Thursday, June 22, 2017

Trumpcare aka American Health Care Act: Prelude to further premium hikes

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is one of Mitch McConnell's panel which was supposedly convened to craft a Trumpcare bill. Lee left Tuesday's conference luncheon to head straight  to Facebook to record a video saying he hasn't seen a bill and denouncing the process of secrecy.
He says, "Even though I've been a member of this working group assigned to help narrow some of the focus of this, I haven't seen the bill. It has become increasing apparent over the past few days that even though we thought we were going to be in charge of writing this bill within this working group, it's not being written by us. It's apparently being written by a small handful of staffers for members of the Republican leadership in the Senate. So, if you're frustrated by the lack of transparency in this process, I share your frustration wholeheartedly."

Republicans have made clear why they are drafting this bill in secret... their plan would give the wealthiest a tax break while making middle class families pay more for less health care coverage.

Several lobbyists report that two abortion-related provisions in the House-passed bill that rewrites the U.S. health insurance system have been dropped from the Senate’s counterpart version.

Meanwhile, a well written letter to the editor in today's 6-22-2017 AAS paper says:
"At first, the Affordable Care Act worked so well that policyholders received premium rebates.
Republicans couldn’t stand for the ACA to reduce the number of uninsured Americans. Their solution was to eliminate funding for “risk corridors,” a method of reinsurance that backstops company losses in areas where the cost of medical care was high. This support would have sunset in 2018. The same support worked for Bush’s Medicare Part D.
By defunding in 2015 before the system was able to stabilize with high levels of participation, the government was only able to pay 13 percent of promised support, so many insurance carriers were forced to raise rates, while others failed.
Trump ran on Obamacare “failing” — but not mentioning that it was the Republican’s fault. Once elected, he threatened to cancel the “premium support payments” that made health insurance affordable to low-income Americans. This threat caused remaining companies to raise the premiums again to avoid bankruptcy.
Brilliant and morally bankrupt."