Monday, January 23, 2017

News That Does Matter

Nice health insurance you've got there. It'd be a shame if something happened to it. Well, it is.

The prospect of what could flow from pulling back or eliminating administrative rules — including no longer enforcing the individual mandate, which requires Americans to get coverage or pay an annual penalty, and ending health plans’ “essential benefits” — could affect how many people sign up on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces before open enrollment ends Jan. 31 for 2017 coverage, as well as how many companies decide to participate next year.

Robert Laszewski, president of the consulting firm Health Policy and Strategy Associates, called the executive order a “bomb” lobbed into the law’s “already shaky” insurance market. Given the time it will take Republicans to fashion a replacement, he expects that federal and state insurance exchanges will continue to operate at least through 2018.

“Instead of sending a signal that there’s going to be an orderly transition, they’ve sent a signal that it’s going to be a disorderly transition,” said Laszewski, a longtime critic of the law, which is also known as Obamacare. “How does the Trump administration think this is not going to make the situation worse?”

I'm not convinced Trump cares if it gets worse. He's an anarchist.

Several insurers on her state’s exchange “seriously considered leaving the market last year” and that Trump’s action could propel them to indeed abandon it in 2018. In fact, she added, some have raised the possibility of withdrawing from the ACA’s exchanges during 2017, which would mean consumers could keep their plans but no longer receive federal subsidies to help them afford the coverage.

“That would create a nightmare scenario,” Miller said.

And in the Senate:

Asked whether he knew what the new president’s replacement plan is, (McConnell) said Senate Republicans are working with the administration “to have an orderly process.”

Why do I find that hard to believe? Oh, maybe this is why. Post at Josh Marshall's on history repeating.

If the Republicans gut the ACA, support for national health insurance will revive. You can bet on it. And Democrats may even get a chance in 2020 to implement a new system as the Australian Labor Party did.

But this time they better do it right. Obamacare, like Clinton's earlier proposal, required a post-graduate degree in medical economics to comprehend. It was far too complex. It had too many layers of coverage. It appeared to be financed at the expense of Medicare. It invited the perception that people who already had insurance were being forced to subsidize with higher premiums those who did not.

From his blog to God's ears.

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