconsin where access to dental care is lacking.
Reality: Plain and simple, this lowers standards and care for the sake of lower prices. Yup, nice trade off there.
3. Free Speech in Medicine – Doctors and patients deserve to have all the information necessary when deciding care but the FDA prevents pharmaceutical companies from freely providing information on off-label uses of prescription drugs. 
Reality: For profiteers! This would allow drug companies to claim almost anything to sell more drugs, make more money. It also assumes doctors don't already know about off-label uses, which is just not true. 
4. Take full advantage of Short-Term Limited Duration Plans –The Affordable Care Act created uniform insurance regulations that eliminated much of the variety of insurance coverage. But not everyone needs, or even wants the same coverage. Short-term limited duration health plans are a flexible, low-cost alternative that consumers deserve access to. In some cases, these plans can be offered for 90 percent cheaper ...Wisconsin should match the federal government and allow consumers to purchase up to three years of coverage.
Reality: This brings back preexisting conditions, and if you get sick on your cheap insurance, get ready to payout that huge deductible first before any insurance payout. WILL is pushing what the industry calls JUNK POLICIES. What a "reform" plan.
5. Take full advantage of healthcare freedom in U.S. Territories –Other US states are subject to the same onerous restrictions as Wisconsin under Obamacare ... since 2014, US territories have been exempted from many of the more onerous parts of Obamacare ... Wisconsin citizens ought to be able to purchase those insurance plans if they happen to fit their needs.
Reality: "Freedom" and "Onerous restrictions?" Oh, you mean getting rid of mandating coverage for preexisting conditions? Last time I looked, Republicans copied the Democrats and ran on protecting preexisting conditions...until now of course. "Onerous."   
6. Reform Retroactive Eligibility for Medicaid – Controlling the cost of Medicaid without compromising care is critical. Wisconsin should remove any incentive for those eligible for Medicaid to avoid enrollment until after a medical procedure. Nearby states such as Iowa and Indiana received waivers from the federal government to implement this change. While this could potentially lead to a savings for the state—Iowa estimates it’s savings at $36 million in the first year—the more important reason is that enrollment could get people to the doctor sooner for more preventative care that could improve health outcomes.
Reality: This is intentionally cruel and a solution looking for problem. Let me understand this; people wait to get free BadgerCare until their sick,'s free? I can't wrap my head around this Republican "savings" on  the backs and lives of Wisconsinites. A WTF moment is there ever was one. 
A few Final Thoughts:

1. WILL pretends we didn't go through this all before the ACA became law. 

2. Cheap insurance reduces what insurance companies long do you think they will stay cheap? I experience this in my 20's and 30's, and premiums skyrocketed and deductibles increased. 

3. Cheap insurance means everybody else with full coverage plans will pay more to make up difference. 

4. Nothing above actually lower insurance, or health care prices, or covers people who travel in state or out of state. 

5. Does nothing about increased high deductibles for employers either. 

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