Rounds Has No Doubt Taking Away Your Insurance Is “Better than Obamacare”

Senator Mike Rounds appears to think that the only way to sell the Republican plan to take health insurance away from millions of Americans is to keep shouting “Obamacare!”

Mike Rounds
Just keep shouting “Obama,” and no one will notice we’re screwing them….

I think the American Health Care Act, which recently passed the House of Representatives, is a step in the right direction. Removing the mandates, eliminating the taxes, providing more flexibility for states and clearing a path for the free market to work again are all good steps toward reducing premiums for families and employers.

But, it’s not perfect and I would like to see improvements, including a transition plan for folks closing in on retirement, clear assurances on how we’ll handle pre-existing conditions and stronger promotion of group insurance plans because that is the most effective delivery system we have.

Should the House bill be improved? Absolutely. Is it still better that Obamacare? Without a doubt [Senator Mike Rounds, weekly column, 2017.05.05].

Rounds’s understanding of the phrase “without a doubt” is, without a doubt, flawed. “Better than Obamacare” should mean, as Donald Trump said, “insurance for everybody… much less expensive and much better.” Trumpcare makes insurance more expensive for victims of rape and millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. It cuts Medicaid and reduces services for special education students. It makes all these cuts just to give Donald Trump and a few other rich people a huge tax cut. There is thus plenty of doubt that Trumpcare is better than the current system.

The problem Mike Rounds and his Republican word-warpers are going to hit is that Barack Obama is no longer in office to take the blame. Millions of Americans don’t look at their coverage as Obamacare; they look at it as their health coverage, as decent services that they and their children are going to lose because of Donald Trump, Kristi Noem, and Mike Rounds. Even some Rounds voters will be less scared of Rounds’s tired old bogeyman argument about retired Obama and more scared of losing their basic health benefits.

Related: Rounds’s former fellow governors have plenty of doubts about the merits of Trumpcare:

The House Republican repeal bill narrowly approved Thursday lets states opt out of much of Obamacare — but not a single governor has stepped up to say they want to take advantage of that leeway.

Officials in a dozen states surveyed by POLITICO weren’t eager to embrace opt-outs that would let states skirt key insurance provisions, including safeguards for people with pre-existing conditions and a set of basic, required health benefits.

That reluctance is striking given that “state flexibility” has been at the top of the governors’ health care wish lists for years. It shows the political peril of endorsing a concept that could spike premiums and risk coverage for the sick, including some with life-threatening or disabling conditions [Rachana Pradhan, “Even Red States Are Wary of Ditching Obamacare Protections,” Politico, 2017.05.06].

14 Responses to Rounds Has No Doubt Taking Away Your Insurance Is “Better than Obamacare”

  1. “It is still better than Obamacare.” Mike Rounds

    The American Healthcare Act is not a healthcare bill. It’s a tax cut bill for the wealthy that drastically cuts healthcare funding. It takes away 50% of the funding in Obamacare and gives hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires – like Mike Rounds. Has anybody asked Mike Rounds how much he expects personally in tax cuts if this passes? No wonder he likes it so much.

  2. mike from iowa

    Don’t be so hard on this goofy bastard or the rest of the SNEAK OF WEASELS (I looked it up) called wingnuts. They have re-defined healthcare as yooge taxcuts for the wealthy.

  3. Rounds, the so-called Catholic is going against the Social Teaching that those with more means should pay more in taxes “to pay for the publics needs of society” This elimination of taxes that Mike Rounds is boasting about will not meet the basic need of the poor and low income workers.

    It’s all right there in the cut and paste below.

  4. “better than Obamacare”

    sure Mike…..better to line the insurance company pockets of you and your family

  5. When Sen. Rounds says, ” . . . and clearing a path for the free market to work again are all good steps toward reducing premiums for families and employers,” I have to wonder when was the free market working? When did the free market guarantee coverage? When did the free market stop spiraling costs? It seems that the seven plus years of the ACA has been enough time to erase the history of the abject failure of the free market to do social good in the area of health care – but that’s not the free market’s job – is it?

  6. Porter Lansing

    Exactly, O. There are some markets where being free is simply an enticement to gouging and can’t be allowed. That’s why we have Public Utilities Commissions regulating things that are so vital to everyone they need special regulations.

  7. It takes courage to stand up for South Dakotans who are vulnerable especially those who have a disability and depend on Medicaid. Senator Rounds stands for the his wealthy campaign contributors and the Republican line first. We can figure out where the rest of us abide.

  8. Porter Lansing

    Advice to the G.O.P. from a “Double-Liberal” … Removing President Obama from being the “guy to blame” on healthcare and inserting your own names won’t be prudent. Everywhere and in every country where healthcare assistance exists, it’s hated. Even when it works pretty well, it’s hated. But then, you’re already kinda hated so you might as well go on and aggrandize yourselves, in your own minds, anyway.

  9. When Rounds says,” . . . and clearing a path for the free market to work again are all good steps toward reducing premiums for families and employers,” I remember walking into an insurance company to see if I could get insurance coverage, I was 19 yrs old. Once I mentioned the fact that I had Epilepsy, the agent just stood up and said, ” Sorry, we can’t cover you. Epilepsy is a pre-existing condition and we will not cover you.” Took less than 5 minutes to find out I could not and would not have ANY insurance unless I worked for a company that covered all their employees, and my Epilepsy would still not be covered. Oh, well, back to the good old days of having no coverage. GREAT! Thanks TRUMP & REPUBLICAN HENCHMEN!! Love going backwards! So when do we get rid of electricity?

  10. Preexisting condition exclusions mean that insurance companies are happy to take your money. But they don’t want to provide coverage for what you actually need – just coverage for things you probably won’t need. The free market says that millions of Americans are bad risks for insurance companies’ bottom lines so those unless those people can afford to pay all of their own medical bills for known medical conditions themselves out-of-pocket they won’t be able to afford an insurance policy to cover known those known medical conditions. In other words, the free market says, “You’re on your own, schmuck!” Coincidentally, that’s what Rounds is saying.

  11. Shouldn’t it be obvious by now? The for-profit insurance model is fundamentally incompatible with the provision of healthcare.

  12. mike from iowa

    Here is a whopper for the ages straight from the horse’s arse-Sec of Health and bigtime crook Price. Loss of hundreds of billions from Medicaid won’t harm coverage.

    When you believe wingnuts can’t be any crazier, they take it as a challenge.

  13. Porter Lansing

    @MFI … It won’t hurt in their aid paradigm because they simply deny black and brown people aid.

  14. Clearing a path for the free market means sweeping aside folks like Diana whose needs won’t allow Fischer Rounds to turn a profit.