Conservatives and liberals alike have been up in arms over the proposed American Health Care Act, or “RyanCare”. As it stands, the bill would not return healthcare to the free market, would not remove the “invisible state lines” that drive costs up.
Speaking to Breitbart News Saturday radio host, Matt Boyle, Republican congressman Dave Brat said:
We want Trump to be hugely successful, so we don’t want to handle a bill that’s going to fail in a few years,” he said.
“Trump ran on price-discovery and competition across state lines, getting the price down — the price is going up by 20 percent and the bill we are getting ready to vote on, once again, goes back and does too much emphasis on the coverage aspect.”
As the Wall Street Journal has tirelessly pointed out, Obamacare turned health insurance essentially into a public utility. The government dictates what policies must cover and sharply regulates pricing. Insurers have to accept all comers, cannot differentiate price based upon risk, and are limited as to administrative costs and profits. There can be price differentiation on the basis of age, but within a narrow ban not truly reflective of relative risk.
Ryancare loosens this up, but only marginally, and not nearly enough to establish a truly free individual health insurance marketplace. Obamacare’s mandated benefits would remain. Insurers would still have to accept all comers and be prohibited from pricing according to risk. The price differentiation according to age would be broadened slightly, but states would be permitted to take even that pricing flexibility away.
One thing that the left and right can both agree on: we need a smart and lasting solution to fix a system that was already broken, and then shattered under Obama. RyanCare, as it stands, just isn’t it.