House Republicans unveiled the replace part of their effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, lifting penalties against those who don’t buy health insurance, replacing subsidies with tax credits and defunding Planned Parenthood. The American Healthcare Act keeps two of the most popular features of Obamacare: allowing young adults to remain on their parents’… Continue Reading →
Because sacrifices have to be made somewhere. Just not by the rich. Ever. Source: The Week When it comes to healthcare, Republicans want the American people to have choices. That privilege comes with a dose of responsibility, though, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday on CNN’s New Day. Responding to host Alisyn Camerota’s challenge that “access… Continue Reading →
The CBO just released the numbers on the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act without any replacement, and they’re ugly. According to the report, 18 million will lose their insurance in the first year, with up to 32 million losing insurance in the years following. Worse yet, the CBO expects premiums to double under the… Continue Reading →
This was the highlight of last night’s horrible Paul Ryan town hall on CNN:
The bad optics that began Paul Ryan's town hall: Ex-Reagan campaign worker thanks Obamacare for saving his life. pic.twitter.com/bacg2Qk3TL
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) January 13, 2017
Sen. Rand Paul told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he will unveil his new health care bill to replace Obamacare “within two days” so Congress can vote on it at the same time as they try to repeal the ACA. As the interview began, Sen. Paul sounded like a Trump surrogate and defended Donald’s cabinet picks until… Continue Reading →
They’re putting a doctor in charge of how much doctors should get paid for seeing Medicare patients? What could go wrong?
You know the drill: Read up on what they want to do, and call ALL your representatives to say you’re opposed.
I worry about this unfortunate tendency our voters have to simply write this off: “My congressman is a wingnut, what’s the point?” The point is, if he or she gets enough call against, they report it back to the Republican caucus. It matters.
Please, now more than ever, politics is not a spectator sport. You can’t sit transfixed and watch like it’s a disaster movie. Get up off your butt, call or write letters.
This really is the kind of thing you should be calling your reps about:
Tom Price wants to “reform” Medicare by allowing “balance billing” of Medicare-eligible patients by doctors without requiring them to exit the Medicare program entirely, the practical effect of which, as Ryan Cooper, writing for The Week explains, would “[allow] doctors and hospitals to devour the nest eggs of thousands of American seniors:”
Permanently obliterating the financial security of helpless families with no or bad insurance as a loved one dies slowly and painfully of a chronic illness is a nice little profit center for providers. But it pales in comparison to the gravy train they might get if they can bring balance billing to Medicare.
Physicians For a National Health Care Program describes the practical implications of the Price proposal:
Even though we often hear threats that physicians will stop seeing Medicare patients, most really can’t afford to give up their Medicare revenues, and, besides, too many Medicare beneficiaries do not have adequate resources to pay large medical bills in full. The current law provides leverage to ensure that physicians will be there when Medicare patients need them.
The [Price] legislation would no longer require physicians to exit the Medicare program entirely should they enter agreements to independently bill the patients for the balance of their fees. Also Medicare would still have to pay the allowed charges. As a further insult, the physician can require the patient to do their own Medicare billing. The physician gets the full fee, in cash, including the disallowed charges, and the patient has to do the paperwork.
PNHP also notes there would be no limit on prices medical providers choose to “negotiate” with otherwise Medicare-eligible patients under the Price plan.
Cooper observes that 55 million Seniors, many with significant retirement savings, provide a perfect target for medical providers to exploit. In 2011, Tom Price, Trump’s now-designated overseer of Medicare introduced a “Medicare reform” package designed to do just that. It received the AMA’s imprimatur of approval, since it allowed physicians to require their patients to pay the full balance of their unrestricted fees, even if far in excess of Medicare allowable charges, thus benefitting the physicians and providers that organization represents.
In 2011 we had a President Obama to assure such a plan to bankrupt Seniors through onerous medical bills would go nowhere. And many physicians, even some within the ranks of the AMA, are vehemently opposed to it.
Greg Sargent, who blogs for the Post and who, by the way, is a really good reporter, talks to Chuck Schumer about Obamacare repeal:
The emerging GOP plan to repeal Obamacare on a delayed schedule — and then maybe kinda sorta replace it later — has raised a big question: Will Democrats help Republicans pass a replacement that is far less generous and comprehensive than the health law is, allowing Republicans an escape from the political fallout from repeal?
In an interview with me, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer answered this question with a resounding No. Under no circumstances, he vowed, would Democrats throw Republicans such a political lifeline.
“We’re not going to do a replacement,” Schumer said of the Senate Democratic caucus. “If they repeal without a replacement, they will own it. Democrats will not then step up to the plate and come up with a half-baked solution that we will partially own. It’s all theirs.”
[…] Asked directly if Democrats would refuse to support anything that falls significantly short of the ACA in terms of expanding social welfare, Schumer said: “The odds, after they repeal without any replacement, of us sitting at the table to do something that will chop one arm off instead of two is very small.”
Good. Dems are going to the mattresses. Let’s see if they stick to their guns this time. Because this will be a real disaster, no matter what.
Josh Marshall on the GOP realizing how much shit they’re going to be in:
This will get dark, comical and ridiculous. Republicans – particularly Marco Rubio – did significant damage to Obamacare by getting rid of the so-called ‘risk corridors’ in Obamacare by labeling them bailouts. They were not ‘bailouts’ but systems to cushion the transition to the Obamacare system, given the inability to make perfect guesses about the risk pools in the system. Now, according to The Hill, Republicans are looking at giving vast sums of money to insurance companies to give them a way to ride out the market collapse that the repeal of Obamacare would likely trigger – that is, ride it out until Republicans can think up something to replace Obamacare with.
The more I read about this mess, the more cautiously optimistic I am. They will do everything they can to kick the football down the field for at least two years, after the 2018 midterms.
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