Saturday, 11 March 2017 10:18

Trump's Ryan's American Health Care Act is just a sugar pill

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sugar healthThe executive branch in Gulag Washington is not alone in its troubles in these foreboding and rancorous days. America’s new Mr. Rogers, House Speaker Paul Ryan, rolled out his pay-for-playhouse replacement for Obamacare this week. It’s called the American Health Care Act. The name, fittingly, finally strips our first “foreign born” ex-president’s name from the existing law President Trump has said is “broken, terrible, the worst.”

The new, better, proposed replacement was panned in a heartbeat of its unveiling, however, when many Americans, living and dying, and even some Senate Republicans, cried “Ouch.” Ryan, undeterred, took off his 100% pure oxygen mask long enough to state that the AHCA was the last best opportunity to euthanize Obamacare. He didn’t dwell on the fact that his plan, as presently constituted, will cost an estimated fifteen million people their health insurance with those in the poorest states, along with women and children, suffering the most. It’s Darwinism reduced to its most basic equation of life versus death.

In a subset of the new Washington obsession with deal making, the Speaker wants the public to comparison shop before it lets any surgeon crack a chest, set a bone, or deliver a baby. Every practitioner’s skills are equal in his dystopian view. By way of example, Ryan informed everyone how he negotiated the price for the Lasix surgery that lets him read the fine print on the bottom line of everything except compassion.

The Speaker, also, endorsed the belief that it’s unfair for healthy young people to pay the same price for medical coverage as the old and the sick that are waiting for the nurse to cover their faces with a sheet. In doing so, Ryan gave new meaning to the classic counter-cultural mantra “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.”

A de-facto death panel of the people, by the people, for the mostly old and sick people, Ryan’s plan involves the same thinking that made the Survivor TV series so popular. In the end, someone has to get voted off the island no matter how much they want to stay.

If the proposed legislation makes it into law, deaths induced by Congress will be more numerous but, on the bright side, they will bring down the cost of medicine, overall. As people expire faster, and in greater numbers, doctors will be forced to compete for an ever-decreasing number of patients. This, alone, will drive medical care costs down making everyone healthier as a result.

Don’t be too hard on the Speaker. To make up for inherent inequalities in the risk pool he’s going to give everyone subsidy money to buy whatever health plan they want. To blunt opposition to the patent unfairness of his proposed plan Ryan added the irresistible incentive that if you’re willing to go with “naked” coverage you can spend that health care cash subsidy on “anything you want.” Cigarette, liquor, and potato chip stocks surged at the news.

The House leader misses a basic point about insurance. It’s as much a social contract as it is a financial one. By having everyone share the risk, regardless of a contributor’s age or condition, no one gets excessively hurt. Young healthy people will one day be old and sick, themselves. It’s meant to even out in the end. To compare and contrast, there is no Social Security exemption for the young because they, probably, won’t need its help for decades, if at all. They pay into the fund, like everyone else, in case, one day, they’re the ones the program’s benefits will keep fed, housed, and clothed.

A time is coming when Americans will come to realize that what they’ve been given by Ryan to cure their ills is just a sugar pill.



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