Boehnercare: No Soup For You


It looks like Republicans are getting ready to shift from having no plan for reforming health care to having a plan that won’t do anything:

Over the weekend, Boehner said the GOP bill’s aim was to lower healthcare costs, but not to provide healthcare to all.

On Monday, he promised the bill would not raise taxes and remain deficit neutral. He also said it would not cut benefits for seniors on Medicare.

Under the GOP plan, insurance companies will not be banned from denying individuals coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions however. Instead, those with preexisting conditions would become part of a “high-risk” pool of individuals to be insured, Boehner explained.

If you’re uninsured, this won’t help you.

If you’re insured, but you worry that circumstances beyond your control—a global financial meltdown leading to layoffs at your company, say—this won’t help you.

If you’re insured, but you worry that if you get sick your insurer will gin up some pretext to drop your coverage, this won’t help you.

If you’re insured but your premiums are escalating so fast you worry that you won’t be able to afford to keep paying them, this won’t help you.

Instead, Boehner is proposing the de facto total deregulation of the health insurance industry. Starting with the accurate observation that it’s odd to have insurance regulated fifty different ways in fifty states, the GOP decided not to do the sensible thing and create uniform federal regulation, but instead to let insurers sell plans across state lines. In other words, there’ll be a race to the bottom and all insurance will soon be offered under the rules of whichever state is laxest in its rules—goodbye consumer protections!

The result of all this will be a situation in which the health insurance systems works better for people who don’t need health care services, and much worse for people who actually are sick or who become sick in the future. It’s basically a health un-insurance policy.