Sunday, August 14, 2011

Here's a summary of the Affordable Care Act -- what do the conservatives have to offer? Nothing!

Here is Slate on the health care initiatives in both Massachusetts and the recently passed federal plan.
...both proposals stand on a "three-legged stool": preventing insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, requiring universal coverage to eliminate "free riding," and subsidizing insurance plans to make them affordable to all. This "incremental universalism," fixing the existing system instead of starting from scratch, appeals to Republicans for its private-sector involvement and to Democrats for its universal coverage. That's what made both "Romneycare" and "Obamacare" possible.
Both plans were first modeled in
...Gruber['s] Micro-Simulation Model, which—well, let's use Gruber's words: It "takes two sets of inputs, fixed information on individuals and varying information on policy parameters, to predict the effect of health market interventions on the movement of people and dollars within the U.S. healthcare system." For the first time, policy makers were able to see whether they could actually afford their health-reform bills and what impact they would have on the behavior of both employers and individuals.
Then more from the architect of the plan, Jonathon Gruber:
Gruber emphasizes, the federal reform is more ambitious and less affordable than the state law was. We've successfully addressed the coverage side of health care, he says. Now, it's time to take a look at the price tag: Do people choose the most cost-effective health care plan? What factors drive their choices? How can we help them choose the best plan? What's the best way to compensate medical providers: paying them for each service or paying them a fixed amount? And what will happen to our health if we pay them less? Ultimately, we need to find a way to slow down the exponential growth of health care costs.
So the federal plan is one that (1) builds on the existing health insurance industry, (2) establishes universal healthcare (which will reduce the massive costs involved in unplanned for provision of health services for large groups of people for whom the actual costs are clearly predictable using insurance principles and the Law of Large Numbers) and (3) sets the stage for a system that will slow down the current runaway health costs.

The Republicans want to abandon the ACA but offer absolutely nothing to replace it. Which means that if the Republicans have their way, the average family will be priced out of health care within a very few years. The Republicans are not problem solvers. They are power mad power mongers.

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