Thursday, March 23, 2017

Its a tough day to be a GOP Congressman... or Congresswoman.

Remember this?



Remember the vast majority of GOP office holders in both the House and the Senate running for their jobs... and getting elected to their jobs at the federal level... in large part because of their promises to get rid of Obamacare?

In fact, that was a continuous theme for the President's election.

So, there is a bill.  The bill seems to be idiotic at many levels.  And the Freedom Caucus seems poised to kill it.

And they should.

Congress, in one form or another, repeatedly repealed Obamacare while that idiot was still president.

But none of that was legit.

And it's simple to conclude that because if those bills WERE legit, then the day after the new Congress was sworn in, all that had to happen was for the House to run the vetoed bill again, the Senate to vote for it and then boom, have it land on the President's desk for his signature the day after he took office.

But that didn't happen.

Days... weeks came and went... and instead of rerunning the Eye Wash Bill, designed to fool those of us out here on the ground into thinking Congress was actually DOING something.... they hemmed and hawed and screwed around and wound up with this crap sandwich.

Conservatives balked.  Democrats, seeking an opportunity to embarrass the GOP, are overlooking this gold nugget, by simply voting for the bill in numbers big enough to pass it.

They want to be heroes to their fringe-left base and claim that THEY killed it... when the reality is that the establishment/RINO types killed it.

The school solution... the simple solution... is to kill Obamacare by a date certain.... say, October 1... And aid the states in starting their own systems, or restarting the systems that were in place.

But the current bill, the FC says, will INCREASE premiums and do nothing to increase availability of medical care.

It is, in fact, another version of the current scam system that has been utterly worthless.

The GOP has had SIX YEARS to craft an alternative.  That there wasn't anything ready to go that remotely does what the GOP has been so rabidly promising for that time period is no one's fault but theirs.

The mantra was "repeal and replace."

Well, the first step is to "repeal."  And then, let the states "replace."

I hope this bill fails.  I hope the President feels the sting of political defeat.

He can use some humility about now and doing what he promised... what the base wants... while beating RINO Ryan to a pulp appears to me to be an altogether positive outcome.

It is, as I have frequently stated on a variety of occasions, better to do nothing than it is to do the wrong thing just so you can claim you counted coup.

The poor communication by the White House and by RINO Ryan, the lack of simplification of this effort, explaining it in terms Joe Sixpack can understand... and the lack of an effective counter to the idea that this bill will make the cancer of Obamacare even worse than better... and premiums even higher than lower... that's what's killing this off.

Do it over.  And do it right.

We'll forgive you if the outcome is the right one.

We won't if it isn't.

Simple, really.

1 comment:

Pete Masterson said...

The most practical solution is to cut out the taxes and mandates in Obamacare ... and set an ending date 2 to 3 years in the future. Let Obamacare die of it's own weight (with its existing rules). No one who "likes" Obamacare would be "forced" to leave it, at least without 3 years of notice.

At the same time (the replace) is to establish a true, free market in health insurance. Let those who qualify for for whatever policy they desire to buy the coverage they want. For those who have pre-existing conditions, set up "assigned risk pools" much like is done in many states for bad drivers for auto insurance. Subsidies can be established for those who have medical expenses beyond some threshold (such as $30,000 per year or (better) a sliding scale based on family income).

Finally, to get rid of the disadvantage of the individual policy holder vs. those covered by "company group plans" by adding a line on page 1 of the 1040 that allows the total cost of individual insurance to be deducted from gross income before the Adjusted Gross Income is calculated. (That is the same deal that workers get from company-paid plans...)

If in their wisdom, the elected folks think we can't afford the "tax expenditure" that would involve --- THEN make company paid insurance plans taxable as income to those covered by such plans. That would also balance the two systems -- AND it would make recipients of company paid group health plans actually take a look at the benefits they're being given and to decide if it is worthwhile to have a highly comprehensive plan that might increase their taxes more than they might prefer. (This would also have the impact of reducing demand for health services that previously appeared to be "free.")

Finally, create a rule that workers, who previously had an individual plan can keep it even if they qualify for a company paid plan ... and encourage the company to give the employee in that situation additional pay equal to the amount the company would have paid for their health insurance. Ultimately, we'd likely see a movement away from one-size-fits-all group plans and instead would find a robust individual plan market develop.

Finally, for those under age 30, establish a rule that those who begin coverage on individual plans (before age 30) and who maintain such coverage for 3 years, (with no gap greater than a total of 90 days), then the insurance companies should allow continued coverage (or transfer to a different company/policy) without regard to pre-existing conditions. That will encourage people to begin some level of coverage early in their working career, and then continue it over time.

Of course various "protections" for older individual policy holders might be necessary during the transition to a true free market in insurance coverage and medical care.

For medical care, it is necessary to eliminate the "public necessity" type requirements for building hospitals or acquiring major diagnostic equipment (such as MRI machines). Currently, governments (at various levels) interfere in the market for insurance and medical carer AND they interfere in the supply of medical services. (e.g. a group of doctors try to set up a cancer clinic, but are restricted from owning such a clinic -- or from owing a pharmacy associated with such a clinic. Finally, hospitals and doctors should be required to post "list prices" of their various services, so comparisons can be made. It may be necessary for some public or private entity to create a "standard set of definitions of each service that is priced." (e.g. a cataract surgery should spell out if an implant lens is or is not included, and if it is included, what its cost is relative to the total price.)