Obamacare repeal: Less is less | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Obamacare repeal: Less is less

Posted By on Tue, Mar 7, 2017 at 7:47 AM

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Here's a pretty good explainer of the House Republican plan for changing Obamacare from Vox.

Short take: Rich get richer, poor get poorer. Some delays in killing the Medicaid expansion were written in to help Republican governors like Asa Hutchinson who had the good sense to take the money. If you believe poor people thrown into the health marketplace through Hutchinson's plan to reduce eligibility to those making 100 percent or less of the federal poverty will remain insured, give it another thought. Subsidies won't likely be so rich and they'll be meaningless to somebody making $12,000 a year. Pay insurance premiums or eat? You decide.

If all this comes to pass, the program will be strangled over time. Fewer people will have health coverage. More people will die. Rural hospitals will close.

Only in America 2017 does the majority party cheer fewer people with access to health care. But Republicans have been running on this for seven years and now they have the votes in Congress and a president to get it done. The only obstacle is that a significant number of truly blood-thirsty Republicans don't think the proposal released yesterday is mean enough.

Side note: Republican senators in several states that joined the Medicaid expansion have raised an alarm.

And four key Republican senators, all from states that opted to expand Medicaid under the ACA, said they would oppose any new plan that would leave millions of Americans uninsured.

“We will not support a plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states,” Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Sens. John Boozman and Tom Cotton? Where are you?

Gov. Hutchinson yesterday tried to insist that his plan for reducing those eligible for Medicaid by 60,000 was no problem because those people could just shift to the subsidized marketplace. I haven't yet seen an assurance those people will be able to afford coverage there and when the insurance mandate is over, the stability of the insurance market (with fewer enrollees and continuation of expensive coverage of pre-existing conditions) is a question mark at least.

PS: No, this is not what Trump promised.

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