It's true, you know. Everything is bigger and meaner in Texas. Especially meaner. Also, lawmakers lie more there.
Today's helping of Texas Teabagger is brought to you by the Texas House, and their new "scarlet O" designation for Texans who bought their health insurance on the federal exchange.
The Texas state House on Monday passed a bill that would add a label to the insurance cards of individuals who purchased health insurance plans via an exchange established through Obamacare.
After the bill cleared an initial vote in the House last week, legislators voted 129-8 to approve the bill in a final vote on Monday, according to the Texas House clerk's office.
House Bill 1514, sponsored by Republican state Rep. J.D. Sheffield, would add the label "QHP" to the cards of individuals who purchased plans through the exchange, and "QHP-S" for those who receive subsidies.
This is a solution in search of a problem, so lawmakers have helpfully lied their way into inventing one.
Supporters of the bill say that the labels will help doctors understand the type of insurance coverage a patient has and remind patients to continue with their insurance payments, according to the Texas Tribune.
Neurologist Dr. Sara Austin testified on behalf of the Texas Medical Association in support of the legislation. In her written testimony, Austin said that insurance companies provide individuals with a 90-day grace period when they fall behind on their payments. Insurance companies must offer insurance for the 90 days, but if the individual does not pay at the end of the three months, insurance companies can terminate the insurance and demand a refund from doctors for the final 60 days of the grace period, according to Austin.
I think if you polled people who bought their health insurance on ACA exchanges, most would say they put paying their premium ahead of just about every other bill, because it was so damn hard to get health insurance before the Affordable Care Act.
This is a way to permit doctors to discriminate. I've already described my issues with Regal Medical Group refusing our insurance because it was bought through Covered California. Had I bought the identical policy as an unsubsidized individual plan, we would have been covered. Adding that designation just gives greedy doctors a reason to refuse to take patients.