Does Obamacare need saving?

May 27, 2015 by  

In the next few days the Supreme Court could rule most O-Care subsidies illegal– if King prevails vs. Burwell – making an already worried Democratic party doubly apoplectic, because the world as we know it just might end.

After all 7.7 million Americans who qualified for subsidies may lose them and the chorus will chant the only way forward will be for Republicans to bail them out by having red states (like Arizona) which had rejected  state exchanges to implement one OR for Congress to keep the status quo & save the law.  Hold on!  Let’s remember what patients will GAIN if they don’t.

  • 60 million Americans would be free of the mandate to buy government-approved insurance
  • Jobs – i.e. companies like Staples, UPS, Target and innumerable others – will start hiring & expanding again – and people could afford to buy insurance
  • States could allow innovative & lower cost health care plans

And don’t forget these facts:

  • O-Care isn’t working: it didn’t provide universal insurance and it doesn’t lower costs
  • 36 million Americans are still uninsured
  • Who are the newly covered?  Most were added to the Medicaid rolls – 11.7 more on Medicaid (70 million total)
  • At what cost?  Nearly double the CBO estimates (1.79 Trillion) and now CBO estimates by 2024 costs will reach 2.6 T
  • Insurance costs have significantly increased for everyone without a subsidy; narrow networks & high deductibles; 60% of doctors plan to retire in the next 1-3 years
  • States which have state exchanges are suffering financially – and many are reneging on the deal

One thing is for sure – Arizona won’t be setting up a state exchange.  Gov. Ducey knows state exchanges further “entrench” Obamacare.  Instead, Ducey signed HB 2643, prohibiting the state and all political subdivisions from using any personnel or financial resources to enforce, administer, or cooperate with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

If plaintiffs do win, what should Congress do?  What will happen to those 7.7 million?   I’m no fan of bridges to fix this for the President – who changed the law at least 24 times – bypassing Congress each time.  But with Obama still in office and full repeal unlikely, Congressional leaders can leverage the situation and pass some health care fixes that can work for everyone – like these:

  1. Advanceable, refundable tax credits that all Americans can use to purchase health insurance – at a level that will finally end one of the most significant distortions in our tax system – employer-sponsored health insurance
  2. Reform insurance regs to encourage innovation. In Arizona we’ve got a jump on patient-centered direct pay and transparency laws.  Congress can lead on across state line coverage
  3. Actuarially sound high risk pools – critical for uninsurables – and end the possibility that taxpayers will bail out insurance companies – as is currently the case under O-Care
  4. Save Medicare and Medicaid by placing them on fiscally sustainable paths

One things is for sure – Americans don’t want Obamacare 2.0.  We need to keep our eyes on the facts – not the fiction that Obamacare, in its current form, needs saving.

Comments

Comments

One Response to “Does Obamacare need saving?”
  1. Darrin says:

    Obamacare erodes our nation’s freedoms and needs to be repealed and replaced with a free-market solution. It was passed based on a plethora of lies to the American people with the biggest lie coming directly from the POTUS. Due to this horrendous law, my family could no longer keep the insurance plan (which we liked) and was offered a replacement plan that met Obamacare regulations at a “mere” increase in $5K more per year. We decided that was not affordable therefore we opted out of having health insurance altogether. Needless to say, we were angry with the whole situation. Instead, we joined a Christian-based shared-expenses organization.

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