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Posts tagged ‘Affordable Care Act’

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon


Collateral Damage

URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/03/27/gop-collateral-damage/

After eight years, the GOP cost of attempting to repeal and replace may be their own demise while Obamacare remains intact..

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon


Repair and Extend (Ryancare)

URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/03/13/repair-extend-ryancare/

Many Conservatives feel that the American Healthcare Act (RyanCare) is only repairing and extending Obamacare or Obamacare Lite.

Republicans Stand on Brink of Obamacare Failure


Authored by Jim Stinson | 08 Mar 2017 at 5:22 AM

After years of voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, congressional Republicans are stumbling now that they have majorities in Congress as well as a chief executive ready to sign their bill. After weeks of behind-the-scenes bill-writing, House Republicans released their long-awaited repeal bill of the ACA, aka Obamacare, late on Monday. The bill — known as the American Health Care Act — was, admittedly, only one part of a three-step process.

It faced massive opposition from both the moderate and conservative wings of the GOP almost immediately. Moderates howled over the draw-down of Medicaid expansion in the leadership bill. Conservatives slammed how much of the original law would be left in place, the lack of movement on key free market promises, and new provisions seen as expanding government control over the health care system.

What now to do in 2017 depends on which Republican you ask. Members of President Donald Trump’s administration and House Republican leadership will say this bill has a way forward and that repeal and health care reform cannot be done at once.

Conservative congressional members and activist groups believe full and unconditional repeal is an immediate must.

“Clean Repeal


/* */

 

On Tuesday afternoon, the House Republican bill was panned by conservatives long waiting for repeal of the hated Obamacare, passed in 2010. At a gathering of conservative Republican senators and representatives outside the Capitol Tuesday, elected officials took turns beating the proposed repeal-and-replace bill.

“There’s the leadership plan that was brought forward, which I believe, when you look through it, is Obamacare in a different form,” said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the former chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.

“This is … a step in the wrong direction,” said Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

A common refrain at the Freedom Caucus press conference with Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Lee was a question about repeal in 2015. Why couldn’t the Republican Congress simply vote for repeal, as they did in December 2015, when every GOP member of Congress voted to yank Obamacare in whole? Paul called it “clean repeal.” Addressing all of the issues that Paul and other Republicans want in a “clean repeal” may not be possible. Republicans don’t have the 60 votes needed in the Senate to move forward.

Republicans have 52 seats in the Senate. They would need eight Democrats to move forward with a repeal-and-replace option outside of the process known as reconciliation.

“The bill that goes through reconciliation and only requires 50 votes in the Senate in order to pass,” said Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, during an interview Tuesday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”

“There’s some things that you can do in that and there’s some that you can’t do just because of the rules,” Price said. “I know that’s a process argument, but that’s the truth.”

Three Steps 

And it is the truth. One health care policy expert who has concerns about the Republican first draft told LifeZette that the first phase has to contain all the things that can be done via budget reconciliation, which only needs 51 Senate votes.

The next step, the second phase, would be Price’s move. As HHS secretary, Price will exercise his power to affect up to 1,400 health care regulations, as empowered by the law.

The final step, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would be a second bill, with items that can be filibustered because of their nature. The “Phase 3” bill will be moved almost simultaneously with the American Health Care Act, Ryan explained in a Tuesday afternoon press conference with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

One big item in this secondary bill will be a favorite of President Donald Trump and many conservative groups: It will allow the purchase of health insurance beyond a customer’s state lines. Unlike automobile insurance, health plan customers have been confined to the state in which they live. Opponents of the current draft think that provision can be added now.

“Such an injection of competition would lead to hundreds of billions of dollars in savings, nullifying any argument by congressional Republicans that this provision cannot be included in the current bill,” said Club for Growth President David McIntosh in a statement.

Conservatives also expressed concern that a number of taxes and mandates (although not the hated “individual mandate”) are left in place.

Republicans should be offering a full and immediate repeal of Obamacare’s taxes, regulations, and mandates, an end to the Medicaid expansion, and inclusion of free-market reforms, like interstate competition,” said McIntosh.

The Heritage Foundation’s political arm, Heritage Action, has also blasted the current draft in a statement.

“If Republicans move forward with this bill, they will be accepting the flawed premises of Obamacare,” said Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham. “Instead, they should fully repeal the failed law and begin a genuine effort to follow through on their seven-year promises to create a free market health care system.”

Yet Paul, of all people, seems to realize the House bill is an “opening bid” from Ryan and Trump. Democrats have been dealt out. The only people needed to pass Phase 1 are the conservatives and libertarians like Paul, Lee, and Jordan.

This is the beginning of the negotiation,” said Paul, admitting Vice President Mike Pence has been contacting House Freedom Caucus members, and that Cabinet members have been setting up appointments with conservatives. “If they were to remove the objectionable items from their repeal and replace, it would essentially be [clean] repeal.”

That would be possible, since congressional Republicans and the administration have made clear the bill will be considered under regular order — a process that would allow the bill to be amended to win conservative votes.


I am getting tired of having to explain the same thing repeatedly. Every time I hear someone talk about buying health insurance across state lines, I know for a fact that they do not understand how selling health insurance works.

I sold health insurance for many years. Had to do coarse work, and pass a State Department of Insurance test in order to be approved to sell health insurance. I has to do additional coarse work and pass additional test to maintain my insurance license. So, I am offering the following simple explanation of how a health insurance company determines what a policy covers, cost, and pay claims. It is not exhaustive, but representative.

Every health insurance company uses the same formula to determine a premium payment for a policy they want to market. It begins with the actuarial. The actuarial provides the insurer the statistical calculations of risk for:

·        Age groups

·        Men, women, boy, girls

·        Claim activity in a given Zip Code

o   Includes pre existing conditions per Zip Code

·        Uninsured claims in hospital Emergency Rooms

·        Pharmaceutical purchases

·        Whatever else individual insurers want to know in order to determine premiums.

·        What are the cost associated with what that policy is going to cover.

·        And whatever else they need to know in order to determine what they are going to charge for a premium for that policy.

The insurer will then add for administrating the policy and earned commissions and you have a insurance premium.

Each state has their own Department of Insurance. Each DOI determines:

·        Which health insurance companies sell in their state

·        What each insurance company must offer in coverage

·        Mandated coverage of certain ailments, conditions, or events

·        What each company can sell, and cannot sell.

·        Each DOI determines what percentage of RISK each insurer must assume with each policy coverage and consideration. Yes, the insurers go into each issued policy with a determined level of risk for loss. MANDATORY.

·        Each DOI has their own risk pool offerings.

For illustration purposes, let’s assume the policy you desire (based on coverage) is $100.00 a month;

·        In the Zip Code next to yours, that same policy, same age, same sex, same coverage, same insurer could by $125.00 a month. Another Zip Code could be $75.00 a month.

·        In the next state that same policy, same age, sex, family, insurer could be $150.00 a month. Another state could be $50.00 a month.

The difference all started with the ZIP CODED ACTUARIAL. Now, you want to go to the cheaper state and buy that policy. Every state will tell you that you MUST LIVE IN THE ZIP CODE YOU ARE BUYING COVERAGE.

The only exception is GROUP POLICIES. Most allow you to get coverage with medical providers in other states (example long haul truck drivers).

So, the politicians who are telling you they want you to be able to buy “cheaper” policies in the next state, do not know what their talking about.

The next issue. You pay your $100.00 premium every month. After 12 months you have given them $1,200.00. If you never used your policy, great. But, if you did files a claim for $2,400.00, the insurer is bankrupt. In order to avoid that, insurance companies take a determined amount of your monthly premium and invest it into the market. As they get a Return on their Investment (ROI) they use THAT MONEY to pay your claims. So when you see the amount of assets an insurer has, know that they are well able to pay your claims, without increasing your premium.

When the state DOI creates more mandated coverage for pre-existing conditions, that means that they are taking more loss on a policy and risking their ROI to pay your claims. Every time an insurer is mandated to cover a pre existing condition, they are demanding they buy claims they have never received premiums, or ROI. That requires them to raise everyone’s premiums in order to cover those loses. If that market starts to go, and claims exceed risk, then the insurer can no long cover anyone’s claims. BANKRUPTCY. That is why so many insurers have had to pull out of OBAMACARE.

For my fellow health insurance agents who are screaming now that I have left something out, please forgive me and let me know. There are so many other issues associated with this like executive pay structures, type of policies, etc. This was not intended to be exhaustive.

Thank you for reading,

Jerry Broussard of WhatDidYouSay.org

 

Ann Coulter Letter: How To Provide Universal Health Care Using This One Easy Trick


waving flag disclaimerCommentary by  Ann Coulter  

URL of the original posting site: http://humanevents.com/2017/03/01/how-to-provide-universal-health-care-using-this-one-easy-trick/

The first sentence of Congress’ Obamacare repeal should read: “There shall be a free market in health insurance.”

Right there, I’ve solved the health insurance crisis for 90 percent of Americans. Unfortunately, no one can imagine what a free market in health care looks like because we haven’t had one for nearly a century.

On NBC’s “Meet the Press” this weekend, for example, Chuck Todd told Sen. Tom Cotton that his proposal to create affordable health care that would be widely available, “sounds good,” but “do you understand why some people think that’s an impossible promise to keep?”words-of-a-leftist-propagandist

(The “do you understand …?” formulation is a condescension reserved only for conservatives, whose disagreement with liberals is taken as a sign of stupidity.)

Todd continued: “To make it affordable, making it wider, I mean, that just seems like — you know, it seems like you’re selling something that can’t be done realistically.”

Dream Sequence: Chuck Todd on Russia’s “Meet the Press” after the fall of the Soviet Union: “Do you understand why some people think that’s an impossible promise to keep? To make bread affordable, making it wider, I mean, that just seems like — you know, it seems like you’re selling something that can’t be done realistically.”

It turns out that, outside of a communist dictatorship, all sorts of products are affordable AND widely available! We don’t need Congress to “provide” us with health care any more than we need them to “provide” us with bread. What we need is for health insurance to be available on the free market.

With lots of companies competing for your business, basic health insurance would cost about $50 a month. We know the cost because Christian groups got a waiver from Obamacare, and that’s how much their insurance costs right now. (Under the law, it can’t be called “insurance,” but that’s what it is.)

Even young, healthy people would buy insurance at that price, expanding the “risk-sharing pools” and probably bringing the cost down to $20 or $30 a month.

In a free market, there would be an endless variety of consumer-driven plans, from catastrophic care for the risk-oblivious to extravagant plans for the risk-averse. You know — just like every other product in America.

You should visit America sometime, Chuck! The orange juice aisle in a Texas grocery store knocked the socks off Russian president Boris Yeltsin. (Imagine how cheap a double screwdriver must be in America!)

Just as there are rows of different types of orange juice in the grocery store –- and loads of grocery stores — there will be loads of health insurance plans and insurance companies offering them.

Americans would finally be able to buy whatever insurance plans they liked, as easily as they currently buy flat-screen TVs, cellphones and — what’s that product with the cute gecko in its commercials? I remember now! CAR INSURANCE!

Evidently, insurance is not impervious to the iron law of economics that every product sold on the free market gets better and cheaper over time. The only complicated part of fixing health care is figuring out how to take care of the other 10 percent of Americans — the poor, the irresponsible and the unlucky. And the only reason that is complicated is because of fraud.

Needless to say, the modern nanny state already guarantees that no one will die on the street in America. The taxpayer spends more than a trillion dollars every year on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security disability insurance so that everyone’s health is taken care of, from cradle to grave. Unfortunately, probably at least half of that sum is fraud.

Policing fraud is difficult because:

(1) the bureaucrats dispensing government benefits believe there is no fraud and, if there is, it’s a good thing because it redistributes income; and

(2) we keep bringing in immigrants for whom fraud is a way of life. (See “Adios, America! The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country Into a Third World Hellhole.”)

Consequently, after the first sentence establishing a free market in health insurance, the entire rest of the bill should be nothing but fraud prevention measures to ensure that only the truly deserving — and the truly American — are accessing taxpayer-supported health care programs.

I’d recommend sending as much as possible back to the states, and also paying bounties to anyone who exposes a fraud against Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. Anyone caught committing health care fraud should get 10 years. Not in prison, in a Medicaid doctor’s waiting room.

But I’m sure you guys in Congress have come up with lots of great ideas for policing fraud in the SEVEN YEARS you’ve had to think about it. (Hello? Is he breathing? Dammit, I’m not getting a pulse!!) Then, Congress can start removing all the bad stuff from the U.S. Code, such as:

— the requirement that hospitals provide “free” care to anyone who shows up (how about separate health clinics for poor people with the sniffles?);

— the exemption of insurance companies from the antitrust laws (where all our problems began); and

— the tax breaks only for employer-provided health insurance (viciously and arbitrarily punishing the self-employed).

The goal of “universal health care” is very simple to achieve, just as the goal of “universal wearing of clothing” seems to have been taken care of. The government can provide for those who can’t provide for themselves, but the rest of us need to be allowed to buy health insurance on the free market — an innovation that has made America the richest, most consumer-friendly country in the world.

It’s taken 50 years, but, thanks to Hillary’s losing the election, we finally have liberals on the record opposing the Soviet Union. Can’t all of Washington come together and end our soviet health care system?

Conservatives to Congress: Deliver on Obamacare Repeal and Replace Promise


waving flag disclaimerAuthored by Melissa Quinn / / February 23, 2017

Conservatives speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference said they want to see Congress repeal and replace Obamacare. (Photo: Mike Theiler/Reuters/Newscom)

Conservatives and business leaders in the health care market have a message to Congress on Obamacare: Deliver on your promise to repeal the health care law and begin the process of returning to a health sector that can be “America’s greatest.”

During a panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, on Thursday, Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, told attendees to think of Obamacare’s repeal as a “down payment” that will allow Republicans to implement their own health care reforms in the future.

But first, Turner said Republicans need to take action to repeal the law using a fast-track budget tool called reconciliation.

“We have to do this,” she said. “We have to be get this out of here to be able to deliver on the repeal-and-replace pledge to the American people, and then to begin the process of truly returning to a health sector that can be America’s greatest health sector again.”

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, Scott Flanders of eHealth, and Dale Bellis of Liberty HealthShare joined Turner on the health care panel at the annual event.

While Republicans campaigned since 2010 on repealing Obamacare, efforts to advance the legislation dismantling the law have slowed over the last few weeks. The GOP-led Congress passed a bill using reconciliation to undo major provisions of the health care law in 2015. But President Barack Obama ultimately vetoed that legislation. Now, conservatives in Congress are calling on their leaders to bring that same bill before members for another vote.

“It’s going to happen,” Burgess said of Obamacare’s repeal. “What [the 2015 bill] demonstrated to me was that if you got the right president in the White House, you could send that bill back down to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and you could repeal large pieces of the Affordable Care Act.”amen

The 2015 reconciliation bill repealed Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates, Medicaid expansion, and subsidies. It also stripped the federal government of the authority to run the exchanges, and eliminated federal funding for Planned Parenthood. Though that legislation passed both chambers of Congress, tensions have emerged among GOP lawmakers over which parts of the health care law to unwind.kick-em-out-of-office

Republicans are split over whether to leave the Medicaid expansion in place, while GOP leaders want to include parts of a replacement plan in the same legislation that will repeal the law—a strategy that some conservatives have derided. But Burgess, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the 2015 reconciliation bill will serve as a “starting point” for Congress this year, with Republicans understanding that the repeal bill will be at least the same as that passed in 2015.

In addition to disagreement over whether to include parts of Obamacare’s replacement in the repeal bill, Republicans also split on whether to provide tax credits or tax deductions to consumers. But Turner stressed that the process for replacing the law—what she said will become a “once-in-a-generation reform”—will be a lengthy one that requires thought, particularly since Republicans are starting not from a blank slate, but with an already changed health insurance market.

“It’s really what would we want if we were starting from the right kind of policy for the health sector? We are not starting there. We’re starting with Obamacare,” she said. “We’re starting with some number of millions of people … relying on Obamacare. You have to create a lifeboat for them, and structures that provide the kind of resources people need who don’t have means to purchase health insurance on their own so they can continue coverage.”

Like Republicans in Congress, President Donald Trump campaigned on repealing Obamacare. During his first day in office, Trump signed an executive order addressing Obamacare and giving his federal agencies the discretion to no longer enforce the individual mandate. And he’s repeatedly said that his new Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price, will present a replacement plan before Congress.

But so far, no proposal has been presented.

Trump will address a joint session of Congress next week, and Burgess had his own wishes for what he hopes the president will tell Republicans and Democrats in Congress.

“I would like for him to say very directly to us, to my leadership in the House, Republicans and Democrats, that ‘this is your job,’” Burgess said. “‘I want you to get it done.’ Simple as that.”

CPAC, the largest annual national gathering of conservative activists, runs from Wednesday to Saturday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside Washington.do-something

Trump Supporter Gets Liberal Crowd Cheering on Obamacare, then Drops Reality on their Heads


waving flagAuthored By Onan Coca February 14, 2017

Man in MAGA Hat

Across the nation, Republican lawmakers have been holding raucous town hall meetings where their liberal constituents have been gathering to complain. From California, to Michigan, to Florida liberals have been filling up venues and yelling at recently elected Republicans (in usually heavily Republican districts) about President Trump, Obamacare, and other hot-button topics.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) was reelected with 63% of the vote in his district, but you never would have guessed it if you would have been at a recent town hall where police had to escort him from the premises.

Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) was reelected with 60% of the vote in his district, but at a recent town hall in Grand Rapids, Michigan you would have thought that no one in his community had voted for him.

There are many other examples of the ridiculous rise of liberal complainers. Folks who are so incensed at losing (even when the winner got more than 60% of the vote) that they simply have to complain about everything, but I’ll just share one more…

In Florida, Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) won his district with 69% of the vote. 69%! And yet, when he held a town hall in New Port Richey, Florida you would have though that the man would soon be looking for other work. The venue was filled with liberal Democrats screaming and complaining about the GOP majority doing things that Republicans elected them to do. The insanity was epic, stirred by one man’s demand that Obamacare be “ripped to shreds,” but it was an elderly gentleman in a trademark “Make America Great Again” hat that made the crowd apoplectic.

The man asked three simple questions, and had the Democrat crowd cheering him on… but when he answered his own questions it was as if he’d just poured hot coals over their liberal heads.

“Every American should have health care coverage—would complete-messageyou agree,” he asked. The crowd cheered their approval. “That pre-existing conditions should be covered—would you say,” the man continued. Again the crowd cheered the man on. “If you are 26 years old, or at least up to that, you should be able to be covered by your parents’ insurance—would you agree,” he asked one last time to raucous applause. But there would be no cheering from the liberals after his final statement… “OK, Mr. Price, the cabinet member, has said he’s committed to those three things. Yes, yes, yes! So you need to find out the facts before you start complaining.”

Ouch.

Watch the epic dress down for yourself:

The Independent Journal Review proves the man right, and lays out Dr. Tom Price’s (the new Secretary of Health and Human Services) position on healthcare.

On the issue of health care for all, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said:

“I think it’s absolutely imperative that we have a system in place that has patients at the center and allows for every single American to have the opportunity to gain access to the kind of coverage they want.”

Price also recently vowed, “we will not abandon individuals with pre-existing illness or disease.”

Finally, even President Donald Trump said he wants to keep the Obamacare provision allowing people up to 26 years old to be covered by their parents’ insurance plans.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Liberty Alliance media group. He’s also the managing editor at Eaglerising.com, Constitution.com and the managing partner at iPatriot.com. Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children. You can find his writing all over the web.

GOP fights ObamaCare PR war


waving flagAuthored

Republicans are facing a new public relations war in their effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The GOP Congress has repeatedly approved legislation to repeal ObamaCare, but those proposals went nowhere with President Obama in the White House. Now that Republicans also hold the White House, the challenge for the GOP is taking the long-promised action in a way that won’t backfire politically. And that’s turning out to be harder than many anticipated.complete-message

Polls show the public is divided on whether to repeal ObamaCare, which doesn’t make the task of unraveling one of the largest social programs passed in recent history any easier.

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Republicans say the key to winning the public relations battle is for their party to highlight the weaknesses of ObamaCare, a law even most Democrats admit could improve from legislative changes.

“I think the thing that, simply from a Republican standpoint, is to point out it’s a failing system,” said GOP Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who pointed to rising insurance premiums and fewer choices for consumers as significant problems that will spur public support for the GOP’s plans.

The GOP arguments are being made to a politically polarized population on edge after the 2016 presidential election. Democrats are doing everything they can to make it tougher for Republicans to take action on ObamaCare. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says Republicans want to “Make America Sick Again,” playing off of President Trump’s campaign slogan. Other Democratic senators have said repealing ObamaCare will lead to the deaths of thousands of people.Leftist Propagandist

Republicans have faced angry crowds at some town halls, where people have expressed their displeasure at possibly losing health benefits. While Republicans contend that much of the opposition at the local events is being ginned up by Democrats, it appears to have had an effect. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) tells upset constituents that Republicans are aware that repealing ObamaCare must result in a “much-improved health system.” 

“We will be judged on our success in doing so,” he said.

A GOP aide to a congressman who faced a contentious town hall earlier this month said it’s about finding common ground.

“Even though they may disagree on the overall repeal of the ACA, he still believes it’s not sustainable…. From what he’s heard so far, I think he understands there is room for common ground and solutions.”

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has been on a media blitz to paint ObamaCare as a disaster. But his efforts have been challenged by disunity on the GOP side. Some Republicans are now talking about repairing ObamaCare, while others are in more of a repeal or bust camp. The party still hasn’t coalesced around a replacement plan, which makes taking on Democrats tougher.

“Until everyone is on the same page, it’s very hard to combat a lot of those allegations,” said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist.

“If they’re not looking like they’re walking in a unified front and like they have the perfect solution, it’s going to be very hard to get public support on your side.”kick-em-out-of-office

Republicans blew past a self-imposed January 27 deadline to have repeal legislation drafted. Leaked audio of Republicans speaking at their GOP conference highlighted differences within the party. If Republicans want to get, and keep public support as they try to repeal ObamaCare, they need to appear to be on the same page, said GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak.

“Republican unity is crucial. Finding a bill that Susan Collins and Jim Jordan can support and agree on is difficult,” he said, referring to two Republicans who appear to be on the opposite side of their party.

“If Republicans are divided and Democrats are unified, that’s a great way to lose this battle before it begins.”amen

Republicans believe they have a mandate to take action on ObamaCare. For evidence, just look at the election, they say.

Rep. Diane Black, who faced a fiery crowd at a townhall in Tennessee on Thursday night, doubled down on the Republican’s goal to repeal ObamaCare.

“While there were strong feelings at this forum, there is no mistaking the clear message Tennesseans sent last November at the ballot box when they sent Congressman Black and President Trump to Washington to repeal ObamaCare and put patients back in control of their healthcare choices,” her office said in a statement Friday.

“As a registered nurse, Congressman Black ran for office on a platform of providing relief from this disastrous law, and she is intent on keeping that pledge.” 

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