Much Afoot in Healthcare Land

October 11, 2017

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The fight over Obamacare is not over. That said, the failed or stalled GOP proposals would have continued massive redistribution of worker’s wages to health plans—corporate socialized medicine—and not repealed the ACA.
The ACA is a goldmine for health plans! The top six plans netted $6 billion in combined adjusted profits for the second quarter of this year. That’s 29 percent above last year. The plans are “growing the portion of health care claims that are directly or indirectly paid by the federal government,” said ratings analyst Deep Banerjee to CNBC. That includes ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, Obamacare, ACA-waivered state reinsurance programs (e.g. Minnesota) and Medicare Advantage – all paid by taxpayers.
Meanwhile, health plans want Congress to repeal the ACA health insurance tax (HIT), which Congress suspended until 2018. If HIT is repealed, these rolling-in-dough plans keep more of what they get from your front pocket (premiums) and your back pocket (taxpayer-funded subsidies).
Senators Lamar Alexander (R) and Patti Murray (D) are still working on a deal, but success is unlikely. The real issue says health policy expert Robert Laszewski, is the GOP wants to cut Medicaid expansion and loosen “insurance protections” (actually costly requirements) and the Democrats want to keep those requirements and the expansion of Medicaid in place. Thus, stalemate. That said, neither side seems to want repeal, and that’s a problem if you want freedom!
Trump is taking action—but not the best action. Although he could rapidly collapse the ACA by simply stopping payment of illegal cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies and ending the illegal federal “special contributions” to Congress to pay for coverage, he’s expected to issue an executive order (EO) allowing individuals and small businesses to group together in Association Health Plans. This would giving them “large group” status and exemption from many ACA mandates and it could permit affordable catastrophic insurance options.
The devil’s in the details, but ABC News declares these Trump-enabled choices and cheaper options “might be paid by the sick.” This statement ignores the taxpayers paying billions for ACA subsidies sent to health plans who are unable to afford their own insurance. It also ignores the six million Americans paying the penalty because they can’t afford today’s premiums.
Before Obamacare coverage, the sick had state high-risk pools and charity programs. And indemnity (real) insurance was affordable. But the ACA shut down real insurance and put health plans in charge. The plans promise coverage but limit access—like a bank that refuses to give you your money back.
These socialized corporations are willing to keep this lucrative racket in place for as long as Congress is willing to confiscate your wages in the name of covering the sick.
Stay tuned for Trump’s E.O….
Standing for freedom,
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder