The House finally passed the American Health Care Act yesterday. Already there are mixed feelings over this bill.
And by mixed feelings, I mean among reasonable people. I don’t mean the psychotic “We’re all going to DIE!!!” reactions from crackpots like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
It’s understandable that many people are disappointed that this “repeal” of Obamacare isn’t really much of a “repeal.”
Trust me. I wish Congress could just wave a magic wand and make Obamacare disappear overnight.
But I just don’t think that is at all possible given how Obamacare was constructed from the start.
Obamacare was designed to make it nearly impossible to undo.
The Affordable Care Act was passed in March 2010. But it wasn’t implemented until October 2013.
And there are a couple reasons for that.
First, the 3-year delay was political.
They knew Obamacare would drop a giant stink bomb on Americans. It would result in millions of people losing their health insurance.
That was inevitable — no matter how many times Obama assured us it wasn’t.
Obamacare included Insurance Mandates requiring all healthcare plans to cover a wide variety of things whether they were wanted or not (so-called “essential benefits” like drug rehab and psych services). Any existing plans that did not include those “essential benefits” would cease to exist.
And isn’t that exactly what happened in the first months of Obamacare’s implementation?
Delaying Obamacare until October 2013 ensured that Obama wouldn’t face the wrath of uninsured Americans when he ran for reelection.
But the delay was also inevitable. It takes some time to get Obamacare’s nefarious tentacles wrapped tightly around everything within its grasp.
And that was by design. The more entrenched Obamacare became, the harder it would be to unwind and detach these tentacles.
In other words, Obamacare was a giant booby-trap – a series of landmines strategically placed to make it more difficult to repeal.
The truth is, repealing Obamacare is a lot like defusing a bomb. Cut the wrong wire or cut the wires in the wrong sequence, and BOOM!
There are definitely good things about this AHCA.
This bill also takes the burden off of healthy people when it comes to paying for patients with preexisting conditions.
Under Obamacare, the way those with preexisting conditions were “guaranteed” “affordable” health insurance was by forcing healthy people to pay higher premiums with astronomically high deductibles.
These healthy people were effectively underwriting the policies held by about 4% of those insured.
From Betsy McCaughey:
Under ObamaCare, the healthy and the chronically ill paid the same premiums. It’s called community pricing. Healthy people would never reach their sky-high deductibles.
Instead the premiums extorted from them would be used to cover huge medical bills for the chronically ill, who consume 10 times as much medical care.
AHCA ends this practice. Instead, it provides a fund to help offset the costs for the folks with preexisting conditions.
Again, from Betsy McCaughey:
ObamaCare forced healthy buyers in the individual market to foot the entire bill. That’s why their premiums have doubled since the law went into effect.
The new House bill sets up a fairer way: a $130 billion pot of federal money to pay for people with pre-existing conditions. The entire nation chips in, not just people stuck in the individual market.
Unfortunately, AHCA does nothing to permit insurance companies to sell across state lines. And that’s something President Trump was adamant about during the campaign.
It also does nothing to remove the Insurance Mandates for “Essential Services” that forced insurance companies to cover all the stuff nobody wanted.
Instead, all it does is permit states to apply for a waiver from the mandates. [hat tip American Thinker]
These waivers will be great for insurance companies in red states. But deep blue states like New York and California are highly unlikely to ask for them. Which means those of us in blue states will still be forced to pay for services we do not want.
But let’s be honest. New York was doing that long before Obamacare became the law.
Listen, AHCA is not perfect, to be sure. But it is a start.
When you consider that it took them three years to set up this Rube Goldberg law, it will take some time to unwind it completely. I see this AHCA as only a first step.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I still have some concerns – not the least of which is the Republicans’ ability to remain steadfast in the face of coordinated, well-funded opposition.
Will they have the fortitude to stick with this and completely defuse the Obamacare time bomb?
It’s hard to say.
Given how timid most Republicans are, I have my doubts.
Because let’s be honest. Republicans tend to cave when confronted by fearmongering from Democrats.
And there is going to be a hell of a lot of fearmongering.
The Democrats — along with their myriad of special interest groups and faithful propagandists in the Enslaved Press — will waste no time going after Republicans on this.
Hell, they’ve already started.
And unlike President Trump, Congressional Republicans do not hold up well under that kind of concerted smear campaign.
You think it’s been bad now? Just wait until AHCA is taken up by the Senate.
That will be our first test on how committed the Republicans really are to seeing this through.
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