Today’s column by David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times reminds us what the Affordable Care Act has done to date:
• Created a system to extend coverage to about 30 million of the roughly 50 million people in this country now without insurance.
• Provided coverage to about 2.5 million young people who are able to remain on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26.
• Laid the groundwork for preventing insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions or from canceling people’s policies after they get sick.
• Set in motion an overhaul of insurance reimbursements to reward doctors for keeping people healthy rather than profiting only when people require costly tests or hospitalization.
Wow, that sucks, doesn’t it? And by sucks, I mean improves our health care access and coverage. Of course, single payer would be way more preferable, but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen any time soon. But we should keep pushing for it, hard.
Of course, Paul Ryan’s Kill Medicare Plan calls for vouchers, which “would create an incentive for private insurers to cherry pick healthier people by offering them cheaper insurance.”
Then government-run plans would see costs drastically increase because of the “greater risk posed by remaining beneficiaries.” Vouchers wouldn’t cover rising premium costs, and the sick and elderly wouldn’t be able to afford proper care.
Those compassionate Republicans and their fresh, new, innovative ways, always looking out for the little guy.
Not only would the Republican budget plan take away all these advances, but it would also drastically cut spending for Medicaid, the insurance program for low-income people. The Urban Institute estimated last year that the GOP‘s approach could reduce Medicaid enrollment by half. [...]
Republican lawmakers should think about expanding the Medicare system, not shrinking it. Or do they think it’s just a quirk of being French or British or Swedish that allows these people to spend less on healthcare but to enjoy longer life spans than average Americans?