Congressman Scalise promotes garbage GOP healthcare bill

Back during the healthcare debates of 2009 the GOP promoted a healthcare bill that was their “compromise bill” to the Affordable Care Act. (And when I say compromise I mean the bill that they wanted the Democrats to pass as a compromise to the ACA, some compromise). That bill was garbage. It seems that this bill resurrects all the bad from that bill while throwing out all the good that the ACA has to offer.

So, you ask, where can you read this horrible bill? Well right here.

So, what makes it so bad? Well, first of all it starts by repealing every single provision of the ACA as well as the “fixer” law that amended the ACA after its passage. What does this mean to you? Well, even Fox News lays out some reasons why Americans will love “Obamacare”. So you lose all that.

I have searched the bill that Scalise and other GOP members are supporting for the term “rescission”. It does not exist. So this means that insurers, under the GOP bill, would be allowed to cancel your policy if you are sick. Insurers should be required to insure you through your sickness. If they can just drop your policy if you are sick, it stops being insurance.

I searched the bill for the word “maximum”. See, the ACA prohibits annual and lifetime maximums. With this bill, that ban goes away. So an insurer can decide “hey, you have cost us too much money, go pay for the rest of your treatment by yourself”.

I searched for “existing” to see how the law deals with preexisting conditions. This bill would push individuals with preexisting conditions into high risk pools. This forces high risk insureds on the state without allowing the state to benefit from the pooling effect that comes with the inclusion of lower risk individuals. This plan would bankrupt the states. Anybody living in Louisiana should know how horrible high risk pools are. Congressman Scalise should be familiar with Citizens insurance. This was the property insurance of last resort for homeowners in Louisiana. It would be made available to those businesses that didn’t want to write business in certain areas of Louisiana. It was expensive and it was broken. Citizens did not get to offset its high risk policies with lower risk ones. It was automatically doomed to fail. Yet he wants to do the same thing with health insurance? That is not how insurance is supposed to work. In insurance you create large pools so that the losses from certain people are offset by the lack of losses from other people.

The previous bill allowed insurers to select a home, or primary, state where the insurer will be based. By selecting this home state the GOP sponsored bill would allow a company operating in state A to circumvent the laws of state B if it sells policies in state B. This is a violation of the 10th amendment. A state should absolutely be able to dictate regulations on the insurance products sold within its borders. This idea stems from the lie that Conservatives often repeat that a company should be able to “sell insurance across state lines”. I work for an insurer. I have written code specifically to handle insurance that the company sold in a state other than the state we are based. The only requirement is that the policies sold in other states needed to follow the laws of that other state. This is reasonable. The GOP suggestion is not.

The bill contains the following language:

CLARIFY USE OF DRUGS IN PREVENTIVE CARE.—Subparagraph (C) of section 223(c)(2) is amended by adding at the end the following: ‘‘Preventive care shall include prescription and over-the-counter drugs and medicines which have the primary purpose of preventing the onset of, further deterioration from, or complications associated with chronic conditions, illnesses, or diseases

This is clearly written to eliminate the idea that oral contraceptives should be considered to be preventive care. It is considered preventive care under the ACA. The GOP hates oral contraception (even though it prevents abortion). Go figure. This is just stupidity.

The bill imposes medical malpractice limits. For some reason the GOP thinks that reducing the possible money that one can get from a medical malpractice case will some how help insurance rates. It doesn’t and it also winds up hurting patients harmed by malpractice. Watch one example of how medical malpractice caps hurt people.

And of course, to make sure the bill doesn’t pass, the GOP included abortion language. Because nobody knows the body of a woman and its needs better than Congressman Steve Scalise.

This bill could very well pass the House. There is no way it passes the Senate. So why propose this garbage? Well, just to waste time I guess because the GOP in the House of Representatives are not doing anything else meaningful at the moment. So why not introduce a terrible bill to boot.

8 thoughts on “Congressman Scalise promotes garbage GOP healthcare bill

  1. Pregnancy is not a “disease” as you state above regarding coverage. Birth control is not expensive, why is this such a big deal? Why is taking the financial responsibility of $20 to $30 a month so hard? If it is a burden, there are already organizations such as Planned Parenthood who provide this. Why make this the insurance companies responsibility? I want them to provide what I need when I am ill or what I need to prevent illness.

    • Pregnancy is not a “disease” but it is a preventable medical condition. And birth control can very well be expensive. Some people cannot take the generic variety. They need the pills that are more expensive.

      And since taking oral contraceptives is preventive medicine, it should be covered at 100% first dollar just like all other preventive care under the Affordable Care Act.

      Insurance companies would likely prefer to pay out the costs of oral contraception than the costs to cover a pregnancy.


  2. So toothpaste prevents cavities. Sometimes people need name brand toothpaste .
    Should the insurance company pay for that? Toilet paper? Where does it end with you? The only thing this does is make premiums go up. So then you resort to the government “keeping” you.

    • Toothpaste is available over the counter and as such would never be covered under insurance. Even if my doctor prescribes me an OTC medication, I cannot have it paid for by insurance. (Of course if my doctor prescribes me 800MG ibuprofen it counts as prescription even though I could take 4 200 MG of ibuprofen OTC. That is silly.)

      Let’s keep the discussion about things insurance companies do cover, shall we?

  3. Why should it matter if it is prescription or not if it prevents “a medical condition”. That is apparently your only criteria.

    • It is part of the list of prescriptions or procedures that are used in a preventive way. That should be the only criteria used to determine if it falls under the provisions of things that are covered at 100% first dollar according to the ACA.

      I have no problem with the only barrier to getting preventive medicine or treatment being the premium paid.

      And for a vast majority of Americans that premium is paid with the hard work done to earn it as part of their employment.

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