While Bernie proposes a “Medicare for all” to replace Obamacare, Hillary has argued that Obamacare is working and the nation should build on it, not start over. Polls show that even Democrats have an increasingly negative view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
It turns out, as conservatives predicted from the start, the ACA isn’t affordable and has created more problems than it has solved. So does Hillary pander to those who want to build on it, or those who want to scrap it? To be or not to be, that is the question.
Recently, she has emphasized changes to the ACA that would increase coverage and “make it more affordable.” However, the smartest woman in the world, doesn’t understand. Obamacare is designed in a way that makes affordability impossible. Consider a few reasons why:
- It costs millions to run the state health care exchanges. In 2014, I attended the NM state exchange financial sustainability meetings. We had to answer the question of how the state would pay for the Exchange, once federal funding was gone. I was struck by the millions it would cost for administration and implementation. Why not use this funding to pay for the state’s high-risk pool? Why not specific and targeted assistance for needy instead of an unnecessary and expensive state “exchange”?
- More insurers are dropping out. United Healthcare announced its withdrawal from 16 state exchanges. The exchange market is proving to be smaller and riskier than UnitedHealth expected, meaning “we cannot broadly serve it on an effective and sustained basis,” he told investors.
- Essential benefits are not essential. Insurers are required to cover 10 essential benefits, in addition to each state’s requirements. Before, one could choose what benefits he or she wanted. Now, you have men and senior citizens being forced to pay for maternity care. Those without children are forced to pay for pediatric dental and vision benefits.
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions is attractive, but costly. In order for insurance to work, you need a robust number of healthy to offset costs of the sick. However, with this mandate, people wait until they get sick to buy insurance, then drop it, once their medical costs are covered. This drives up costs for everyone.
- Obamacare is cronyism at its worst. Dr. Paul Song, an avid Bernie supporter, was exactly right when he said, “Medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big pharma and the private insurance industry instead of us.” Too bad he got shut down for telling the truth. That’s the fundamental problem with Obamacare. It was a back room deal with fat cat politicians, Big Pharma and Big Insurance making out big at the expense of American citizens.
Obamacare isn’t working, and will never work. Bernie’s “Medicare for all” won’t work either. We need to bring free market principles to the table. More medical savings accounts. More choice and competition. Catastrophic coverage for all, with a strong safety net. Get rid of the essential benefits. Trump will make it happen. You just wait and see.