Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Republicans Fix Obamacare?

If Republicans are going to degrade and destroy Obamacare they better bring their "A" game to the table. The ideas put forth in The New Republic are obviously from the J.V. team.

Consider this:

According to some, repealing the individual mandate (to buy health insurance) is number one on their agenda.

Certainly the most unpopular of the Obamacare provisions, but also the glue that makes it work.

Without a mandate you can expect carriers to take their ball and bat and go home.

The business mandate is also on the chopping block.
The employer mandate is a requirement that all companies with more than 50, full-time employees provide affordable insurance or pay a fine. It also defines “full-time” as at least 30 hours a week. The law’s critics say that has encouraged businesses to reduce the hours of some employees, in order to prevent them from hitting the 30-hour threshold and thus triggering the penalty.
The employer mandate has been, and will continue to be, a jobs killer. Eliminating the mandate is good, but exempting business from all Obamacare provisions is even better.

Employees have already seen undesirable benefit changes and unwanted premium increases as a result of Obamacare. There is nothing affordable about the "Affordable Care Act" and this extends to group plans as well as individual coverage.

The so-called insurance company "bail out" is viewed by some as unfair. This government reinsurance program is one of the main reasons why carriers agreed to come to the Obamacare Ball.

Protection against losses put them in the game. Taking it away will collapse the system.

Don't get me wrong, I never was an advocate of the risk corridor coverage. The reinsurance is scheduled to go away in a few years any way. Accelerating the removal is also accelerating the financial collapse of the Obamacare house of cards.

Add more metal plans.
Insurance available through the new insurance marketplaces must fit into one of four “metal” levels—platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. Platinum are the most generous plans: They would cover about 90 percent of the typical person’s medical bills. Bronze cover 60 percent. Critics of the Affordable Care Act say that the law forces some people to get more insurance than they want. They’d like to introduce a new metal level—copper plans, which would cover about 50 percent of the typical person’s medical bills.
The people that want to add copper plans must clearly have a cranial - rectal inversion. Throwing a (slightly) lower premium plan into the mix won't help anything.

Many of the so-called Essential Health Benefits are viewed by many as forcing them to buy coverage they don't want. This is especially true when you tell a 60 year old woman her new Obamacare plan includes free birth control and a maternity benefit.

But the EHB's have minimal impact on the new cost of health insurance.

Guaranteed issue requirements, telling carriers they must issue a policy to anyone, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions, drives up the cost more than anything else.

This is followed closely by community rating and age banding.

If Congress wants to make Obamacare more workable, they'll need to return to a market-based insurance product, probably with simplified underwriting, and coupled with a national risk pool.

Get rid of all mandates, including the MLR, and allow carriers to operate in a free market.

Anything else will just make things worse than they are now.


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