What just changed with the Senate Healthcare plan (now 60% less awful than

What just changed with the Senate Healthcare plan (now 60% less awful than Obamacare!)?:

Bottom Line: There were minor changes made to the Senate healthcare plan on Monday that culminated into a bill that is actually a bit less bad than the House version which was much less awful than the failure/lie of Obamacare. If that sounds pessimistic - it's actually not meant to be. I'm actually the most optimistic on healthcare I've been since the SCOTUS ruling on the Affordable Care Act about five years ago. There are two main reasons:

The end of the mandates (which gives us a chance to at least spit ourselves out of the bat crap crazy health insurance system legally without additional taxation) and less of our money is wasted in Washington on the bat crap crazy health insurance system according to the CBO. The CBO found we'd waste $321 billion fewer tax dollars over the next decade compared to $119 billion in savings in the House bill. The CBO also estimated that 22 million fewer people would likely be insured over the next decade with the Senate plan. Side-stepping the fact that the CBO was wrong by more than double on Obamacare (in a bad way), media leftists blissfully floated the 22 million figure in a way that would suggest that it's a negative. Here's what's really messed up... Last year (2015 in terms of available records) 42 million Americans had health insurance at an average cost of $6,500 but couldn't afford to obtain any healthcare! What's more compassionate...to have have 22 million people without health insurance but no expense either or 42 million Americans having to pay insurance companies $6,500 for nothing! Make no mistake, this is all about messaging, media bias and not enough prominent Republicans with enough financial command of this argument to successfully advance it. The least compassionate thing to do is to for the average person to be forced to buy insurance they can't afford to use. The answer, and the only real solution to this madness is an end to the insurance first healthcare model. In the absence of that being offered up this at least gives us a chance to seek our own path and save money along the way.

As for the meaningful change announced Monday:

  • Six month waiting period to re-enroll in an insurance plan that lapses for 63 or more days starting in 2019

Yippee right (that change is aimed at stability in the insurance market)? Here were the notable changes over the ACA I ID'd last week with the original Senate plan:

  • End of employer mandate - effective for 2016 (no that's not typo)
  • End of individual mandate - effective for 2016 (ditto)
  • End of federal Obamacare subsidies in 2020 (phased out between 2018-2020)
  • Phases out federal expansion of Medicaid through 2021
  • Reduces the eligibility for subsidies to 350% of federal poverty level vs. 400% under the ACA 
  • Abortion coverage would not be eligible for federal subsidies 
  • Age based refundable tax credits (younger credits would be lower with older being higher) in 2020
  • States would have control over policy options pertaining to the handling of insurance pools for those with pre-existing conditions
  • States would also retain control over coverage mandates under insurance offered in their states
  • End of the "Cadillac tax" on higher-end employer plans
  • Redirects Medicaid funding mandates to the states (over the course of seven years)
  • Significantly enhanced HSA limits starting in 2018
  • Ends the 3.8% Obamacare tax on investment income and increased tax on upper income earners through the Medicare payroll tax
  • Repeals all ACA taxes on medical devices, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies
  • Creates a $62 billion "State stability fund" that would be used if imbalances occurred in a given state that would spike premiums due to temporary factors 

As I mentioned last Friday. It's possible, perhaps likely I've missed a detail or a few but these are most of the high points that are most relevant to most of us.

Updated bill:

https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

 
Brian Mudd

Brian Mudd

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