This week’s bill that has come before the Senate has sparked multiple, hysterical protests.
Pelosi warns that, “Hundreds of thousands of people will die if the GOP health bill passes.”
Chuck Schumer calls the bill, “A wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
Rep. John Lewis is once again at a sit-in protest. (It worked in the 60’s, he is a believer.)
Former Democratic presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders, (who, along with his wife have recently been accused of bank fraud and have retained a lawyer,) says about the new healthcare bill, “It is one of the most disgusting pieces of legislation ever passed.”
Note that none of the above have had any real positive input or ideas to shore up, rescue or replace the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare.
Of course, now would be a good time to be part of the solution, rather than just part of the problem.
Perhaps there are some misconceptions about ACA. Many think that it is now imploding because somehow the Republicans have managed to sabotage it. That the Republicans never wanted it to succeed and through greed have somehow adulterated it to keep it from helping all Americans.
At least, that was a theory that popped up on Facebook.
The AHA is intact as written, all 11,000 pages of regulation that comprise the bill.
This week’s protesters were concerned about the 22 million folks that would lose care with the new bill.
Of course, the majority of those are on Medicaid. Medicaid was established in 1965 and was designed to assist low income families with healthcare for themselves and their children.
ACA expanded Medicaid to cover more people. Some, not all, of those covered are healthy young people with dependent children, some without.
ACA was designed in the hope that the young and healthy would build the base for financial support. People would be penalized financially for not buying coverage.
This backfired as many young people didn’t feel the need for healthcare. The fine either didn’t apply as they were not working, or it was cheaper to pay the fine.
Unfortunately, when this young base is not in place, it alters the picture drastically.
Insurance companies look for and become profitable on a “managed base.”
In layman terms, that means signing up more people who are less likely to use the coverage than those who definitely will use it.
Due to the fact that many people bought ACA exchanges because they needed the coverage and used it, the insurance companies started to bail out of the Exchange.
For example, North Carolina has only one option for ACA coverage and that is Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina.
It is not accepted by all doctors. In fact, not very many will take the insurance at all.
In summation, the ACA is caving in on itself as major insurers pull out and those coverages left in play are not well accepted.
What to do?
There are three choices:
One – The ACA can be left to its own devices and crash and burn in a year or two. That would leave the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of the Democratic Party for sitting on its hands and trying to tie everyone else’s.
Two – The House can pass this bill and see how it goes. This would shift any blame onto the Republican Party
Three – Someone can try to become part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. The Democrats could TRY to work with the Republicans on this new bill and close up the gaping holes that the ACA has in its design.
Option one will most likely happen, leaving people without any care or any alternatives.
On the bright side, the protesters will be correct in their concerns, if only for the wrong reasons.
photo credit: Toronto Public Library Special Collections Don R. (West Don R.), looking north across Yonge St. bridge via photopin (license)