Chances are good that your health insurance is bad — and getting worse.
If you have ObamaCare, the deductibles and co-pays keep going up, the networks keep getting narrower, and every year you have to go through an incredibly complicated and stressful enrollment process.
If you have employer-based insurance, likely the exact same things are happening, if at a somewhat slower pace.
And if you’re uninsured — well, you don’t need me to tell you about that.
Who’s fault is this sorry state of affairs? There’s plenty of blame to go around, but Republicans are right at the top of the list.
The Trump administration has been deliberately sabotaging the ObamaCare exchanges. Most recently, it announced that it would again slash funding to “navigators,” the nonprofits that help people navigate the complicated enrollment process. For 2017 the funding was $62.5 million; now it’s down to $10 million. Worse, the navigators will now be directed to recommend that people enroll in crummy, cheap plans — potentially causing an insurance death spiral as the healthy population is creamed off into garbage plans, leaving only sick people in the other insurance pools.
That comes on top of the GOP’s evisceration of ObamaCare advertising and outreach and the deletion of “cost-sharing reduction” payments. Ironically, this latter move may have accidentally helped people on the exchanges slightly (due to the policy’s janky design), but all these moves have been unquestionably aimed at worsening the quality of coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges.
Now, it is true that ObamaCare was a cramped vision of health policy that is way too complicated and has some rather staggering design errors. Nevertheless, its exchanges and Medicaid expansion have provided coverage to millions of people, and its regulatory structures have helped tens of millions more with employer-based coverage. At every point where Trump’s appointees could have chosen to operate the federal bureaucracy to make coverage cheaper and better, they have chosen the opposite.
More fundamentally, Republicans have had the run of all three branches of government for the last year and a half — a rare situation in our antiquated constitutional system. In a democracy, the government is supposed to address the needs of its citizens. There are lots of health-care models that might provide universal coverage — and in a dark sort of advantage, the American health-care system is so terrible that practically every other country that isn’t an outright failed state is doing …read more
Source:: Business – The Week