Drowning in Alphabet Soup

How BCRA, AHCA and ACA All Miss the Mark

June 22, 2017 was the day that the public and most lawmakers got a glimpse of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), otherwise known as the Senate version of a new healthcare bill. Almost immediately, journalists and pundits set about trying to explain how the BCRA was different than the AHCA (American Health Care Act aka the House version of the new bill) and the ACA (Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare, which is the current law of the land).

Both new bills are complex and were hastily put together. Both appear to chip away at Medicaid in the long term and to roll back some broad benefits that the ACA put into place for all Americans. But ACA, AHCA and BCRA all have three critical things in common.

  1. None of them address the fundamental problem of the rising cost of healthcare in this country, which is the single biggest cause of personal bankruptcies.
  2. None of them promote competition in healthcare delivery and pricing—they merely shift around who pays the ever-rising costs.
  3. None of them address the issue of fair and transparent pricing, which would allow Americans to at least be discerning healthcare consumers and avoid the most egregious of inflated costs.

Lawmakers’ lack of attention to these critical issues is why BrokenHealthcare.org exists. Pricing and transparency will not be addressed until we force legislators to do so. We are forcing them by denying payment to providers, who spend millions annually on lobbyists.

The great myth (or lie) being perpetuated is that competitive forces have failed to improve healthcare. But that’s simply untrue. Right now, we don’t have competitive forces. Similarly, the notion that a capitalist, consumer-centric, market-driven system can’t work is absurd. It’s just that we don’t currently have one. Our system is THAT broken. Our system is currently operating on a dysfunctional principle of competition that legalizes secret agreements between providers and insurers, pays millions to “middlemen” negotiators and excludes the patient from the equation. Of course, it is the patient that ultimately bears all of the cost. It is insanity.

While lawmakers are drowning in alphabet soup on Capitol Hill, at BrokenHealthcare.org, we are forcing the issue, one bill at a time. We want institutions to feel the heat on their bottom lines. We want them to take us to court. No combination of letters will truly benefit the American healthcare consumer until pricing is transparent and addressed appropriately.

Please join us in denying payment and demanding transparent pricing. That’s the message we should be giving to all lawmakers as they consider the future of healthcare. It’s time to press the fight.

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