Sens. Isakson and Perdue Cite Need for Obamacare Replacement

After an announcement last week that Blue Cross Blue Shield is seeking an average 40.6% increase in its exchange plan rates, U.S. Senators Johnny and David Perdue are calling for a replacement plan that will “give Americans affordable, accessible health care choices.”

According to a joint press release, the increases sought by Blue Cross and other carriers would be “on top of an average 106 percent premium increase for Georgia since 2013, the last year before Obamacare took effect, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

Sen. Iskason:

“Georgians are already hurting from the effects of Obamacare, and this news is further proof that this law is failing Georgians and all Americans who simply want an affordable health care system that meets their needs. I am eager to get to work on a system that would cover preexisting conditions, provide relief from costly mandates and regulations, and prioritize returning the oversight of individual markets to the states, which can then tailor insurance programs to best benefit their unique populations. It’s past time to bring back private competition, state regulation and authority and see to it that health care in America is accessible and affordable.”

Sen. Perdue:

“In Georgia, 96 out of 159 counties only have one insurance option in the Obamacare exchange and that’s Blue Cross. This rate hike means 60 percent of all Georgians who have Obamacare insurance are likely to see their health care costs increase dramatically next year. This is unmanageable. I have said it all along. Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight. This rate hike is further evidence that free-market solutions are needed now to increase competition, drive down costs, and increase choice in the individual market.”

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Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

“I am eager to get to work on a system that would cover preexisting conditions…” So Senator Isakson is acknowledging that the current Senate bill doesn’t cover preexisting conditions. ” It’s past time to bring back private competition…” There already is private competition. The areas Sen. Isakson is presumably referring to, counties with one insurance option, will in all likelihood, have zero insurance options under the Senate version because GOP’s subsidy structure doesn’t provide the necessary incentive for private insurers to enter into, or remain in, those markets. The insurers who do choose to remain will likely only do so… Read more »

blakeage80
blakeage80

Is it too much to point out that the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions is one of those “costly mandates and regulations”? No, I don’t want to throw grandma off a cliff.

bethebalance
bethebalance

State regulation to date= Rubber-stamping any rate hike requests. Which requests and hikes have been going on as long as …

The Eiger
The Eiger

Not only are rates increasing when we were told they would go down now people on the exchanges have fewer and fewer choices. 40% fewer plans on the exchanges than last year.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/almost-40-percent-fewer-obamacare-insurers-sign-up-for-next-year/article/2628177

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

…and yet in 2014, health care spending grew at the slowest rate on record (since 1960) and health care price inflation is at the lowest point in 50 years. The issue of “choice” is an interesting hill you’ve chosen to die on. As I mentioned earlier, O-care are tied to a percentage of an individual’s income and the cost of a silver plan in their area. If the cost of a plan goes up, the subsidy increases. This benefits insurers and insureds. For insureds, they don’t have to worry about health insurance costs exceeding a set percentage of their income,… Read more »

The Eiger
The Eiger

As I’ve said many times, I’m not happy with the status quo. You may be, but I am not.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I don’t like the status quo, either. But I also recognize the status quo is vastly preferable to kicking 23 million Americans off of insurance, bringing back annual and lifetime caps, and letting insurers discriminate against individuals with pre-existing conditions.

The Eiger
The Eiger

I guess we can just allow things to continue to become even more affordable. Force more people on to Medicaid and just have the taxpayers pay for it.

Benevolus
Benevolus

” just have the taxpayers pay for it.”

I think there’s only two choices- taxpayers pay for it or we don’t have it, and because of EMTALA we already “have” it. We just need to find a fair way to pay for it. Are you saying you have some Third Way? E, what do you think should happen when someone buys a crappy policy and then has a heart attack that isn’t covered?

The Eiger
The Eiger

“E, what do you think should happen when someone buys a crappy policy and then has a heart attack that isn’t covered?” What do you say to that 60 year old woman who gets pregnant and doesn’t have coverage. Oh wait. What do you say to that 42 year old woman that get prostate cancer. Oh wait. What do you say to that 45 year old man that gets breast cancer. Oh wait. What do you say to the unmarried 30 year old man that doesn’t want to get married or have a child. Oh wait. We should stop treating… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

So you know what you are going to need? I mean, do you think there should be any minimum coverages? If so, who decides and what are they? I think the theory is that if everybody pays for pregnancy coverage it would be really cheap. And why should only women pay for it anyway?

The Eiger
The Eiger

“I think the theory is that if everybody pays for pregnancy coverage it would be really cheap.” But that isn’t the case. Forcing people to buy coverage that covers everything has not driven down the costs of providing care. If it had insurance rates should drop along with the cost of care going down. Not increase by over 100% since 2013. And no, not only women should pay for pregnancy coverage. My health insurance covered my wife’s pregnancy. But that is what we wanted. Why should a man who doesn’t want to have children or a 60 year old woman… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

“What do you say to that 45 year old man that gets breast cancer.” You do know that men can have breast cancer, right? I mean, if you’re going to throw hypotheticals out there, at least know what you’re talking about. Here’s a helpful article to get you started: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/types/male_bc Speaking of your hypotheticals, you also know that the fact a 30 year old man doesn’t want to get married or have kids won’t necessarily prevent him from having kids. While rare, it is physically possible for a 60-year old to get pregnant. Make sure you’re using protection, buddy. On… Read more »

Benevolus
Benevolus

I suppose there’s lots of people who would just die because they didn’t have the right coverage, which saves us all some money……… But there are also a lot of people who would end up in the emergency room to get treatment, which we all pay for anyway.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

I must say, there’s a certain irony to Eiger using the occurrence rare medical conditions (i.e., male breast cancer, skene’s gland cancer in women) in an argument against health insurance.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“Speaking of your hypotheticals, you also know that the fact a 30 year old man doesn’t want to get married or have kids won’t necessarily prevent him from having kids.”

Wish I had read this last night before I was outside talking with my two gay neighbors. I’d explain to them that you think they are going to impregnate each other and should make sure they have health coverage for that. You know. Just in case.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“I don’t know how to explain to you the concept of caring about other people.”

Is this what caring for other people looks like? This is the road you want us all to go down.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/07/10/charlie-gard-terminally-ill-british-baby/464269001/

Benevolus
Benevolus

“Is this what caring for other people looks like?”
As far as I can tell that story has nothing to do with insurance.

The Eiger
The Eiger

“As far as I can tell that story has nothing to do with insurance.”

If we continue down the road we are heading to single payer then this is what you get. The government deciding what lives are worth saving. You may be okay with that. I am not.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

Wish I had read this last night before I was outside talking with my two gay neighbors. I’d explain to them that you think they are going to impregnate each other and should make sure they have health coverage for that. Don’t be intentionally dense, Eiger. It doesn’t suit you. The point remains the same, our healthcare needs are usually unexpected and unplanned for. That’s why insurance exists. Men don’t think they’ll get breast cancer. It happens. Women don’t think they’ll get Skene’s gland (i.e., prostate) cancer. It happens. When it happens, what do you want? The ability to pay… Read more »

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

If we continue down the road we are heading to single payer then this is what you get. The government deciding what lives are worth saving. You may be okay with that. I am not.

The slippery slope fallacy? Come on, Eiger, you’re better than this. You’re also (presumably) smart enough to know that the Charlie Gard case isn’t about health insurance or the NHS. It’s a question of medical ethics that would exist regardless of what healthcare system the kid was in.

Andrew C. Pope
Andrew C. Pope

One last thing, since Eiger is now in the habit of unintentionally proving the opposite of his point. Thanks to the NHS, Charlie Gard has received treatment from one of the preeminent pediatric hospitals in the world, including months and months of intensive inpatient care. He has been seen by some of the world’s best doctors and been given access to the best available treatments. His parents didn’t have to bankrupt themselves to afford it. No private insurer came in and said “he’s reached his limit, we won’t be paying for any further treatment.” You complain (wrongly and using an… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

One case about a child in Britain doesn’t mean that we can’t make it work differently here. Similarly, it’s ineffiicient to say we want to avoid this exceptional case, so let’s scrap the whole idea of community rating, or some similar extrapolation. No matter the system set up, there will be some person or ppl making decisions abt who gets what kind of treatment paid for, just as Benev mentioned. With plans that give you the option to be under-insured, the under-insured would go to ERs for treatment along with the uninsured. So, the default as we know it is… Read more »

bethebalance
bethebalance

There is definitely need for improvement one way or another. I struggle with having the option of those bare-bones plans, because when the unexpected occurs- and life offers up the unexpected every day- the folks with those plans will be uninsured, and uninsurable (especially if that 6-month waiting period for lack of continuous creditable coverage applies). The EHB requirement, while it raises premiums and redistributes that revenue to cover costs, at least addressed that issue. The argument for that kind of choice just reminds me of the argument that a resident shouldn’t have to pay property taxes for schools if… Read more »

Ellynn
Ellynn

If the rates and cost of 7% of people on the exchanges is the issues, why are we cutting the supplements to help, why does the bill cut the Medicaid spending, which has nothing to do with the exchange market if the exchange is the issue? Why are we cutting taxes for the top level taxpayers on this, but not the middle class taxpayers – who pay a larger amount of their income on health care then the people getting the tax cut? Why is BCBS of Georgia raising rices based on exected use, while BCBS of North Carolina is… Read more »

Dave Bearse
Dave Bearse

Don’t forget about selling insurance across state lines, amusing since there is no experience it works in any significant way, though it’s something else illustrating the Senators are all for states rights except when they’re not.

Benevolus
Benevolus

I’ll take the opportunity to say that many states already allow policies from others states, but the insurance companies don’t take them up on it. They design a policy with risk factors based on one region, and it wouldn’t be prudent to sell that policy to another region with different risk factors. Plenty of results on the google for this info.

ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta

The free market for medical care is a failure. It doesnt work. Thats why no other industrialized country in the world does it that way. The free market only has one goal
Profit…not outcomes…not to save lives…just to make money. So there is no incentive to provide good healthcare because it doesnt generate sufficient profit. The government (like in every other country) isnt motivated by the profit problem. They are more accountable to outcomes
They call that a market failure, btw