We didn’t play golf today.  The weather reports had called for rain.  It didn’t.  We had listened and trusted the forecasters and predictions.  We erred on the side of caution.  We would have gone to the course when we were younger, but we are all old guys now, the youngest of our foursome will be 69 in August.  We could have played.  The ground was wet.  The course was soggy.  There was a chill in the air.  I stayed home, opened the windows, and made a pot of chili.

That is the chance one takes when you listen and rely on experts.  The predictors, the prognosticators don’t all agree.  Our first task is to guess which mavens, if any, we should trust and follow.  This can be a difficult undertaking.  We all possess specialized knowledge.  With over 45 years in the insurance business, I am on firm ground when discussing health insurance, health insurance companies, and even the politics of health insurance law.  That doesn’t mean that I know anything about auto mechanics, lacrosse, or even the weather.  It also doesn’t mean that every other agent, or even any other agent, would agree with me.  That’s OK.

This blog began in 2009 during the run-up to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  The initial focus was the fear that our politicians would craft a European-like single payer system.  I tried to detail the backroom dealings of Congressmen and Senators from both sides of the aisle.  And because the Democrats were in the center of most of the action, many of the posts focused on their public and private positions.  The politicians, some that I knew personally, were not always happy with me or this blog.  Once the law was passed, the focus moved to the hypocrisy and cynicism of the Republican leadership.   And then it got dangerous.

The question – would the Republicans treat the PPACA the way they had treated abortion in the 1980’s, 1990’s, and 2000’s?  Since Reagan’s election in 1980, abortion was used as a wedge issue, a fundraising vehicle, and a way to keep the base agitated.  There was no real interest in ending access to abortion.  Yes, this was terribly cynical, but it really worked.  The righteous indignation over the new health care law was safe and predictable.  It helped that they could pin this on a president that they really didn’t like, for any number of reasons.  The base went wild and the Republican leadership fanned the flames.  No one would be hurt as long as this was just a game and this was all talk.

The Republicans won the House of Representatives in November 2010, in part based on their campaign against the new health care law.  I predicted a wave of cynicism.  The Republicans jumped into action and introduced H. B. 2, the second bill of the new Congress in 2011. The name of the bill was “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”.  This was not serious legislation.  Most of the next 60+ Obamacare repeal bills introduced over the next 6 years were just for show.  The first change came in July 2014 when conflicting federal court rulings bumped the law up to the Supreme Court.  The coyote caught the roadrunner and now this could be more than just talk.

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts would save the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act THREE times.  The first, in June 2015, came as a huge relief.  It is one thing to rail against the PPACA, it is quite another to repeal the current health care payment system without an alternative.  And we have not had a serious alternative.  This blog detailed the legitimate fears of anyone diagnosed with a preexisting condition as we watched the Texas lawsuit wind its way through the courts.  Would the entire country have Texas level health care?  NO.  The Supreme Court ended the Texas lawsuit on June 17, 2021.  It seems like a long time ago, but it has only been 3 years of peace.

We are about to enter the election season of 2025.  The Republican Study Committee produces the policies, press releases, and talking points for their members and candidates. The candidates might not be talking to reporters if they are in a competitive race, but there is the outline of a Republican plan should they capture the House, Senate, and the presidency.  Health care appears on Page 3 of the 5 page “Fiscal Sanity to Save America” budget proposal.  This is the link.  It is a blast from the past that even includes the widely debunked sentence, “Allow individuals to purchase health insurance across state lines”.   I found on Page 4 the sentence that got my attention, and the motivation for this post, “Allowing medical underwriting to apply downward pressure on all beneficiaries’ premiums and inject stability into insurance markets”.  That is a return to the days of denial, riders, and rate-ups.  Do we really want to return to that?  Read the proposal.  All of it.  This budget proposal touches on the PPACA, Medicare, and Medicaid.  This is really important stuff for all of us.  And for extra credit, I have also included the analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation site.

You don’t have to like the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or the proposals from the other side of the aisle to be concerned about this proposed budget.  And we know that you can no longer count on this just being all talk.  For every reader who may chime in that I am being hyperbolic, there is another already concerned about her/his access to health care should these plans be implemented.   Senator John McCain is no longer with us.   It is up to us to save ourselves.

The rains started at 12:30.  Had we played, we would have been on the 15th hole, the furthest spot from the Pineridge clubhouse and shelter.  We were lucky.  Sometimes the predictions are right.


Picture – Soon To Be Lost In The Woods – David L Cunix



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2 Responses to Golf


    Congratulations on your being in the Insurance Industry for longer than I have been married.
    Your Blog has been worth following since you started keeping us informed.
    No matter when and if you ever retire, you must keep Blogging.

    • says:

      Thank you, Michael. Though I truly enjoy being an insurance agent, I am certain that your marriage brings you more joy.

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