Like it or not, Obamacare would not be repealed by the House bill. Action Alert!
Here is just some of what is wrong with it.
The House of Representatives recently passed their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a.k.a. Trumpcare—the bill meant to fulfill the Republicans’ promise to repeal and replace Obamacare. It now moves to the Senate, which will likely create it own bill, which would then be “reconciled” with House bill in a joint committee and voted on again.
Much ink has been spilled about what the AHCA does and doesn’t do, but something has been conspicuously absent from the debate.
As we wrote previously, our main concern with Obamacare is that it allows the federal government to define what health is and what health insurance is. Obamacare mandates severely restricted the market for health insurance. For instance, it is illegal in most cases to sell health insurance in the US that doesn’t cover a wide array of conditions and treatments (deemed “essential health benefits”)—including drug rehab and pregnancy services—which many of us will never want or use.
Under the House-passed AHCA, states can apply to the federal government for waivers that would exempt them from Obamacare mandates. This would include mandated “essential health benefits,” provided it can be shown that the exemption would lower premiums, increase enrollment, etc.
This is hardly repealing and replacing Obamacare with a system that gives Americans the freedom to choose the healthcare they want. What if your state doesn’t apply for any waiver? What if a state’s application is denied?
Even if a waiver application is approved, it has a shelf life of only ten years before having to be reapproved. What if a future president revokes a waiver that was previously granted, or refuses to grant any more waivers? All it would take is another Democrat in the White House and Obamacare would be right back.
Have the Republicans lost their mind? Or did they not really mean it when they promised to repeal the Obamacare policy mandates? If House Republicans think that the voters will view this waiver system as a repeal of Obamacare mandates, they must have a very low opinion of the voters.
Note also that it is these mandates that are driving up the cost of health insurance higher and higher, with most of the cost loaded onto young people, not the older people who actually use the health insurance.
Many people who believe in natural health and integrated medicine must already pay out of pocket for their healthcare. Given the choice, they would buy a catastrophic policy only with a high deductible. Under Obamacare, they must pay sky high rates for services they will never use, and even then face a huge deductible and very narrow choice in doctors, and a constantly changing choice in doctors.
As we pointed out in our earlier article, it doesn’t matter whether Obamacare is repealed and replaced. Let those who like that system use it. But Congress does need to remove the monopoly features of the Obamacare system, so that a consumer-led and -driven system can exist side by side with it.
Action Alert! Write to your members of Congress and senators and point out to them that waivers, which last only ten years and need not be granted, do not repeal Obamacare policy mandates. Please send your message immediately.