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Indiana's ACA health insurance providers propose rate hikes

25 June 2017

Dale McCall is a fourth-generation farmer with a sprawling field where he grows alfalfa, hay and sunflowers near Yuma, Colorado. Schools would be affected by the cuts. The US health care system is a dysfunctional nexus of arrangements imposed on the rest of us by ideologues and those who profit from our health care system's dysfunction. Its almost 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. Under Obamacare, contraceptives were fully covered by insurance plans. Thirteen Senators are now drafting a comparable bill in secret, and again, working to hurriedly pass the bill. Since then, Republican lawmakers have been debating over the degree to which it might change as it wends its way toward passage.

The bill in Nevada-semi-seriously referred to as "Sprinklecare" after chief sponsor, state Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle (D-Sparks)-would have allowed residents who were otherwise ineligible for Medicaid (the joint federal-state program is open only to low income residents and their dependents) to purchase "Medicaid-like" plans offered by the state.

Not much information has been made public about the Trump administration's replacement bill. With the Congressional Budget Office estimating that some 26 million Americans might lose their health insurance if the Republicans' healthcare bill becomes law, Sprinkle positioned his bill as a state-level alternative for those who could lose coverage, if and when Congress acts.

Medicare is the federal insurance program that provides health insurance for (mostly) senior citizens.

I have lived with a serious chronic illness for 17 years, and was keenly aware of unsafe trends in our health system and in insurance offerings that inspired the writing of the Affordable Care Act. About 4,600 people bought exchange coverage in those counties this year, with some 175,000 statewide.

Meanwhile, the House AHCA bill would roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Still, rate increases for 2018 were expected to be more moderate.

Fixes are needed, but they're also complicated, expensive and can have unintended consequences. They act as administrators, processing bills, making unconscionable profits off people's pain and paying enormous executive salaries. Ruby Denison, a small-scale farmer in Hamilton, Montana, worries about the fate of those people under reform. Let's establish fair prices for services and drugs. "We would be hugely impacted here if that disappeared".

There are a number of reasons why health care is so hard to change and manage. It was in part created to combat the mountains of misinformation put out by conservative groups that seek to destroy the labor movement and put the interests of the wealthy above those of the average American worker.

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So, once again, I am asking each of you to ensure you know the impact of what is before you, not only on yourself, but your loved ones, neighbors, and other Montanans. Farming is ranked among the most risky professions, and agricultural workers had an injury rate far higher than do mining or manufacturing workers.

Gianforte said repeatedly during the campaign that he would only vote for a bill that lowered premiums, increased access for Montanans and preserved coverage for those on Medicaid. Needless to say, the patient said yes and quickly paid that bill. "It's also rigorous work".

The US health care system's failures are felt especially acutely by people of color.

Health Savings Accounts are not only good for consumers, they can help companies and maybe the health care system itself. This assistance has given many people access to healthcare for the first time. "Of course a lot of farmers and ranchers, me included, fall well above that". For an elderly couple with the same income, the increase would average $14,582.

One of the most disingenuous claims by AHCA architects is that Americans with pre-existing medical conditions - now protected by the ACA - would keep that protection under AHCA.

Yet the AHCA is much, much more bad. They won't rein in personal health care costs.

What exactly is inside the AHCA, of course, remains nebulous. The Republicans' repeal and the ACA would make dramatically worse. "It's still a long ways from being passed".

I would hope that it would stay around for the future.