Health Care

The following is some research into the real story about health care in the U.S., the costs associated with it and some of the risks we face if the current health care bill (H.R. 1628), better known as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), is enacted.  Thank you K. James for putting this together for us.

Affordable Health Care Marketplaces Are Not in a Death Spiral
Despite continued Republican assertions, Obamacare marketplaces are not in a death spiral, although they are in a fragile state.

People are Concerned That Benefits Gained in the Affordable Care Act Will Be Lost under GOP Bill
A recent projection from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives would result in 23 million additional uninsured people in 2026.

Florida’s Number of Uninsured Adults is Rising
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Florida’s number of uninsured adults is rising. Florida rejected Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, which lowered uninsured rates in many other states. Congress and the Trump administration are considering legislation that could push millions more out of health coverage.

Close to 120,000 Veterans in Florida May See Medicaid Weakened or Lost
About 1.75 million veterans nationwide, and close to 120,000 in Florida, rely on Medicaid. These veterans would see their Medicaid weakened or lost under the proposed Republican health care bill.

Zika and the GOP Health Bill
Many people are concerned about the Republican promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. The American Health Care Act passed by the House of Representatives includes a nearly endless list of preexisting medical conditions for which insurers could potentially charge higher premiums. This article from Mother Jones explains how both pregnant women who have had Zika and infants born with microcephaly from the Zika virus may be affected if this bill makes its way into law.

Attorney John Morgan Plans Lawsuit Regarding Medical Marijuana
Local attorney John Morgan was the face of the successful statewide, grass-roots movement to legalize medical marijuana in Florida. The bill that was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Rick Scott does not allow for smoking, although it does allow vaping. Mr. Morgan is now planning to file a lawsuit to protest the prohibition on the smoking of medical marijuana.

You can contact the legislators responsible for this bill here.  Please let them know your concerns about the proposed GOP plan to weaken the current health care program.

 The American Health Care Act of 2017 and the Better Care Reconciliation Health Care Act
This article from GovTrack provides information on the Republican Congress’ proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The House bill is called the American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA). The Senate Republicans’ plan is called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), and if passed, the Senate will negotiate with the House to combine the BRCA with the AHCA. GovTrack has posted the entire text of the bills, but also provides an excellent summary. GovTrack will send email updates upon request.

Texas slashed funding for Planned Parenthood and ended up with more teen abortions
The law of unintended consequences, by definition, says that actions of people, especially of government, always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended. The citizens of Texas discovered this all too well after the legislature defunded Planned Parenthood. With less access to birth control, teenage birth rates spiked – that is to be expected. However, the unexpected consequence was that teen abortions also increased.

Trump Administration Pulls Health Law Help in Florida, Other States
The Trump administration has ended Affordable Care Act contracts that brought assistance into libraries, businesses and urban neighborhoods in 18 cities, including Miami, Tampa and Orlando. Now people will have fewer places to turn for help signing up for coverage. Some people see this as another attempt to undermine the ACA’s marketplaces by the Trump administration, since the President has stated he should let “Obamacare” fail.

Governor Rick Scott Raises Concern about Inequity in Medicaid
Although Florida Governor Rick Scott has long supported repealing the Affordable Care Act and shifting more control of Medicaid money to the states, he is now concerned that Florida may not be treated fairly in Medicaid funding.

Medicare for All (H.R. 676) is Only Solution
We often hear that we have the “best health care system in the world”. However, the movie “Fix It: Healthcare at the Tipping Point” clearly shows that our current model is unsustainable. This blog post has a link to the movie, and lists which Florida representatives (along with contact information) have not yet signed on to the bill.