The Washington State House Republican Caucus is upset that we’re going to get exchanges soon. They’re so upset that they have a whiny press release.
Though many of us have grave concerns and opposition to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, Congress has not repealed it and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld nearly all of it. Washington state is moving forward.
Yes, it is. It’s legal and it’s going forward. And yay, because you know what, it’s somewhat better than the status quo. If the GOP had a better idea, or better than vague platitudes about the market or something something health savings accounts without any specifics, they forgot to mention it in the last few years. Anyway, let’s see what some of the House Republican problems are.
Health care exchange lacks enough choices, variety of plans
Hey, you know what would be another choice that the legislature could add? Yeah. If the GOP wanted more variety, they could get behind adding a government plan along with the corporate and a cooperative plan that already exist in Washington. You know more choice.
The Insurance Commissioner initially denied five of the nine health insurers plans from being sold in The Exchange; however, three of the insurers successfully appealed and the Insurance Commissioner has now approved seven insurance companies to offer 43 plans for individuals in the exchange. At its Sept. 4 meeting, the Exchange Board certified 35 plans. The federal Office of Personnel Management had previously approved the other eight plans which are classified as multi-state plans. There is one additional insurer that could be approved in the near future.
This is the part where they’re complaining that there won’t be any choices.
Meanwhile, just one company, Kaiser Permanente, says it will offer insurance plans for small businesses in the exchange. This is not the competitive marketplace we were promised as Obamacare was being debated in Congress. Washington House Republicans have long believed our state’s health insurance laws and regulatory processes have limited choice and competition. Those challenges are being more exposed as we implement federal health care reform. Read more about these problems in the articles to the right.
This claim feels pretty dubious to me. I work for a small business in Washington, and don’t have Kaiser Permanente, and there’s no discussion of changing plans. So there seems to be more choice than they’re letting on. In any event, a state level public option would certainly go a long way toward providing more choice. In fact, it would double it for small businesses if their dubious claims are to be believed.
An argument for universal coverage
Universal single payer would be pretty awesomesauce. That’s what you’re talking about, right? Right?
Avik Roy, a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a health care writer at Forbes Magazine, argued that the status quo is no longer working, however. We must reduce the costs our federal government is currently spending on health care.
The status quo isn’t working and we need more than the unfortunately small 43 plans and growing. But not a public option. Hey, let’s quote that guy.
“The U.S. government spends more per capita on health care than the governments in many socialist states. However, the countries that achieve some form of universal coverage at the very lowest cost are not the highly socialist systems but the market-oriented systems, countries like Switzerland and Singapore.”
The Swiss System where they have a mandate stronger than our mandate? This is just trolling, right? I’m being trolled by a press release from the State House GOP? Anyway, that’s the whole section. I agree we need a health care mandate if we’re not going to have universal single payer. The good news is we got one, press release complaining about Obamacare. It’s part of Obamacare. For what it’s worth, I care more about health outcomes than if some asshole is going to call it socialism. There are some vague platitudes about health savings accounts without any discussion of how they would work in the state, but it’s still nice out, so I’m going for a jog.