The Pins and Needles of Repeal and Replace
No matter how closely you follow the healthcare debate in America, even the most astute observers will have difficulties making sense of the spectacular promises being made by the guy “some” will call president this Friday. Donald Trump keeps intimating lower cost healthcare will be provided to all Americans with better benefits and more choices than currently offered under the Affordable Care Act. However, how he intends to accomplish this miracle in a free market system remains a mystery. And while we only have a few days to wait before Donald Trump starts making good on these spectacular promises, or is exposed as the fraud we suspect he is, many Americans will spend those days on pins and needles.
Supposedly, Congress wants to keep all the good things about the Affordable Care Act, like the pre-existing conditions, no life time caps and kids covered by parents until age 26 provisions. But they want to get rid of the mandate to purchase healthcare insurance and repeal the federal support for expanding Medicaid to more people. This is the problem: all the good things about the Affordable Care Act are the most expensive to pay for. Without the expansion of federal funding and mandated participation, the only way to deliver an affordable healthcare product in America is to regulate and or cap the fees for services of medical providers and regulate and or set pricing for all pharmaceuticals. There is no getting around this. There is no other way. If there is another way, it’s been classified top secret.
Unfortunately, as mentioned above, America is a free market system. Free market systems don’t cap earnings and are inherently resistant to any forms of regulations. American healthcare is a trillion dollar industry that’s already calculated the unacceptable cost and risk of covering the least profitable insureds. And costly, high risk insureds make up the largest share of the projected 18-30 million Americans who could end up without coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a guaranteed replacement. Let’s face it, if you’ve got a pre-existing condition that could run up a big tab over a lifetime, you should consider yourself a liability to be avoided because that’s what the American healthcare industry considers you.
Still, even the healthier and wealthier should be concerned. According to a report requested by Senate Democrats from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement, healthcare premiums will spike another 20-25% and cost would continue to rise every year going forward. Here is the link to that report. BTW, the CBO findings project that over the next ten years, 32 million more Americans would be struggling without healthcare insurance. These are the raw facts, not debatable rhetoric.
However, if you want debatable rhetoric you needn’t look much further than the nonsense House Speaker Paul Ryan is espousing. Ryan says the primary reason for repealing the Affordable Care Act is to bring relief to people suffering from “Obama-Care” so they can get something better. And while better sounds good, nobody we know has seen the Republican’s version of better. Ryan says giving Americans the option not to purchase health insurance is a good thing, but the reality of not having healthcare in America is a nightmare. Only a fool would leave him or herself exposed to financial ruin because of a broken leg, migraine headaches or a serious eye, ear or throat infection. Without healthcare coverage in America, it doesn’t take much to rack up way more in medical bills than you’ll ever be able to repay. Welcome to the world of bill collectors.
Bottom line: All over America, people from all walks of life are concerned and worried about how they’re going to keep themselves healthy without mortgaging their futures for Band-Aids and aspirin. The American people are being told the Affordable Care Act will be quickly repealed and replaced simultaneously with something less costly, with richer benefits and more choices by the guy “some” will call their president this Friday. But we’ve done our homework and we stand by our research and analysis. None of what you’re being told can possibly be true. Podcast below.