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Senior 05-15-2017 09:02 AM

Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA

Quote:

Alicia Adamczyk
Mar 15, 2017

Will Fischer, an Iraq war veteran, isn't too fond of the current House Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. “When we see rollbacks like this, I don’t see how anyone can think that’s a positive thing,” says Fischer, the head of government relations at VoteVets, a progressive veterans organization. “We want to ensure that people don’t have to make a choice between buying their child lunch and buying their child medicine.” The rollback Fischer is referring to is the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and a nod to President Donald Trump's promise to "get our veterans the care they need wherever and whenever they need it." Trump has vowed to cut wait times at the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and increase the number of mental health professionals available.

But the GOP's recently released American Health Care Act—which the president supports—would put many vets at risk of losing access to the care they need. Hundreds of thousands of veterans and their family members have gained coverage under Obamacare, or the ACA, according to research from the Urban Institute, a socioeconomic think tank. In fact, a study published by the Urban Institute last fall reported that the rate of uninsured veterans dropped by 42% between 2013 and 2015. That increased coverage has translated into fewer vets reporting that they can't afford their hospital bills or have an unmet medical need, says Jennifer Haley, a research associate at the Urban Institute and one of the authors of the report. All of those coverage gains are now on the chopping block under the AHCA. "A lot of people were surprised that any veterans were uninsured," says Haley. "But if the ACA's coverage options are no longer available to veterans, I would think we would go back to increases in [those uninsured]."

Millions of veterans can access health care services via the VA, but not every former military member qualifies for care there or chooses to use the organization’s services—long wait times and backlogs have plagued the agency for years. In the newly released report from the Congressional Budget Office, an estimated 24 million fewer Americans overall would be insured by 2026 under the AHCA, compared to the ACA, mostly because of the rollback of the Medicaid expansion and the individual mandate that requires everyone to purchase health care or pay a tax penalty. The veteran population would not be exempt from these changes. And that would send many vets back to the overburdened VA—which cannot hire additional workers to help process or care for potential new patients because of a federal hiring freeze implemented by the Trump administration. This would likely leave the thousands who do not qualify for VA care without coverage at all, as insurance becomes unaffordable without the ACA's subsidies. Hundreds of thousands of spouses and children could also lose coverage. (The VA did not return requests for comment.) But it’s not just insurance coverage that’s at risk—it’s the type of care that's covered by that insurance. The House plan removes the requirement that Medicaid plans cover essential services, including mental health, substance use, and behavioral health services.

A 2015 survey from the nonprofit Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America found that 58% of respondents reported having a mental health injury due to their service. Decreasing mental health coverage for Medicaid enrollees could be detrimental for vets, who suffer from mental health issues like PTSD and are at higher risks of suicide than the general population. For some, the AHCA's changes are a reflection of a bigger, cultural shift, where veterans and their needs have become less visible. "I’ve been in this field for about 40 years and this is the worst it’s ever been in terms of the lack of human and moral support for people who are disabled," says Ron Manderscheid, executive director of the National Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors, a mental health advocacy group. "Something has changed in our culture where there’s a lot less sympathy than in any time I’ve been in the field."

Finally, the AHCA's combination of lower subsidies, no individual mandate, and continuous coverage provision—which allows insurers to charge people 30% higher premiums if they go without coverage for 63 days or more—creates the conditions for higher insurance prices for low-income or working-class vets down the road, much as it does for the general population. All of these factors have led veterans, medical groups, and mental health organizations to come out against the AHCA."If the ACA is repealed and replaced with Trumpcare, we are going to see thousands of veterans lose their health care," Fischer of VoteVets says. "We need politicians to stand with them and their families."
A little known yet major problem with the GOP/AHCA is that military veterans who qualify for VA care would not be eligible for Trumpcare tax-credits. It doesn't matter if you use VA services or not. All that matters is if you qualify for VA services. GOP staffers say the problem has been fixed, but healthcare experts disagree and say the problem persists. This GOP/AHCA coverage gap (veterans who qualify for VA but instead use Obamacare) affects ~7 million military veterans.


Related: Did Congress Just Screw 7 Million Vets Out Of Their Tax Credits?

GottaGo 05-15-2017 10:08 AM

Re: Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
Interesting that the headlines to this article say "would', and in the body of the article it says 'at risk'.

The increase of the number of covered vets, as with any citizens, was likely due to the threat of penalties if you didn't get health insurance...

While I haven't had time to read through the AHCA as was passed, there is one thing that I can say.... if a person has to be threatened by means of fines, to purchase a product, I don't call that a good thing. The administrative burden that goes with the PPACA is/was astounding.

While I believe that pre-existing conditions should be covered (albeit at higher premiums) and the actual definition for insurance purposes of such be redefined, the subsidies are turning into joke. Each special group claiming need, and the weight falls back on the working joe......

Enough already. Since the PPACA is not self-sustaining and beyond fixing, and I laugh each time someone says what the current administration puts out there better be better than the PPACA, I can only hope that the AHCA erases the extortive mandates of the PPACA, and expands the access to sliding scale clinics for those who cannot afford health care or insurance on their own.

And then just leave the rest of us the hell alone.

FrancSevin 05-15-2017 10:16 AM

Re: Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GottaGo (Post 887054)
Interesting that the headlines to this article say "would', and in the body of the article it says 'at risk'.

The increase of the number of covered vets, as with any citizens, was likely due to the threat of penalties if you didn't get health insurance...

While I haven't had time to read through the AHCA as was passed, there is one thing that I can say.... if a person has to be threatened by means of fines, to purchase a product, I don't call that a good thing. The administrative burden that goes with the PPACA is/was astounding.

While I believe that pre-existing conditions should be covered (albeit at higher premiums) and the actual definition for insurance purposes of such be redefined, the subsidies are turning into joke. Each special group claiming need, and the weight falls back on the working joe......

Enough already. Since the PPACA is not self-sustaining and beyond fixing, and I laugh each time someone says what the current administration puts out there better be better than the PPACA, I can only hope that the AHCA erases the extortive mandates of the PPACA, and expands the access to sliding scale clinics for those who cannot afford health care or insurance on their own.

And then just leave the rest of us the hell alone.

A good response to the madness from the supporters of the PPHCA. A program which, if Congress does not authorize a massive bailout, will collapse and fall in on itself. If and when that happens many, many more citizens, who paid higher and higher premiums will also be without Health care INSURANCE.We were told in 2009 that 30 million people did not have Healthcare insurance.
Today, Despite the enormous costs of PPHCA to citizens and the economy.... 33 million still don't
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...lth-insurance/

jimbo 05-15-2017 10:21 AM

Re: Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by GottaGo (Post 887054)
Interesting that the headlines to this article say "would', and in the body of the article it says 'at risk'.

The increase of the number of covered vets, as with any citizens, was likely due to the threat of penalties if you didn't get health insurance...

While I haven't had time to read through the AHCA as was passed, there is one thing that I can say.... if a person has to be threatened by means of fines, to purchase a product, I don't call that a good thing. The administrative burden that goes with the PPACA is/was astounding.

While I believe that pre-existing conditions should be covered (albeit at higher premiums) and the actual definition for insurance purposes of such be redefined, the subsidies are turning into joke. Each special group claiming need, and the weight falls back on the working joe......

Enough already. Since the PPACA is not self-sustaining and beyond fixing, and I laugh each time someone says what the current administration puts out there better be better than the PPACA, I can only hope that the AHCA erases the extortive mandates of the PPACA, and expands the access to sliding scale clinics for those who cannot afford health care or insurance on their own.

And then just leave the rest of us the hell alone.

"or chooses to use the organization’s services"

This line jumped out at me. The care and coverage is there. The client chooses to go elsewhere, as long as somebody else pays for it.

jimbo 05-15-2017 10:32 AM

Re: Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrancSevin (Post 887056)
A good response to the madness from the supporters of the PPHCA. A program which, if Congress does not authorize a massive bailout, will collapse and fall in on itself. If and when that happens many, many more citizens, who paid higher and higher premiums will also be without Health care INSURANCE.

Congress will authorize a massive bail out. And a massive fix which will involve spending more money we don't have.

The system was based on lies. $2500 saved, like your doctor, keep your doctor, like your insurance keep your insurance. OCare will be paid for by streamlining government programs. The massive fix will just be more lies.

It's ironic that thousands of veterans want to opt out of the only free government run health care system by jumping into another government not so free health care system.

GottaGo 05-15-2017 12:35 PM

Re: Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FrancSevin (Post 887056)
A good response to the madness from the supporters of the PPHCA. A program which, if Congress does not authorize a massive bailout, will collapse and fall in on itself. If and when that happens many, many more citizens, who paid higher and higher premiums will also be without Health care INSURANCE.We were told in 2009 that 30 million people did not have Healthcare insurance.
Today, Despite the enormous costs of PPHCA to citizens and the economy.... 33 million still don't
https://fivethirtyeight.com/features...lth-insurance/

Interesting site there, thanks for the link!

Lumara 05-15-2017 05:25 PM

Re: Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
From the OP:

Quote:

Hundreds of thousands of veterans and their family members have gained coverage under Obamacare, or the ACA, according to research from the Urban Institute, a socioeconomic think tank.
That is false. The ACA did not grant VA healthcare coverage to veterans. Since VA healthcare is something entirely separate from Obamacare, that sentence I quoted above makes no sense. If you are a veteran who qualified for VA healthcare, you weren't required to sign up for Obamacare.

FrancSevin 05-15-2017 07:13 PM

Re: Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
The problem with American health care is not the quality or availability of excellence but the universal provison of it, by law, to anyone who needs it.

No physician, E-R, or hospital, will send a sick or injured person away. For two reasons;

1) It is against the law to refuse service to someone who needs medical attention. Hospital, clinics and medical practitioners know that if they refuse service, even if legitimately, they are subject to inspections and review. So they always, as a matter of practice and policy, provide services and attempt to collect after.

2) It is inhumane to reject services that are needed. So unless someone wants their bent nose or double chin fixed for free, the service wanted but not needed is performed. From colds, to cuts, to symptoms of the flu, and examination and treatment is provided. Again, practitioners error on the side of caution.

So, the problem with health care insurance is that we have this law protecting persons from being turned away and it forces the medical industry to service those who cannot, or will not, pay their fair share.

This well intentioned law has created a boon for insurers via the application of OBAMACARE which mandates that everybody must have health care insurance.
And as a result, someone who can pay some or all of the costs cannot negotiate with the service provider. Instead they must pay a "middleman" who would of course, need compensation for their "contribution" to the payment process.

It is on the back of this arrangement that the costs of medical products and services has risen beyond reason. And no attempt by a government to mediate the cost/benefit struggle will provide services at lower cost when it involves a commodity product.

The product is healthcare, not health care insurance. We need to get the insurance industry under control. The only sure way to do that is to require them to earn their customers by quality and affordability. Translate that to competition.

Competition with each other, in all markets and also competition with self insurers who will pay for services at much lower rates than the insurance industry claims those services cost.

I have been self insured for 30 years. My costs for medical services was almost always one third of what the insurance industry told customers . And it was commensurate with what Insurance companies actually paid their doctors for the exact same services.

The scam is not over. Trump's ACA program is much the same. The Insurance industry will not let go of their wind fall profits. It is an enormous amount of money and they will spend millions to maintain their control of it.

Repeal Obamacare.

STOP

Build a new program of health care clinics that treat anybody who walks in. STOP

Free the insured from the bonds of territorial racketeering by insurers. Open the borders so people can buy insurance they want across state line. STOP

Allow people to buy catastrophic policies for the big occasional expensive medical emergencies and pay their own way day to day on the wellness programs.

STOP

There exist actuaries on all of these ideas. The Insurance industry could turn on a dime to make a fortune "Honestly" instead of rapping the public, not only with the government's permission, but mandated by law.

STOP

Yes STOP before it is too late to save American Health care. What once was the best health care in the world.

cnredd 05-15-2017 07:22 PM

Re: Thousands of Veterans and Their Families Would Lose Insurance Under the AHCA
 
How many thousands of Veterans and their families LOST the insurance they had (and with were satisfied) BECAUSE of ObamaCare?...:yes


Shhhhhh...:mad


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