Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Chaos Would Follow If the GOP Actually Repealed Obamacare

Today the GOP controlled House of Representatives will again vote to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, a/k/a Obamacare.  Of course, the Congressional Republicans have no proposed alternative to Obamacare and no plan how to deal with the millions of Americans who would lose healthcare coverage.  Of course, they seemingly don't care about these individuals and families since they most likely view them as part of the 47% who are "takers."  Added to this indifference is the fact that in the minds of many in the GOP, these Americans are minorities, so they truly do not matter.  So much for adherence to the message of Christ.  Mother Jones looks at the chaos that would ensue if the GOP did succeed in its repeal efforts.  Here are article highlights:

On Tuesday, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives plans to vote once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It will be the 55th time House GOPers have voted to eliminate or impede the health care reform law, but the very first opportunity for freshman Republicans to register their opposition to Obamacare in the congressional record.

But with each repeal vote, the politics of rolling back the Affordable Care Act become more fraught. After all, the law is now enmeshed with the US health care system. "Talk of repealing the Affordable Care Act is like talk of repealing the interstate highway system," says Timothy Jost, a health care law expert at the Washington and Lee University School of Law. "I mean in theory you could do it. Nobody would want to live with it."

Since President Barack Obama will never sign legislation repealing his signature accomplishment, a vote to strike down the law is largely symbolic. But what if, in some parallel universe perhaps, repeal passed?

"If you with a stroke of a pen took the Affordable Care Act away and there was no transition period, there would essentially be havoc in the markets," says Linda Blumburg, a health care policy analyst.

[H]ealth care experts have been crunching the numbers to figure out what would happen if the Supreme Court dismantles Obamacare in states that rely on the federal government to run their healthcare marketplaces. Though the Supreme Court scenario, which would halt the subsidies to people purchasing insurance in the federally-run marketplaces, is not the same as full repeal, it helps paint the picture of what would happen. And the picture is not pretty. If the Supreme Court stopped subsidies from flowing to the 34 states that did not establish their own exchanges, 8.2 million fewer people would have coverage by 2016. . . Next year, the number of people insured through purchasing private plans would drop by 69 percent.

Jost says. "Basically, you would have a lot of people die because they couldn't get health care."

This is just the tip of the iceberg. A roll back of the Medicaid expansion would cause millions more Americans to lose their coverage and create mayhem for state governments. Without the ACA to plug the so-called "donut-hole" for prescription drugs, seniors would see their drug bills go up.

A Supreme Court decision against Obamacare would cost millions of Americans their coverage, but full repeal by Congress would be even more devastating. Health care experts describe a state of complete chaos were the ACA to simply disappear from the books.

Repeal would be bad for insurers as well as customers by causing at least short-term turmoil for insurance companies. Without an individual mandate and without subsidies to make insurance affordable, younger, healthier people would likely drop their coverage, leaving insurers to cover older, sicker people with more health-care needs.

Republicans are starting to realize that—even for a symbolic vote of protest against Obamacare—the reality is that repeal alone is not an option.

And for the first time, the bill the House plans to vote on this week requires that the relevant House committees draft replacement legislation for the law. And, though not currently in the text of the bill, its sponsor, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), plans to introduce an amendment to the bill that would delay repeal for 180 days to give Republicans time to craft a replacement, according to a Byrne aide.

No comments: