Friday, May 05, 2017

the question is who pays?

Read a liberal or conservative paper and you will see totally different takes on the House passed AHCA. Some are crowing that this ends Republican domination of the House and Senate. They are not getting that Republican voters would turn on them if they also did nothing. They were elected to repeal and replace-- except how do they do that? 

Try reading the bill or analysis and have your head spin. If you didn't have a headache before, you will.

I saw a meme on Facebook where supposedly Bernie Sanders claimed pre-existing conditions could be a migraine or other typical problems of many Americans. I am not even sure it was his meme given how Facebook posters put stuff up. All this, the day after the bill got passed. The panic has barely set in.

If you are among those feeling scared, take some deep breaths and remember this has to either pass the Senate (with some Republican Senators already saying no way) or have them write their own bill and the process goes to conference. Nothing is happening right now, but it needs to.

The ACA had to be fixed. If you were among the fortunate that had not found the problems with ACA through personal experience, try having a stroke six months before you are eligible for Medicare, in a state friendly to those needing health care help. It will bankrupt all you have worked to build. Try paying $20,000 a year in insurance premiums with a $6000 deductible. Try being in a state that insurance companies are pulling out of. Try depending on a health co-op that goes bankrupt without a constant supply of money from the Feds. Basically, ACA was great for some folks in some states but for many, it was not working.

I heard a Republican commentator say that there are two ways forward-- let everybody pay for their own insurance and keep the feds out of health care totally, OR recognize that single payer is inevitable. He thought it would be the latter. I can believe that, but it won't be fun for a few years and it's not just about health care but all the discussions and upset that talking about it serves up. The media (the ultimate drama queen) loves upset, and the stories are just waiting to be told again and again and again.

In the end, if we can't keep health care costs reasonable for things like needed prescriptions, this entitlement will swamp our federal budget. If you thought a $20,000,000,000 deficit was not good-- give it some time as more is coming. There are answers like more doctors so there is real competition (AMA doesn't want that), limitations on what will be treated and how, let people buy prescriptions overseas if they wish, have watchdogs who compare medical costs to see how much is needed. A lot of that won't happen under the current system.

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