In last night's debate, Mitt Romney said his healthcare "plan" included protections for those with pre-exisiting conditions. One need only to read Mitt Romney's actual healthcare "plan" to see how it reveals him as the blowhard dissembling empty suit he is.
Here it is, in all it's glory from his campaign website:Romney Issues- Healthcare
Don't worry, it won't take more than three minutes to read and absorb the plan in its entirety. You'll be finished by the time your bagel is toasted.
In case you are unfamiliar with Romney's "plan", the centerpiece of it is to "Repeal and Replace" the ACA. And then what? In his campaign's own words:
In place of Obamacare, Mitt will pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a health care reform plan that is best for its own citizens. The federal government’s role will be to help markets work by creating a level playing field for competition.So, we will have a patchwork of 50 state plans. Swell.
Mitt will begin by returning states to their proper place in charge of regulating local insurance markets and caring for the poor, uninsured, and chronically ill. States will have both the incentive and the flexibility to experiment, learn from one another, and craft the approaches best suited to their own citizens.All right - back to the past. The states will just once again have to figure out how to regulate their local markets, because they've done such a great job, up to now, haven't they? And I'm sure they'll have no problem finding the funds to care for the "poor, uninsured and chronically ill" in this time of declining state budgets and revenue shortfalls and layoffs and their wars against their own unionized labor. Not to worry, they have lots of extra money lying around from the change they collect from the chairs in the DMV waiting room they don't tell us about.
Now le's look at the actual meat in his "plan".
Restore State Leadership and FlexibilityQuestion Mr. Romney - How do you simultaneously "Ensure" flexibility to help the uninsured and the chronically ill while limiting federal standards and requirements? All you're ensuring is that the states will have the flexibility to allow these people to fall through the cracks and die in their homes untreated if they choose not to take your advice and make that one last trip to the emergency room. Oh, well, corpse disposal could be a new growth industry. You should tell Bain to look into it.
*Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states
*Limit federal standards and requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid coverage
*Ensure flexibility to help the uninsured, including public-private partnerships, exchanges, and subsidies
*Ensure flexibility to help the chronically ill, including high-risk pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment
*Offer innovation grants to explore non-litigation alternatives to dispute resolution
Ok, now in this next section we get to the protection for people with PreExisting Conditions in the "plan".
Promote Free Markets and Fair CompetitionSo, only people who have been able to maintain their coverage continuously during the course of their condition will be "protected". Screw all the people who have conditions who have had a lapse in coverage due to unemployment or whose COBRA is over and who can't afford the rates they have been quoted. Screw all the people who have been offered insurance at astronomical and unaffordable rates who have opted to eat and have a roof over their heads instead who will no longer have a Federally mandated guaranteed high risk pool to turn to. Oh, well, according to Mr. Romney these people will just have to die untreated. It's their own fault for being so damn careless and inefficient and not planning ahead to be born wealthy and privileged where illness means buying a dressage horse for therapy. Have they no ambulances? Are there no emergency rooms?
*Cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits
*Empower individuals and small businesses to form purchasing pools
*Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage
*Facilitate IT interoperability
And coming to the end of the "plan" we have
Empower Consumer ChoiceGolly, very exciting to think of what kind of things Mitt and the states could come up with as an alternative for "fee for service". Coupon for service for sure.Trans vaginal ultrasound for service? Social peer group HMOs? Charter hospitals for private members? Imagine the many possible new business models for the states and the insurance companies to come up with to make money from disease especially once they don't have to worry about the annoying poor and chronically ill. Let's hear it for FOR PROFIT healthcare!!
End tax discrimination against the individual purchase of insurance
Allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines
Unshackle HSAs by allowing funds to be used for insurance premiums
Promote "co-insurance" products
Promote alternatives to "fee for service"
Encourage "Consumer Reports"-type ratings of alternative insurance plans
So there you have it. Mitt's "plan" is no plan. It's filled with platitudes and empty business book phrases about "Empowering" and "Encouraging" and "Promoting". It's pathetic and reprehensible, just like the guy promoting it. The next time you hear Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan telling you they have a healthcare plan, the only appropriate response is to laugh them off the stage and run to the polls to Retain and Improve the ACA, the only advance in healthcare coverage for all Americans in decades.