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The entire health insurance industry has come out against the GOP Graham-Cassidy bill.
Industry lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans, in a letter to Senate leaders, outlined concerns that the law might lead to states setting up their own single-payer health systems.
The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal fails to meet these guiding principles, and would have real consequences on consumers and patients by further destabilizing the individual market; cutting Medicaid; pulling back on protections for pre-existing conditions; not ending taxes on health insurance premiums and benefits; and potentially allowing government-controlled, single payer health care to grow.
The letter outlined five other principles the health insurance industry would like to see addressed:
- Stabilize the individual insurance market
- Medicaid reforms must ensure the program is efficient, effective, with adequate funding
- Guarantee access to coverage for ALL Americans, including pre-existing conditions
- Provide sufficient time for everyone to prepare
- Eliminate taxes and fees
The association of 36 independent Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers have also joined the lobbying effort against the bill, with their primary dig that the proposal doesn’t repeal the “Cadillac tax” on health insurance.
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To get the most consumers, and make money doing it, capitalist insurance companies will find a way to carve themselves a piece of the most lucrative markets. At first, they all supported Obamacare because they smelled money, and many make it hand over fist in the markets where they compete, since they’re allowed to pull out where they don’t make money. Watch them lobby state legislatures and Congress to tweak coverages and products to their liking, and block the growth of medical sharing associations, direct to consumer health care markets, and other innovations. You’ll hear them say it’s “against consumer interest” and slam quality standards. Read more…
Ask a conservative Republican voting for this if they think it’s going to work. Their answer will invariably be that it will “be better than what we’ve got.” They believe that if they pass nothing that President Trump will turn on them. He will. If this bill had been introduced five months ago it wouldn’t get 35 GOP votes. At this point, they’ll take anything they can get their hands on. That alone spells doom for America if it passes. I, for one, am not excited about the Graham-Cassidy-Stepping-Stone-To-Single-Payer Bill. Read more…
5 Factors That Could Interfere With Graham-Cassidy’s State Waivers | Christopher Jacobs, The Federalist
If the sponsors believe in state flexibility, they should allow states to waive all federal insurance regulations, even ones, such as the under-26 mandate or mental health parity, they may personally support. Or better yet, they should move to repeal the regulations entirely, and let states decide which ones they want to re-enact on the state level.
Health insurers oppose Graham-Cassidy bill, citing single-payer concerns | Kimberly Leonard, Washington Examiner
“To best serve every American, we need both a strong private market and an effective role for and partnerships with government,” Tavenner wrote. “Building on the choice, competition and innovation of the private sector and the strength, security and dependability of public programs is a far more effective solution than allowing states to eliminate private insurance.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he intended to bring the bill to the floor next week. The Senate faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass the bill through a simple majority vote, known as reconciliation, according to a recommendation by the Senate parliamentarian.
Contrary to much of the media coverage this week, the push by congressional Republicans to do something about Obamacare isn’t a desperate last-ditch effort or a “health care zombie.” On the contrary, it might be the best health-care reform idea GOP leaders have come up with yet.
A new analysis by Avalere Health, funded by the left-wing Center for American Progress, is making headlines for supposedly finding that Graham-Cassidy would cut $4 trillion in health care funding to states through 2036. Outlets like CNBC and Axios have led their stories with the $4 trillion number in the headline. But it’s fundamentally dishonest and anti-democratic.
I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of pre-existing conditions. It does! A great Bill. Repeal & Replace.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2017
It’s rare to see doctors agree on anything as strongly as they are on the need to defeat Graham-Cassidy. https://t.co/TOWqtDg2AK
— James Hamblin (@jameshamblin) September 21, 2017
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) September 21, 2017
6/ As the Monday morning guy who rebuilt ACA & several states & then oversaw them, there aren't 3 states in the US that could make GC work.
— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) September 21, 2017
No way states can figure out how to deal with the huge cuts in funding, pass legislation and implement new systems & processes by 1/1/2020.
— Gary Cohen (@garcoak) September 21, 2017
Graham-Cassidy is health care reform turned on its head. Its supporters want it because they believe it will fail, and its opponents hate it because they think it could be implemented. In reality, the nay-sayers are likely right. Most states can’t pass enabling legislation in just three years. Some state legislatures only meet for 40 days a year, and require two readings for major legislation. How in the world could it possibly be in place, at the state level, by 2020, when Obamacare has not been fully implemented in seven years?
Therefore, the nay-sayers who think this will lead to state-level single-payer are playing a Pied Piper tune. And those who believe it GC will save $4 trillion are taking some kind of hallucinogenic drug. At best, the bill is a stepping-stone to the 2018 election for Republicans to say “See, we did something!” to their constituents, and a hope that the next round of reforms (which will be required) will move more toward a private system versus a government takeover.
Clearly, for insurance companies, they’d rather have an individual mandate–what company would be against forcing everyone to buy their product? That explains their united opposition. Doctors oppose it because it can’t work and would leave the health care industry perilously unstable–if allowed to actually take effect. But I think most people who have studied it agree that this bill, if passed into law, will never take effect.
The consensus is that there’s no possible way GC could ever work. Will passing it lead to single-payer? No more than not passing it. The only difference of opinion is over whether that failure is a good thing or a bad thing.
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