July 19, 2017, "Ronald Reagan has the answer to GOP’s ObamaCare riddle," Betsy McCaughey, NY Post
"Resistance to Medicaid reform is holding up the works. At least six GOP senators won’t budge on it.
The way forward is to set aside reforming Medicaid for another day, and
pass a repeal bill immediately to undo the coercive individual mandate,
the job-killing employer mandate and the ObamaCare regulations that are
making private insurance unaffordable.
The Affordable Care Act is actually two laws glued together. First,
there’s the vast expansion of Medicaid, the public program serving the
poor and disabled. That’s where most of the previously uninsured gained
Second, there’s a federal takeover of the private insurance
market, previously regulated by each state.
Since several Republican senators are balking at changing Medicaid,
GOP leaders should pass the other half of repeal and replace, to rescue
consumers in the individual market. There’s no reason not to seize half a
Republicans have enough votes in both the House and Senate to pass a
bill that gives consumers choices, premium relief and generous
protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
There’s a consensus that people with pre-existing conditions should
be able to get insurance and not be stuck paying out of pocket more than
anyone else. Republicans and Democrats agree on that. The issue is who
pays the hefty price tag for their care.
ObamaCare forced healthy buyers in the individual market to foot the
entire bill. It’s called community pricing. And it’s the single biggest
reason premiums doubled since 2013, according to actuaries at the
financial-consultant firm Milliman.
Healthy people would pay in, but never reach their sky-high
deductibles. Instead, premiums extorted from them would be used to cover
the huge medical bills for the chronically ill. Call it “extortion
Republicans in both the House and Senate have devised a fairer way: a
pot of federal money ($130 billion in the House plan and $182 billion in
the Senate version) available to help pay premiums for people with
pre-existing conditions. It’s fairer because the entire nation chips in,
rather than forcing healthy people stuck in the individual market to
ObamaCare also forces people to overpay for benefits they don’t want —
“10 essential benefits” such as contraceptives and drug-abuse
counseling. Essential for whom? The law’s defenders call anything less
“junk insurance.” As if Washington knows what you need.
Under both the House and Senate bills, states can allow insurers to
offer policies with flexible coverage options and lower premiums. It’s a
pro-choice approach to insurance.
The public is ready for these changes, and Republican lawmakers have the votes to pass them now....
The Senate’s failure this week to repeal ObamaCare
is a bitter disappointment to the 18 million people in the individual
market struggling with unaffordable premiums and deductibles. It’s also
bad news for another 8 million who are opting to pay hefty penalties
rather than buy those unaffordable plans.
And things are only getting worse. Health insurers are asking for
giant rate increases this fall, even as high as 50 percent in
Connecticut, Maryland and Virginia. Ouch.
If members of Congress were feeling the same pain, they’d be more
focused on repealing and replacing the collapsing law. But they’ve got a
sweetheart deal. Even though the Affordable Care Act requires them to
purchase their coverage on ObamaCare exchanges and follow the same rules
as the rest of us, former President Barack Obama set up a way for them
to weasel out of it: They get to choose from 57 gold plans and have John
Q. Public pick up most of the tab.
Meanwhile, in nearly half the counties in the nation, ordinary folks will have only one insurer available. Or none at all."...
"Betsy McCaughey is a senior fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author of “Beating ObamaCare.”"