Twila Brase is the president and co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom whose mission is to protect health care choices, individualized patient care and medical and genetic privacy rights. Twila is a certified public health nurse and is speaker on the 'Health Freedom Minute'.
The American Healthcare Act has been unveiled. So how does Twila view this new proposal? She believes Obamacare has been a federal takeover of the healthcare system. However, she doesn't see the new proposal as a complete repeal. Only some aspects have been repealed.
All but one of the taxes have been repealed and the Republicans 'zero out' the mandate and penalties, replacing the latter two items with their own version. This means that if you don't purchase health insurance and don't maintain continuous coverage, then you pay a 30% penalty.
In addition, they're installing their own version of Obamacare's subsidy program. This creates a brand new entitlement program called 'Refundable Tax Credits'. Under this program you get a certain amount of money that you can take off of your tax statement for buying insurance.
Replacing the 'State Innovation Fund' is the 'Patient and State Stability Fund'. This is 100 billion dollars to bail-out insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions.
For Twila, the insuring of those with pre-existing conditions is the centerpiece of Obamacare and any government run, national healthcare system. She believes that's what got us into trouble with skyrocketing premiums. In other words, everyone else ended up paying for those who never had insurance.
There are ways this can be handled and that was handled at the state level. There were 35 states that had high-risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions. You would have to pay more money if you were in that group but you could obtain coverage. There were some limitations to that aspect of insurance, but it was a way for states to encourage people to be covered.
She feels this issue of pre-existing conditions could be taken care of by encouraging parents to buy a policy for their children before birth. Then they can hand that policy over to the child to take with them into adulthood and never doing family or employer policies.
For Twila, the new plan is not a repeal or replacement for Obamacare. Instead, it tends to rename, restructure and reconfigure certain areas as it retains federal control. She believes the Republicans need a much bigger vision in order to get back to health freedom and this bill isn't it.
Other aspects of this topic that were discussed include:
--Whether the new plan will modernize and strengthen Medicaid
--Health savings accounts
--Are the Republicans taking a chance with House seats by proposing what appears to be nothing more than a scaled-back version of Obamacare?