The Republican You Either Don't Need Or Want Health Insurance Reform Bill
premiums would be as high if not higher than they are today and that coverage for many people with pre-existing medical conditions that purchase individual plans would be unaffordable or unavailable. But as we contemplate what would have been we should also dread what will be.
We will never know what the private health insurance market would look like today regarding cost and affordability if the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) never became law. However, there is every reason to believe that
Very soon, Republican elected officials will likely pass a health care bill, or tax bill if you prefer, that will return us to the health insurance status quo, but with a twist. The Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) proposed by the Senate make the pre-Obamacare health care status quo look not so bad. The BCRA effectively makes individual health insurance plans worthless.
The Better Care Reconciliation Act allows health insurance companies to get away with paying barely half the cost of medical care while charging individual purchasers more than they currently pay in premiums, copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. These provisions in the bill are not just a case of more money for less coverage; they are an attempt to eliminate the individual market for all but the wealthy. Furthermore, these features of the bill are a way for the government to pay less in premium subsidies because people who can't afford these skimpy plans will drop out of the individual market altogether.
This Law (BCRA) Stinks
When Bill Clinton called Obamacare, "the craziest thing in the world," he was referring to the fact that the law offered no financial help to purchase health insurance for millions of individuals. These are people like me that didn't qualify for Obamacare subsidies, Medicaid, Medicare or the employer health insurance tax exclusion. We have to pay 100% of the cost of our health insurance even though most of us are not wealthy. Meanwhile, Obamacare supporters, especially the ones responsible for administering the ACA, downplayed the size of this group or claimed that they would get around to helping us eventually.
After winning the majority of seats in the House and Senate and electing a Republican president, Republican officials seized on Bill Clinton's statement claiming their health care reform bill would eliminate the craziness. But of course, they lied. The American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act would make my already expensive Obamacare exchange plan much more expensive, and it would cover fewer benefits. These are facts that Republicans are not disputing. Instead, they are telling everyone that if I don't buy health insurance coverage under their health care reform bill, it's because I don't want or need it.
This Republican talking point is offensive and illogical. I bought a health insurance plan on the Obamacare exchange because I need health insurance; every American needs health insurance. How does not being able to afford coverage equate to not wanting it in the first place? And the stupid logic doesn't stop there for Republicans; in fact, it gets more dangerous. Through their health care reform bills, Republicans are trying to convince young, healthy people that they don't need insurance or that crappy insurance is their best option. What bad advice! No senator or congressperson would allow their adult children to go without comprehensive health insurance.
The American Health Care Act and the Better Care Reconciliation Act are so poorly written because Republicans have no national health care vision. Oh, no, they have a vision—if you can't afford health insurance, we won't make you buy it because the freedom to go without insurance is better than having it.
Paul Ryan recently said, "the left (Democrats) is out of gas," so what's the Republicans' excuse for proposing probably the worst legislation ever written?