'Bare bones' plans could slice up health care market

Even Insurance Companies Say Cruz Amendment is Disastrous

Even Insurance Companies Say Cruz Amendment is Disastrous

McConnell and top Trump administration officials plan to spend the next few days cajoling senators and home-state governors in an effort to nail down support for the bill.

Matheson listened to Lee's town hall with her parents, who both are covered by ACA plans, as are her brothers.

The Cruz amendment is an odd piece of legislative maneuvering.

"It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people now enrolled in the individual market", America's Health Insurance Plans and the BlueCross BlueShield Association wrote in a joint letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Charles Schumer.

Cruz and his allies have said the amendment contains provisions created to make it viable ― including a $70 billion "stability" fund to help insurers keep premiums in the regulated plans from getting too high.

"This would allow the new plans to "cherry pick" only healthy people from the existing market making coverage unaffordable for the millions of people who need or want comprehensive coverage, including, for example, coverage for prescription drugs and mental health services", the CEOs wrote. Eighty-five percent of Utahns on the exchange receive those subsidies. She earns too much to qualify for Obamacare subsidies but can not afford to get insurance on her own.

"This would especially impact middle-income families that are not eligible for a tax credit", the letter reads.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is like auto insurance in which riskier drivers are subsidized by safer motorists - and that's why it has to be repealed and replaced, Sen.

Like the House Republicans' plan, the Senate bill eliminates the ObamaCare mandate, freeing individuals to opt out of purchasing health insurance. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association was similarly critical. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., is expected to allow insurers selling individual plans that comply with Obamacare rules to also sell "non-compliant" plans in the same states.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blasted the revised Obamacare repeal and replacement bill at a news conference on Thursday. (It also bulks up the market stabilization fund that was already in the legislation by an additional $70 billion, which should help keep a lid on premiums.) Beyond that, the market probably won't divide entirely into two tiers.

As health care experts have repeatedly explained, this would create an unsustainable two-tiered system, with older and sicker patients buying real coverage, and younger and healthier consumers buying cheaper insurance. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., has floated the idea of limiting the amount that ACA-compliant plans can exceed the cost of non-compliant plans under the proposed amendment. That will probably be the ultimate outcome. Most of the people insured by these pools received subsidies, paid for by premium taxes imposed on insurance companies.

And that brings us back to the rest of the bill, which gives moderates vanishingly little.

All those high-risk pools disappeared with Obamacare.

Beyond that? There's not much. In general, a fixed-indemnity insurance plan does not conform to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"), because it doesn't provide the minimum essential coverage required by the ACA. Meanwhile, Medicaid still gets brutalized-just as before, the bill ends Obamacare's expansion of the program and throttles its traditional funding stream over time.

Conservative Republicans, such as Sen. Which is as it should be.

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