The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just released its assessment with the help from the Joint Committee and Taxation (JCT) of the American Healthcare Act. The GOP is getting a lot of bad press after the CBO review which focused on the number of people who could become uninsured as a result of the current healthcare legislation labeled the American Healthcare Act proposed by Paul Ryan and Congressional leadership. The headlines from the establishment media usually express the desired narrative of the entrenched powers behind them, and this particular story follows precedent.
The Wall Street Journal stated, “CBO Sees 24 Million More Uninsured, $337 Billion Deficit Cut in Coming Decade With GOP Health Plan.” The Business Insider wrote, “The CBO says as many as 24 million more Americans could be uninsured under 'Trumpcare.'” Fox News published the story “Trump administration disagrees with CBO report on health care.” It is interesting, because the more business-oriented news outlets and what may be called by some as Republican “right-wing” news outlets are writing more pessimistic headlines.
The Democrat or “Progressive left wing” media has been much more politically focused with their headlines in regards to the CBO report. The Washington Post reported that “CBO: Defunding Planned Parenthood would lead to thousands more births.” The Huffington Post’s headline read, “Tuesday’s Morning Email: Congressional Budget Office Gives Low Marks To Ryan Plan.” The Atlantic stated, “The CBO Deals Paul Ryan’s Health-Care Plan a Major Blow.” The Hill even took the opportunity to quote grumpy, old, Socialist, Bernie Sanders, in their headline: “Sanders responds to CBO score: 'Thousands of Americans will die.'”
In summary, the report stated that the legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion from 2017-2026, provide $323 billion in on-budget savings, as well as $13 billion in off-budget savings. Federal outlays would be reduced by $1.2 trillion with revenues being reduced by $0.9 trillion. While the reduction of spending seems more fiscally healthy for the country, the establishment media is focused on is the number of people who will lose coverage and the political ramifications of this perceived result. The CBO reported that 14 million more people would be uninsured. This would stem from the repealing of the individual mandate penalty.
The changes in Medicaid subsidies are estimated to result in the loss of coverage for 20 million people in 2020, and then 24 million more in 2026. They concluded that the sum of people uninsured by 2026 would be 52 million people versus the 28 million who would lack insurance under the poorly named Affordable Care Act. The report also stated that premiums would continue to rise until 2020, but would begin decreasing after 2020.
Where are there any results of what the cost of healthcare will be, rather than the cost of healthcare coverage? Are the politicians and the media missing the boat? Or, is it a boat that they do not wish to be on?
The Beltway Politico-Media Complex
While this negative healthcare coverage narrative is swirling around in the echo chamber of the Beltway Politico-Media Complex, what are the American people thinking about all of this?
While it may be somewhat anecdotal, social media trends follow the same sentiment as the media, which is that the Republican proposal is not very popular within Conservative and Liberal Progressive Groups. We cannot ignore that those groups are not immune to the echo chambers of Beltway politico-media complex, as we cannot ignore their disdain for it either. There seems to be a void in the discussion in the media about the true problems we face in the healthcare industry, while there is much discussion of it on social media.
It is no secret that big business enjoys the subsidies of government. For the most part, big businesses involved in the healthcare industry are enriched indirectly from the funneling of American tax dollars to more potential patrons for their products and services. It is no wonder why the Wall Street Journal and the Business Insider do not like the potential that 24 million people could retract from the insurance market. After all, they report mostly to the business community; hence their headlines focus on this portion of the report.
There is no secret that the political establishment thrives in the politics of special interests. Planned Parenthood is a government funded arm of the Democratic Party and ideological progressives because it is energized by the special interests of feminists and abortion rights activists. Planned Parenthood’s influence is comparable to the National Rifle Association (NRA) for Conservatives, but is incomparable in regards to its source of funding. Interestingly enough, the NRA aims to protect the unalienable right to protect yourself, while Planned Parenthood appears to protect the fabricated rights to American tax dollars.
What is most puzzling is the hyper focus on the effects on access to insurance coverage rather than the access to affordable healthcare. The Washington Post's headline implies that by leaving the Affordable Care Act, (Obamacare), in place that thousands of babies would not be born. At face value that doesn’t sound very healthy. Why doesn’t Bernie Sanders scream from his Senate Chamber that thousands of babies would die without this plan?
The current plan proposed is not an affordable one, but is slightly more affordable than the one we have currently. It does not, however, make the plan a good one since it misses the entire premise of why healthcare is expensive in the first place.
Strengthening the relationship between the doctor and the patient is the solution.
The proposed legislation simply throws money to the middlemen than make healthcare more expensive. The government, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and other large healthcare conglomerates have been empowered by regulations to distort the mechanisms used to make better value judgments. That mechanism is the judgment of the doctor and patient. The CBO report fails to mention the fact that just because people will lose their current government-subsidized insurance, it doesn’t mean that they will not purchase their own individual plan. It doesn’t mention the fact that there are millions of people who do not want insurance at all, and shouldn't they be able to determine that on their own?
The fact is politicians and businesses have stolen the narrative of working to make healthcare affordable and replaced it with the narrative of making healthcare coverage more accessible. The narrative being peddled in the wake of the CBO report is that 24 million people will be removed from the system against their will with no intention of getting coverage on their own.
This is patently false.
The political establishment’s prescription as outlined by this plan does nothing to promote healthcare or even to do what the Affordable Care Act has aimed to do – make care affordable. The fact is, Forbes has reported that there is overwhelming evidence that Obamacare has increased premiums substantially. If you were to travel to Cuba, China, or even North Korea, you will find that everyone has healthcare coverage, but they have access to the most deplorable healthcare conditions in the industrialized world. This is because the politicians in those countries focused on fairness instead of affordability.
This is typical of socialist solutions observable at the extremes and is the complete politicization of any institution or industry and the destruction of value. As we all know, politics is expensive, and a system embroiled in it is even more so.
Liberal/Progressive/Socialists aim to control access through the ideological egalitarian channels of fairness, instead of providing an environment for affordability through the channels of logical free enterprise economics.
A less restrictive and more affordable healthcare system is a threat to healthcare industry benefactors. These benefactors include the businesses that profit from it, and the politicians who gain power through the people who profit from it. These businesses that profit from it, extend beyond insurance companies. Media creates the conflict-filled smoke screen between the American people and reality, which generates traffic as the American people try to see through it.
The politicos generate the conflict which is injected into the smoke screen. Lastly, business profiting from the expanding government fund it.
The CBO report mentioned very little in regards to making healthcare affordable, and simply became a part of the smoke screen. It is the elephant in the room that we must recognize, and that elephant is not solely the Republican Party. The big, fat, bloated Beltway Politico-Media Complex encompasses all of the aforementioned groups.
The faster we realize that the Beltway Politico-Media Complex is not interested in making healthcare affordable, the better we will be in working to return to a more value-based healthcare system that is free of the grubby hands of power hungry profiteers.