Any Healthcare Reform Needs to Cover More, Not Fewer People

Millennial co-founder Christopher Hale appeared on Fox News last week to talk about healthcare. His main point: any ethical reform of healthcare requires covering more, not fewer people.

On CNN, John Kasich said that he will not sit silent in the face of Republican attempts to roll back the Medicaid expansion he brought to his state.

But the GOP’s leadership looks like it will be taking a different approach. The NY Times explained the many problems with Ryancare, the approach put forward by Paul Ryan:

Paul Ryan, trotted out washed-up ideas for “improving” the country’s health care system that would do anything but. For example, the paper calls for reducing spending on Medicaid, which now provides insurance to more than 74 million poor, disabled and older people. Many millions of them would be cast out of the program. The Republican plan would also force most people who don’t get their health insurance through an employer to pay more by slashing subsidies that the A.C.A., or Obamacare, now provides. The proposal would allow families to sock away more money in health savings accounts, which may sound good at first but would primarily benefit affluent people who can afford to save more.

The paper is Mr. Ryan’s blueprint for effectively repealing and replacing Obamacare. Unsurprisingly, he and his colleagues offered no estimates of how many people would lose coverage or how much premiums and deductibles would rise for middle-class and poor families. Yet those missing details did not stop the Trump administration’s top health official from embracing the proposal. Tom Price, the secretary of health and human services and a former Ryan lieutenant in the House, said the president “is all in on this.”

Catherine Rampell explains why Trump’s proposal would likely create a race to the bottom:

During his recent address to Congress, President Trump earned a standing ovation for once again declaring that, in place of Obamacare, Americans should have “the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines.”

Here’s the dirty little secret: Obamacare already gives Americans this freedom.

Dirtier still: When Republicans propose “across state lines” legislation, they’re really talking about reducing states’ sovereignty to make their own regulatory decisions. So much for states’ rights….

When Republicans talk about allowing health insurance to be sold across state lines, this is shorthand for a bigger suite of deregulatory proposals. What they’re usually referring to is (A) lowering or eliminating the federal minimum standards for all states, and (B) allowing insurers from one state to sell a product that undermines another’s laws.

In other words, they want to allow a company in, say, lower-regulation Alabama to be able to sell insurance in higher-regulation Massachusetts, without having to follow Massachusetts’s laws about pricing or coverage.