Saturday, May 6, 2017

US House Passed Healthcare Bill

217 voted Yes; 213 voted No. It was necessary to pass this law, because Obamacare is falling apart. The problem with this Healthcare Bill is that it doesn’t deal with the root causes of ever higher healthcare costs, because healthcare defies the laws of economics. Abusive prices do not decrease demand, because the government is paying most of the bill.

Socialist whiners have created this problem, because they want the US to become a full-fledged Big Government, Socialist Republic rather than a free market success. They have been stoking the entitlement scam to destroy the private sector and they are winning.

Thinking Americans have got to see this as a scam before we give up on returning to the laws of economics.  These laws are already being enforced as more consumers refuse to buy overpriced health insurance.

Cost shifting in this bill also misses the mark.  Automobile insurance rates are determined by utilization.  Bad drivers who have lots of accidents pay more.  But this bill increases the ability for insurance companies to shift the cost based on age. It should be based on utilization.  Insurance companies were restricted to cost shifting based on age on a 1 to 3 basis.  The new law expands this to a 1 to 5 basis.  That means that insurance companies will be allowed to charge older customers up to 5 times more for health insurance.  The assumption is that the older you get, the more you spend on healthcare. This is not necessarily the case. The healthy 50% of the population is evenly distributed.  I assume that Congress did this because older Americans have more money.  Nothing in the Bill so far indicates that excessive government subsidies are the primary reason for high healthcare costs.

If the Senate passes this Bill, it will end cost shifting to healthcare consumers and transfer these costs to the federal government. The passage of Obamacare imposed cost shifting to the healthy and caused insurance premiums to become unsustainable.

This won’t lower healthcare costs. What will lower healthcare costs a bit is malpractice reform, deregulation and attacking overcharges. 50% of our population will probably continue to receive their health insurance from their employers.  In these cases, these groups absorb their own losses, so what government is subsidizing are really sick people who don’t get health insurance from their employer.  They would get individual policies. Many of the healthy people who rent won’t get any health insurance.  The rest of the population is already in government plans like Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans’ Healthcare.  These plans are also impacted by higher healthcare costs.

Hospitals will need to be able to refuse to treat patients who cannot pay in order to reduce cost shifting to paying patients.  Counties will need to return to funding county health clinics and emergency rooms for indigent patients. Many of these patients have their bills paid by Medicaid after the fact.

The addition of health savings accounts will encourage patients to fund their own catastrophic and end of life costs and create a fund to pay high deductibles for cheaper catastrophic plans.

The addition of the ability to buy health insurance across State lines will increase competition and should allow health insurance companies to customize coverage to meet consumers’ needs.

What will really lower healthcare costs will require the federal government to announce that they will reduce their subsidies for healthcare over the next decade by 5% per year.  Only then will healthcare providers have the incentive to begin to do cost reduction in their industries. At this point they have no incentive to do this.

The federal government is a single cell animal with no brain and 3 working parts. It collects money, spends twice as much as it collects and destroys itself. It needs to be genetically modified to spend less, restore the free market and live longer.

Norb Leahy, Dunwoody GA Tea Party Leader

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