According to preliminary reports health premiums are set to surge for 2019. Meanwhile, solutions for fixing the looming 2019 problems are lacking.
The Republicans are proposing solutions that look a lot like the last round of policies that didn’t pass the Senate (on a federal and state level), and the Democrats are torn between supporting the ACA and fighting for state-based solutions (like the universal coverage efforts Washington state).
The result is that national healthcare sticking points like the tens of millions without insurance and rising consumer healthcare costs that can be unaffordable even with assistance look like they will remain sticking points for 2019.
Blame it on the complexity, blame it on the partisanship, or blame it on the industry. Whatever the case, the end user (the citizen) will be the one dealing with the problem directly.
We can point to the death spiral, blame “Obama” “Care,” or blame the obstruction of it, but without a solution in place yesterday, none of the bickering, blame, or good ideas is going to do much to address the issues everyone will inevitably face starting during open enrollment 2019.
There has been a few moves so far, like repealing the mandate (which is one reason premiums are going up) and deregulating association plans and short term coverage (which pulls the healthy out of exiting major medical plans), but these only solve the problems of some while placing a burden on others.
Likewise, the ACA assistance and Medicaid expansion solve problems by covering up the underlying consumer costs and passing that onto tax payers (which presents its own set of issues of shifting the burden).
This is to say, both sides have tried to present solutions, but for a wide range of complex reasons, the underlying problems still persist. Each year the problems get a little worse for a few more people… and that is the opposite of what the goal should be.
Unfortunately, it looks like 2019 will be that little bit worse again.
We can’t make this problem go away by doing more of the same, and we likely can’t do anything in time for 2019 to be the year things get better.
With that in mind, ideally this round of talks about healthcare reform can result in some bipartisan solutions and not just a stalemate the ends with some executive orders, agency rule changes, or even laws that only solve the problem for some Americans.
All Americans need a real solution when it comes to healthcare reform. Rhetoric and solutions that only help some without addressing the underlying problems aren’t solutions, they are at best expensive bandaids rationed by costs and favoritism rather than by who needs bandaids.
For more reading, see: Obamacare Premiums to Surge Next Year, Early Requests Show and Premium hikes reignite the ObamaCare wars.