merrill (Richard Heckler)

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Letter to the editor: Reforming health care

Trumponomics

Under GOP draft of Obamacare repeal plan, a lot of people could lose coverage...

A draft of the House Republicans' bill to repeal Obamacare would replace its subsidies with less generous tax credits, increase the amount insurers could charge older Americans and effectively eliminate Medicaid for low-income adults.

These provisions could leave a significant share of the 20 million people who gained coverage under Obamacare without insurance. The proposal would go fully into effect in 2020.

However, there is a group of Americans who would benefit from the Republican plan -- those who earn too much to receive assistance under Obamacare. Those who make above 400% of the poverty level -- $47,520 for an individual or $97,200 for a family of four -- don't receive any assistance under Obamacare. This group has long complained the unsubsidized premiums render Obamacare policies unaffordable.

Also, freeing insurers from the federal requirement to provide certain benefits, such as maternity and prescription drugs, would let them offer less expensive plans. Republicans argue that giving consumers more choice of benefits packages would make coverage more affordable.

Eliminates Medicaid expansion funds and caps federal spending: The draft legislation doesn't repeal Medicaid expansion for low-income adults, but it eliminates the enhanced federal reimbursement for new enrollees starting in 2020. Since many people drop out of Medicaid during the course of a year, the number covered under expansion would dwindle over time.
"Without an enhanced match, few states will be able to continue covering adults eligible under expansion," said Deborah Bachrach, partner at Manatt, Health Solutions, a consulting firm.

Under Obamacare, states got more federal matching funds to cover newly eligible, low income adults. The federal government paid 100% of the costs of these new participants for the first three years and is slowly reducing the reimbursement to 90% by 2020. It covers between 50% and 74% of the cost of the traditional Medicaid population, depending on the state.

The Republican bill also calls for overhauling the way the federal government pays for all Medicaid recipients. Instead of reimbursing states a share of what they spend, it would send a fixed payment per participant. The amount would be based on the state's average spending in fiscal year 2016, with an adjustment for inflation.

"A substantial number of people could lose coverage because it's no longer affordable," said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

The draft bill ...

http://money.cnn.com/2017/02/25/news/...

February 25, 2017 at 3:52 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Reforming health care

Repealing OBAMCARE is the same as throwing republican and democratic voters under the bus!

Here are 10 great reasons to support Medicare Single Payer Insurance and Reduce Government Spending BIG TIME. The amount of tax dollars spent on health care as we speak will cover the cost of Medicare Single Payer Insurance for ALL.

Here are 10 great reasons to support the U.S. National Health Insurance Act and Reduce
Government Spending BIG TIME.

1. Everybody In, Nobody Out. Universal means access to health care for everyone, period. Plus it is estimated to create 2.6 million new jobs!

2. Portability. If you are unemployed, or lose or change jobs, your health coverage stays with you.

3. Uniform Benefits. No Cadillac plans for the wealthy and Pinto plans for everyone else, with high deductibles, limited services, caps on payments for care, and no protection in the event of a catastrophe. One level of comprehensive care for everyone, regardless of the size of your wallet.

4. Prevention. By removing financial roadblocks, a universal health system encourages preventive care that lowers an individual's ultimate cost and pain and suffering when problems are neglected and societal cost in the over-utilization of emergency rooms or the spread of communicable diseases.

5. Choice. Most private insurance restricts your choice of providers and hospitals. Under the U.S. National Health Insurance Act, patients have a choice, and the provider is assured a fair payment.

6. No Interference with Care. Caregivers and patients regain their autonomy to decide what's best for a patient's health, not what's dictated by the billing department. No denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions or cancellation of policies for "unreported" minor health problems.

7. Reducing Waste. One third of every private health insurance dollar goes for paperwork and profits, compared to about 3% under Medicare, the federal government’s universal system for senior citizen healthcare.

8. Cost Savings. A guaranteed health care system can produce the cost savings needed to cover everyone, largely by using existing resources without the waste. Taiwan, shifting from a U.S. private health care model, adopted a similar system in 1995, boosting health coverage from 57% to 97% with little increase in overall health care spending.

9. Common Sense Budgeting. The public system sets fair reimbursements applied equally to all providers, private and public, while assuring that appropriate health care is delivered, and uses its clout to negotiate volume discounts for prescription drugs and medical equipment.

10. Public Oversight. The public sets the policies and administers the system, not high priced CEOs meeting in private and making decisions based on their company’s stock performance needs.

February 25, 2017 at 3:14 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Reforming health care

I am fine with repealing the "mandate to purchase" or at least altering it to a choice without penalty.

There are some who would rather finance their own health care straight out of their pockets which would reduce the expense considerably for them as would Medicare Single Payer Insurance of which both options should be open to all.

I say repeal the mandate STAT.

Then provide 3 choices:

1. ObamaCare which retains the health insurance industry

2. Single Payer Medicare for ALL = excellent coverage

3. Self financed health care

So now conservatives get on with this without screwing up healthcare, without a bunch of BS and stop throwing republicans and democrats under the bus.

February 25, 2017 at 3:12 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Letter to the editor: Reforming health care

Sen Roberts, Sen Moran and Rep Jenkins are trying to kill medicare insurance,Social Security Insurance,public education and medic aid = the facts.

Improved Medicare for All would substantially reduce health care costs (especially for low- and middle-income families), expand coverage, and improve access to care.

Under the Sanders program, virtually all medical bills in the United States would be paid by a single public agency using funds transferred from existing government health programs and from some new (mostly progressive) taxes. By reducing administrative waste and negotiating for lower drug prices, the Sanders program would be able to reduce the growth in national health care spending, even while extending coverage to all and eliminating all premiums, copayments, and deductibles of the existing system.

Improved Medicare for All would reduce costs relative to the current system. (See Figure 1.) The Sanders program would reduce national health care spending by increasing the efficiency of billing, reducing insurance-related costs, and negotiating lower drug prices. It would also incur additional expenses by covering the 30 million residents who are currently uninsured, by reducing the barriers to access to health care coming from premiums, deductibles, and copayments, and by raising reimbursement rates to physicians and hospitals.

Overall, there would be nearly $700 billion in savings the first year, partially offset by nearly $400 billion in additional spending, for a net effect of nearly $300 billion in savings relative to the current system.

The single-payer program produces two types of savings. (See Figure 3.)


http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archiv...

February 25, 2017 at 3:08 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawmakers not giving up on reversing Brownback tax policies

Despite constitutional problems, negative impacts on public schools, bias against disadvantaged students, and comprehensive studies in cities like Washington DC, New York, Milwaukee, and Cleveland which demonstrate that private school voucher programs failed to make any improvements to the education system, ALEC sees vouchers as a way to radically privatize the public education system.

Under the guise of “school choice,” ALEC pushes bills with titles like “Parental Choice Scholarship Act” and the “Education Enterprise Act” that establish private school voucher programs.

February 24, 2017 at 11:31 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

A look at 3 school finance plans garnering debate at the Kansas Statehouse

Despite constitutional problems, negative impacts on public schools, bias against disadvantaged students, and comprehensive studies in cities like Washington DC, New York, Milwaukee, and Cleveland which demonstrate that private school voucher programs failed to make any improvements to the education system, ALEC sees vouchers as a way to radically privatize the public education system.

Under the guise of “school choice,” ALEC pushes bills with titles like “Parental Choice Scholarship Act” and the “Education Enterprise Act” that establish private school voucher programs.

February 24, 2017 at 11:30 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Rollback of federal protection for transgender students won't affect Lawrence schools, superintendent says

Despite constitutional problems, negative impacts on public schools, bias against disadvantaged students, and comprehensive studies in cities like Washington DC, New York, Milwaukee, and Cleveland which demonstrate that private school voucher programs failed to make any improvements to the education system, ALEC sees vouchers as a way to radically privatize the public education system.

Under the guise of “school choice,” ALEC pushes bills with titles like “Parental Choice Scholarship Act” and the “Education Enterprise Act” that establish private school voucher programs.

Unisex works for me as well no matter what buildings I happen to be in.

February 24, 2017 at 11:27 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

School board veteran Mary Loveland among candidates for vacant seat

Mary Loveland does not support neighborhood public schools which is one reason she was replaced.

My guess she will quietly work for privatization of public schools. BEWARE .....
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2...

February 24, 2017 at 10:16 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Attorney general: U.S. to continue use of privately run prisons

Yes the private prison industry ripping off taxpayers with the blessing of the GOP - of course the GOP love those special interest campaign dollars kicking back to them.

Yes taxpayers we are getting burned big time by way of privatization ......

February 24, 2017 at 10:13 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Medicaid expansion clears Kansas House on final vote

Sen Susan Wagle,

Support your constituents in Kansas and stop supporting the governor's misguided thinking.

You owe Governor Brownback nothing. You owe Kansas Taxpayers the right to our federal programs.

Senator Wagle you work for the taxpayers and are paid by the taxpayers. The majority of Kansas taxpayers want access to OUR Medic Aid as I'm sure plenty of assisted living business people would appreciate Medic Aid as well.

Respectfully Yours,
Richard Heckler

February 24, 2017 at 9:46 a.m. ( | suggest removal )