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All-Male Senate Healthcare Group Criticized by Democrats
09 May 2017, 07:59 | Leonard Manning
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The bill would end Obamacare's individual mandate, already too weak as a policy mechanism, and impose a fee on those who go without coverage and want to re-enter the insurance market - creating an incentive for relatively healthy people to remain uncovered.
The 31 states, plus the District of Columbia, that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will begin bearing much more of the cost in 2020, so most or all enact legislation to close their expansions to new enrollees - or else raise taxes or make painful cuts elsewhere.
The Senate may be more moderate and more cautious on health care reform, but Republicans in the upper chamber will also be looking for reasons to vote aye. The Affordable Care Act, which remains in place, does not permit this. Without protections for pre-existing conditions he fears he would have to close his law practice and find a job that offers a group insurance plan.
"That really hurts a state like ME, where we have an older population living in largely more expensive, rural areas, as far as health care is concerned", she said. "I can't not have coverage for my multiple sclerosis".
States will be able to get federal waivers allowing insurers to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing illnesses who have let their coverage lapse. Yet, that is precisely what it does, because some of the pre-existing conditions that trigger higher costs are either exclusively or predominately experienced by women.
Further, even if a state chooses to seek a waiver and establish a risk-sharing program, any person who maintains continuous insurance coverage can not have the community rating provision applied to them by an insurance company. One even called them "devastating". Health analysts question whether the extra $8 billion the House bill provides over five years for high-risk pools will be enough. Medical expenses outpaced premiums collected, and losses averaged $5,500 per person enrolled.
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That significant cut to Medicaid that impacts special education students also has an immediate impact on poor people as a whole. High-risk pools could fill up fast with patients who have a lapse in coverage. "So by directly helping support people who have preexisting conditions with their catastrophic cost, all other insurance products don't have to price that into their insurance, and you dramatically stabilize and lower the price of insurance".
Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is not seeking re-election next year, warned that the bill "has the potential to severely harm the health and lives of people in south Florida".
"This gets complicated fast", Avalere President Dan Mendelson said.
The AARP warned that the GOP plan instituted an "age tax" and jeopardises coverage for 25 million older Americans with pre-existing conditions.
A bill that proposes such sweeping changes was passed without any hearing, and giving hardly any time for the lawmakers to study or discuss it. Also, federal auditors have not had time to analyze the plan.
No one will soon forget this quote from President Obama about his signature bill back in 2009: "If you like the plan you have, you can keep it".
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Ed Markey (D-Mass.), prior to Pai's speech . "Technological innovation has flourished because of the open nature of the internet". The internet is now regulated under Title II, which was created in the 1930s to regulate the Ma Bell telephone monopoly.
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