The Republican Healthcare Bill
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« on: July 13, 2017, 07:19:41 am »

With all the attention focused on Don Jr, it is unclear whether the Senate is any closer to passing a healthcare bill.  Mcconnell has threatened to keep Senators in hot and humid Washington until they pass something.
Flozen asked Frederick in another thread to comment on it.  Here's your chance...
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« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 07:33:01 am »

In support of this new thread, I'm moving over the questions I have for Frederick, who had expressed interest in the Republicans getting busy with health care.

My questions for him follow.  While I am hoping to benefit from Frederick's response, these are questions that anyone can feel free to "borrow" to express their own views.

"Frederick, just curious:

"Do you support the current Republican health care plan being promoted by McConnell in the Senate?  If so, what changes from the Affordable Care Act are you the most excited about?  If you support the Senate bill with some reservations, what would you change to improve it?

"To what degree do you believe or disbelieve the Congressional Budget Office projections that under the Senate health care bill, 22 million Americans would lose their coverage over the next decade?

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/cbo-senate-republican-bill-22-million/531663/

"For the sake of discussion, if the CBO projections did hold true, how would you feel about that effect on Americans and their access to health care?"
 
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« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 10:54:35 am »

I'll get things started.  The cuts to Medicaid expansion are about equal to the tax breaks given to people earning more than $250,000 a year. So it is a clever way to transfer money that would have gone to the poor and elderly and put it back in the pockets of the wealthy, all disguised as a healthcare plan--very devious.
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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 11:15:36 am »

In support of this new thread, I'm moving over the questions I have for Frederick, who had expressed interest in the Republicans getting busy with health care.

My questions for him follow.  While I am hoping to benefit from Frederick's response, these are questions that anyone can feel free to "borrow" to express their own views.

"Frederick, just curious:

"Do you support the current Republican health care plan being promoted by McConnell in the Senate?  If so, what changes from the Affordable Care Act are you the most excited about?  If you support the Senate bill with some reservations, what would you change to improve it?

"To what degree do you believe or disbelieve the Congressional Budget Office projections that under the Senate health care bill, 22 million Americans would lose their coverage over the next decade?

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/cbo-senate-republican-bill-22-million/531663/

"For the sake of discussion, if the CBO projections did hold true, how would you feel about that effect on Americans and their access to health care?"
 

They need to focus on reducing health care costs instead of providing insurance for everyone.  Whenever you insure something, they raise the costs to take advantage of that insurance. 
They also need to repeal Obamacare, because until that is done, a large segment of people will fight any improvements to the system even if it benefits them.  They don't want change. 
Healthcare costs are obscene.  I would say that healthcare costs are often 10 times what they should be. 
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 01:19:28 am »

The problem isn't so much that the cost is too high.  It's really that all of the prices are just made up.  If you go to the ER right now with no insurance you will be getting multiples bills in the mail for months to come with just totally make up prices.  Nobody pays those prices.  Insurers don't pay those prices.  Medicare and Medicaid don't pay those prices.  Even the uninsured don't pay those prices.  It's a crazy system where nobody knows what anything costs.  I work in healthcare finance and have for most of my career.  I have no idea what anything truly costs.
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 02:50:23 am »

The problem isn't so much that the cost is too high.  It's really that all of the prices are just made up.  If you go to the ER right now with no insurance you will be getting multiples bills in the mail for months to come with just totally make up prices.  Nobody pays those prices.  Insurers don't pay those prices.  Medicare and Medicaid don't pay those prices.  Even the uninsured don't pay those prices.  It's a crazy system where nobody knows what anything costs.  I work in healthcare finance and have for most of my career.  I have no idea what anything truly costs.
Healthcare providers know very well what healthcare costs.  They enter into contracts with and negotiate fees with insurance providers all the time based on those costs.
But what you say is very true.  The inflated fees that people without insurance are charged dates back to a time, now over 25 years ago, when some insurance companies paid bills without question, except with some very high limits.  Providers set their fees so that they were never lower than what the most generous insurance provider was willing to pay.  Now things are very different.  Insurers, especially Medicare, which sets the standard, determine fees.  Most private insurance companies ay about 85% of Medicare, some less.  Medicaid pays bout 30% of Medicare.
This part of healthcare costs has essentially been controlled.  Any further savings will need to affect utilization, especially of high-priced technology and new drugs.  The anticancer drug Keytruda (which you may have seen advertised on TV) costs each patient $200,000 a year. As long asa drug has a patent, they can charge whatever they like with no competition. Any talk of rationing care is met with great resistance from across the political spectrum. Yes, heakthcare is cimplicated.
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