We are pacing the hallways waiting for news. Our seven year old, no, nearly eight year old, is in surgery donating a major organ. Giving a part of yourself for the benefit of others is always an important life lesson to teach our youth. Sometimes it is a kidney. In this case it is the Individual Mandate. If Obamacare (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) can just give up the Individual Mandate, the corporations, the very rich, and certain elected officials will be able to have their taxes cut. It seems like a wonderful trade-off. Never have so many been willing to sacrifice so much for so few.
The American public has been forced to pace the hallways for most of 2017. There were the two major attempts to repeal the PPACA without a concern given to the consequences. The funding for the Cost Sharing Reduction was eliminated. Other actions, great and small, were taken to sabotage the law. And each time we found ourselves pacing the hallways left to wonder how all of this will play out once the Republicans were forced to accept that 20% of our economy and peoples’ lives hung in the balance.
Paul Ryan and the Republican House are about to pass the final version of the new tax bill. They may not know nor understand the Corker Kickback or the myriad of other favors granted by the law. Here is the link to the final version. Trust me, your Congressman and Senators haven’t bothered reading it. What they do know is that the spigots to their campaign donations have been opened and that the Individual Mandate has been repealed. What they don’t know is how much this will cost you and me.
We have covered this ground before. Millions of Americans depend on health insurance to provide access and payment for care. You cannot base our system on the sick and the responsible. To work efficiently, we all have to participate. Much as the Republicans determined when they created Medicare Part D in 2003, there must either be an incentive to get everyone to participate or a penalty if they don’t. There are some Americans who don’t qualify for enough subsidy to make insurance affordable. But the young, the healthy, and the cheap will abandon ship. Spreading the risk, the inevitable claims, across a smaller group of people leads to higher pricing. Higher pricing forces those who pay the full cost of their insurance to either bail out or choose significantly less comprehensive contracts. And for those who qualify for those subsidies? As the premiums increase the subsidies increase.
The loser is the American taxpayer, you know, those of us who don’t own a Congressman. By the time you read this the House will have passed the legislation. The Senate will vote later tonight. Still we pace…
Photo – Emergency by David L Cunix