GOP Obamacare Illusion - Don't Be Fooled

February 7, 2018

**To receive this weekly commentary directly in your email, CLICK HERE.


David Copperfield would be impressed. The Republican plan to lower costs is a complex illusion.  The GOP wants to “stabilize” (prop up) the Affordable Care Act with billions from taxpayers. The 10-page House bill, H.R. 4666 (“Premium Relief Act”) would:
·      provide states with $30 billion of ACA redistribution funds over three years
·      fund the ACA cost-sharing reduction (CSR) subsidies Democrats refused to fund
·      force states and individuals to participate in an ACA redistribution program
The Senate bill is less expensive and less draconian, but it too would protect the ACA. Senator Susan Collins’ 8-page bill, S. 1835 (“Lower Premiums Through Reinsurance Act of 2017”) would provide states with at least $4.5 billion over two years and encourage states to set up a taxpayer-funded ACA wage-redistribution program called reinsurance. But states would not be forced to participate. They could opt-in—or not.
NOTE: under reinsurance, government uses your taxpayer dollars to “buy” lower premiums.
Under reinsurance, taxpayers would pay health plans 75 percent of the cost of care between $50,000 and $350,000 incurred by patients that purchase coverage on their own, whether in the individual market or on the government exchange. With taxpayers covering high-cost patients, health plans could lower premiums. Reinsurance is sometimes called an “invisible risk pool.” Patients have no idea the insurance liability and medical costs have been transferred to taxpayers—or people with “private insurance” have been placed in this government program.
Don’t get snookered. Americans will pay more out of their back pocket (taxes) to pay less out of their front pocket (premiums). There’s no reduction in costs for taxpayers—and health plans get a direct line to worker’s wages.
The trap is being set. On February 2, Axios reported, “House and Senate Republicans are increasingly open to the idea of a program that would pump billions of dollars into insurance markets to help stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. . . . Generally, experts are saying the more reinsurance money, the better—if Congress is serious about bringing down premiums in the individual market.” On February 5, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said there’s an “urgent need to stabilize the market” and called on Congress to fund reinsurance. BCBS wants your money given to them.
Connect the dots before Congress redistributes your wages to the health plan cartel in a politically-useful illusion of lower costs.
TELL CONGRESS (#202-224-3121): Stop stabilizing the ACA, don’t fund reinsurance, repeal the ACA prohibition against affordable catastrophic insurance, and repeal the ACA “root and branch” like you promised.
Working to protect your freedom,
Twila Brase, RN, PHN
President and Co-founder