Friday, May 5, 2017

New Health Insurance Bill (HR 1628) Has Issues

Everyone has heard that the House passed some form of a health care repeal bill (HR 1628). Here is more stuff surrounding this bill to consider.
1. The Senate has already said that if they pass a bill, it will be different than the House version. Some have even hinted that they'd start with a fresh page and then build up a bill from there.
2. It will be difficult to have all 52 Republicans agree to vote in the Senate for any bill. If they lose just 2 votes, the bill is DOA.
3. Insurers have until June 21st to say whether they will be in or out of the exchanges. With so much up in the air, don't be surprised if there are several areas of the country that won't have any insurers participating (areas in TN and IA are the most at risk at this point in time). But if there is just one carrier, they can set whatever rates they choose. Welcome back to monopolies. Note that one part of a Senate bill may be to allow subsidies from carriers outside of the exchange, but that doesn't mean that insurance companies would want to take those subsidies.
4. The bill that passed harms medicaid recipients most, those with pre-existing conditions second. Having friends with special needs children agonize over this has been painful. My cousin, Fran Cannon Slayton spoke about her fears in a New York Times article this week as being a cancer survivor.
5. What needs to be fixed is the underlying problem. The COST of healthcare is too much. The QUALITY of healthcare is questionable (my estimate is that 40% of the studies that doctors rely on to indicate what care to give are either falsified, cannot be replicated, or do not actually apply to the population they are applying them to). If you read all of the problems with studies and what the academic world is doing to fix this, you'll see what I mean. My family has been the recipient of BAD healthcare as recently as 6 weeks ago (luckily we got a second opinion). It is out there, it is prevalent, it needs to be fixed.

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