While Republicans are genuflecting before the illegal alien lobby, don’t forget they are also still carrying water for the one cartel that is even more powerful than illegal aliens: the medical insurance cartel.
Last week, Govs. John Hickenlooper and John Kasich released their much-anticipated plan to bail out Obamacare. This is the plan that will be showcased this week in a series of Senate hearings led by Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander. Never forget that Alexander was the biggest recipient of campaign cash in the Senate from Blue Cross Blue Shield aside from the majority leader and hauled in almost $1 million from the health care industry during his last bid for Senate. Money talks.
The plan Hickenlooper is pitching at the Thursday hearing would appropriate billions in cost-sharing subsidies and create a new “stability” bailout fund for reinsurance programs.
What about addressing the root causes of the price inflation? Well, they plan to get rid of the extra excise tax on health insurance. We’re all for repealing taxes, but how convenient that the one tax repealed is the one on the insurance companies!
What about the regulations? They will discuss long-term flexibility to 1332 state innovation waivers. In other words, rather than categorically repealing the regulations and having a facially neutral regulatory climate, the insurance cartel will manipulate federal and state bureaucrats off the statutory books to tilt the playing field away from competition — offering flexibility only on the regulations they don’t want.
The root cause of the broken health care system is conveniently ignored
This is a plan of the cartel, by the cartel, and for the cartel.
It’s for good reason that John Kasich was inducted into the hall of fame of the Ohio Hospital Association.
- They get half their revenue from administering Medicaid and Medicare.
- They are the recipients of a $270 billion market-distorting tax exemption for employers to purchase their product.
- They lobby for a regulatory climate that shuts out competition.
- They are backed by the force of law to require employers and individuals to purchase their product and are allowed to use their government-granted monopoly to price-fix, price-gouge, and break every anti-trust law that binds other industries that obtained their market share through innovation and free markets. They prevent doctors from offering discounts to self-pay patients and have ensured there is no price transparency and market forces to counter them.
- Through their government-granted monopoly, they create hold-harmless clauses in contracts with providers that prevent doctors from offering life-saving treatments to those willing to pay out of pocket unless they are covered by the cartel.
Yet, they still don’t have enough money to make their product solvent!
The ones who broke the system want a bailout
The bailout plan might temporarily prevent rates from skyrocketing further, but the cost of health care will continue to skyrocket, the quality of care will continue to deteriorate from the de facto single-payer system funneled through the cartel, and those above the subsidy line will continue to face insurance costs as high as mortgage payments.
Who do the politicians really work for?
As I’ve noted before, a Congress that represents us would hold hearings with direct primary care physicians, heads of health-sharing ministries, and state legislatures that have innovated. They would explore the root causes of health care inflation and how the government and the insurance cartel created the problem. They would explore the dozens of solutions many of us have presented, from price transparency and individual accounts for Medicaid patients to placing direct primary care and health sharing on an equal playing field with the cartel. The American Association of Physicians and Surgeons has a wealth of easy-to-understand solutions that directly address the core problem.
In other words, a Congress that represents us would actually discuss health care — not lining the pockets of the medical insurance industry that has been empowered by government to destroy health care.
But we don’t have a Congress or a political party that represents us. Who do they represent? Take a look at the top lobbyists for 2017:
Notice how the Chamber of Commerce, which is pro-Obamacare, is the number one lobbyist, while numbers 3-6 are all leaders of the health care cartel. They have spent $50 million combined on lobbying just during the first seven months of the year, dwarfing defense, telecoms, and big oil!
John Kasich and Jonh Hickenlooper think they are so smart and compassionate, but their plan has failed to address a single element of what has destroyed both health care and medical insurance in America. That is because they are not compassionate, and they place the interests of the cartel over the people.
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Author: Daniel Horowitz
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.