Twila Brase is the president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, a patient-centered national health freedom organization existing to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. She is a certified public health nurse, and is active in the legislative arena both in testifying and meeting with legislators. She’s the daily speaker on the Health Freedom Minute.
Twila has some concerns regarding the repealing of Obamacare. She’s learned that legislators are afraid of the 20 million enrollees and that they have donors in the health plans and the hospital association and others who have received a prized position through Obamacare. So as much as there are things they don’t like about it, they would like it to be fixed and not done away with because a lot of them have lost their competition so they have the whole market as a result of Obamacare.
Congress is pressed on all sides. On one hand they have their promise to repeal Obamacare. However, now that they are in power with the potential to do it, they’re listening to their lobbyists and news reports and wondering if somehow this can be repealed without repealing it entirely.
Twila doesn’t agree with the notion that there has to be a plan in place for repeal so that there isn’t some giant, health care black hole left behind. There are about 5-6 million people who are Medicaid eligible and were eligible before Obamacare. These folks are called ‘woodwork’ enrollees. They came ‘out of the woodwork’ but as soon as the mandate went into effect, they became afraid and signed up.
Then there’s the Medicaid expansion enrollees. Medicaid is a state program. States could decide how to take care of these individuals if they wanted to do it, with more limited benefits or bypass the hospitals completely and give them block grants. These grants would start with the federal government. The state would pass them on to the hospitals, then the hospitals could take care of the Medicaid population bypassing the managed care organizations and their associated costs.
Then there are the 5.9 million who lost their insurance as a result of Obamacare. They would be able to get their insurance back.
There’s also those with pre-existing conditions. These folks numbered about 226 thousand that were covered by the 36 high-risk state pools. States could start those pools again. Alaska restarted theirs in order to bring down premium costs.
So there are things that can be done. The bottom line is that people are enrolled in Obamacare because they had nowhere else to go. Once Obamacare is gone, the majority of them will find someplace else to go. It will be more affordable and it won’t have the narrow network that was forced on them by Obamacare.
There are only 6 Obamacare co-ops left. They are having financial difficulties yet billions were poured into the co-ops in order to set themselves up and give them the reserves they needed to start enrolling people. In the end, they fell flat on their faces and took taxpayer dollars with them.
Will delaying the repeal of Obamacare kick the problem down the road to the next election? If so, won’t that alienate those who voted Trump into office? What would a delay do to the health insurance companies? Could they demand a bailout or simply leave? Find out more, along with Twila’s 21 principles for health freedom when you review this edition of Crosstalk.
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202-224-3121 (Senate Switchboard)