Pseudo-intellectuals have lost their collective mind when discussing the proposed GOP legislation in the Senate to reform or repeal parts of Obamacare, has been mired in appeals to emotion rather than objective analysis.
The Washington Post published a piece Wednesday written by a mother whose newborn daughter suffered a stroke resulting in a brain bleed just two months after the passage of the Obamacare law in 2014. The law required health insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Thankfully, the heart-wrenching story has a happy ending – her daughter fully recovers. The author, however, credits Obamacare as the hero, and the Senate GOP’s potential reforms to the flailing law as the enemy.
The article’s theme is that the GOP’s bill will eliminate protections for those with pre-existing conditions. The author laments the House’s replacement bill as “mean” and a “Senate [that] is struggling, shamefully, to follow suit.” The author writes that if the bill passed it will lead to “inextricably costly” and “watered down” insurance, leaving the “false promise” of sufficient coverage. In conclusion, the bill will lead to the “terrifying” time before Obamacare.
In a Washington Post op-ed, Topher Spiro, concedes that “it’s true” that the Senate plan “requires” insurance companies to offer coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Spiro also adds that unlike the House bill before it, it also requires insurance companies “to charge the same premium as everyone else.” The article then devolves into one-sided, doomsday speculation as to the repercussions of allowing states to waive mandated coverage, also known as essential health benefits (EHB).
Obamacare mandated insurance plans offer 10 essential health benefits, including maternity care and mental health care, irrespective of the buyers’ need. The Atlantic claims that allowing states to waive the EHB mandate will take American healthcare “back the completely broken system” it was before the passage of Obamacare. The Atlantic even claims that without the mandates, people with pre-existing conditions will be thrust into “segregated” markets forcing them to pay more, and discriminates against women and the mentally disabled.
Obamacare’s approach to increasing access to healthcare was threefold: expanding Medicaid, creating government-run federally subsidized exchanges, and redistributing wealth from the young and healthy to the old and sick. What is left out of media reports is the discrimination built into the Obamacare law itself, particularly towards the young and healthy by forcing them to pay for coverage they do not need.
Obamacare’s requirement that all plans offer EHBs means undercharging the old and sick, and overcharging the young and healthy. The individual mandate was not sufficient enough to induce young, healthy people to buy insurance packages they do not need or want. Without shifting costs to those that utilize care less to those that utilize care more, insurers on the exchange began to incur loses, and eventually were forced to leave the exchanges altogether. Customers are now left with huge price increases and less choice.
The GOP bill keeps protections for those with pre-existing conditions intact as the Washington Post was forced to admit. The main contention that is lost in media reports is the Senate’s attempt to change the failing funding mechanism in Obamacare that leaves insurers fleeing the market and raising prices for everyone.
By allowing states to waive coverage for EHBs means insurers can tailor cheaper, more attractive plans for the young and healthy, encouraging them to enroll voluntarily. With higher enrollment of those that will use care less, could avoid steep price increases by creating the cash flow insurance companies need to pay for those that use care more.
Media reports on the GOP’s healthcare bill were meant to alarm the public rather than inform them. The impending collapse of the insurance exchanges is proof enough that something needs to change; a change that is unlikely without honest reporting and public discourse.
The establishment media’s reporting on the proposed GOP legislation in the Senate to reform or repeal parts of Obamacare, has been mired in appeals to emotion rather than objective analysis.