Call Them on Their Obstructionism

Heather Higgins, CEO of Independent Women’s Voice, says go big or go home regarding Obamacare.  Republicans in Congress should quit dithering, should not play reconciliation games, and should simply put an Obamacare repeal and replace package up for vote.  This would force the Democrat obstructionists—especially those #NeverTrumpNoHow and #NeverRepublicanNotEver Progressive-Democrats in the Senate on the record as by-name blocking reform of the Obama program that is in its death spiral, the endpoint of which will leave millions of Americans without health coverage and without even coverage providers to which to appeal.  Especially put those 10 Progressive-Democrats pretending to moderacy in order to protect their precarious reelection chances in 2018 on the spot.

What Should a Health Plan Cover?

Anna Wilde Mathews wondered about that in her piece in The Wall Street Journal.  First, a couple of asides.  Notice the tacit acknowledgment that we have no health insurance plans available.  That industry was eliminated in toto by Obamacare, which replaced the industry with a Federally mandated, publicly/privately funded health coverage welfare program.  Next, notice the tacit assumption in the piece’s subhead: that the law should mandate business decisions.

To the piece itself:

The 2010 health law created a new set of federal requirements for plans sold to individuals and small businesses, including a list of 10 benefits, among them prescription drugs, mental-health services and laboratory tests. It also mandated that plans cover preventive services such as vaccinations at no cost to enrollees.

Four Pillars of a Health Care System?

The Wall Street Journal posited this in a Wednesday op-ed.

1. Provide a path to catastrophic health insurance for all Americans.

The WSJ then supports this with old saws: being covered generally leads to better medical results, health insurance is good for the wallet, and so on.  Then they want a government solution—while they carefully avoid saying how they would pay for it:

The ObamaCare replacement should make it possible for all people to get health insurance that provides coverage for basic prevention, like vaccines, and expensive medical care that exceeds, perhaps, $5,000 for individuals.

Obamacare’s Cost Increases

As even President Barack Obama (D) has finally confessed, Obamacare plan premiums and deductibles are skyrocketing.  But the Democrats and their Progressive fellows are cynically obfuscating the matter.  Here’s a typical remark, by HHS’ Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Kevin Griffis:

Headline rates are generally rising faster than in previous years…headline rates are not what they [recipients of Obamacare subsidies] pay.

Indeed not.  Those rates are what you and I and our fellow taxpayers who don’t get subsidies pay, and they’re rates for which we pay a second time in the form of the subsidies Obamacare passes on to potsful of Obamacare plan purchasers.  We pay for those subsidies with our tax payments.

Federal Funding for Medicaid

Medicaid is a State-run program for providing a measure of medical service for that State’s relatively indigent citizens.  The program is State-run, but it’s jointly funded by the State’s taxpayers and by the nation’s taxpayers via Federal funds transferred to each State for the purpose.  I’ve often written that Federal funds for Medicaid should be ended and that the States should  be allowed to fund and manage their Medicaid programs alone—without Federal funding and associated Federal interference.

Here’s another reason to end Federal funding for a State’s Medicaid program.

Obamacare Fail

The headline of this Wall Street Journal piece pretty much says it all: Average Cost of Employer Health Coverage Tops $18,000 for Family in 2016.

The sub-head, with careful reading, adds clarity: Pace of cost increase slowed by accelerating shift into high-deductible plans, new survey shows.

That cost of employer coverage, buy the way, refers to the premiums employees must pay: $18,142 for a 2016 typical employer-offered family plan, and employees have to pay 30% of that, typically, up from 29%.  Like a sergeant I once worked with liked to say, sort of, “Holy cats.”

The Progressive Socialist Goal Made Manifest

In the context of Aetna’s decision to sharply curtail its participation in ObamaMart—because such participation was costing Aetna millions of dollars—Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I, VT) has said openly

The provision of health care cannot continue to be dependent upon the whims and market projections of large private insurance companies whose only goal is to make as much profit as possible.

Because making money—the engine of economic growth and the economic welfare of all Americans—is inappropriate when it’s done outside Government control.  American businesses and Americans can’t be allowed to earn more than Government deems fit.  President Barack Obama (D) has held this before Sanders became a public fixture:

If You Like Your Plan

Aetna Inc will withdraw from 11 of the 15 states where it currently offers plans through the Affordable Care Act exchanges, becoming the latest of the major national health insurers to pull back sharply from the law’s signature marketplaces after steep financial losses.

FDA and Funding

Moves in Congress to link billions of dollars in new medical research funding to revised standards for drug and medical-device approvals are troubling some public-health experts, who say the combination makes it too easy for lawmakers to support lower patient-safety standards.

This is a cynical distortion of the situation.  With the FDA’s suppression of Sarepta, a drug that has helped—a lot—boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and that, so far, has shown no deleterious side effects standing as a shining example, of course it’s necessary for Congress to exercise its power and authority of the purse string to bring an out of control, scleroticlly bureaucratic agency to heel.

Trump’s Plan for Replacing Obamacare

Republican Party Presidential candidate Donald Trump finally has made public his plan for eliminating and replacing Obamacare. His plan consists of the following seven points:

  1. Completely repeal Obamacare. Our elected representatives must eliminate the individual mandate. No person should be required to buy insurance unless he or she wants to.
  2. Modify existing law that inhibits the sale of health insurance across state lines. As long as the plan purchased complies with state requirements, any vendor ought to be able to offer insurance in any state. By allowing full competition in this market, insurance costs will go down and consumer satisfaction will go up.