ObamaCare the News This Week

In ObamaCare this week: Humana plans to quit the exchanges for 2018, Ron Paul has an ACA replacement plan, and Tom Price offers fixes while reform is debated.

All the ObamaCare News

Humana plans to quit the exchanges for 2018. Humana plans to leave the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges because, as Humana CEO Bruce Broussard says, “Based on our initial analysis of data associated with the company’s health-care exchange membership following the 2017 open enrollment period, we continue to see further signs of an unbalanced risk pool.” This gave Trump a talking point. “Obamacare continues to fail. Humana will pull out in 2018. Will repeal, replace & save healthcare for ALL Americans?” The problem is, of course, that the GOP is still offering the same plan they tried to push back before 2008. TIP: Humana is the insurer that Obama’s DOJ blocked from merging with Aetna. You need to factor that in. You should also know that all the insurers are still in the black as most of their business is Medicare and Employer-benefits. The GOP blocked readjusted payments, and insurers knew that they would have sick people signing up for insurance from the start since they were not permitted to exclude those with preexisting conditions and had to eliminate lifetime maximums. Is this political? In part. It isn’t that Humana is in the wrong, but Humana isn’t helping people in this instance. It puts profit above people.

Ron Paul has an ACA replacement plan: Ron Paul came up with an ObamaCare alternative. We applaud him for saying “we can’t just repeal, we need to repeal and replace at the same time.” Unfortunately, his solution was a carbon copy of the GOP plan I’ve already reviewed over and over since each GOP member tweaks an item or two and releases it. It didn’t solve the problems that ObamaCare has then, and it won’t solve them now. It is an inferior version of the House GOP plan. I assume the House has more power so we’ll end up with the House plan rather than the Paul plan. I will review the plan in more detail once I get over the fact that it included this: The “Continuous Coverage Exclusion” For Pre-Existing Conditions. Lack of coverage for preexisting conditions was buried in twisty words that made it seem as though preexisting conditions would still be covered. TIP: I expected more out of Rand’s plan. I hoped it was going to get tweaked, but there still are no improvements. See: The Obamacare Replacement Act (S. 222) Sen. Rand Paul, M.D.

Tom Price offered fixes while reform is debated. As an aside, my name is also Tom and my mother’s maiden name is Price. You know how there is a Bizzaro Superman that twists the world into a bizarre form? Well, some of these fixes are like Bizzaro “good ideas.” See the new regulation. See: Trump Administration Submits Rule to Stabilize Individual Insurance Market and also [this article not written by me] How to Fix (or Wreck) Obamacare: Advice for Tom Price. In general, examining the proposed rules, I see some common sense reforms, some changes I don’t like, but I understand, and some provisions that penalize consumers. I feel strongly that the GOP should not reduce costs by penalizing consumers. This plan also includes a version of The “Continuous Coverage Exclusion” For Pre-Existing ConditionsDo a command “F” [find command] for “continuous coverage” and see for yourself.

IN SUMMARY: I’m glad Price’s plan is somewhat centrist, but the GOP seems determined to save health care by making rules more stringent in the private market, but not on the employer market or other markets. That means the people the ACA was supposed to help are now going to have a harder time. The ACA had its problems; now it will have a few less in some places and a few more in others. If we get Paul’s plan, we will take two steps back for every step forward. I seriously doubt the average person wants this. Still, we can be hopeful, right now this is proposed fixes and proposed plans. There is still time to develop a plan that is demonstrably better.

What do you think?

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Elaine Wood on

I am hoping that Price will continue to show some moderate constraint..and polish up the ACA and let the repeal and replace line just die on the vine.

After 45 years in healthcare..I respect everything President Obama did to improve healthcare in America. Time to be realistic and tell the Republicans to stop playing games with peoples lives!! And it is time to expand Medicaide in the remaining hold out states. Because people are going to die because of their refulsal to cooperate.