Category Archives: Health

ObamaCare Repeal Replace Repeat

repeal

The Senate voted 51 – 50 to open debate on repeal of the Affordable Care Act. But it wasn’t easy. John McCain returned to the Senate floor from brain cancer treatment and voted yes. With the vote tied Vice President Mike Pence caste the deciding ballot.

No Democrats voted in favor. Though some say they’re willing to back a bill to repair but not repeal ObamaCare.

Update: McCain gave a final thumbs down on sending the bill to the House.

Pride of ObamaCare Ownership

obamacare ownership

President Trump’s answer to the Senate health-care bill collapse was to stand back and allow ObamaCare to collapse too. There aren’t enough healthy customers paying premiums to cover the sick ones. And insurance companies are pulling out as ObamaCare heads into a death spiral.

Trump claims that when the program fails he won’t own it. Democrats will because they passed ObamaCare on a party line vote with zero Republican input.

Obamacare Ownership

Which kind of makes sense, except that voters elected Trump to repeal ObamaCare. Now he’s president so he does own it, along with everything else he inherited from previous administrations.

Kind of like LBJ owned all the helicopters.

 

Medicaid Addiction Crisis

addiction

Here’s a nifty graphic from Axios AM.  It’s based on data gathered by The Kaiser Family Foundation. The data show that most people are covered by group health insurance. But Medicaid comes in second.

The Affordable Care Act encouraged states to expand Medicaid to the able bodied poor. The deal was that the feds would pay 100% of the costs until 2020 and 90% from then on.

Addiction to Medicaid

The Medicaid expansion created a new entitlement. And Governors like John Kasich got hooked on it. And, as with most addictions, the price skyrocketed.

Daniel Henninger in the WSJ finds it ironic that Republicans are using the opioid addiction crises as a reason not to cut back on soaring Medicaid expenses.

What an irony it is that one of the Republican arguments made now for preserving ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is the opioid crisis. Even after the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that Medicaid’s expansion was optional, some Republican governors got hooked on the promise of federal cash flow to the horizon.

Anthem Takes a Hike

Anthem Insurance recently pulled out of Ohio’s ObamaCare exchange. The company cited “a mix of uncertainty and big losses from higher-than-expected bills racked up by sick policyholders.”

Also, Anthem cited the shrinking individual market — a half million fewer people signed up for Obamacare during open enrollment this year — and the return of an Obamacare tax levied on insurers that had been waived for 2017 as reasons for its departure.an uncertain future for ObamaCare and declining

American Healthcare Act Pre-existing Conditions

pre-existing conditions

House Republicans passed a bill last week to sort of repeal and replace ObamaCare. It’s called the American Healthcare Act.

The idea of insurance is to spread the risk of the cost of getting sick. According to The Health Care Blog, if you’re already sick when you buy health insurance it’s “not really insurance”. It’s just health care coverage. And it has to be subsidized.

Pre-Existing Condition

ObamaCare requires companies to sell insurance to people with pre-existing conditions at the same rate as healthy people. The AHA would allow states to apply for waivers to that requirement. HHS Secretary Tom Price says those states could then set up “high risk” pools to help subsidize coverage of the already sick with federal funds.

Here’s a list of pre-existing conditions CNN says  the bill might not cover.