500,000 people to lose health insurance under Democrats’ bill
Dems try to undo Trump's reforms
A new bill proposed by Democrats in Congress would cause about 500,000 people to lose their health insurance, a study by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office revealed last week.
Under rules recently finalized by the Trump administration, consumers would be allowed to purchase short-term health plans for up to three years. These plans, which are cheaper, but not Obamacare-compliant, had previously been valid for only 90 days.
Short-term plans have attractive features as well as drawbacks. The primary perks are that the plans are far cheaper than Obamacare plans and don’t have the short enrollment window that Obamacare has. However, with lower prices come fewer benefits. These plans do not cover pre-existing conditions; far worse, the plans allow insurers to deny claims for previously-undiscovered pre-existing conditions.
However, Democrats did not offer alternative ways of holding down health care costs, other than finding someone else to pay the bills. This gets to the heart of the problem: Democrats, who receive large amounts of donations from healthcare workers (such as nurses), are incentivized not to cut medical expenses and especially not to reduce the number of healthcare administrators employed in the U.S. or their compensation.
Since it is politically difficult to reduce healthcare employee compensation, the only other way to lower healthcare premiums is to eliminate coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Neither Democrats (nor many Republicans) are willing to take this step, as the 2018 elections showed, so politicians must spread the cost of pre-existing conditions among as many consumers as possible.
In plain terms, this means convincing lots of young and healthy people to buy expensive Obamacare plans so that consumers in poor health can pay less than they otherwise would. Short-term insurance plans threaten politicians’ strategies.
There is no good solution to affordably cover those already affected by pre-existing health conditions. However, the way to protect Americans who are currently healthy, or who are young, is easy — sever the link between health insurance and employment, and offer high-deductible health plans. The only regulation necessary would be that insurance companies could not deny coverage so long as the consumer keeps paying his or her monthly premium.
Unfortunately, Democrats seem to want to do the opposite: decide that consumers should be limited to a choice between expensive health insurance or none at all.