Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 11/22/13 20:56
by Dave Mindeman
Congressman Kline's policy business consists mostly of criticizing the ACA. Not much else gets done.
He has another Op-Ed piece that was published in the local weekly....Minnesotans Lose In Wake Of New Health Care Law
It has a number of examples of constituents (supporters) who offer examples of how Obamacare has "wrecked" their healthcare.
So let's hear their stories and then look at the situation in broader terms and then let's look at what the GOP could do for them...Linda and her husband in Inver Grove Heights...Her husband has worked for a reputable company for more than 30 years. Three years ago, he was diagnosed with lung disease and had a lung transplant. "While the lung transplant was successful and saved his life, he has had many complications since," Linda explains. Her husband is 59 and was told they could keep this insurance until he was 65. Due to Obamacare, she said, her husband's employer was dropping their coverage since he was disabled and retired. "This is devastating to us," she told me. "I am very angry that we had to be cut from our policy because of Obamacare costs."
Situation: Here are some questions. If the company told them they could keep the policy until 65, they could have kept that promise. It wasn't BECAUSE of Obamacare....it was because the company decided to use Obamacare as an excuse to break their commitment. Dropping coverage because he was disabled and retired? Frankly, this person should be looking at disability insurance or SSI if this is truly the reason they cannot work. This person is also eligible for the exchange and considering the circumstanace, should get a very affordable subsidy to work with. The facts don't point to Obamacare as the issue.
GOP Help: None. The GOP would have no alternative for a person dropped by their employer's insurance. And they would certainly never question the employer's prerogative to do so. Pre-existing conditions would prevent them from getting new insurance. And unless they really do qualify for SSI, the Republican plan leaves them in no man's land.Kurt from Eagan....Kurt is seeing his health care premiums rise $200 a month because of Obamacare. "I understand I am getting more coverage, but it is coverage that I don't need or want," he said. "I am perfectly capable of picking coverage that protects my family, I don't appreciate my federal government making those decisions for me."
Situation: As Republicans always do, they take the premiums at face value and do not look at potential subsidies that bring that premium down. Which is the intent of the ACA. And there is all of this coverage that they don't need? Well, you don't NEED preventative care -- but it could save you huge dollars in future costs. Frankly, the bigger problem with health insurance is that we never really know what we will need. That is why the law puts in place a basic set of coverages that must be included...and which reduces the cost because everyone is involved in those coverages. You could go to an insurance company and try to manipulate a plan that would only cover what you "need", but all it would get you is denial of coverage for what actually happens.
GOP Help: Hard to figure. They have talked about allowing insurance across state lines and maybe there is some plan in Mississippi which charges you cheap to cover nothing - which might make this guy happy, but hard to imagine that this actually helps anyone.Debbie from Rosemount Debbie received a notice in the mail that the premium for her insurance is increasing by 50 percent a month. "The bone I have been thrown is that - at age 62 - I have coverage for birth control... and childbirth," she explained. "My plan now is to drop coverage entirely, pay the Obama tax, and take my chances until I am Medicare-eligible."
Situation: It looks like Debbie must have received a notice of getting a replacement policy because she had one of those "junk" policies that didn't meet the basic coverage requirements. Let's be clear - Debbie is not paying $200 a month more for childbirth or birthcontrol coverage. That part of the mandate gets spread out over so many people that the increase is extremely small. Rather her increase is due to coverage of preventive care or elimination of the caps or a cap on deductibles. Things that make it real insurance and not just insurance in name only.
GOP Help: Yes, the GOP would have been very helpful here. They would have let Debbie keep that junk insurance and if she had a real health care crisis, she would have just filed medical bankruptcy and been another statistic that raises all of our premiums. Fortunately, she only has 3 years to go to get to real government insurance - Medicare.Jim, a self-employed plumber in Inver Grove HeightsJim is married with three children. His family was notified their health care plan was being dropped at the end of the year due to Obamacare mandates. Jim was notified the closest available plan for his family will increase in cost by 37 percent. "We are going to pay more and get less coverage," Jim said. "We will be paying for services that we do not want or need. I still cannot believe that in America we are forced to comply (with) mandated health insurance or face a penalty."
Situation: Again, any plan that gets "dropped because of Obamacare" was questionablel insurance in the first place. I question his statement that he will "get less coverage", because he also states it was being dropped "due to Obamacare mandates". If those mandates were not there to begin with how could their inclusion be "less coverage" and how does that correlate to coverages you don't need, if it was "less coverage"? He says cost increases will be 37%. Is that before or after he checks the exchange? We don't get to see the details - only the complaints.
GOP Help: Yes, the GOP might help this guy, if he really thinks he is getting the coverage he wants. But with a family of 3 and on the individual market, he would probably continue to get 10 to 15% premium increases - which has been the inflationary problem before Obamacare. As a recent report states, with Obamacare inflation in health care is 1.6%.Mark of Prior Lake Mark watched helplessly as his son lost his job and health care because his employer, due to Obamacare, is now only offering jobs of 28 hours-or-less per week.
Situation: This movement to part time help is a trend that has been ongoing for sometime. And it is not due to Obamacare per se....but rather because of health coverage in general. The inflationary health care spiral would cause this with or without the new ACA coverages. What Mark might not realize is that if his son is less than 26 years old, he could get coverage on Mark's plan as a dependent.
GOP Help: None. The part time spiral would continue anyway and the 26 year and younger option would not exist.
Kline only gives us part of these stories and never talks about the thousands of low income individuals that are being helped by expansion of Medicaid and the subsidy help that goes beyond the poverty line. And Kline also does not mention that 80% of Americans will continue with the policies they have now.
Kline starts his op-ed piece with a complete fabrication...The numbers are daunting. 140,000. That's the number of people in Minnesota who already have been notified their health coverage will be canceled as a result of the president's health care law, referred to by most including the president as "Obamacare."
There are no cancellations. It is against Minnesota law. Each and every person involved with these coverage changes are getting just that - changes. They are offered a new health care policy - only this time it meets the standards of basic coverage. Yes, it may cost more, but these people need to check the exchanges.
It is estimated that only 1.5% of these individual policies actually see an end product which costs them more. Kline doesn't give us those facts.
Kline talks like there were such wonderful, viable alternatives prior to the ACA....Health care reform didn't have to take away coverage from those Americans who like what they have. It didn't have to put federal bureaucrats in charge of what procedure is covered and what medication is not. Washington's goal should have been to fix what's broken in our health care system while preserving what works - driving down costs without sacrificing quality.
Yes, junk policies could have continued and the medical bankruptcies that follow them. And yes, we could have kept it out of federal bureaucratic domain and kept it where it was, in the hands of insurance bureaucrats who take 20 and 30% of our premiums and waste it on administration.
I am still trying to figure out what Kline would have done to fix what is broken - because we would still have pre-existing conditions, no preventative care, no coverage to 26, and birth control as optional coverage. How Kline could fix any of that without raising costs is another one of those GOP utopian fantasies that they talk endlessly about but never put on paper.
Kline is so busy finding fault, he can't even know where to begin to propose a solution.
As with student loans, Kline is a health care disaster.