In a new radio interview, [Massachusetts senator-cum-New Hampshire senate candidate Scott] Brown professes support for protecting people with preexisting conditions and other general goals of the law. But he reiterates his support for repealing Obamacare, claiming its goals should only be accomplished by states:
“I believe states can do it better. They can certainly cover preexisting conditions, cover kids to X age, whatever you want — catastrophic care, covering those who need additional coverages…other states have addressed these issues.”
But when asked whether, under Brown’s vision, states could decline to offer protections for preexisting conditions, Brown replied:
“I have to respectfully disagree. It’s something that’s very important for our state and its citizens. It’s something that more than likely would be covered in any type of plan that we offered…that is one thing that is important to me. I’ve already voted on something like that. And I would continue to support that.”
That appears to be a reference to Brown’s previous support for Romneycare in Massachusetts.
— Morning Plum: Scott Brown calls for replacing Obamacare with Romneycare, Greg Sargent, Washington Post, today
I, too, believe states can do it better. If, say, they wanted to. Which, since there was nothing to stop from doing better, or even from doing as well as, Obamacare, before 2010, and in fact there still is not—and since only one state, Massachusetts, did in fact do better. (Romneycare’s coverage of everyone who needed subsidies did not depend upon whether the person’s county agreed to accept payments from the state for people whose income is between the poverty level and 133% of the poverty level, after all, which for those who fell into that category, was, y’know, better.)
Since Obamacare is, in essence, Romneycare on a national level, with the exception that (to my knowledge) Romneycare had no distinction between in the way the subsidies worked, on the one hand, for people whose income under Obamacare means that they have no coverage at all if their state has not adopted the Medicaid expansion, and people whose income entitles them to federal subsidies under Obamacare irrespective of whether or not that their state has not adopted the Medicaid expansion. And with the exception that, well, under Romneycare, the total cost of the subsidies was paid by the state of Massachusetts. Rather than, y’know, the federal government.
So, take note, New Hampshirites: Scott Brown wants your state to pay the healthcare insurance subsidies for New Hampshire residents who now receive federal subsidies under Obamacare or who apparently are about to receive coverage paid virtually entirely by the federal government once New Hampshire adopts the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, as it reportedly is about to do.
Well, okay, he doesn’t want New Hampshire to actually provide subsidies to everyone who needs subsidies in order to afford healthcare insurance, as Romneycare did. No, he wants those subsidies to go only to a certain segment of people who can’t otherwise afford healthcare insurance and who, until this year via Obamacare didn’t have insurance. Because, y’see, it’s better—his word—to have a substantially higher percentage of New Hampshirites uninsured because they lack access to subsidies to help them afford it.
And he also thinks it’s better—his word—to have insurance premiums skyrocket because, under Browncare would, like Romneycare and Obamacare, prohibit insurance companies from declining coverage to people with preexisting conditions or charging them higher premiums, but unlike Romneycare and Obamacare, would not require anyone to purchase healthcare insurance before, say, they needed major medical care.
Unfortunately, though, Brown is not a candidate for governor or even for the state legislature. So, as popular as Browncare is likely to be in New Hampshire, electing him to the U.S. Senate won’t cause New Hampshire to take over healthcare subsidies for some state’s residents who now receive federal subsidies under Obamacare, and to return many others to their pre-2014 uninsured status. And electing him to the U.S. Senate won’t even cause healthcare coverage premiums to price many (most?) individual-market policyholders out of the individual market.
Well, at least not within the following two years, anyway–since Obama will remain president until Jan. 2016. Or, if Obama is impeached and convicted of high crimes and misdemeanors, Joe Biden will be president for the remainder of the current presidential term. If Brown is elected, this will be very frustrating for everyone who voted for him, as the continued presence of a Democrat in the White House will prevent New Hampshire from making it’s healthcare coverage system worse, er, I mean better.
Of course, there’s always the option of a coup.