Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Trumpcare 2.0 will exclude preexisting condition coverage

The state of healthcare in America could be decided by the most overrated intellect in our government, that of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Ryan, who has the best health insurance money can buy (at taxpayers' expense), isn't interested in solving real problems. Ryan is an ideologue with Ayn Rand inspired fantasies.

The Tea Party fetishists do not like the mandate and they do not like the fact that their constituents cannot purchase substandard policies. Apparently they want the freedom to get sick and die without adequate coverage. If the mandate is removed or, if insurance companies are able to offer catastrophic-only coverage, then covering preexisting conditions becomes impossible. The mandate ensures that people do not buy insurance only when they need it. Similarly, substandard policies are a form of insurance only when necessary because the coverage is limited.

High risk pools are only going to concentrate the sickness of the nation. Anything other than catastrophic coverage will be catastrophically expensive. Vast numbers of people will use the ER as their primary care physician which is more expensive than insurance. Those unpaid ER bills get passed along to the rest of us as increased costs which ultimately result in higher health insurance premiums.

GOPers will continue to float purchasing insurance across state lines as a solution. It solves nothing except the interests of the insurance companies. Every insurance company will simply move a small office to the least regulated states. It is similar to why your credit cards are probably issued out of Delaware. In 1981 the state enacted a measure that eliminated controls on interest rates and gave the banks tax breaks. Did this favor lenders or consumers? Will insurance across state lines favor insurers or consumers?

In they end this across-state-lines BS is going to result in higher premium rates and less competition — not more as claimed — and the insurers will be less accountable for their bad-faith actions. One of the most efficient methods of destroying our healthcare system is to enable everyone to purchase their health insurance in another state.

Another meaningless measure is the health savings account that GOPers are so fond of. In 2015 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a treatment for melanoma, a deadly skin cancer, which shrunk tumors in 60 percent of patients in a clinical trial. The drug’s manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, charges $141,000 for the first 12 weeks of treatment and $256,000 for a year of treatment, What average wage earner is going to save enough for that? Health savings accounts are merely a tax shelter for the wealthy.

Trump might keep one promise: Allowing young people to stay on their parents' health plan. If that plan will still exist and what it will cover are another matter. The Tea Party idiots and the morons who voted for Trump will get a brief sugar high — until they get sick. People place high bets on being invulnerable. None of us are.

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