Wednesday, December 14, 2016

"World's Greatest Healthcare"

In case you are wondering, no, that isn't a thing where you buy your health plan from your neighbor's kid along with a box of chocolate bars. It's just a thing where they scrap the exchanges in favor of tax credits.  At present, though, Republicans are planning to repeal as much of the ACA as they can as soon as possible with no clear idea of how to "replace" it.
GOP leaders, who have repeatedly promised their core voters that they would repeal Obamacare, oppose any delay in a vote, despite the risk that Republicans may be held responsible for any ensuing turmoil.

They are pushing to pass a bill early next year that would repeal many key provisions of the law. That would include the money that has allowed states to expand their Medicaid safety nets and the billions of dollars in federal funds that have provided subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans to help with the cost of insurance premiums. More than 20 million Americans who previously lacked insurance have gained coverage under the law.

“We have to bring relief to Obamacare as quickly as possible so that it stops doing damage, not just to the healthcare system but to the families of America who need affordable health insurance,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters at the Capitol last week.

To minimize disruptions, senior Republicans want to delay when the cuts would take effect. The idea is to buy time to allow the party to develop an alternative — something that GOP lawmakers have been unable to agree on in the six years since the law passed.
In the very likely worst case scenario that the Republicans just do whatever without caring about the consequences, a half million Louisianans could lose access to medical care
new report estimates as many as 558,000 people in Louisiana would lose health insurance if Republicans in Congress force a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and Louisiana would lose $1.9 billion in federal Medicaid funding.

In many ways, the report offers a glimpse from the edge of an abyss: It assumes that a Republican-led Congress, with support from President-elect Donald Trump, would repeal the Affordable Care Act and fail to replace it with any meaningful health care policy.

And while it's not clear that will happen, the report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities offers a dark reminder of what health care providers and patients stand to lose under an overhaul of key policy changes.

The numbers in the report are all the more dramatic because of Louisiana's longtime reliance on federal funding to finance health care programs for the working poor and indigent. But it also combines the low-income population insured under Medicaid with moderate-income families who rely on marketplace plans.
One of the many many reasons I did not want Trump to win was, regardless of who would be the next President, health care policy was due for a reckoning.  This crappy system of insurance-based reform with no public option we call "Obamacare" was going to fall apart. Premiums were going up and insurers were dropping out of the exchanges before the election anyway.

With Hillary in the White House, the argument we'd have as a result would have involved a lot of us saying, "Hey guess what. It's time for single payer." And sure, Hillary "Never Ever Ever" Clinton and the shittier Democrats would have fought us on that. And the Republicans would be even bigger dicks about it. And whatever "fix" they eventually hammered out wouldn't be everything we wanted. BUT we would have the opportunity to more clearly articulate a better idea. We would have something more like single payer at least on the table and people would be taking it more seriously.

Now we don't get to have that fight at all.  Instead, everybody is screwed for the foreseeable future. 

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