Friday, May 5, 2017

Pre-existing Political Conditions

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, healthcare, bill, GOP, obamacare, repeal, insurance

stilton’s place, stilton, political, humor, conservative, cartoons, jokes, hope n’ change, healthcare, bill, GOP, obamacare, repeal, insurance

So, why are there two cartoons today instead of just one? Because we're sick (not in the demented sense, which is sort of our day-to-day normal, but in the coughing, hacking, and spraying phlegm sense) and we honestly don't know if either cartoon will connect, so we thought we'd throw them both out there and hope for the best.

Personally, we have a fondness for the ducks (who haven't appeared here since 2013) and the solidly constructed comedic phrase "Aunt Edna's schnozz." But then again, we've coughed ourselves into a concussion and may be judgement impaired.

We don't have a lot to say about the passage of the GOP Health Insurance bill just yet, although we think that the DrudgeReport got waaaaaaaaaay ahead of themselves by declaring that this means Obamacare has been repealed. Not hardly, folks.

Moreover, we don't really have a firm grasp of what's contained in the House bill, and how much it might change in the Senate. We do know that the bill throws roughly $138 billion into helping make sure that people with pre-existing conditions can get insurance as the market "stabilizes."

Although to our ears, that simply sounds like propping up the system with taxpayer cash (unavoidable after Obamacare) until a future date - at which point people who have deliberately not insured themselves will finally and inevitably suffer the dire consequences of their poor decision making skills. Only we all know that will never happen.

In the classic sense, real "insurance" can't co-exist with a mandate to accept people with pre-existing conditions without charging them higher least, not in the long run. The GOP bill attempts to remedy this by re-establishing high risk pools which taxpayers will help fund - but in the end, the health insurance system will have to be either market driven or government driven, not both. We're hoping that yesterday's vote will be a step in the right direction.

And we'd say more, only now we're coughing flecks of lung tissue on our computer screen and having no real success wiping them off with the tiny (but numerous) wax paper wrappers from our extra-menthol cough drops.

Cough drops we damn well paid for ourselves.

No, the irony isn't lost on us.


Hilariously, the Left is going insane on social media claiming that the new healthcare bill strikes down coverage of any pre-existing conditions (which it doesn't) and also defines "pre-existing conditions" to include things like rape, domestic violence, c-sections and more. Cher is even bitching that she won't be able to get her asthma medication anymore.

It's all lies, of course, and easy enough to check - although that's not as much fun as spewing outrage and virtue signaling on Twitter and Facebook. A friend who is an actual, certified expert in health insurance matters (you've likely seen him on TV) lays out these simple truths about the new plan:

Those who keep consistent coverage in place without any lapse in coverage will be able to move freely from one policy to the next and cannot be charged anymore for a preexisting condition. Those who REFUSE to keep consistent coverage in place and who as such attempt to 'game the system' by WAITING until they are SICK to buy health insurance (which drives up the costs for everyone else) will be penalized up to 30% more for health insurance. Those who are so sick that they are uninsurable (which is about 5% of the 23 million who buy individual health insurance) will be able to buy affordable health insurance coverage through state high risk health insurance pools. $128 billion was allocated to ensure that those people have affordable coverage when they buy health insurance in the state run high risk health insurance pools. This is the way it was done for 20 years before Obamacare as dictated in 1996 HIPAA law. The problem was there were about 5 states that did not follow that federal HIPPA law and did not have a functional high risk pool in their state. This law mandates that they not only have one but that it is well funded.


Jim Irre said...

"In the classic sense, real "insurance" can't co-exist with a mandate to accept people with pre-existing conditions without charging them higher rates."

Don't tell that to the Daffy (see what I did there?) politicians, because it doesn't matter to them anyway.

Bobo the Hobo said...

$138 billion? As my late father would say, that's more than I make in a week!

Fred Ciampi said...

A screaming liberal who I know quite well was all for o'bonercare in the earlier days. She was screaming the other day about how it's all Trump's fault that the ACA isn't working. I didn't have the heart to tell her the truth.......

Emmentaler Limburger said...

They should leave pre-existing condition issues to the states. Then the states can create a risk fund like the MCCA in Michigan. You know: the fund everyone pays into for their car or motorcycle insurance to cover what the "no fault" insurance companies have to pay out for injuries in a catastrophic collision? (Hint: Ă˜bamacare isn't the only insurance subsidy scheme in existence, and insurance companies aren't all about risk...)

Frankly, though, they should leave the WHOLE thing to the states. As with just about every law and regulation the yutzes come out with these days...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Jim Irre- It's a very twisted knot to untie when the government needs to take action to undo other government action.

@Bobo the Hobo- As we've seen over the past week or so, there still doesn't seem to be any desire in Washington to spend less. It's all Monopoly money to those folks.

@Fred Ciampi- There are plenty of liberal screams at the moment (I can't tell you the number of dimwits I've seen posting that the new healthcare act labels "rape" a pre-existing condition which won't be covered), but they're deliberately ignoring a huge truth: Obamacare is rapidly failing as it was meant to do. Insurance rates have climbed too high, traditional doctor-patient relationships have been severed, and both physicians and insurers are fleeing the system. If the GOP didn't try to replace Obamacare, the system would fail entirely in the near future.

@Emmentaler Limburger- I agree that the whole thing should be left to the states. Under the federal jurisdiction, there's no place to run in an attempt to find sanity.

Geoff King said...

Until that fictional day that government is forced to abide by the same laws that we must, no healthcare system will be fair and just.

chef621 said...

Loved the ducks Stilt! Funny!

I am afraid that until we can get rid of the big banks, the CoC and the unions etc. using K Street to write the bills for Congress to consider, and then bribing them with money, alcohol and trips to pass their special interests, we will never have a fair system. That is the swamp that Trump wants to drain. That is a uuuge task. I only pray that he can do it. Congress needs to write their own bills. That was the intention of the founding fathers. We have gotten so far away from that, that the founding fathers wouldn't recognize our government. Sad.

Get lots of rest, plenty of liquids (chuckle) and know that "this too will pass" (see what I did there?)

bill wald said...

Americans have not been able to buy health INSURANCE since 1964 e.g. may not use actuarial data to set rates. I was a licensed life/health agent back then.

Some very small towns have volunteer fire departments that require a subscription from property owners before they will respond to that property. Should property owners be permitted to buy fire protection and fire insurance after the fire starts?

james daily said...

I guess I would not feel good if our government did not create a catastrophe every day or so. Then, without one, those nitwits that scream and holler about everything would still not be silent so I would probably regain my sanity. I think those democrats, especially that jerkwater Pilosi, created this so we could never get rid of it. If you want to live forever, be a government program.

AmyH said...

I am so thankful that this bill was passed after Tuesday. My town had a Special Election for the schools.. It was just 1 Clerk, 1 Judge (me) and the Inspector. 3 Precincts in the building we were at. 'My' Inspector was a loud, arrogant, condeceding, misogynist, Millennial (24yo Wabash U. Political Science major grad) Bernie Sanders supporter. He was driving 5 of us crazy. I sent a 3 page complaint letter to the Head Republican in town/County. It then went to the Election Board. I really dont think he could have kept his mouth shut if this passed on Monday. I probably would have had to call the Election Board and said "get another Inspector. He wont stop his vitriol."

Alfonso Bedoya said...

@ Amy: Why is is that only liberals seem to whine, scream, burn businesses and cause violent protests at universities when their candidates don't get elected? Conservatives don't act that way...or at least none I know do. Maybe that's their (our) problem; perhaps we should begin to act like children whose mommies don't buy them lollipops every time they go to the grocery store.

I'm almost 80 and don't remember citizens acting that way in the "old days"---or at least the responsible ones. Do any of you feel this way, or is it just me? BTW, I'm a Kalifornian (born, raised and current resident), but a Texan at heart (Austin not included).

John the Econ said...

Quite frankly, I don't understand what the GOP thinks it's doing. What I think they've done is give Democrats perhaps the biggest gift in US political history by relieving them of their total ownership of ObamaCare, which is currently entering its final terminal death spiral. Now, the GOP gets to own it. I know the party has been fueled by "Repeal!" for the last 7 years, but as I've said here so many times before, it's way too late. 2010 is now a fuzzy memory, and the insurance and doctor I liked back then no longer exist, and they will not be coming back. @Stilton brilliantly encapsulates the gist of the problem in 3 panels above why there can be no "free market" solution to this; Nobody wants to pay for their own "insurance" if they know they can wait until they actually need it.

This hopelessness of this situation became glaringly clear to me as a young economics student in the '80s; I can't remember how many fellow students I knew who complained that health insurance was just too expensive. (back when a comprehensive, a low deductible private policy could be had for about $100/mo) But then they didn't think twice about having a $200/mo car payment, or dropping similar amounts on various forms of recreation. Why pay for something when you can sucker someone else into doing it for you? At that point, I new that "single payer" was inevitable.

And I still do. I'm standing behind my prediction that before the 2020 elections, Donald Trump will have signed some form of "single payer" into law. The bill will be pushed through congress by a coalition of Democrats and GOP squishies as a historic display of bi-partisanship. Trump will win 2020 by a landslide as whatever votes he loses from the right are more than made up by Democratic moderates.

Think that's nuts? The idea of a "President Trump" was considered nuts only 24 months ago. If that actually happened, then who's to say that something even nuttier isn't possible in 36?

Igor said...

Ah, yes, the Republocrats are giving us "Same song, second verse. Gubmint action makes it worse!".

I was listening to some show yesterday (the 4th) and some pundit said that the "fix" for the pre-existing condition is actually welfare. Which it is. Writ large.

The CBO didn't have time to score this Act That Won't Die, so the "true" cost (x10) wasn't revealed. Same song...

I fully expect that when I retire at 66 in two years, the system will already have slid into Hades. Any bets out there?

Judi King said...

I'm a senior on Mdeicare and Medigap with a pre-existing condition. The Medigap plan I had for years went up 83%, which was totally out of my budget, so I went to a cheaper plan with less coverage. I've been trying to find out if the Republican's plan will help me in any way with costs but can't find an answer. I get that if I keep the plan I currently have I might be OK but I'm not sure. I was barely over the limit for a subsidy last year and so far I don't see any help for me now.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

@ John the Econ: John, I agree with your assessments. Well said! I voted for Trump, but don't feel he will last more than four years....unless he somehow manages to coral the RINO faction in the GOP and is able to successfully fight the completely biased media and liberal school system that have become nothing other than centers of indoctrination.
It's sad to think that political correctness will sink the nation to the point where it becomes a mirror image of Europe, but IMO, that's where we are headed.

Colby Muenster said...

When I was a kid and got a cold, Mom gave me aspirin, nose drops, steamer, chicken soup, and a 12 oz tumbler of Rock and Rye.

OK, OK... the Rock and Rye was my addition to the formula years later, but dammit, it really does make you feel better!

AHCA version 2.1... At first I was happy Congress was finally doing something about AHCA version 1.0, but now have the sinking feeling we have been had. Still, this does seem to be a step in the right direction provided Congress sticks with it and continues to tweak and make improvements. Not holding my breath, but who knows?

Exploding moonbat heads... Admittedly, I have done zero research, but my guess is, the people who are screaming the loudest about AHCA version 2.1 do not pay for their own health coverage, or are rich enough to not need health coverage. I am currently on a high deductible plan that costs more per month than my 2008 full coverage plan (I have employer subsidized group insurance). O'Liar promise I could keep my doctor, keep my health plan, and my costs would go down about $2,500 per year. My doctor quit (at the ripe old age of 52), my plan is a distant memory, and I'm shelling out about $6k per year more for health costs. Fitting name, O'Liar is.

Rob said...

I don't have the desire nor the will to comment on health insurance anymore. But.... I LOVED the ducks! I'd like to see Pelosi "pass the bill".

Rod said...

Leaving it to the states isn't a full fix; it depends upon the state. As to Pelosi I just hope she & Gov. Brown are both home when California slides off into the Pacific. Maybe a failure of Oroville Dam "proper" and not just the two spillways will be enough to soak in & lubricate the plates. Have you seen the current situation? What a mess and it's now fully politicized. They still have plenty of opportunity to make a real disaster of this; not just some headlines. The possibility of cavitation in the primary spillway being a "factor" is now at least being whispered around in a few places. It's pretty obvious the spillways were both poorly conceived, inadequately designed & may be faulty construction. Destruction of concrete by cavitation is not at all new. Fortunately the dam proper is reasonably distant from them; but they need to get going on proper repair.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Geoff King- I'd love to see it happen, but don't expect to.

@chef621- You're quite right that the whole special interest "swamp" is a tremendous problem. Perhaps as an addendum to his "Put America First" motto, Trump can make an effort to "Put Americans First" and send the lobbyists scurrying.

And thanks for the health advice; I'm on the mend.

@bill wald- As you point out, no insurance system (health, car, home) can survive if people only sign up when their immediate needs far outweigh the cost of premiums. Yet when such scenarios are played out in real life, the uninsured are portrayed as "victims." And let me be clear: there are people who may not have insurance for reasons out of their control - and for those people I have great empathy, and I support the programs designed to protect them. But for the people who choose to be without insurance, I'm fine with Darwin sorting them out.

@James Daily- Our representatives (ha!) in Washington should always fight a new entitlement like hell, because it will never die and only grow. And grow. And grow...

@AmyH- A Bernie supporter with no respect for the election process? I'm shocked. Shocked.

@Alfonso Bedoya- You're not alone; pretty much anyone with eyes can see that the violence and rioting is always perpetrated by the Left. Conservatives just aren't wired to hurt people and destroy things - perhaps because we don't see anarchy as a desirable outcome.

@John the Econ- I agree with every jot and tittle of your comment, including (sadly) that we'll soon see "single payer" become law. As you point out (and as did Charles Krauthammer) keeping Obamacare artificially afloat on oceans of taxpayer money was never sustainable, but it didn't have to be: it only needed to project the illusion of sustainability long enough for people to change their expectations about what insurance - and the government - should provide.

"Insurance" will work only if those who didn't pay for it don't benefit from it. That's now seen as unacceptably cruel, and the new healthcare bill does nothing to change it. Which means in the long run, "insurance" dies and "single payer" takes over. And I'd better sooner rather than later because Trump is a long time (and current) fan of single payer systems.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Igor- Exactly. The pre-existing conditions policy proposed is a form of welfare. And I'm not against the idea of helping everyone get onto an insurance plan during a short window, but only if that window eventually slams shut and those who could get insurance but didn't learn they're not going to get a warm slice of the Little Red Hen's bread.

And as long as I'm free associating and yesterday was Cinco de WhoGivesADamn, just how much money are taxpayers spending on healthcare for illegals?!

@Judi King- I'm only a few months away from Medicare and Medigap with some pre-existing conditions, so I should be doing that same research. Whee. I think the new GOP plan does throw some subsidy money at seniors ($4k if I'm remembering correctly), though I'm not paying much attention at this stage.

@Colby Muenster- Regarding treatment of my cough, I can't take over-the-counter stuff because of interactions with my other meds (and they are legion), but have been muddling through with cough drops and - best of all - steaming hot water with lime juice. It just seems to calm things down.

Regarding AHCA 2.1, it seems like a step in the right direction, but I'm afraid the "right direction" is pretty meaningless unless you're actually committed to the destination (a true marketplace solution), and currently I'm not seeing that commitment from either side.

And your experiences with the soaring prices and broken promises of Obamacare are common. What's unfortunate is that they're not commonly reported.

@Rob- I must admit that I got some nostalgic pleasure out of revisiting the ducks and their goofy punchlines. They were among the first characters to appear in Hope n' Change.

@Rod- You're right that "leaving it to the states" could be good or bad (spoiler alert: in California it will be bad). But having 50 states working on solutions greatly increases the odds of some good solutions being developed which others could emulate later.

And as for Oroville, I "dam" sure wouldn't want to be in those flood plains right now.

Alfonso Bedoya said...

If I wrecked my uninsured car, then wanted AAA to issue me a new policy two weeks after the accident that would cover the damage, isn't that the same ideology as issuing health insurance with pre-existing condition coverage? Yeah---cars aren't people, but it's a similar concept: one group ends up paying for the other....whether they want to or not.

Rod said...

Lime Juice? Hmmm. Tequila? long deep sleep... you're well. Worth a try?
Glad you're on the mend.

MAX Redline said...

Cher is even bitching that she won't be able to get her asthma medication anymore.

She claimed she'd leave the country if Trump was elected, so what's the problem?

Ben Rumson said...

Great responses friends.
Just finished David Horowitz's book Big Agenda, a good read, knew most of it except John "Lurch" Kerry's daughter married into the Iranian higherarchy.
He also has a great website Front Page.
His parentswere involved with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.
David later saw the light and iss doing good work.

John the Econ said...

For a little weekend hilarity, at least for those who live outside the bubble of insanity that is today's Progressive thought:

Yale Grad Students Go on ‘Symbolic’ Hunger Strike Where They’re Allowed to Eat

Yup, that's right. The whole notion of the noble "hunger strike" as pioneered by such human rights visionaries as Ghadi has been cheapened by Progressives to complete irrelevance. Today, one can merely strike until hungry, or a period of time I call "between breakfast and lunch".

But what were these people so outraged about that they felt the need to make such a striking personal sacrifice over anyway? World hunger? Global warming? Little girls being kidnapped for the sex trade in the 2nd & 3rd world?

Nope. It seems doctoral students at one of the supposedly most elite universities in the world are feeling oppressed by their temporary station in life. Yale doctoral students currently earn a stipend $30,000 a year, receive free health care, and have their $40,000 tuition paid in full, according to Yale News.

So in other words, they're remunerated at around $80,000 a year, and most of it completely tax free.

So please consider the period of time between my breakfast this morning and lunch as my contribution to their struggle.

John the Econ said...

Oh, and one more piece of insanity - File this under "And they said he'd never amount to anything":

Trayvon Martin to receive honorary college degree

That's right. Trayvon is now the proud recipient of a degree in aeronautical science.

"Roslyn Clark, the university's president, said in a Facebook post the school was honouring Mr Martin for "his long dream and the steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot"."

So how long with this go on? What's next for Trayvon? Can we expect him to be elected "Honorary President" someday?

Rod said...

Glad I dropped back in.

I hear North Korea may be hiring Aeronautical Science types, and Trayvon may be perfect for them. 'Aero' at launch and 'Nautical' when it splashes.

You're correct John; much of this stuff is just silly beyond belief. One wonders what kind of impairments actually enable them to happen.

Pete (Detroit) said...

Rod - Aero/Nautical Travon...

Thanks much for a late night LOL!