Monday's Fox News Outnumbered panel featuring Mike Huckabee thinks they've solved the dreadful ACA "problem" by segregating out all the people who have pre-existing conditions and then giving states a bunch of money to cover the ones who don't.
This is what people with pre-existing conditions had before the Affordable Care Act was passed. Raise your hand if you remember expensive high-risk pools with waiting lists to get in, low annual and lifetime limits and more.
Here is Huckabee's plan in a nutshell:
- Kill the ACA
- People are discriminated against for pre-existing conditions
- Block grant federal money to states for healthy people (A race to the bottom)
- Gather all the people with pre-existing conditions into one pool and use federal dollars to subsidize them (presumably at the same rate that block grants would be made for healthy folks)
Problem solved! Just like that.
Folks, that is exactly what we had before the ACA went into effect. Federally subsidized high-risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions with overall annual and lifetime benefit limits. Notice how Huckabee didn't mention that part? That's a big part of why they want to kill the ACA.
I had to laugh out loud when Huckabee said the focus should be on market-based solutions, as if that wasn't what the ACA is.
Apparently Kennedy thinks that the only people who "really need" insurance are those with pre-existing conditions, as if the rest of the population can blithely go through life with no real need for quality health care access.
As for the absurd claim that all anyone has to do is carve out those folks with pre-existing conditions, let's lay that to rest.
According to AARP, there are 108.7 million people over the age of 50, with more being added every year. By age 50, EVERYONE has something that would be classified as a pre-existing condition. Add to that people who are treated for depression, ADHD, and other mental health conditions, which are not limited to people under the age of 50. Then consider all of the folks under age 50 who have congenital and chronic conditions, like my son.
My guess is that there are fewer people who don't have pre-existing conditions than ones who do. So now we're looking at putting far more people into high risk pools than not. And again, I repeat: This is what we had BEFORE the ACA.
Early in this clip they quote Trump's tweet from earlier today:
What Trump is doing here is making the Democratic argument for Medicare for All in whatever form that may take. He is absolutely right: Americans should have access to healthcare without terrible deductibles or out of pocket expenses. That means they should have healthcare which is accessible, affordable, and takes out the profit margin health insurers currently receive.
By the way, under Huckabee's plan I would likely be declaring bankruptcy and desperately be trying to save my house after last month's events.
As for "state-based solutions," haven't we already seen those fail when it comes to the Medicaid expansion?
Huckabee either misunderstands health care policy deliberately or stupidly. It really doesn't matter which, but if you have relatives who watch Fox News, you should probably try to educate them. Gently.