Tags: obamacare | trump | individual mandate

ObamaCare Strikes Back

ObamaCare Strikes Back

By Friday, 25 May 2018 02:52 PM Current | Bio | Archive

In "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back," Yoda made effort sound simple. “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

Remember back to February through July 2017. The GOP tried, tried, and tried again to fulfill six years of campaign promises to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. First, Paul Ryan went on the attack. Even with all the momentum of a new president and administration, Ryan and the GOP House failed miserably. Eventually, they passed a wonky economic thesis-sounding bill a Wookiee would know was dead on arrival in the Senate. Then came Rand Paul and his “skinny repeal.” It was more repeal than replace, while also seeming like a diet product Marie Osmond would tout. Not surprisingly, that also failed. Finally, Senators Sue Collins and Lamar Alexander tried a bipartisan science experiment. Failed again.

Doesn’t this all seem now like a galaxy far, far ... well, you know?

Light speed ahead to Memorial Day Weekend 2018 and ObamaCare is still here. Crippled only by blows leveled almost entirely by President Trump alone — most notably, POTUS’ push for and eventual inclusion in his tax overhaul bill of the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate.

Yes, that infamous mandate, the “solo” at the heart of the law, compelling healthy young adults to sign up for one-size-fits-all health insurance or face a financial penalty. The mandate is gone but somehow, someway, ObamaCare, which should be on a ventilator, with a mask and artificial limbs, still casts a large dark shadow on the American healthcare system. Now the midterm election season rolls ahead in full “force” with a twist of fate even the most creative of Hollywood screenwriters couldn’t make up.

Democrats are running against Republicans on ObamaCare. Or, in Yoda-speak, Republicans do Democrats run ObamaCare against.

So, when did Repeal and Replace become R2 Much?

Give Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and crew credit. They saw the weakness. The GOP, especially several governors in red-tilting Appalachian states that accepted ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid, would not — will not — risk alienating voters over the threatened loss of their new entitlement. And, let’s be clear: the Medicaid expansion made up at least the majority, if not the vast majority, of the 20 million newly covered under ObamaCare.

With almost sinister Sith-like treachery, President Obama and the Democrats knew this when they passed the ACA in 2010. While claiming the law’s purpose was to improve the availability of healthcare coverage, they knew ObamaCare was their apprentice step toward the ultimate goal of a universal government-run system. A new government bureaucracy. As Ronald Reagan best stated, it’s the only eternal life form that exists on Earth. Maybe the galaxy.

Now Medicaid, the program started in the 1960s to lift up our most impoverished, including the elderly poor and those with significant developmental disabilities, covers 28 million able-bodied adults, costing taxpayers more than $500 billion a year. That’s right, millions of able-bodied adults with health insurance fully subsidized by you, the American taxpayer.

While the GOP seems afraid of touching the Democrats’ blue Medicaid lightsaber, they’re also primed to be blamed for the inevitable implosion of the ObamaCare exchanges.

Talk about a Jedi mind trick!

Failing to offer a plan even the majority of their party could get behind, come this fall’s open enrollment it will be congressional Republicans answering questions about exploding premiums from bronze to platinum exchange-offered plans.

Joe Cortelli, cofounder of national health insurance brokerage HIG and a coverage expert, sees nobody to blame but Republicans themselves: "Congress doesn't understand or want to understand health insurance. If they did, they wouldn't focus always on coverage compared to the value of the benefits. The benefit of health insurance isn't being covered but a more powerful force negotiating down your health care costs. The insurance and their carriers that do that best for their customers should be incentivized and will have more business."

Forget insurance, says Michelle Katz, a nurse and nationally recognized patient advocate seen on "World News Tonight" and "The Doctors": “Many politicians don’t seem to get it. Healthcare consumers don’t want to pay for treatments that cost more than their mortgage payments or have them sacrifice providing the basics for their families to pay for a premium of an insurance plan they may or may not use. Most of all, they want transparency on what a visit/treatment will actually cost them on the front end, so they can at least budget their future. One seems to have better odds at Vegas.”

Any good news? It’s only May. November is still five months away. But if the GOP doesn’t offer Americans “A New Hope” for their healthcare soon, as Yoda told Luke about being afraid of Darth Vader, “You will be. You will be.”

Bryan often says he’s lived a "Forrest Gump" life — from his experience working for two Ohio governors, his first legal job with the California firm made famous by the movie "Erin Brokovich," to his counsel on a successful presidential campaign. Bryan was inspired to create his unique "Legal Moneyball™" model after seeing holes in the lawyer-client relationship in his years of experience defending high exposure liability lawsuits and serving as Assistant General Counsel to a $1.1 billion-dollar national nursing home company. L​egal Moneyball​™ is ​an innovative preventive law, data driven focused solution for how healthcare businesses treat their key risks and diligence.​ Bryan is also regularly featured by national media on legal, political, and health care policy​.​ To read more of his reports, Click Here Now.

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Remember back to February through July 2017. The GOP tried, tried, and tried again to fulfill six years of campaign promises to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
obamacare, trump, individual mandate
Friday, 25 May 2018 02:52 PM
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