January 20, 2017…a new sheriff in town…what to expect? Well, what not to expect will be immediate rescission of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Acts of 2010. Doing so would create an earthquake of uncertainty and disruption in the country. Look for congress and the president to take a more measured approach to dismantling Obamacare and its encumbering regulations…something like untangling last year’s string of Christmas tree lights. Oh, and do not believe anything you read in your news paper, see on television, or read on-line, because most of it will be a load of alarmist BS and speculation.
If you have health issues and fear being dumped by your health insurance company, not to worry. The new administration does not intend to throw you under the bus. Instead, expect a safety-net program involving Washington, your home state, and the health insurance industry to assist you.
Common sense would dictate returning the element of risk back to health insurance a’la pre-Obamacare days. Insurance companies’ engineers are their math-major Actuaries who assign dollar cost values to the probability of illness/accidental injury based on sound statistical data. Such data helps set premium requirements to ensure claims can be covered and the insurance company can pay for its overhead costs and return a reasonable profit to its stockholders. Obamacare rules require health insurers to pay out in claims between 80% to 85% of their gross premium income every year, or return to difference to its insureds. In the real world, no company, insurance or otherwise, can survive on 20% to 25% of its gross income. Could you survive on 20% to 25% , of your gross pay check?
Reverting to pre-Obamacare health insurance product pricing would result in more rational premium costs to Joe and Jill six-pack. Average health history would result in average premium costs, better than average health history would result in discounted premium costs, not-so-good health history would mean higher premiums to recognize increased risk. Very significant negative health history could result in a person’s not being able to qualify for health insurance, or being forced to pay much more than the average person for their health insurance…and those are the people Washington and the states intend to offer assistance to in the form of help with paying premiums or admission the a state’s Medicaid program.
Believe it or not, owning Health Insurance is not a right. It is not a right mentioned in the Constitution because the Constitution does not bestow rights. Instead it protects the rights one is born with. One may do without owning health insurance, but doing so does not mean doing without healthcare. If you show up on any hospital’s door step in America, they must treat your condition. That is a federal law.
So, look for Obamacare to go away, but not in a flash. Instead look for a two level approach, with our “uninsurables” being assisted by a combination of federal, state and private sector safety net, with a return of the more traditional health insurance of the pre-Obamacare days.
What is to stop the evil health insurance companies from over-charging Joe and Jane six-pack when they seek health insurance coverage after the demise of Obamacare? Competition and your state insurance regulators, just as it was pre-2010. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Acts did not protect anybody and it sure as hell did not make health insurance more affordable…just the opposite for several reasons which would require much more space to discuss.
For now stay on top of your members of the House and Senate. There may be a new sheriff in town, but a whole lot of those in the House and Senate who brought you Obamacare are still there and intend to continue pushing our Republic toward socialism….Socialism? Think Germany, France, Venezuela, Greece and other near politically bankrupt countries.