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So, What’s the Big Deal with Healthcare in America?

written by Jane Edwards

The Freedom Caucus, led by our own Representative (R) Mark Meadows, is against the American Health Care Act (AHCA) because the bill does not deliver on the group’s promise of fully repealing “Obamacare” (ACA). Specifically, the Freedom Caucus wants to strip the ACA’s coverage for Essential Benefits, which are listed as (See Healthcare.gov):

  • Outpatient care without a hospital admission, known as ambulatory patient services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization
  • Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
  • Mental health and substance use disorder services, including counseling and psychotherapy
  • Prescription drugs
  • Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, which help people with injuries and  disabilities
  • Laboratory services
  • Preventive care, wellness services, and chronic disease management
  • Pediatric services, including oral and vision care for children

Sen. Meadows has said in various interviews that this is what his “constituents” are demanding. Well, not me. I wonder who, among us, would like these provisions eliminated from our health insurance? I’m guessing the very short-sighted – or the extremely wealthy who are not of child bearing age – and whose children have flown the nest – and who have no extended family they feel responsible for.  Surely, these are not the majority. Are they?  And, even if they are, doesn’t the US Constitution strive to protect the minority from the “tyranny of the majority” (another question for another day)?

I’ve been thinking about my health care, which is, of course, covered by the Veterans Administration (VA).  This is no different than “socialized medicine” (Aaahhhhg – COMMUNISM! SOCIALISM! And the problem is…?) I don’t get to “keep” my doctor, but, for me, one doctor is usually not much different that the next.  If I find myself under the care of an incompetent doctor (only happened once), I request to be assigned another.  I may have to wait a while for a specific treatment, but when one thinks of the cost of that treatment, it is certainly worth the wait. 

The VA (as does Medicaid) sets prices for pharmaceuticals using price controls and rebates so there is no real negotiation over prices.  If the drug company doesn’t meet the price the VA wants, it cannot sell the drug to the VA. So, the VA’s price-controlled drugs (and strict formulary) means there are fewer choices for veterans compared to Medicare Part D beneficiaries, so I supplement my VA benefits with Medicare Part D.

I guess my point is, there are countries all over the world that have “socialized” health care.  Everyone pays into it, and everyone benefits from it.  Why doesn’t our Congress just plagiarize one of those plans? Why all the drama?  Let me guess: Ummmmm…the AMA and the insurance lobbyists?

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Real Facts from the Urban Institute Today 

The AHCA’s tax changes and transfers would benefit the wealthy and hurt the lowest-income households

Those making less than $10,000 a year would lose, on average, nearly one-third of their income under the American Health Care Act (AHCA). But those making $200,000 or more would receive an average net increase of $5,640, or 1.1 percent of their income.


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