Re Ann McFeatters’ June 23 opinion piece, “GOP health bill will worsen opioid crisis”: The problem with the proposed legislation is much larger than what McFeatters highlights.
As a physician for five decades and a medical officer in the managed-care industry for four decades, it is my opinion that the proposed bill has at least three fatal flaws:
1. The elimination of the mandate violates the basic principle of healthcare reform, that if insurance is to be the payment model (that is a different debate) then, everyone must be insured;
2. The removal of the requirement for basic benefits
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3. The allowing of medical underwriting.
The combination of 2 and 3 once again will allow the for-profit insurance industry, through marketing strategies, benefit design, and premium manipulation to cherry pick the enrolled population so that by essentially doing nothing to improve quality and lower global cost they can be profitable.
These factors, along with the drive to put the individual market and Medicaid programs in for-profit managed care represent a clear, present a well-known threat to individuals enrolled in the evolving market.
Hopefully, another solution will become obvious to our leaders in Washington.
Charles C. Wilhelm, Miami