For the last eight years, Republicans have been claiming they had itchy trigger fingers when it came to Obamacare, promising on their lives that as soon as Obama was checked out of the White House they would be banging down the door to repeal and remove this monstrosity for good.
Well, so far, that’s one promise the GOP has failed to deliver on, despite having a Republican president sitting in the Oval Office.
What was once a full repeal has now more or less, it seems, become simply an “overhaul,” news that’s guaranteed to leave a quite a few folks in the conservative base less than thrilled.
As part of this “overhaul,” pre-existing conditions are to be handled by the states.
According to The Washington Examiner, The bill aims to provide Obamacare funding for the Medicaid expansion and federal healthcare subsidies to states through block grants. A key provision is letting states waive a protection called community rating that prevents insurers from charging sicker people more money than healthy ones.
The provision has been met with much skepticism from patient and doctor groups. America’s Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry’s top lobbying group, also was concerned, saying the bill would pull back protections for pre-existing conditions.
Under the bill, a state that wants a waiver from community rating has to prove that it will still provide adequate and affordable coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. However, adequate and affordable have not been defined, as that would be largely up to the secretary of Health and Human Services.
The bill does not let states waive a separate mandate that requires insurers to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, which vary from diabetes to cancer. Experts have repeatedly said that without community rating, people with pre-existing conditions can still buy healthcare coverage but it wouldn’t be affordable.
Sen. Bill Cassidy from Louisiana, who co-sponsored the bill, said the states have plenty of options to go about finding a way to provide affordable health care to those with pre-existing conditions, one of which is a high-risk pool.
These pools put a bunch of sick folk together into their own insurance pool and have the cost of their care subsidized by the state. Those who are deemed sick enough to be in the pool are kept in the dark about it.
However, according to Maine Sen. Susan Collins, this kind of program is rather expensive to run, costing roughly about $15 billion a year to be adequately maintained. That’s a lot of dough.
The best solution to this problem, as always, is the free market. Obamacare needs to be totally repealed, all of it gone in the garbage if at all possible, and the restrictions that prevent people from buying health insurance across state lines removed.
Competition will naturally push down the prices for coverage and will make insurance companies have to go the extra mile to get your business, including offering coverage to those with preexisting conditions.
We’ve already tried a bit of socialism as the solution, how about a little capitalism for a change?