Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Watch the SIG Pigs

I touch you once
I touch you twice
I won't let go at any price

Confused about how the revised Senate healthcare bill stacks up against Obamacare? One way to gauge relative differences is to note how various healthcare special interest groups (SIGs) that benefit from the ACA are responding to the proposed bill.

For example, various medical trade groups, such as the AMA and hospital associations, oppose the bill. Members of these groups get paid by Obamacare. We can surmise that they will get paid less under the proposed system.

AARP is also against the bill. AARP, formerly the American Association of Retired Persons, constitutes that largest non-profit, and lobby, for seniors. Seniors, of course, consume more healthcare resources than any other demographic. Based on AARP's opposition, we can surmise that seniors will have access to fewer healthcare resources and/or pay higher prices under the proposed system.

Health insurers have generally been silent w.r.t. the Senate bill. Insurers have benefited handsomely under Obamacare (as demonstrated by UnitedHealth Group's stock price above). A provision of the Senate bill allows that insurers will be subsidized (read: bailed out) for losses that they might incur under the new plan. It seems straightforward to conclude that insurers will benefit even more if the Senate bill is made law.

To understand the likely consequences of any proposal in the era of socialized medicine, watch the behavior of the SIG pigs as they wallow around the public healthcare trough.

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