Monday, March 27, 2017
Let Me Help You To Hurt Me
You never write about medical issues. Why don’t you ever talk about heart conditions or even cancer other than yours? How about the latest prescriptions? You never cover any of them in your blog.
This is Health INSURANCE Issues With Dave. This blog covers health insurance, an organized method of compensating medical providers. It is not about health. In fact, our system has never been about your health.
Blue Cross was created in 1929 as a way to prepay days in the hospital. Blue Shield soon followed to prepay for the services of doctors. Health insurance, pooled risk and shared responsibility, was also created in the 1930’s to cover medical expenses. Congress gave us Medicare in 1965 to help pay for the medical bills of the elderly. And even Medicare Part D (Rx) was designed, in part, to cover the high cost of prescriptions for senior citizens. The focus has never been on health, just the COST of health care.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was passed in 2010 to provide health insurance for every American. That was the goal. The combination of expanding Medicaid, tax credit subsidies, and the elimination of medical underwriting was supposed to remove every obstacle from our country achieving universal coverage. That didn’t happen. We have fewer people uninsured, but there have been significant problems with the PPACA.
Last week the Republicans attempted to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA). This was a first. For ninety years we have tried to find better ways to pay for health care. This law wasn’t about that. Trumpcare’s only goal was the repeal of Obamacare. The vote was scheduled on the seventh anniversary of the passage of the PPACA to emphasize the point.
This blog reviewed the original AHCA when it was first released a couple of weeks ago. This half-baked compilation of grudges and campaign rhetoric found few friends outside of the party leadership. Governors and members of Congress of states that had expanded Medicaid worried about the citizens who would lose coverage. The absolutists on the far right, the Freedom Caucus, derided the bill as Obamacare-light. Last week President Trump, Speaker Ryan, and various Congressmen negotiated the dismantling of consumer protections and coverage guarantees. But it wasn’t enough. With nowhere near enough votes for passage, both Trump and Paul Ryan now each claim responsibility for pulling the bill. Neither could have afforded another embarrassing defeat.
And who did Trump blame for his failure to repeal Obamacare? The Democrats!
The Republicans have been beating the Democrats over the head with a baseball bat for the last seven years. The bat broke on November 8, 2016. President Trump is mad that the Dems didn’t buy him a new bat.