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Jason Lewis Is On A Different Health Care Wavelength

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 03/13/17 22:38

by Dave Mindeman

We are starting to get a picture of how Jason Lewis thinks. And it is not something you will want to hang on the wall.

Lewis won't meet with his constituents, but he is more than willing to call into radio shows with echo chamber qualities. And it is worth pointing out that Jason Lewis loves this health care bill. He says it isn't perfect (maybe it doesn't kick off enough poor people), but it does a lot of GOOD things.

Lewis will be overjoyed to see the individual mandate gone. It's not good for freedom you know. But what he also seems to be endorsing is bottom feeding health care to get healthier people into the pool.

What do I mean by bottom feeding health care? Well, Lewis wants to see plans develop that everybody can afford. But to him, that means whacking off most of the coverages that would be basic to serious health care.

To Lewis, affordable means skeleton policies. Catastrophic coverage policies. Policies in name only. Lewis wants you to be able to get that cheap coverage that gives you a card that you can take to your doctor's office that pretends you are insured. When the reality is that your coverage is not even worth the card board your card is printed on.

Sure, you can make coverage cheap. You can make it down right bargain basement. But you can't call it health care. And you certainly can't assume you are protected from bankruptcy, coverage denial, and payments abruptly halting when you hit a cap.

That's what Jason Lewis sees in your future. He sees this bill getting passed under the reconciliation process (if, as he says, some Republican Senators don't "betray us";), and then go after the rest of the bill's expensive benefits.

Jason Lewis isn't talking about health care here. He is talking about government reduction. It was never about health care and there in lies the problem. If you dismiss 24 million Americans losing their health care as a necessary means to health care reform, then you are talking past the needs of your constituents.

Which, by the way, they would like to talk to you about.
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Emmer, Lewis, Paulsen Really Love GOP Health Plan

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 03/10/17 13:51

by Dave Mindeman

The GOP Health care bill is racing through Congress.

And remember Erik Paulsen, Jason Lewis, and Tom Emmer all really, really, really LOVE this bill. Really love it. They can't wait to vote for it.

From analysis:

In Minnesota, it appears that people who are living in the southern and western parts of the state will see the most dramatic decline in subsidies that help pay premiums. For instance: If you are 40 years old and make $30,000 annually and live in Pipestone County, you'll pay 44 percent more when it comes time to sign up for MNsure. That's because, for you, federal support to pay for health insurance through the exchange will go down 44 percent.

Hmmmm...wasn't it individual premium spikes that led Republicans to criticize Democrats on health care?

Subsidies? More analysis...

As for the cost-sharing subsidies available now under the ACA -- which can lower out-of-pocket costs for copays and other expenses for those earning between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level -- those would be eliminated in 2020.

How many people lose coverage? More analysis...

But one early analysis from S&P Global Ratings estimated a decline in the insured of 6 million to 10 million people under the bill.

What will getting rid of individual mandate requirement do?....analysis

"On one hand, they're getting rid of the individual mandate [for most people to buy insurance], and that would have the effect of destabilizing the market and raising premiums."

And as usual, the simple bottom line on a comparison between what we have now and what the Republicans offer......

Cox's analysis shows that wealthier people get more help from the new Republican plan while lower income people benefit more from Obamacare.

Sound familiar?

And Emmer, Paulsen, and Lewis REALLY love this plan.
comments (1) permalink

Congressman Lewis Lacks An Honest Assessment Of Healthcare

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 02/13/17 14:03

by Dave Mindeman

Jason Lewis likes to make blanket statements without any real facts to back it up. His latest is another doozy...

"Minnesota had one of the best insurance pools, high-risk insurance pools in the country and it was undone by the ACA."

Minnesota did have the best one....of really, really bad insurance options. High risk insurance pools are a last resort means to cover people who cannot get insurance any other way. Most of those were people who had pre-existing conditions with chronic illnesses before the ACA, and the insurance companies could refuse to insure them.

Minnesota's plan was a little better than most because the state backed it with a subsidy. In its final year of operation, it cost Minnesota $173 million to keep it afloat.

And when Jason Lewis says the MCHA was "undone" by the ACA - it is a little misleading. The situational facts are that MCHA was not needed anymore because pre-existing conditions was no longer a factor on who gets insured and Minnesota Care was expanded to cover the rest of those affected.

But Jason Lewis thinks that bringing the MCHA (a catastrophic insurance back-up) is the answer to repealing the ACA. He seems to be saying that the MCHA is better than the Affordable Care Act.

And let's be honest - that is flat out wrong.

The MCHA high risk pool had a wide variety of premiums....

Craig Britton of Plymouth was forced to buy MCHA coverage because of a pancreatitis diagnosis. He paid more than $18,000 a year in premiums.

I'm not sure how that fits into the affordable category. Britton was at the high end of the scale. But he was not alone on paying quite a bit more...

MCHA priced premiums for policy holders at 25 percent more than conventional coverage.

Frankly, this coverage had to cost more because the risk pool was limited to the chronically ill people who could not get insurance via the regular method.

Again, the MCHA was disbanded because the ACA moved all of those people into the general risk pool - and made subsidies available to them. Of course, that meant the insurance carriers had to spread that risk around and obviously, premiums for everybody went up....but that could have been less of a problem if the insurance companies had planned for it better and if Congress had not taken away the re-insurance option that would have paid for unexpected coverages beyond their assessments.

I don't know if Lewis fully understands what he is talking about in this regard because to think of the MCHA as a better option than the ACA is just false. The MCHA plans had high premiums, high deductibles and had few coverages for prevention and often no coverage for prescriptions drugs.

As a pharmacist, I often had to tell that an MCHA patient that their prescription was only a discount program and not actual insurance coverage. A $180 prescription would require $165 out of pocket. And most of those discount plans are offered without going through the MCHA.

So, Congressman Lewis, I hope we can get a more honest assessment of healthcare, from you, in the future, because if these high risk pools are your answer, then you really have no answer at all.
comments (1) permalink
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