With the narrow passage of the GOP Healthcare bill this week, Michael Cannon wrote his critique of the legislation (GOP Healthcare Bill Is Not Repeal — It Is ObamaCare-lite, or Worse, May 4, 2017). Cannon is considered one of the foremost experts on Obamacare over the last 7 years. His displeasure with the bill focuses on problem of “community rating” inherent in Obamacare — which remains in the ACHA. Here are his principle concerns:
“House Republicans went behind closed doors and emerged with a bill that does not repeal the core provisions of ObamaCare, and therefore cannot begin to repair the damage those provisions are causing.
ObamaCare’s core provisions are the “community rating” price controls and other regulations that (supposedly) end discrimination against patients with preexisting conditions.
How badly do these government price controls fail at that task?
Community rating is the reason former president Bill Clinton called ObamaCare “the craziest thing in the world” where Americans “wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”
Community rating is why women age 55 to 64 have seen the highest premium increases under ObamaCare. It is the principal reason ObamaCare has caused overall premiums to double in just four years.
Community rating literally penalizes quality coverage for the sick, to the point where Harvard economists found patients with multiple sclerosis and other high-cost conditions “cannot be adequately insured” under ObamaCare. It is the driving force behind ObamaCare’s narrow networks and the exclusion of premier hospitals.
Worst of all, community rating is taking health care away from the sick. Community rating has driven every last insurer from the Exchange in east Tennessee, leaving 43,000 Americans – including many with expensive conditions – with no coverage after December. It may soon do the same in Iowa, and another 1,000 counties that have only one insurer remaining in the Exchange.
Why? Because community rating forces insurance companies to cover the sick below cost, which simply isn’t sustainable. The only solution ObamaCare supporters offer is to keep throwing more money at the problem – which also isn’t sustainable.
ObamaCare is community rating. The AHCA does not repeal community rating. Therefore, the AHCA does not repeal ObamaCare. In fact, Republicans are modifying ObamaCare’s community-rating price controls and other regulations in ways that will accelerate ObamaCare’s race to the bottom.”
There is much more to Cannon’s piece than this, and it’s worth it to read in its entirety. The original piece was published on The Hill (Online) and reprinted via the CATO Institute.
For a different perspective on the ACHA, see my piece noting the list of Obamacare taxes abolished with this legislation.