Like most Republicans, I’m unhappy with the GOP Obamacare replacement proposal known as the American Health Care Act. Partly because, if passed, it would not kill widows and orphans sufficiently quickly enough for the impulses of my Republican blood lust but also because it would fail in its intended purpose: reducing insurance premiums.
Now, I don’t want to come across as defeatist here but I already know where this is going. The GOP Majority is going to fuck us again. It’s just the way they are. Either they want those overindulged insurance company executives to keep the donations coming or the town hall protests really did scare them into pretending to be compassionate; but they have already failed to do the one thing that they were elected to do in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016.
Repeal the Affordable Care Act. You had one job.
We, your GOP voters, gave you the House. We gave you the Senate. Improbably, we even elected Donald Trump with the understanding that you needed both houses of Congress and the White House to get rid of Obamacare. You have had sufficient time to do it and so nobody on our side should have any doubt that you are going to betray us.
The key thing to recognize is that any version of comprehensive health care reform which allows for everybody with preexisting conditions to purchase health insurance is never going to work at accomplishing much unless ever-increasing premiums and reduced insurance coverage for the not-sick are the goal.
I think everybody understands by now that when we refer to “health insurance” in the United States we are using the term almost oxymoronically. It isn’t insurance if you don’t actually have to insure against anything. I mean, insurance was always understood to work a certain way for a few hundred years or whatever.
The understanding was, “Something bad might happen to you and you might need certain costs paid for with money you don’t have right on hand. If you will pay our insurance company money on a regular basis, then we will cover the expenses under an agreed-upon set of conditions and for a set amount of costs found in this policy.”
What we have with health insurance is, “If something bad happens to you, give us money. We’ll pay off some portion of your costs, but you can end your policy and stop giving us money as soon as you are done incurring more costs. We’ll simply get the money it cost us to fix your problem from other people, like the morons who are dumb enough to have insurance policies when they aren’t sick.”
It’s as if someone built their home next to an active volcano. Would you demand that State Farm sell them homeowner’s insurance? No, I don’t think so, but if you apply our understanding of health insurance to that example, then that homeowner can recoup his losses from State Farm simply by signing up for a policy the day after his beautiful hardwood floors are scorched away by a stream of liquid hot magma and then dump his policy the day after the house is rebuilt. Who pays for it? No idea.
I mean, we all agree that health insurance isn’t really “insurance” anymore, don’t we? This has all been discussed before by smarter people thousands of times since Obamacare passed. You absolutely cannot require an insurance company to cover a risk event that has already occurred and call it insurance.
If you want any sort of “free market” alternative to government-run health care, then you must acknowledge that the politically-popular provision of the ACA which requires the insurance companies to provide coverage for preexisting conditions must be eliminated. As long as that is there, the government will be forced to help the insurance companies cover their inevitable losses, one way or another. The GOP Congress clearly seems to recognize that this is a granted entitlement that they are fearful to attempt to take away.
“But, Thrill, are you saying that you want to dump all of these sick and dying people off of their insurance plans?”
No. Congress could certainly include a provision within the bill that forbids the insurance companies from dumping any person with preexisting conditions who would otherwise not have been covered prior to the bill becoming law.
Alternately, they could go with Mark Cuban’s inventive idea and just keep taking care of those people forever:
It amounted to single payer coverage for chronic physical and mental illnesses and life-threatening injuries, and standard insurance for all other healthcare.
But this post isn’t really about how bad Obamacare was, how greedy the insurance companies are, or how much fat people without medical insurance who smoke and drink and then wait to buy coverage only when their self-destructive behaviors finally get them sick deserve to die. It’s about how nutless the GOP Congress is and what I think of the looming suspicion that they are now preparing to champion Obamacare under a new name after pretending to hate it for all those years.
If the GOP will not (and it is “will not” and not “cannot”) repeal Obamacare and fully embrace a free market solution –whatever that really means–then we may as well stop kidding ourselves and admit that it’s time for the Republican Party to just go ahead and take the lead over the Democrats in establishing universal, single-payer health care.
I’m not going to make the argument for single-payer. I do not believe it will work for us, or that we can afford it, or that we can accept the inevitable rationing of care and increased wait times. It’s not what I want.
The GOP has two choices it seems to have locked itself into. Either they can stop the further descent into socialized health care now by abolishing the ACA and deregulating the hell out of the health insurance industry (which is what the conservative base that elected them wants them to do) or they can wait until the Democrats eventually quit being babies and remember how to win national elections again and pass universal, single-payer health care once and for all (which is clearly what they want to do based on their own retarded instincts).
There isn’t a middle ground. If the GOP decides to keep Obamacare-In-All-But-Name-With-A-Tweak-On-The-Mandate, premiums will continue to rise, the uninsured will multiply like zombies in a gun-free zone, and they will ultimately taste the wrath of voters for it.
I propose that if the GOP Congress has really decided that it can safely ignore its base and not do the one thing it is expected to do, then it might as well just figure out how much its going to cost to run a national single-payer program, raise the taxes, have Bernie Sanders write the bill, and then pass it. Then profit, I guess.
You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I say that if this is destiny, then it might as well be the Republicans who pass it and Trump who signs it since they have made it clear that they want what is best for their own careers and legacy, not what those of us who believe in limited government and the free market want for the good of America.
Let’s just admit that it’s better for the GOP to be the better socialist party if they’ve given up on being the conservative one and have it done with. I’m tired of the pretenses. Maybe I really am just being prematurely defeatist, but only full repeal would put my doubts at rest.