The announcements are in. The conservative majority in the House and the Republican president who ran and were elected on promises of 'repeal and replace Obamacare' are now starting to weasel out of their promises.
This newly announced "American Health Care Act" still has many of the prohibitively expensive taxes and mandates that Obamacare had:
- you still have to have insurance, but now if you don't have it rather than pay Uncle Sam, you pay the hated insurance companies.
- The 'Cadillac' plan tax is still there, although deferred until 2025.
- "Kids" still stay on their parent's policy until age 26.
- Pre-existing conditions cannot disqualify anyone from obtaining insurance.
In other simpler terms, it has now accurately been called "Obamacare-Lite" or "Obamacare 2.0". And for good reason: all of these provisions are unsustainable, and will never control costs. The pre-existing conditions clause alone will bankrupt the system sooner or later, as taking on gravely sick people ('adverse selection') and not charging them accordingly is an actuarial unsound principle. This is not insurance, it is something else.
This nonsense sounds nothing like their promised 'repeal and replace.' It is bad public health policy. I rarely agree with Utopian dreamer Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky), but in this case I have complete agreement with him: this is no better than Obamacare. Costs will not come down, levels of care will not get better, deductibles and premiums will still be God Awful.
Heads have got to roll on this one. At least The Donald has said that he is open to negotiation on this bill. Nowhere in this mess is the allowance for insurance companies to cross state lines to compete in any state they choose to participate in. This alone would do wonders for lowering premiums.
Regardless of what we finally get out of this Congress and president, it will come up short of getting the job done: control skyrocketing costs of health care. We started down the path of expensive health care bills when we as a nation no longer paid for services directly to doctors with cash money; a mere 75 years ago, our health care system had no government involvment, no insurance, no middle men, none of that. Then Franklin Delano Roosevelt decided that things had to change. And they indeed changed - for the worse.
Back in the day, we paid for health care ourselves, directly to our doctor. Once we started putting middle men in between our doctors and patients, concern for costs became a thing of the past: why bother worrying about costs if everybody perceives that somebody else is paying for things?
Sure, when we feel like we don't have to pay for it, we'll have the Chateau Briand, the beluga caviar and the Maine lobster. And keep it coming, damn you!
And that's what things have come down to. Nobody wants to have to pay for their health care, only a few measly bucks for a co-pay, but no more. When did we start with this foolishness of mandating that doctors have to treat patients, regardless of their ability to pay? That is killing us, too. Free health care for everybody, woo hoo!
And this latest bill is not going to fix what is essentially wrong with our system. Everybody thinks it should be almost free, and consume as much doctor's care as we can dream of.
It's killing us. Some kinda health care, if you ask me.