Could we see Republicans folding on Obamacare even though they were elected on this issue
For nearly a year, Democrats have ranted, wept, and struggled to prevent the demise of Obamacare. They made long and convoluted attempts to have the ACA appear to be the only means by which citizens could live and survive.
They were the ones who owned Obamacare hook, line, and sinker when it was introduced and today when so many have been left hanging out on a line either because the premiums were too massive, wait times for seeing doctors or receiving help were greatly expanded, doctors they trusted no longer were available, or the insurance companies backed out of the states leaving at times only one or no insurance health carriers to assist citizens.
Let’s not forget though that buried deep within those 2,000 or so pages of ACA is a lot of other things that were slipped past simply because congressional members were not allowed to read and review the proposed bill in advance of their vote. Like any other major screw-up, ACA cannot be propped up. It has to be repealed in order to start fresh and address HEALTH issues not any thing else.
Most of us understand that for a very long time, insurance was up to the individual or the company. Rates were increasing and insurance companies at times were actually dictating who could be hired. Some restraint of the industry was needed.
Trump and many in the public believed the competition by opening across state lines would help solve some of the worst of the issues including premiums and that the industry would level off and regulate itself if forced by competition to do so.
During the same time we watched House and Senate Republicans posture and expound upon the risks and rewards of repealing and/or replacing the Obamacare monster that has come out of the closet.
President Trump out of frustration even wrote an Executive Order in October 2017 which opened the purchase of health insurance across state lines. As yet nothing has surfaced on the results of that EO. One of its weaknesses is that it relied on congress to write a replacement for Obamacare that would benefit everyone. Needless to say, it definitely didn’t happen.
The signing of the most recent Budget deal did help advance the demise of one of Obamacare’s most hotly contested issues – the Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB which has been at times referred to as the Death Panel.
According to a recent WaPo’s article “The Health 202: Republicans kill Obamacare’s controversial “death panel”:
“The IPAB is the second part of President Obama’s health-care law this current Congress has kicked out the door, and unlike the individual mandate — recently unwound by the partisan GOP tax overhaul — many Democrats are on board this time around, but mostly because they’re supporting the larger spending framework.
Yet nobody’s exactly crying as IPAB takes a bow. Even the most earnest ACA defenders have admitted it was mostly a gimmick to help pay for the health-care law and never held any real promise for reining in Medicare spending. It would have been the job of the panel, made up of outside experts, to recommend Medicare savings to Congress (almost certainly through payment cuts to doctors). But the program’s spending growth never hit a designated threshold so the panel was never even formed.”
So in essence major concerns of Obamacare have been stripped of their ability to affect health insurance. However, another major problem has been that health insurance companies have been bleeding profusely in order to be in the Obamacare exchange and up until President Trump took office were being supported by several infusions from agencies Obama stole from in order to prop them up.
In mid-October, President Trump hit Obamacare hard with decision to halt the key ObamaCare cost-sharing reduction (CSR) benefits. Insurance companies went screaming to Congress to reverse his focus and protect their CSR benefits.
Then while negotiating the latest budget deal to prevent a government shutdown, McConnell caved on several key Democrat “gimmes” one of them being that our budget would support the CSR benefits for insurance among others.
Schumer crowed and nearly burst into tears when he informed the country that McConnell had caved to his Democrat demands. What he hoped didn’t get mentioned was that all those deal concessions were going to raise the budget figure some $300-400 Billion.
McConnell made it seem that this deal was the only way to get the military funded for two years. So budgeting which is already massive blew up like a huge hot air balloon and taxpayers are taking the hit. Not just for military readiness but for a lot of additional things that will send the country’s spending over the GDP and place us in the red. If it were an individual or company in this position, the Bankruptcy Court would be checking for a heartbeat and forcing a better spending plan to pay creditors.
No one wanted to recognize that approved this budget that at least one state, Alaska, out of desperation has done a lot with a single insurance to save their healthcare program. Alaska has the highest health insurance premiums in the country, yet their percentage rate increase for 2017 was much lower than the national average largely due to the state-based reinsurance program that Alaska implemented in 2016.
So now the merry-go-round continues to turn revisiting the same platform problems of 2017 and getting closer to a deadlock showdown as this is an election year in states not only for special elections but for many seats in the House and Senate.
Obamacare has NOT been repealed, which officials were sent to DC to get done. Healthcare reform has NOT been done which should be relatively easy once Obamacare is removed from the picture and competition is allowed to level the health market except for those needing long-term or catastrophic protection. Oh, and every damn thing that congressional members were elected to do — has NOT been accomplished.
It sure is going to get ugly at election time if these things have not been solved.