The American Health Care Act Is Not As Bad As Some Conservatives Make It Out To Be

 

Is the American Health Care Act some paragon of Free Market medicine? NO. Does it hark back to the 1950s when government had little to do with healthcare and healthcare insurance? No.

But it does eliminate government compulsion and the jobs killing provisions of Obamacare. And even more notable is that if all three phases of this legislation get enacted then it will also reduce deductibles and lower premium costs. It will also restore the decision-making back into the hands of the consumer and take it away from government. It is worth noting that in the history of Western civilization and Entitlement or Welfare program has never been repealed. What the Trump Administration is doing here is making history.

It is worth noting that in the history of Western civilization and Entitlement or Welfare program has never been repealed. What the Trump Administration is doing here is making history. Conservatives are angry that there still be subsidies left in the American Health Care Act. There was no way this reform and remake of a disastrous Democrat foray into healthcare legislation was going to survive without taking care of those on Obamacare who cannot afford health care insurance. It just wasn’t going to happen. Ronald Reagan said that if you can get 80% of what you are trying to legislate, then take it and run for the hills. And that is what we need to do here.

Neither the Utopian vision of the Conservatives to totally Free Market Healthcare or the Utopian Vison of the Democrats to Single Payer Socialized Medicine is going to win in today’s America. This is not a Right Wing Radical bill as most Democrats would lead you to believe. This is a COMPROMISE  bill, and as such it gets hits from both ends of the political spectrum. But if you were to take the ideologues out of the picture you would find that the vast majority of Americans are in the center of the political spectrum and this bill would receive their overwhelming approval.

 Betsy McCaughey reports in The Washington Post:

Betsy McCaughey speaks Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, at the New Hampshire Republican Party summit in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Ignore the grandstanding on Capitol Hill and the noise coming from town-hall protests around the nation. The Republican bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare will boost your chances of getting a job and cut your tax bill, not to mention your insurance costs.

The repeal bill — called the American Health Care Act — also will stave off a tidal wave of future Medicaid spending that threatens to drown the states and Uncle Sam in red ink. Here’s how.

No more penalties. If you’re among the 8 million people getting whacked with a tax penalty for not enrolling in an overpriced ObamaCare plan, the repeal bill is good news. The federal government will no longer compel you to buy insurance.

The repeal bill also cancels penalties on employers. ObamaCare forced all but the smallest employers to provide a benefits package far costlier than what they had been offering prior to the reform. Employers then passed these costs onto workers, raising deductibles by 50 percent on about 155 million people.

Other employers dropped coverage altogether for millions of workers. Only in Washington, DC, would an employer mandate result in fewer people getting on-the-job coverage.

Still others — like community colleges and fast-food outlets — demoted workers to part-time status (having them work less than 30 hours a week) to avoid the mandate. In New York, some service and manufacturing companies stopped hiring altogether, according to the New York Fed.

Without repealing ObamaCare, there would be 2 million fewer people with full-time jobs by 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The repeal bill is a jobs program.

Lower taxes. It’s also a massive $600 billion tax cut. It eliminates taxes that pushed up the costs of insurance and devices like artificial hips. It also allows people to put aside more earnings tax-free in a health-savings account for out-of-pocket health expenses.

And it eliminates the taxes that targeted people earning more than $200,000 a year, including the ObamaCare payroll tax hike (2.35 percent) and the 3.8 percent ObamaCare tax on unearned income.

Medicaid fix. Repeal rescues the nation from a looming financial calamity.

Medicaid, the public program for low-income people, has grown explosively under ObamaCare. Medicaid now covers 74 million. The ACA encouraged states to expand enrollment by promising the federal government would pay between 90 percent and 100 percent of the cost. That’s like handing your teenager your credit card.

State politicians eager to rake in federal funds spent with abandon. More than half of all federal dollars now going to the states are for Medicaid.

And Medicaid spending per recipient is growing twice as fast as Medicare for seniors. But without improving health outcomes, like controlling blood pressure.

You pay for Medicaid costs twice: first as a taxpayer and again as a consumer. Because Medicaid reimburses hospitals and doctors only 90 cents for every dollar of care, the shortfall gets shifted onto patients with private insurance, adding about $1,800 a year to your premium. Ouch.

Disregard shrill complaints from ObamaCare partisans like Zeke Emanuel that reforming Medicaid is “cruel.” The repeal bill protects Americans who need Medicaid, grandfathering in everyone enrolled through 2019. No one will lose coverage. But states are put on an allowance after 2019. Medicaid reform is long overdue, and this repeal bill launches it.

Individual insurance buyers
. Finally, if you’re one of the 19 million people who buy insurance in the individual market, you’ll find all the protections of ObamaCare are preserved, including banning lifetime and annual-payment caps and penalties for pre-existing conditions. True, subsidies for lower-income buyers are smaller.

But the most newsworthy innovation is a multibillion-dollar fund that states can use to reduce premiums. States will pay the costs of the sickest insurance customers, so that premiums paid by healthy customers can stay reasonable. That feature has been ignored by the media and repeal critics, but it’s a keeper. With adequate funding, it has the potential to deliver what ObamaCare never did: affordability.

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