Local Democrats Rally Against Latest Federal Health Care Bill

Health care system an enigma

Anthem is leaving the Affordable Care Act marketplace in ME for one major reason: Uncertainty.

Women with pre-existing conditions, which includes pregnancy, will be charged more.

Motivated by the cynical aims of fulfilling a bumper-sticker campaign promise and lavishing tax cuts on the wealthy, Republicans are threatening to pass a health care bill they know will make millions of Americans sicker and poorer. Republican Senator Rand Paul nailed it in a remarkably candid NPR interview last week: "The whole thing has nothing to do with repeal".

The decision not to put the bill to a vote in the Senate came a day after Sen. She has always been concerned that the various repeal-and-replace bills would leave more Mainers, especially those with pre-existing health conditions, without insurance, raise costs for those with insurance and harm Maine's hospitals by dramatically reducing federal Medicaid spending.

Normally, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) carries out a detailed analysis of cost and impact for important pieces of legislation.

And by clear majorities in countless surveys, Americans say they are personally satisfied with their health care insurance. Debate and amendments were also severely limited. It cut the enrollment period for buying insurance on the exchanges in half, and it's shutting down the website people use to enroll for all but one Sunday during the enrollment period.

There are other challenges with the ACA, including the lack of young and healthy individuals who have signed up for coverage.

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In July, the American Nurses Association published "The High Stakes of ACA Repeal and the 2017 Senate Health Care Plan", revealing that repealing the ACA would cause an estimated nationwide loss of 1 million jobs, particularly nursing careers. Those who don't lose their insurance will end up paying more in monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs for less coverage.

Congress must act in a bipartisan way to improve the ACA.

To provide insight into the continuing battle over health care reform, the 17 annual Marshall J. Seidman Lecture at Harvard Medical School, held on September 25, featured two leading health care policy researchers who have served senior officials and advisors to Republican and Democratic administrations. Doing so has the potential to dramatically lower premiums for the rest of the population, removing the most significant factor that discourages healthier people from purchasing insurance.

Translation, with fewer people in the market, it is harder to spread risk - and costs - to enough policyholders to make the finances work. Will the individual mandate be enforced? One agency owner told me, "Our caregivers work full time one week, part time another, and then six to eight weeks full time". It is nearly as though they have set up their own kingdom of princes, with Donald Trump who would be king.

For years, Antos said, mainstream Republican health care reform proposals were built on numerous same principals embodied in the ACA and included increasing access to care, helping people with low incomes purchase insurance on the individual market and promoting consumer choice. Harvard Pilgrim and Community Health Options plan to stay in Maine's individual marketplace for 2018, although both will significantly raise rates.

For these kinds of health insurance, the Affordable Care Act has strengthened consumer protections and access to comprehensive health coverage without bending cost curves sharply up. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee - of which Collins is a member - has asked state insurance commissioners, governors and health care providers for their ideas.

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