Schumer: Cruz Amendment makes GOP health care bill even worse
Schumer: Cruz Amendment makes GOP health care bill even worse
17 Julio, 2017, 23:55
It's being billed as pro-consumer, allowing freedom of choice and potential savings for many.
GOP leaders unveiled the Senate's revised health care bill on Thursday, and the updated legislation included a version of a controversial amendment drafted by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that says if an insurer sells at least one plan in-state that complies with federal regulations, then it can offer other lower-cost plans. If Republicans hold all remaining member votes, Vice President Mike Pence would need to cast the tie-breaking vote for final passage.
A health care fact can help frame the issue: USA health care spending is highly skewed toward the sickest people. Almost all of this population earns more than 350 percent above the federal poverty level - the cutoff point in the Senate bill for receiving federal subsidies to help purchase marketplace coverage. Instead, he argues that if our society wants sicker people to be able to access affordable, comprehensive insurance, we should just be subsidizing them directly. "People with pre-existing conditions could find themselves in very different situations in the health insurance market depending on where they happen to live".
"The path we've taken has made it very hard if not unacceptable to allow blatant abuse of people with pre-existing conditions", Antos said.
The basic idea behind Cruz's proposal is to empower insurers to sell plans that ignore the ACA's insurance safeguards alongside plans that include those safeguards.
Several insurers blasted the Cruz amendment, with one company telling Forbes that stable insurance markets "require broad-based enrollment and a stable regulatory environment that facilitates fair competition and a level playing field".
In states that waive these requirements, insurers could offer cheaper, less comprehensive plans. Ted Cruz-gets Republicans most of the way there, and may actually stand a chance of passage. You could buy a plan that covered nearly nothing but a visit to a hospital emergency room and an annual physical, if you wanted to. Cruz said Wednesday that his vote to advance the bill next week would depend on whether he was convinced premiums would lower with the GOP health care bill. The only important tax cuts were for the 3.8 percent investment income surtax and increased payroll taxes for higher income employees, which the new Senate proposal removed. The two main insurance industry lobbying groups, America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, have joined in opposing the plan.
Americans have been promised that Republicans would repeal Obamacare and when we have a Republican in the White House he would sign the bill and the deal would be done. As noted by Erin Gloria Ryan over at The Daily Beast, this "ignores the fact that the entire concept of insurance is based on collectively pooling money in case an expensive ailment befalls one who has contributed".
The revised Senate legislation would also provide an additional $70 billion to help lower premiums and shield insurers from high-cost patients, bringing the total to $182 billion.
"It would seem like an undesirable outcome for an exercise meant to rescue Obamacare (markets) that are melting down", he said. Under Obamacare, all those people with preexisting conditions, who previously had been in high-risk pools, were lumped into individual insurance markets with everybody else, which of course caused premiums to rise.
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