[Discussion] Health Policies and ACA Reform/Repeal

The existing health thread is for discussion on how changes to current policy will/have personally affected you or those you know. This thread is for more general discussion of the subject.

Tom Price, Disgraced Ex-Trump Official, Admits He's Also a Huge Liar

At the World Healthcare Congress in Washington today, Price said that the Republican tax bill’s repeal of the individual health insurance mandate was foolish:

According to the Washington Times, Price said he “believes [the repeal] actually will harm the pool in the exchange market, because you’ll likely have individuals who are younger and healthier not participating in that market, and consequently, that drives up the cost for other folks within that market.”

This is a very interesting development, given that last year, when he was actually in a position to influence whether or not this happened, he supported the repeal. Appearing on national television last summer, Price said the exact f*cking opposite of what he said today (emphasis mine):

“The individual mandate is one of those things that is actually driving up the cost for the American people in terms of coverage,” Price said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week. “So, what we’re trying to do is make it so that Obamacare is no longer harming the patients of this land – no longer driving up costs, no longer making it so that they’ve got coverage but no care.”

However you feel about the inclusion of the individual mandate (which was originally a Heritage Foundation idea, supported by Republicans in the 1990s) in the Affordable Care Act, the fact remains that removing it now, without replacing it with some other means of ensuring health coverage, is likely to increase premiums and reduce the number of people with coverage—a trend we’re already seeing realized—as Price admitted today. If there’s no penalty for not buying health insurance, fewer healthy people will do so, making the overall cost of health insurance higher. (This would not be an issue under single payer!)

The most galling part of this is that Price didn’t actually admit he was wrong or own up to any sort of mistake—he just offered a disinterested policy take, as if he hadn’t played an instrumental role in this bad thing that’s happening right now. He acted as if it happened beside him, rather than partly because of him—as if what you do when you’re in power doesn’t count, because then you have obligations to politics, to your party and your president, to whatever it is you’re told to go out there and say.

But the super cool thing is there will likely be no consequences for Price, save maybe a day’s worth of news outrage about this. I expect he will quietly be snapped up by a lobbying firm as soon as he decides he needs an extra million dollars a year and they decide they need another old white dude in a suit who looks like he sells shoes; they won’t care one bit that he lied and millions of Americans lost their healthcare coverage. What he did today was prove he’s good at saying the wrong thing at the right time and the right thing at the wrong time, and that’s good enough in Washington.

Somewhere a river needs to named lusion so the gag "delusion ain't just a river in [local]" can exist.

Has the ACA Medicaid Expansion Been a Success?

Trump promised them better, cheaper health care. It’s not happening.

A key small business group says Trump’s new insurance rules are unworkable, after pushing the idea for nearly 20 years.
Trump, who’s touted the expansion of so-called association health plans as a key plank in his strategy to tear down Obamacare, even announced the rules at the 75th anniversary party of the National Federation of Independent Business last month, claiming the group’s members will save “massive amounts of money” and have better care if they join forces to offer coverage to workers.

But the NFIB, which vigorously promoted association health plans for two decades, now says it won’t set one up, describing the new Trump rules as unworkable. And the NFIB isn’t the only one: Several of the nationwide trade groups that cheered Trump’s new insurance rules told POLITICO they’re still trying to figure out how to take advantage of them and whether the effort is even worth it.

Getting health insurance through work now costs nearly $20,000

Employers and workers together are spending close to $20,000 for family health insurance coverage in 2018, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation report.

Although premiums have increased fairly modestly in recent years, the growth has far outpaced workers' raises over time. The average family premium has increased 55% since 2008, twice as fast as workers' wages and three times as fast as inflation, Kaiser's Employer Health Benefits Survey found.

Companies pick up most of the tab, shelling out $14,100 a year, on average. Still, workers have to pay an average of $5,550, up 65% from a decade ago.

Lung Cancer Deaths are 28 Percent Lower in California
State’s long-term, aggressive tobacco control programs cited as primary reason

“It is clear that from the early days of tobacco control, young people in California became increasing less likely to become addicted smokers,” said John P. Pierce, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Cancer Prevention at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center and lead author of the study. “What we saw is that among people under 35 years old, the combination of a 39 percent lower initiation rate, 30 percent lower consumption of cigarettes among those who did smoke, and a 24 percent higher early quit rate meant that young Californians now have much less exposure to cigarette smoking than those of similar age in the rest of the country.”

They're just in the pocket of Big Air, and part of the Deep Breath State

Tanglebones wrote:

They're just in the pocket of Big Air, and part of the Deep Breath State

I'd have thought that would have been Montana - "Big Sky Country" has Big Air.

deleted. Wrong thread.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

Megyn Kelly got fired for her blackface comments. This was just the latest racist thing she said.

Wrong thread??

lunchbox12682 wrote:
Baron Of Hell wrote:

Megyn Kelly got fired for her blackface comments. This was just the latest racist thing she said.

Wrong thread??

But she makes everyone sick.

Medicare for All and Administrative Costs

Wasn't that their move?

Chaz wrote:

Wasn't that their move?

i think this will have to wind its way up the courts and then if the supreme Court upholds the ruling, Republicans in Congress are going to have to decide if they want to come up withor support a Democratic alternative that doesn't throw millions of people off of healthcare. It's going to be entirely on them.

Wasn't this already effectively decided by the SC?

Apparently the judge's ruling is that now that Congress reduced the penalty for the individual mandate to zero makes the mandate unconstitutional, and the mandate can't be excised from the rest of the law, therefore the entire law is unconstitutional.

I know that we're years out from this having any actual effect, but it's still depressing. Especially since the GOP isn't going to come up with anything to replace the ACA, but will swear up and down that they're trying to cover people.

The Dems will take the senate and presidency in 2020, and then we will really fix this mess. This was part of the consequences of Trump winning. 2020 was always going to be about cleaning up the Deplorable's mess.

Maybe this is how the republicans will deliver Medicare for all. They fished for the cliche death by a thousands cuts but instead got whatever doesn’t kill it makes it stronger.

Chaz wrote:

Apparently the judge's ruling is that now that Congress reduced the penalty for the individual mandate to zero makes the mandate unconstitutional, and the mandate can't be excised from the rest of the law, therefore the entire law is unconstitutional.

The irony is that the mandate being unexcisable from the rest of the law was an argument of the Obama administration. (LINK):

Both the Obama administration and the law’s opponents have one argument in common. They express concern about what might happen to health insurance markets if the mandate is severed from the statute but the requirements that insurance companies cover sick patients and don’t charge them higher rates remain. If healthy people do not have to buy insurance and insurance companies are forced to cover the sick, they warn, insurance would be far more expensive. No doubt rates would rise as a result. But the size of that increase — whether it would be 10 percent or 20 percent, as some claim — is unknown, and the Supreme Court is in no position to make that judgment on its own.

It’s not clear why the Obama administration has chosen this course. Perhaps it made a strategic choice to raise the stakes of striking down the mandate by asking the court to also invalidate the law’s more popular provisions. Or it may be concerned that, if the mandate alone is struck down, there would not be enough votes in Congress to pass new provisions to compensate the insurance industry for its loss. But as a legal matter, the court should reject the argument.

The "individual mandate" was always liberals at their worst, trying to defend something just because of the sweet, sweet conservative tears. Obama actually ran on a no individual mandate position, then decided to change in order to not run afoul of his other promise not to raise taxes on people making less than 250k(?). The whole (edit) conversation around the law was a dumpster fire.

The ACA has another provision against adverse selection--you can only sign up during certain times of the year. In fact, uh, I think this is the last day to sign up, thanks to Trump? I think you used to have until sometime in January, but that got rolled back to today as part of the Trumpublicans efforts to hurt people to achieve their political goals (of hurting even more people).

Yeah--deadline is today. Spread the word, maybe it will save someone's life in the coming year.

I've been getting emails every day for this entire month reminding me about the deadline. I'm surprised that the 45 administration didn't have those cut off too in hopes that people would forget and lose their insurance. Maybe they just don't know about the emails yet.

Buttery males death panels.

Progressives Will Get Their Debate On Medicare For All — And Questions Abound

The debate about Medicare for All is about to get more serious ― and more complicated.

The idea of creating a single national health insurance program for all Americans has been a big topic of political conversation since 2016, when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) touted it during his Democratic presidential campaign. But Medicare for All couldn’t be anything more than a rallying cry as long as Republicans controlled the levers of power in Washington.

Political circumstances are different now. Democrats hold the House majority and, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office confirmed to The Washington Post on Thursday, at least two committees will hold hearings on Medicare for All this year. Exactly what those hearings will entail isn’t clear ― Democratic leaders aren’t saying ― but one focus will be a bill that Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) plans to introduce in the next few weeks.