The Health Care Reform Fight Is Just Beginning For Some Of Us
Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) before the 2018 Open Enrollment on the Exchanges?
While the health care reform debate stalls in the Republican-majority Senate, individuals health insurance purchasers like me are left wondering what's next. Will Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS), Tom Price, miraculously develop a base level of professionalism and sense of duty to administer the Affordable Care Act (aka, Obamacare), the law of the land, for now, the way it was intended? Will Republicans restore the funds for the risk corridors so that insurers are certain that the government will cover losses they may incur? Will HHS role out a robust national open enrollment program for the exchanges and will they staff the effort appropriately? Or will the Senate, like the House, find a way to pass their awful health care bill, the
We, I, need answers to these questions soon because the fall health plan open enrollment season is just a few months away. My current health insurer has already sent me a good luck because we won't be here for you next year letter. And health insurance companies need answers to these questions now to make decisions about what, if any, plans they will offer to individual health plan purchasers.
Reason To Be Afraid For The Future Of Individual Health Plans
It's so disheartening to witness long-term Republican lawmakers and the White House react so vindictively to their current legislative debacle. After seven years of ranting about the awfulness of Obamacare and promising a better replacement, they delivered bupkis. But don't expect these guys to hang their heads in shame, that's a completely unfamiliar emotion to them. In fact, they can't even call their failure a failure. This is a line from the official statement put out by the Majority Leader's office on the Obamacare repeal vote.
" Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful."
In other words, Obamacare, which provided health insurance and health care to millions of people, is a failure but the seven-year long Republican effort that created the unpassable Trumpcare is not. The fact that McConnell refuses to acknowledge that Republicans do not have a better alternative to Obamacare that they are all willing to vote for makes me queasy.
And what's even scarier about the future of the individual health insurance market is that where McConnell leaves off in his hypocrisy and projection, Trump picks up with his mean, hateful, nastiness. Since being elected, (gag) Trump has boasted about letting 'Obamacare explode,’ ‘die on its own,’ or ‘fail,’ as he and his fellow Republican liars and obstructionists do everything they can to undermine the law. He threatened explosion when the House wavered in passing their crappy health care reform bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA); and now he's threatening the same thing now that the Senate's bill is down and out (for now). I think Trump is dumb enough to try this strategy, and with his devil's helper, HHS Secretary Tom Price, things could spiral out of control quickly for people like me.
Tom Price is one of Obamacare's greatest foes. He and Mike Pence have shown that there is nothing they won't say to demonize Obamacare, no matter what evidence to the contrary. With a straight face and sometimes a smile, Price has repeatedly claimed that the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would offer coverage to everyone and not take coverage away from anyone who wants it. He gleefully works with states to limit the benefits and protections provided by Obamacare by issuing waivers. He even recently suggested that health insurers return to the pre-Obamacare days when providing maternity coverage was optional and denying insurance to people with preexisting medical conditions was routine. So how can we expect Price to turn from his wicked ways and support a law he's always tried to destroy?
Well, we're about to find out.