The GOP Can’t Replace ObamaCare Because They Don’t Have a Solution

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I guess Republicans are hoping the old saying is true: “Seventy-first time’s the charm” as they attempt to repeal “The Affordable Care Act” for the SEVENTY-FIRST TIME (not an exaggeration) sometime this week before the September 30th deadline.

Yes, that’s correct. The GOP’s last failed attempt to repeal The Affordable Care Act last July was attempt #70, and their next attempt before the looming deadline next Saturday is supposed to take place sometime this week… or will it? Because at the moment, Senate Republicans don’t have the minimum 50 votes (plus a Mike Pence tie-breaker) necessary to make that happen… thank goodness.

This time around, it’s the Graham/Cassidy bill, and their “solution” (as I predicted) is to dump the whole problem on the states (the “don’t blame me” approach.) The big selling point this time around is that “Senator Cassidy” is DOCTOR Bill Cassidy”… and who knows better about how to fix healthcare than a doctor, right? Problem is, Cassidy retired from private practice in 2006. The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2009 and wasn’t fully invoked until it survived a Supreme Court challenge in 2010. Cassidy NEVER dealt with the ACA as a doctor. He never saw all the additional patients who could now afford insurance thanks to “ObamaCare”, and never had to direct patients to the National Exchange because his home state of Louisiana refused to establish a state exchange. He has absolutely no personal experience dealing with the ACA as a doctor.

That would be like a wealthy real-estate mogul who had never held ANY public office before thinking he can be president and easily solve every problem “better & cheaper” “on day one”.

Co-author Lindsey Graham declared repeatedly yesterday that “Everywhere you look, ObamaCare is imploding. It’s a failure.” Nonsense, in states where the governor supports it, it’s working quite well (though no one argues it’s in need of improvement), while in states where the governors oppose it and are ACTIVELY working to sabotage it, then Yes, it is “imploding”. No program can succeed where people are working hard to ensure it doesn’t.

Democrats know there are basically four ways to guarantee affordable universal coverage:

    1) A universal government run medical system like the V.A. or seen in most of Europe, which would require privatizing a multi-Trillion dollar industry, confiscating Hundreds of billions in private property, and turning every doctor into a government employee. That’s not happening.

    2) “Single Payer v1”, where the government takes over the entire health insurance industry and turn it into a non-profit. That’s not happening.

    3) The “Affordable Care Act” (aka: “ObamaCare”), where you mandate every person purchase private insurance, and in exchange, private insurers agree to price controls and to not reject anyone due to a preexisting condition.

    4) “Medicare for All” (or “Single Payer v2”), where every citizen is entitled to minimal basic care paid for by the government (paid for in increased taxes, but you no longer need costly more-expensive private insurance, for a net savings.) If you wish to have additional/premium care, you can purchase a supplemental private plan. This is the best solution IMHO and is Bernie Sander’s currently pending bill.

While Republicans have attempted to dismantle all or part of The ACA a total of 71 times now, they have actually only proposed a “replacement” six times (four under Trump), and each and every time, the proposed “alternative solution” has been different.

Oh sure, some aspects never change… like cuts to Medicare (the government program so many Tea-baggers demanded the government not touch during the ACA debate), getting rid of the mandate, and tax-cuts for rich people (the GOP can’t rename a post-office without include a tax cut for millionaires.) But NONE of those things do ANYTHING to ensure “more people are covered for less money.”

I went back and tried to figure out what the GOP “solution” was for ensuring “affordable guaranteed coverage of every man, woman & child in the US” for every plan put forth since Trump became president, but it really is impossible. Other than stripping out the parts of “ObamaCare” that they don’t like, they typically offer NO solution(s)… things they KNOW will work and therefore must be part of any GOP Plan.

The closest thing I can find to a “consistent” solution is tax free “Health Savings Accounts”… this mind-numbingly clueless “solution” of theirs is to “permit” hundreds of millions of American’s (most of whom are already deep in debt and/or living paycheck-to-paycheck) are given the opportunity to save hundreds of thousands of dollars in a tax free savings account to help cover their expenses when they get sick. If you’re a middle-income American making around $50k/yr with $16,000 in credit card debt (the national average), just how long do you think it will take you to save $100-$200 Thousand dollars that you could afford to set aside and not touch? What if you get sick long before then? And let’s hope little Billy wasn’t planning on attending college. Now imagine you are in the 70% of Americans that aren’t even THAT well off. It’s just yet another way for millionaires to avoid paying taxes, not a “solution” towards making healthcare more affordable for every American.

And it DEFINITELY does not ensure guaranteed acceptance.

During “PoliticsNation” yesterday, a critic of the GOP replacement bill made an excellent point: “Access to healthcare is not the same thing as Affordable healthcare. You may be covered, but if the cost of your out-of-pocket cost is $250,000/year, you won’t have healthcare because you can’t afford it.” That’s one simple fact I think Republican’s just don’t get.

Interestingly enough, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel has become a leading voice in exposing GOP efforts to return to the bad old days of preexisting conditions and worthless policies that cover nothing and deny you for anything. Kimmel had on Sen. Cassidy recently to explain what he meant by “The Jimmy Kimmel Test” he applies to access & affordability of any plan, only to have Cassidy either knowing lie to Jimmy’s face about what his bill would do, or is totally clueless as to what his own bill would permit (I’m betting on the latter. Clueless.) The GOP’s “solutions” aren’t. If they actually worked, they’d never allow it. For instance, it’s just not possible to “mandate” insurance companies cover everyone without also a “mandate” that everyone have insurance. You just can’t separate the two. Republican’s think you can. That’s not dealing with reality.

Another consistent non-solution in every GOP Plan is the absurd idea that “the Free Market will control prices.” Somebody PLEASE inform these hedgehogs that THAT is the system we had before the ACA, and health insurance costs were rising out of control to the point it became THE dominant campaign issue of 2008. And just as in 2008, Republicans had no clear solutions (and nothing original.) The most popular Republican solution is to allow consumers in one state to bypass their state insurance regulation board and purchase coverage “across state lines” from another state with more lax insurance laws/regulations… the very definition of “race to the bottom” as states try to outdo each other by allowing insurance companies to sell the most worthless policies imaginable for the lowest price possible.

Now Graham & Cassidy insist that “preexisting conditions are still covered by their bill” (which turns control of healthcare over to the states.) But their bill permits states to issue “waivers” that allows them to exempt insurance companies from any regulation they see fit (so it’s guaranteed to happen.) And with all those states competing to draw all those consumer dollars to their state looking for the cheapest policy possible, how many states do you think will start issuing waivers that allow them to deny coverage for preexisting conditions (PXC’s) if it means they can sell cheap worthless policies en masse? And the reason Graham & Cassidy can insist PXC’s are still covered is because they don’t actually repeal the ACA. They are relying on the part of the bill that mandates insurance companies cover them… despite introducing a loophole big enough to drive an HMO through.

And WHY aren’t they actually “repealing” the ACA? Because they can’t. Republicans have been talking about “repealing ObamaCare” for years, but they really can’t do that because it would take at least 60 votes in the Senate… and they can’t muster 50. So instead, they’re using something called “Budget Reconciliation” to GUT the existing law, keep what they like and insert their own changes, which only requires 50+1 votes. It’s a bit like gutting a Toyota and replacing the engine with a hamster in a wheel and milk crates for seats, then promising you can buy a better hamster from “Sally’s Hamsters & Things” in Milwaukee and seat belts & airbags from “Joe’s Body Shop & Sushi” in Podunk, Mississippi.

And of course, the GOP is once again in a rush to pass another healthcare bill before the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) has a chance to score it. It’s basically an open admission that they KNOW once the bill is scrutinized, everyone will know how bad it really is. And they are so desperate to pass ANYTHING… no matter how bad… just to fulfill a ridiculous promise to their clueless minions.

Fortunately… as of this writing… two more Republican senators (Collins-ME & Cruz-TX) have announced they currently don’t support the bill… both for very different reasons. Collins says she doubts it will cover more people for less money. Cruz (who says he is working to get to a “Yes”) says he doesn’t believe the GOP bill allows for enough competition to bring insurance prices down. Cruz is staunchly opposed to a “Public Option”, and there are only around five major insurance providers in the entire United States. So either he wants a bill that’ll create new insurance companies out of thin air, thinks “Mutual of Mars” should be allowed to sell policies on Earth, or he’s just blowing smoke because he wants the GOP to beg him for his support.

No matter. It’s a miserable bill and they all know it. Consumers know it. They don’t have the votes to pass a bad bill in an obvious rush, and once again, Trump has made a  promise the GOP’s ass can’t keep.
 


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September 25, 2017 · Admin Mugsy · No Comments - Add
Tags: , , , , , ,  · Posted in: Economy, General, Healthcare, Money, Partisanship, Right-Wing Hypocrisy, Right-Wing Insanity