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Wed Mar 16, 2016, 06:37 AM

PNHP reviews Clinton on health care


So you have the federal exchange. And to go on and keep looking to see what the prices are, because we have to get more competition back into the insurance market. One thing that I want to work on with my friends from Congress who are here is we've got to get more non-profits that are capable of selling insurance back into the insurance market.

You know, Blue Cross and Blue Shield used to be non-profits. And then they transferred themselves into for-profit companies. And there was some effort made under the Affordable Care Act to get some competition from non-profit institutions, some of them worked and a lot of them didn't.

I want to know what we can do, because if you could get a range of insurers, some of who were not-for-profit companies, that would lower costs.

So there is a number of things I am looking at. And what I want to assure you and your family of is I will do everything I can as president, working with members of Congress where necessary, to try to get the costs down.

But I do want you to keep shopping, because what you are telling me is much higher than what I hear from other families, and so I want to be sure that if there is a better option out there for you, you're going to be able to take advantage of it.

And then I'll work as hard as I can to get the costs down for everybody, and that includes prescription drug costs, which are skyrocketing and increasing costs for everything else.

Comment by Don McCanne of PNHP: Hillary Clinton says that one of her proposals is to bring health care costs down. This town hall exchange is significant because it reveals the depth, or lack thereof, as to how she might accomplish this.

She says that she would lower co-pays and deductibles. But the question was about high premiums, and the market is using higher deductibles and other cost sharing to lower premiums. Lowering deductibles will cause higher premiums, not lower.

She says that we need more non-profit insurers like Blue Cross and Blue Shield used to be. But if you compare premiums in California for for-profit Anthem Blue Cross and non-profit Blue Shield, they are the same. The non-profit insurers share the same inefficiencies and administrative excesses as the for-profits.

She says that she wants more competition in the exchanges so that less expensive plans will be available for diligent shoppers, but, again, lower premiums are possible only by reducing coverage - higher deductibles, less accessible narrower networks, etc.

Private plans competing in the marketplace is what we already had before the Affordable Care Act was passed. We merely continued the same system. Adding exchanges did very little except to enable the administration of subsidies and credits for lower-income individuals. For those not eligible for government subsidies and credits, nothing was done to control the very high costs of health care and the insurance products that pay for that care.

Unfortunately, Hillary’s proposal is more of the same. Perpetuate the fiction of lower prices through competition while manipulating the insurance products to have either lower premiums or poorer coverage. In fact, included in ACA is the excise tax (Cadillac tax) which is designed to prevent the marketing of full benefit plans. Making health care less affordable through greater out-of-pocket cost exposure is the exact opposite of where Clinton says she wants to take us. The problem is that the current financing infrastructure will not allow us to go there.

If we want affordable care for everyone, we need a single payer improved Medicare-for-all which will control costs and make the financing more equitable.

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Reply PNHP reviews Clinton on health care (Original post)
eridani Mar 2016 OP
djean111 Mar 2016 #1
eridani Mar 2016 #2
Shadowflash Mar 2016 #3

Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Mar 16, 2016, 06:46 AM

1. Hillary thinks the ACA is just fine, the uninsured are not a voting bloc, and being blithely told


to just shop around - insulting. And, yes, if co-pays and other costs go down, premiums will just go up.

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Response to djean111 (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 16, 2016, 06:56 AM

2. The term "shop" is disgusting to me--even though I know many universal care advocates--

--use it. Health care should be a PUBLIC good, not a consumer good. Does your fire department "shop" for firetrucks, call them "affordable."? Those words are fine for iPoda, but not for public goods.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Mar 16, 2016, 07:11 AM

3. As long as the people making the health care decisions

Are people who's FIRST priority is profit, paying shareholders and the CEO's bonus, it's NEVER going to be 'fixed'.

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