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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Jason Lewis and "Regulatory Disease"

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 01/18/17 11:47

by Dave Mindeman

Did you know that America has a "regulatory disease"? Jason Lewis has diagnosed that for us and wrote about it in the Strib.

I did not realize there was such a disease. I guess Lewis has some new kind of expertise that is beyond our ability to understand. So I guess what he is saying is that our problems do not stem from corporate actions but rather our government's attempt to regulate them.

Lewis is telling us that the financial industry doesn't need those pesky limits. That the pharmaceutical industry can do much better regulating itself. That the collapse of the economy in 2008 was not due to the misdeeds of the industry, but apparently because we do not give them have enough rope.

Lewis especially believes that the ACA is a big culprit:

Because the law mandated the most expensive coverage for everyone, many people -- especially the young -- have been priced out of the market. Right here in Minnesota, we've seen the system collapse under MNsure with back-to-back individual premium increases of well more than 50 percent in the last two years! Moreover, tens of thousands won't be choosing a plan, but getting shoved into a default option.

The law mandated ACTUAL coverage for everyone. Yes, providing real coverage is more expensive and the insurance fallout from that has led to a difficult transition, but we saw what happens when insurance companies are left to their own devices....dumping people with pre-existing conditions, caps on lifetime benefits, moving to more catastrophic coverage which pays nothing for day to day medical expenses. That is what Lewis is suggesting we go back to....because without those mandates we will go back to coverage at the lowest level and highest profit margin for insurers.

Here in Minnesota, the individual market needs to be adjusted, but wholesale collapse? No. Lewis likes to use extreme language, but being honest about it escapes him.

As for getting shoved into a default option, that is exactly what was happening before the ACA. People were dumped into a coverage system that didn't pay for prescription drugs. That had enormously high deductibles and only covered the most catastrophic conditions.

In addition, Lewis is signing on to this repeal now, replace much later plan that the House Republicans are pushing. A plan that leaves all of us in uncertainty and with questionable coverages.

Lewis sides with the insurance companies. He wants to make things easier for them. Those pesky regulations need to go. Let corporations make their own rules and put consumers at the mercy of profits.

Jason Lewis is not on our side. That is the simple truth of the matter.
comments (1) permalink

Only 20% Of Americans Want Immediate ACA Repeal

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 01/06/17 15:29, Edited: 01/06/17 15:31

by Dave Mindeman

In their haste to remove Obamacare the House Republicans may have to take a step back and examine what they are doing.

Kaiser Health released a poll dealing with how they want the GOP to handle this:

Do Not Repeal...........47%

Wait on vote until
a replacement plan
has been announced.....28%

Vote to repeal
immediately, and
work out details of a
replacement plan

Only 1 in 5 want to the Republicans to do what they are currently talking about. And given the ramifications of an outright repeal, the House GOP could be treading on dangerous ground.

But that is part of the problem with Republican governance. They want to act before everyone is ready and then worry about the consequences later. This is classic overreach and Republicans are guilty of doing it time and time again.

Dismantling Obamacare may seem like rewinding the last 8 years for GOP supporters, but these last 8 years won't look so bad when your health care turns into massive chaos.

Be careful what you wish for.
comments (2) permalink

The Republican Holy Grail Of Health Care Repeal

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 01/04/17 00:08

by Dave Mindeman

Maybe somebody can help me understand this because it escapes me.

Since the ACA passed about 7 years ago, the Republicans have been demanding its head on a platter. Now they have the opportunity to do so but without any kind of resolution to the country's health care issue.

The ACA covers 22 million people. Subsidies help a vast majority get to an affordable premium. Yes, a few still get hit with a high cost premium but that is absolutely a fixable problem.

If the Congressional Republicans do this the way it appears, they will be leaving a large number of our population in limbo. Never quite sure if we have coverage and never sure of the total cost.

They say they will keep the "good" parts of the law...but without any means to manage the costs involved.

The ACA has reduced the number of uninsured in this country every year since its inception. It would have reduced that even further if more states had taken the expanded Medicaid.

With one vote, the Republicans plan to take all that away. The people that were covered by the provisions of the ACA will be back to no insurance. They will have to frequent the emergency rooms of hospitals and push them to insolvency - especially in those rural areas full of Trump voters.

Without subsidies, we will now see what insurance would be costing if the ACA had not existed. Because insurance still establishes the premiums as they always have and without the ACA those premiums would have risen as they were before the ACA added the help needed to allow lower incomes to buy it. The ACA gave us insurance as it was meant to be - everyone has to be covered...with health care that has no pre-existing condition exemption; equality for women's health; preventive care; no caps on coverage over time. Most of that will be gone except for the most visible aspect of pre-existing condition coverage and kids covered up to age 26.

But without the rest, the insurance companies will pick and choose who they wish to cover...and the rest will be dumped into catastrophic coverage which covers only the bare minimum of services.

Yes, the Republicans will get rid of Obamacare...without any actual plan for replacement. So during this interim time period while they figure this out, health care in America will be a vast unknown. The Republicans will try to patch it all together, but the number of uninsured will have to grow.

They could take the ACA, as it is, and fix the areas that have run into trouble. They could rename the whole thing with some Republican sounding name that they can take credit for. They could do that for the American people, but they won't and can't - because there quest has always been to give health care back to the insurance carriers. Let them make the health care decisions...let them negotiate with the doctors...decide what in network and out of network means. And let them dictate the terms of coverage.

For years, the American people have complained about health care in all its myriad forms. The ACA was not perfect, but it was as close to universal coverage as we have ever gotten.

All of that will soon go away - and we will, once more, be trying to figure out some other patchwork quilt of a solution....which, of course, cannot be anything like Obamacare.

It is a political thing now. It is a matter of Republican pride. They have obstructed for 8 years to get to this point.

Now that they are here - they do not know what to do.

Good problem solving, don't you think?
comments (3) permalink
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