The House ‘Freedom Caucus’ has spoken regarding the subject of what its members would be willing to support in a revised health care bill that would supersede ObamaCare as we know it today.
Health insurance, in general, has exclusions or premium cost increases for coverage relating to pre-existing conditions, essential health benefits, and community rating.
The Freedom Caucus has indicated that its members would be willing to support the health care bill if it got rid of coverage for pre-existing conditions, essential health benefits, and community rating. That was a proposition brought to this group by Vice President Pence.
Republicans will be pilloried if these benefits were to be excluded at this point. The Freedom Caucus members, and potentially the Administration, do/does not seem to understand that what they profess to be able to support is essentially what is available today in ObamaCare. If a person has a pre-existing condition that usually is handled by increasing the basic premium being charged for the coverage; Obamacare wiped that out. If essential health benefits weren’t covered, then users of health care insurance would have to stand those costs out-of-pocket thus tending to eliminate the desirability of having coverage; ObamaCare wiped that out. And, finally, individual premiums would be rated based on the individual or family medical conditions at the time of policy issue. That is the opposite of community rating; ObamaCare wiped that out.
The Freedom Caucus, in other words, appears willing to vote for what was the rule of the land prior to ObamaCare, and that would very likely please the Democrats no end since people would be angry with the ‘replacement’ which would take them back to where they were. That seems to me as being the rough equivalent of shooting oneself in the foot, and it seems to me this is not a good plan except for the Dems since they can bandy this seeming disconnect all over in commercials, press briefings, etc., etc.
The premise of replacing ObamaCare has been to make things better and less expensive. The Freedom Caucus’ approach would do the opposite. We may not like this situation that was created for us by the former President and Congress, but there is a certain reality that MUST be taken into account in any effort to replace Obamacare. There is no magic to the concept of health insurance, and there is no benefit to replacing it with something that offers less coverage at a higher cost and with exclusions.
ObamaCare is not quite the insurers’ darling they thought it would be, either. So that part of this equation is going to have to be assuaged if something new is to survive roll-out and the first two or three years of existence. Frankly, if we were to permit ObamaCare to continue on the path it seems on at the moment, it will likely self-destruct without huge additions of money from the taxpayers.
If the Dems are smart, and they seem to be especially when it comes to suckering the Republicans into something dumb, this proposition would play right into their overall scheme of disrupting and destroying the Trump agenda.
Whether or not possible, the concept of replacing Obamacare has created the thought in the minds of the average American that the replacement will obviously be better. Who, in their right mind, would try to fool us into taking something less and causing us to believe we had gotten more.
Insurance companies, although they were obviously created to give us something to hate, know the nature of this beast. They have seen proof of the problem they envisioned by their own loss experience so far in ObamaCare. I doubt that Congress will be able to convince these insurers to roll over once again and take one for the ‘team’. If losses beyond actuarially-determined norms are incurred, the federal government is going to have to act in the role of a reinsurer and help by keeping the insurers solvent on this book of business.
Anything short of this will see more and more carriers withdrawing from the marketplace since they have an obligation to their stockholders. The long and the short probably come down to this: The U.S. government acts as the reinsurer for the carriers that are involved. It sets a minimum and maximum profit and pledges to keep those carriers solvent by keeping their gains and losses within those parameters. The carriers earn their money by maintaining adequate networks of providers and by administering the book of business.
I don’t know of a better solution to the mess created by ObamaCare except for using the basics of ObamaCare and improving upon that structure. The only other solution will be a disaster. President Obama and his Democrats in Congress really did a number on us when they passed this legislation in the wee dark hours of the night, and we continue to learn just how badly the rest of us were had.
Please, Freedom Caucus and Whitehouse, don’t do something that will be problematic for us citizens and beneficial for the Dems.
By the way, once this is set up, roll all the other health care benefit programs including veterans’ benefits into this program. Then the Democrats can have their wish of nationalized health care. And, by the way, President Obama, thanks for placing us in this terrible position. As smart as you are, there can be no other way to see this situation. You managed to get us to the point where we had little to no alternative but nationalized health care. This is your legacy playing out before us all.
Insurers and pharmaceutical manufacturers will also have to become part of this solution with sufficient potential for profit as to cause continuing research and new drug development. I never thought I would espouse national health care, but I am not sure we have any other real choice at this point. If that is so, then let us make sure we create the very best plan possible by learning what doesn’t work in other countries that have been there and done that before us.