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The Republican plan to replace Obamacare, in comics!

In keeping with what has apparently become my life plan of “make comics about the fine points of healthcare policy because I can dammit,” here’s another comic about the fine points of healthcare policy. Today, our subject is the best Republican plan to replace Obamacare.

Behold: https://economixcomix.com/home/trumpcare/

2 comments to The Republican plan to replace Obamacare, in comics!

  • Ben

    Great comic. There’s one thing I don’t quite understand: Obamacare included the 80/20 rule that requires insurance companies to spend either 80% or 85% of premiums on medical care. https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Market-Reforms/Medical-Loss-Ratio.html Shouldn’t this prevent a single insurer in a state’s marketplace from fleecing customers like you’re describing?

    The only ways I can think of to take advantage of being the only insurer in a marketplace would involve some fancy tricks that I don’t think we’re seeing, like don’t offer high-deductible plans (if you collect more premiums and spend more on care, you can collect a greater 20% slice too), and pass through high provider costs instead of negotiating aggressively within the insurer’s network (but then it’s really the providers fleecing their customers more than the insurers, they’re just complicit).

    • Good point. There’s something happening with the MLR that I simply don’t understand. For instance, my insurance is through Obamacare; last year they paid out less than the statutory minimum so they had to send me a refund ($9 woohoo!). You’d think if they’d had such a good year, they wouldn’t have to increase the price much this year. But they increased it reasonably substantially, and I think higher than the average increase in costs. So I’m not sure how things don’t work like they should, but they don’t work like they should.

      But one way that they totally can engage in fuckery (I buried this point in the notes because I was low on space): The subsidies are based on the second-lowest-priced silver plan. If there’s only one insurer, they can simply choose how much the second-lowest-priced silver plan is. Thus, they can determine how big the subsidies are.

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