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OPINION — Editorial

Fun with numbers

The shell game goes on and on and on …

This article was published September 23, 2017 at 2:10 a.m.

National administrations may come, national administrations may go, but self-interested bureaucrats we will always have with us. This time an outfit based--where else?--in the nation's capital of waste, fraud and taxpayer abuse says the Republicans' proposed replacement for Obamacare will mean the end of the world as we know it. Or at least an end to doctor visits. But the more we look at the so-called Graham-Cassidy plan, the more it looks as though the thing could pass, and the sky would stay right where it's located.

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BoudinMan says... September 23, 2017 at 6:43 a.m.

I guess the AMA, National Cancer Institute, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, on and on, are all wrong on this. They report on the future damage inflicted on states' medical systems. It would become easy for a state to allow carriers to raise premiums to an un-affordable level to cover pre-existing conditions. The editors should know how small, rural hospitals in AR would be affected by this bill. Most, if not all, of the Medicaid Administrators in each state signed on to a letter urging against passage b/c of the damage it would do to their states. Without CBO scoring, the pie-in-the-sky savings claimed by the editors are merely just wishful thinking, and there is no statistical claim that can made as to how many Americans would be left with coverage they could not afford, or worse, no coverage at all. So, PG and the other old grey-haired farts at the ADG, enjoy your single-payer health coverage while the multitudes of average Americans sweat this bill out. Hey, you got yours. Forget the rest.

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BoudinMan says... September 23, 2017 at 6:45 a.m.

Oh, and one more thing: read Krugman's column today. He knows what he's talking about.

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TimberTopper says... September 23, 2017 at 8:23 a.m.

Since there's no name for the person that pinned this, "opinion". May I say that they certainly have a right to have it, but it is wrong in several areas on the points that are made. We don't need the "50 labs doing their own thing". It makes no difference where a person lives, sick is sick, and the treatments are pretty much the same across the nation, for each individual illness. If this 50 labs thing were in place you'd have people having to move from one state to another as one states coverages for a particular illness would probably be better than another. This writer is only fooling himself/herself.

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23cal says... September 23, 2017 at 8:34 a.m.

-It “violates the precept of ‘first do no harm’” and “would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage.” – American Medical Association, which represents doctors.
-It is “the worst healthcare bill yet.” – American Nurses Association.
-It “would erode key protections for patients and consumers.” – American Hospital Association.
-The “process [in the Senate] is just as bad as the substance. ... Most Americans wouldn’t buy a used car with this little info.” – AARP.
-The bill will “weaken access to the care Americans need and deserve.” – American Heart Association, jointly with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Diabetes and Lung associations, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the March of Dimes and others.
-“This bill harms our most vulnerable patients.” – American Psychiatric Association.
-It would hurt “consumers and patients by further destabilizing the individual market; cutting Medicaid; pulling back on protections for pre-existing conditions.” – America’s Health Insurance Plans.
-It “would lead to a loss of health insurance for at least 32 million people after 2026. ... By repealing the ACA’s coverage expansions and cutting deeply into the Medicaid program, the Graham-Cassidy bill threatens the health care of as many as 100 million people, from newborns to the elderly.” – Sara Collins, The Commonwealth Fund.

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JakeTidmore says... September 23, 2017 at 10:19 a.m.

Only a smoke&mirrors editorial hack can scribble that a lose-lose bill is a win-win proposition in the face of all the evidence clearly showing that the G-C measure is a farce. The Republican middle finger is the only spine in this editorial hack's puppet costume.

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WhododueDiligence says... September 23, 2017 at 10:45 a.m.

From this "Fun with numbers" editorial: "Meanwhile, if things stay the same, four states--California, New York, Massachusetts and Maryland--will continue to receive 37 percent of Obamacare funding. With about 22 percent of the nation's population."
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The reasons for this--which include a Supreme Court ruling--have received widespread media attention. When Obamacare was passed into law it was designed to disperse funding evenly to all 50 states, with all 50 states expanding Medicaid to reduce the number of uninsured in all 50 states. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare but also ruled that the 50 states were not required to expand Medicaid if they didn't feel like it even though failure to expand Medicaid would increase the number of low-income uninsured people in their states and cost those states a lot of money in federal funding. That was an expensive double whammy but 19 states did it to themselves anyway by failing to expand Medicaid. That was their idea of fun with numbers, and now they can't seem to figure out why states which did expand Medicaid--the 4 mentioned states plus Arkansas, Kentucky, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and 19 other states receive more federal funding than they do. Wwwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.
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Duh.
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And now instead of working to improve the current law, these politicians who refused to expand Medicaid want to fix their past foolish failure to have any fun with numbers by financially punishing the 31 states like Arkansas which did expand Medicaid and financially rewarding the 19 states like Texas, Georgia, Wisconsin and Maine which didn't expand Medicaid, just so those 19 states could have fun with numbers again at everyone else's expense. And this editorial also fails to consider the tens of millions more Americans who will become uninsured if this scheme is passed and signed by Trump, which like irresponsible drivers without auto insurance will add considerably to everyone else's expense.

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RBear says... September 23, 2017 at 11:39 a.m.

Wait, isn't the "Chicken Little" argument the one the Republicans are using to attempt to push this rushed bill through? If the bill is supposed to be SO GOOD, wouldn't it stand the test of normal process? Instead, we're getting a rushed legislative process because giving those with knowledge of healthcare time to review is a "bad thing."
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Once again, this the D-G Editorial Board's response after watching a few hours of Fox News to get their talking points down. The last I checked, Arkansas was doing pretty good with the current law and providing healthcare to thousands that wouldn't normally have it. Of course, the real reason for this bill is to make room for largess spending on defense (so that Trump can have a few more sabers to rattle) and tax cuts for wealthy (because they are good overlords and are kind the working poor).

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WhododueDiligence says... September 23, 2017 at 12:56 p.m.

This editorial says that the governor's statement makes a lot of sense and answers a lot of questions. So what is this editorial's answer to its first question? "Maybe."
Maybe?
Yup, maybe.
Maybe what?
"Maybe, but ..."
Maybe, but what?
Maybe, but maybe Congress might reauthorize funding when the block grants expire.
Oh.
Is this editorial intended to reward or punish the governor?
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So what is this editorial's answer to its second question?
"Absolutely."
Absolutely what?
Coverage will absolutely be provided for pre-existing conditions because someone in the governor's office said so.
However, as the editorial previously stated, this plan would get rid of Obamacare's individual mandates and employer mandates, which means that individuals can choose to be uninsured or employers can choose that their low-income/low-benefits workers are uninsured. Obviously these individuals--and there could be a lot of them--will not be covered for pre-existing conditions when they have no health insurance. And if there are a lot of them, insurance premiums will rise due to the costs of uncompensated health care, and some other individuals with pre-existing conditions won't be able to afford those rising premiums. These issues have plagued American health care for decades and the most extremely ideological Republicans continue to refuse to come to grips with them ... or even address them ... or even recognize that they exist.

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Lifelonglearner says... September 23, 2017 at 4:34 p.m.

"We are going to Repeal and Replace with something that is so much better and less expensive. Trust me." Hmmm. Just like Trump University?

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Delta2 says... September 23, 2017 at 4:44 p.m.

Anyone who takes a Demozette editorial seriously needs his/her head examined. No disrespect toward the previous commenters, but y'all would all have better luck arguing with a Stop sign.

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