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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

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?
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