Senator Martha McSally (R - Arizona) has broadly proven herself a stalwart ally of conservatives, libertarians…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
Sen. McSally Must Avoid the Trap of Counterproductive Prescription Drug Legislation

Senator Martha McSally (R - Arizona) has broadly proven herself a stalwart ally of conservatives, libertarians and the Trump Administration in her brief tenure on Capitol Hill.  A former U.S. Air Force A-10 pilot, her votes have confirmed President Trump's phenomenal array of judicial nominees and advanced his economic agenda to bring us arguably the greatest economic conditions in history.

She must be careful, however, to avoid potentially catastrophic missteps on the issue of healthcare and prescription drugs.

Specifically, Sen. McSally has introduced legislation and supported other Senate Finance Committee proposals that would introduce drug price controls from socialist foreign healthcare systems to the U.S., empower the Department of Health and Human  Services (HHS) to directly…[more]

February 24, 2020 • 04:46 pm

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Detroit’s ObamaCare Bailout Could Bankrupt the Young and Healthy Print
By Ashton Ellis
Tuesday, July 30 2013
If cities start dumping hundreds of thousands of older Americans into the exchanges, premiums will spike and young healthy people will stay away in droves.

With the Obama administration gearing up to spend $700 million on an advertising blitz to convince the young and healthy to sign-up for insurance under ObamaCare, cash-strapped cities like Detroit are emerging as the biggest obstacle.

The reason: Tens of thousands of retired public employees are owed billions in lifetime health care coverage.

In the Motor City alone, about 19,000 retired public employees are owed an estimated $5.7 billion in lifetime health benefits.

Nationwide, health care legacy costs for cities run north of $126 billion, according to a study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The problem is that only around 6 percent of these guaranteed benefits are actually funded.

The chasm between union promises and fiscal reality is forcing cities to consider alternatives to raising taxes or slashing benefits. Thanks to a perverse incentive embedded in ObamaCare, they may have found one.

As currently understood, the text of ObamaCare does not treat the health benefits of retirees any differently than those of workers still on the job. In this area, there is also no important difference between public or private employers. By Detroit’s logic, that means the city is free to reduce or eliminate its health coverage agreement with retirees in order to get out of bankruptcy, just as a private employer is.

Retirees under the age of 65 – that is, those who don’t yet qualify for Medicare – would be transferred to Michigan’s federally operated ObamaCare insurance exchange. Families making less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level would qualify for federal subsidies to help pay for their annual premiums.

If such shifts are successful, the savings to financially squeezed cities are substantial. Last year Detroit spent $177 million on retiree health benefits, but expects that to drop to $28-40 million a year by shifting up to 7,500 people to the ObamaCare exchange. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff when the health law passed, has already announced that his city plans to save even more money by moving 30,000 public employees onto Illinois’ exchange.

Other municipalities are expected to follow suit if these Democratic strongholds are allowed to unload billions of local financial obligations onto the federal treasury.

And there’s only one group that can stop them: young healthy people.

In order for ObamaCare’s insurance exchanges to function properly, each state’s risk pool must be filled with lots of people who will pay for health insurance but not really use it. Young healthy people are already one of the largest cohorts of uninsured Americans, and the one most valuable to the Obama administration’s efforts to make the exchanges financially viable.

From the liberal perspective, the danger is this: If not enough young healthy people enroll in ObamaCare exchanges, the system’s entire cost structure will balloon out of control as older Americans with expensive health needs use more services than their premiums pay for. 

Already, the Obama administration is worried that masses of the young and healthy will opt to pay the one-time $95 penalty rather than spend $200-300 a month on health insurance. If cities start dumping hundreds of thousands of older Americans into the exchanges, premiums will spike and young healthy people will stay away in droves.

That’s why the future of ObamaCare’s solvency may hinge on a $700 million dollar advertising campaign launching in August. The White House plans to use a combination of Hollywood celebrities and community organizing tactics on a massive scale to convince the young and healthy to participate in a program designed to benefit them the least.

With Republicans divided on whether there is a viable way to defund ObamaCare before it goes into effect, maybe the best way to get the same result is to show how bad a deal it is for young and healthy Americans.

Question of the Week   
How many Members of the House of Representatives have been on the general election ballot for President while they were still sitting House Members?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Rival candidates have just a week to stop Sen. Bernie Sanders if they hope to prevent the Independent from Vermont from taking the party's presidential nomination.Sanders is the undisputed front-runner in the race after his thumping victory in Nevada's caucuses on Saturday.His current trajectory is set to carry him to at least a top-two finish in South Carolina's primary Saturday. From there, he…[more]
 
 
—Niall Stanage, The Hill
— Niall Stanage, The Hill
 
Liberty Poll   

How confident are you that U.S. health officials are taking adequate measures to prevent the acute spread of coronavirus within the country?