Graham-Cassidy Bill Doesn’t Add Up

The latest Republican health care bill meant to replace the Affordable Care act comes from Senators Bill Cassidy (LA) and Lindsey Graham (SC). This one presents a more substantial change to the way things are run. Most of this comes from an article in the 9/23/2017 issue of the Economist.

  • The Federal government would play a much smaller role, giving money to the states proportional to the number of inhabitants between 50% and 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • The decisions on how to structure care is passed down to the states. They can petition Health and Human Services to drop ObamaCare provisions such as the Essential Health Benefits that were meant to provide a basal level of care in each plan.

The thought is that this may encourage experimentation in each of the states, however three problems exist.

  1. States are now responsible for structuring care. There is no guarantee they can do a better job. States are also required to have a balanced budget, so the Medicare money may go instead to paying other debts.
  2. There is no increase in money if conditions change. If a state is hit with a disaster, say an opiate epidemic, and requires more money to address this… there is no more money.
  3. Doesn’t fix existing problems with the health insurance marketplace. Premiums have already risen under the ACA and insurers are leaving markets. This new plan has the potential of further raising premium prices (with healthy people leaving the market without the pressure of a mandate) and discouraging insurers from participating (with less healthy people, they are taking more risk).

1 Comment

  1. T. R. Reid wrote “The Healing of America” before PPACA. He compares our country’s medical administration and care with those of other countries. We spend ~34% of our medical dollar on administration, compared to Canada’s ~14% and England’s ~6%, as stated over cocktails in Philadelphia in 1997 by the doctor in charge of Britain’s NHS.

    Our country is at war with itself: We insist on passing annual deficits to our children.

    Finally, we crowd ourselves and other species as we ignore poverty:

    1900: ~1,000,000,000 people on earth;
    1950: ~2,500,000,000 people on earth;
    2000: ~7,000,000,000 people on earth, with ~3 billion people living on < $2/day.

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