Bipartisan Marketplace Medicine Scheme
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Trumpcare and Obamacare aren’t dead.
Bipartisan congressional members proposed an unacceptable fix – serving industry interests, not the general welfare, the way Washington works on everything.
Republican Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee chairman Lamar Alexander, along with a so-called 43-member bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus proposed letting states waive current ACA insurance requirements, Alexander saying:
“Any solution…should…include greater flexibility for states in approving health insurance policies.” He and some undemocratic Dems favor unacceptably/unaffordable very high-deductible catastrophic plans, eliminating Obamacare’s aged 30 cap.
Republicans support letting insurers charge older Americans five-times higher premiums than younger ones. Under ACA, a three-times limit was imposed, slightly less unacceptable, forcing tens of millions of households to be way underinsured.
ACA’s Section 1332 lets House and Human Services grant states waivers to establish their own plans, requiring similar coverage and affordability as under Obamacare.
House Problem Solvers Caucus members proposed giving states more leeway to create their own systems, including letting insurers sell bare-bones plans along with operating across state lines.
In a NYT op-ed, undemocratic Dem Rep. Josh Gottheimer and GOP Rep. Tom Reed explained what House Problem Solvers Caucus members proposed, calling it “compromise to shore up the struggling insurance exchanges.”
Saying “(t)his is how democracy is supposed to work” ignored the only acceptable solution – universal coverage, Medicare for everyone, no one left out except predatory insurers ripping off consumers with escalating premiums, high deductibles and co-pays, not the way healthcare is supposed to work, a fundamental human right.
Their proposal includes the following:
Maintain congressionally authorized $8 billion cost sharing reduction subsidies to insurers to lower deductibles and co-pays for low-income households.
Create a stability fund subsidy to compensate insurers for covering consumers with expensive health conditions.
Change the Obamacare mandate, requiring companies with 50 or more employees to provide health insurance for full-time ones to a new 500 standard, leaving millions on their own to find coverage.
Repeal the tax on medical devices, a provision makers are lobbying hard for.
Let insurers sell coverage across state lines.
Bipartisan agreement on something is likely after Congress returns from summer recess.
What’s on the table favors insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains at the expense of affordable high-quality healthcare for everyone – unattainable under marketplace medicine.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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