ACA Stabilization Plans Stealthily Inch America Toward Socialized Medicine
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: Taxpayers Becoming Insurers
ST. PAUL, Minn.—Congress continues its attempt to prop up the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through subsidies and stabilization efforts, says Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), and it’s a stealth move to socialize American medicine.
Socialized medicine, says CCHF co-founder and president Twila Brase, is “any of various systems to provide the entire population with complete medical care through government subsidization and regularization of medical and health services.”
“Subsidies are part of socialism,” Brase says. “Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the only group without subsidies are the middle- and upper-class individuals who buy their own health insurance. But Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promises a vote before spring on the ‘Bipartisan Health Care Stabilization Act of 2017’ to subsidize—or socialize—this group, too.”
The bill, Brase adds, would “stabilize” the ACA by redistributing Americans’ wages, or tax dollars, to health plans. The bill includes:
- Cost-reduction subsidies—Paying health plans $18 billion in 2018/2019. Former President Barack Obama illegally paid these taxpayer-funded subsidies to cover copays and deductibles for lower-income enrollees.
- Reinsurance—Permitting states to establish taxpayer-funded “reinsurance” programs to reimburse health plans for most medical expenses between $45,000 and $250,000 of individuals who buy their own insurance.
“The reinsurance programs are invisible,” Brase says. “Enrollees think they have private insurance, but they don’t. Both prospective reinsurance, where insurers use data to identify potential high-cost individuals at enrollment and add them to a list for potential reimbursement, and retrospective reinsurance, which are reimbursements to health plans for enrollees who turn out to be expensive, are under cover. Enrollees don’t know the government is paying for part of their care—or that their medical claims data is shared with the government to secure payment.”
In short, Brase says, the Senate bill re-ups the Democrats’ three-year ACA retrospective reinsurance program. The federal government has already used ACA waivers to approve reinsurance programs in Brase’s home state of Minnesota, as well as Maine and Alaska. For example, Minnesota will receive more than $1 billion in federal funds from 2018 to 2022 for its individual Minnesota Premium Security Plan. (See letters between Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and the Department of Health and Human Services here.)
Therefore, the entire individual market in Minnesota is entered into the reinsurance plan without consent, Brase adds. It’s not just a high-risk pool for people with uninsurable conditions. When it was clear that Republicans would pass the bill, CCHF requested that everyone in the individual market be informed about their placement in the program, and that they also be told that their medical record information would be sent to the state as soon as their expenses exceeded $50,000. The organization was refused these simple requests. Now, as a result, everyone in Minnesota except those in employer-sponsored coverage, the uninsured and members of health care sharing organizations, is now in a government program. (View the CCHF diagram that explains the plan to tap into taxpayer funds for 80 percent of costs between $50,000 and $250,000 here.)
“Health insurance is disappearing,” Brase says. “The ACA eliminates much of the risk-bearing insurance function of health plans. Insurance is defined as ‘coverage by contract whereby one party undertakes to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or peril.’ But under ACA reinsurance programs, taxpayers indemnify, or protect, health plans from the financial risk of high-cost individuals. In short, taxpayers become the ‘insurers.’ Health plans become well-paid government contractors that are managing dollars, tracking data and controlling doctors.”
Not to mention, Brase adds, that health plans are flush with cash. For example, CNBC recently reported that “Aetna now derives half of its revenue from government plans.” The top six health plans reported $6 billion in combined adjusted profits for the second quarter of 2017. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), in opposition to the Senate’s “stabilization” bill says, “Shoveling billions of taxpayer dollars to health insurance companies that are already enjoying record-high profits is not a step in the right direction on health care reform.”
CCHF urges Americans to tell Congress to stop stabilizing the ACA, and stealthily socializing American medicine in the process, by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. Also view the media page for CCHF here. For more about CCHF’s initiative The Wedge of Health Freedom, visit www.JointheWedge.com, The Wedge Facebook page or follow The Wedge on Twitter @wedgeoffreedom.