The Alliance For Natural Health

Senate Health Bill Action Alert

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Please write your senators and urge them to allow a parallel healthcare system run by consumers in the next attempt to replace Obamacare. Action Alert!

As of Monday night, the Senate health bill is dead. Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) joined Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in their opposition to the current draft, meaning Sen. McConnell (R-KY) does not have the votes to bring the bill to the floor.

ANH-USA has fought in particular to legalize catastrophic-only insurance policies, which are key to allowing a consumer run system. Under Obamacare, such catastrophic policies were theoretically legal for under thirty year olds, but in practice were unaffordable, costing just as much, sometimes more, than Obamacare bronze policies.

Legalizing catastrophic policies is essential because they offer consumers the freedom to choose a genuine insurance plan that covers real emergencies while using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to cover day-to-day needs. Note that HSA’s, can be used to pay for some integrative services, and if not used, can be redirected to pay for retirement. It is the consumer’s money and the consumer tends to spend it carefully.

Given the polarized politics of healthcare, a sensible compromise is to allow two different systems. As we’ve written previously, a parallel, free-market medical system could exist side by side with a government run system like Obamacare. Those who want what Obamacare offers could stay with it; those who want different coverage could buy their own healthcare with the catastrophic policy as a back up.

We suspect that in the long run the consumer run system would take over, because it would bring healthcare costs down. This cannot be done under Obamacare, because that bill helped reinforce all the medical monopolies that drive up health costs.

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lee drafted an earlier amendment to the healthcare bill that would have allowed catastrophic plans and plans that do not need to follow certain Obamacare rules (like the requirement to provide “essential health benefits”), but Senator McConnell’s revised version of their amendment will not work. Here’s why.

The revised language lumps all non-Obamacare compliant policies in the same risk pool with Obamacare-compliant plans. This means that when older, sicker people buy the more expensive Obamacare policies, costs for insuring these individuals will be passed on to those on the cheaper catastrophic plans, resulting in higher premiums (although taxpayers will also subsidize, as the bill provides for $70 billion to help insurance companies cover high-risk individuals). This is just the same old, same old.

Under Obamacare regulations, in fact, insurers would be required to increase premiums for both catastrophic and Obamacare plans by the same percentage because they’re in a single risk pool. The end result would be catastrophic plans that are just not affordable.

Keep in mind also that, as is the case currently under Obamacare, it is the young and healthy who will largely be burdened with paying for the old and sick. This is true even though in today’s America it is the young who are poorest and the old who are best off.

There are other problems with this bill. Sen. Paul wrote eloquently how it is rife with crony capitalism. This legislation would deliver billions more taxpayer dollars to the private insurance industry. Is it really the government’s job to subsidize the profits of private insurers that are already making billions?

Before the new bill was released, we were cautiously optimistic that the Cruz/Lee proposal would create what this country sorely needs: a consumer-driven alternative to Obamacare. We hope that future attempts to reform our broken healthcare system will include such an alternative.

Action Alert! Write to your senators and urge them to legalize catastrophic policies in their own risk pool in order to allow a REAL consumer run alternative to Obamacare. Please send your message immediately.

 

Other articles in this week’s Pulse of Natural Health:

New Danger for Small, Organic Farmers?

More Mainstream Media Censorship

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  • tylersmom

    with all due respect (I am a RN) the abuses in the system need to be controlled first. I like the idea that “able bodied” folks who receive benefits should volunteer to help clean streets, parks, deliver meals on wheels, or many other things. Secondly, we voted trump in because we wanted health insurance competition across state lines. Competition drives down costs. Third, Medical offices billing codes…. the docs often bill for things that are not done… like “counseling” on the different diagnosis codes they use to diagnose you. They will bill for Extended office visits, they bill for “surgical” visits for things that are not surgical in nature. The insurance companies have such grips on what the docs make, they get clever in billing the insurance companies for things they don’t do. My father saw his doctor for a cough. They listened to his lungs, prescribed an antibiotic. When I got the bill the 38.00 smoking cessation, counseling fee was not covered. <<<I was there, no such counseling ever occurred! The visit form indicated that the visit was 3 minutes in duration. I fought this, and fought it, and the doctor's office would not remove the charge for the "fictitious" counseling that never took place. "Lost" X Rays that are done again. How about the Undocumented? They need to have Identification and be held accountable for the ER bills that put the ER's out of business. I can't begin to tell you how bad THAT problem is, but knowing YOUR stance on the undocumented citizens, I won't go there, but it is a MAJOR ISSUE FOR THE TAX PAYER WALLET! As a long time nurse, I have so many ideas. I am not receiving kick backs to give those ideas to you…… Here is another major issue…. "Kick backs"…. oh the pharmaceutical industry loves to give the docs the "speaking fees" and the extra coupon rewards for prescribing a drug that is under patent. Ohhhh, do they all make a lot of money. Pediatric vaccines are among the worst for kick back money. It all needs to stop, and I do not see legislation correcting the simple abuses in the system. It is like legislators look a blind eye to this, and put band aides on a ship that has many bullet wounds. I would love to sit down and talk about the real problems, and not from a point of view that is "lobbied", or someone paid to speak by Pharmaceutical…. but as a consumer, and a medical professional.

    • bumblingjack

      agree, except I think the ‘volunteer’ thought for able body recipients should to changed to a mandate to provide social productivity. Otherwise you only affect the people who really deserve some help and have no effect on the freeloaders working the system.

      • tylersmom

        Absolutely…. any thing to get the freeloaders off the caid, and the uninsured children, or the disabled on… and Please….. keep the undocumented off caid. The younger generation have their parents flown in from many countries when the parents are older, leaving the wealth in India or where ever, and claiming poverty getting on our welfare system. The older parents can get into our Nursing homes on Medicaid, while we just paid 13,500 a month to take care of my Mother until all of my father’s Money was spent. I see this abuse of the system all of the time, and we can’t hide our money over seas! Kills me the amount of money my father paid out… every thing he had…. and Undocumented elders are coming for better care and families are putting them in American nursing homes for free!!!

    • Mary Lyons

      Yes, I agree the abuses in the system need to be controlled by everyone involved. It is a circus. The lawyers like to sue doctors, insurance cos. and hospitals. Lawyers, insurance cos. and hospitals like to stick it to the doctors. The doctor is the one who gets the short end of the stick. Plus, there are incompetent billing/medical coders who sometimes go back through a patient’s chart to find an illness or disease that they can use to bill, which is illegal and can cost the doctor and the coder thousands of dollars in fines. I really can’t blame the doctor, it is his billers and coders who get him in trouble. Same goes for hospitals in pushing their biller/coders to look for codes to amp up the billing charges. I have personally observed this.

      The govt. isn’t as honest either, with healthcare insurances, they offer incentives to hospitals, doctors offices and clinics to do certain things that gives them a bonus. Such as in the pediatricians office, a pediatrician is offered $400 for each child who has ALL the vaccines up-to-date. Doctors are also offered an incentive for the no. of patients they see in a day by Medicare/Medicaid that offer minimal care. It is all a scam!! This is why healthcare needs to be repealed and allow competition across State lines.

      When Owebummercare went into effect, MANY private practices signed up with hospitals to be under their employment and all the employees in that practice then fell under the hospital’s employment, meaning they are now all employees of the hospital. This meant that when the private practices had their own billers/coders they were liable for whatever they billed and coded, now all that falls under the hospital’s responsibility and now all billers and coders have to be certified by law. Many private offices DID NOT have certified biller/coders, they were employees who were taught on the job without any proper understanding about billing and coding.

      Our Congressmen are clueless about any of this because they have sold their vote and influence and now if they “repeal” this whole mess, many will probably be forced to give back their bribe. So in essence, they are all looking out for their own good and not that of America!!

      • tylersmom

        I know the Pediatricians getting 400 per child who has every vaccine by 2 is a total disgrace. One of the biggest reasons Peds kick or threaten patients to be kicked out of their practice. Pediatricians need to have a certain % of kids up to date by the age of 2 to qualify for those bonuses. that sort of thing, and the visit duration was 2.5 minutes with the patient. Some of these doctor practices can print out diagnosis codes right on the form for ya to bring up to process for billing. there are 3 entities all competing for top dog, pharma, doctors, and insurance. It is a hot mess. All 3 entities lobby the heck out of legislators to keep bad practice in play. REAL REFORM MEANS STOP TAKING BUCKS FROM THESE COMPANIES INTO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS, AND CHANGE THE SYSTEM.

  • steven jacobs

    the democrats and the republicans are owned by the same big money interests-so there will be NO substantial changes to the system-until it implodes-the representatives will NOT listen to us. They listen to their masters.

  • Dltnsdd

    I greatly appreciate all of you at ANH that are truly dedicated to securing and maintaining our personal freedoms! We need more people like Rand Paul and Walter Williams, too!

  • Erik Stark

    I usually agree with everything ANH puts out but I think your parallel consumer-driven health insurance won’t work under our current system. We live in a Corporatocracy. Our system is totally corrupt and polluted by money, access, power, control and a government that enables it. All systems of proposed health care right now, including yours, will ultimately bankrupt this country due to the gross health ignorance of the majority of our population, encouraged and codified by numerous regulations to benefit the few: pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, cancer clinics and other so-called specialty clinics and hospitals (all the Medical Industrial Complex), not to mention the food industry, the chemical industry, Big Ag, and all the others who benefit from the ill health and health ignorance of the population. It should be Federal Law that the cheapest, safest alternative be tried first, and codified into all health insurance systems. This would often include supplements, holistic healing, diet/nutrition education (the real kind- not the b.s. government mandated/industry backed crap), alternative therapies for all the various diseases inflicting us, etc. etc. This should be Federal Law because it’s the only thing that will keep from bankrupting us to benefit the few. Or as one person astutely put it- the cheapest health care system in the world is the one with healthy people. But it isn’t law. Just the opposite is law in this Corporatocracy.

    Any “free market” health system that allows the use of alternatives will quickly run into the wall of industry backed muzzling of those same alternatives: the notion insurance can even be called health insurance for non-drug, non-surgical alternatives will be challenged in court and submitted to as much bureaucratic flypaper by government goon lapdogs as to make it as ineffective as possible. This is the system we live in. So Obamacare’s main problem is it pooled people to help them afford insurance, but then gave them to the same for-profit insurance industry, backed by a mandate, with still no incentive to use safer, cheaper alternatives or even prevention. It was and is more corporate welfare. However, it did insure many who previously weren’t and did have some sane mandates like not being excluded for preconditions or dropped if you needed expensive treatment, etc. It came from Romneycare which came from Bob Dole care (this basic idea was Bob Dole’s answer to the Clinton healthcare plan in the 90’s- pool people, give them to the insurance companies, have a mandate). In other words, it was a moderate Republican plan. But there weren’t, and aren’t, any real controls for rising premium costs, to appease the for-profit industry and so, one way or another, it still bankrupts us.

    Ultimately, we are going to have to have some kind of Single Payer system that takes the profit motive out of health insurance. There’s a reason every other developed nation on this planet has done this to help control costs. By any measure most developed nations now have cheaper healthcare costs than us, and healthier populations by many metrics. But a Single Payer system in our current corrupt Corporatocracy that muzzles all true, safer, cheaper, alternatives, will also be more corporate welfare and still bankrupt us, so I understand the concern many have for such a system. So along with a Single Payer system must come the end of corporate welfare that destroys the Common Good, and the end of being able to turn our government officials into prostitutes performing tricks for the highest bidder (ie- campaign finance reform and revolving door restrictions). If this seems pie in the sky, I think the work ANH does and many others, and the overbearing fact that our ill and health ignorant population will ultimately bankrupt this country, may actually result in sane policies coming down the road over the next few decades. Profit that trumps healthcare and health insurance, and muzzling alternatives to benefit a few monopolies and institutionalize health ignorance, are really all one and the same. It’s the Corporatocracy. It’s greed. And both must be abolished to have any chance of sustainable healthcare for the future in this country.