Buttigieg Plan Reinstates Obamacare Mandate With 10x Greater Fine On Uninsured Individuals


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If you aren’t a fan of Obamacare, you certainly won’t be a fan of Pete Buttigieg’s healthcare plan, which essentially takes the worst parts of Obamacare and amps them up tenfold.

The Buttigieg health plan called “Medicare for All Who Want It” would gradually eliminate private health insurance and cost a whopping $30 trillion.

But, the real kicker to Buttigieg’s plan is that he wants to bring back the controversial, unpopular Obamacare “individual mandate” that fines individuals for not having health insurance – which was recently struck down in court for being unconstitutional – with one major change: charging the uninsured 10x more than Obama’s health plan!

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Even The Washington Post couldn't gloss over this one.

Here's what WaPo said about Buttigieg's health plan:

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg sells his health-care plan as a moderate alternative to Medicare-for-all — offering a government-sponsored plan to those who want it while letting others keep their private and employer-sponsored insurance.

But the South Bend, Ind., mayor’s plan has a catch: If you choose not to enroll in any coverage, you could still be on the hook for thousands of dollars. Under Buttigieg’s proposal, Americans who lack coverage would be automatically enrolled in the government plan, potentially saddling them with a big bill at the end of the year for “retroactive” coverage.

Buttigieg’s campaign has said the proposal will ensure the candidate’s promise of universal health coverage — without eliminating private insurance, as some of his more liberal opponents have proposed.

But critics say the policy represents an expanded version of one of the least popular aspects of President Obama’s 2010 health-care law: the individual mandate, which fined Americans for not having health insurance. The mandate was repealed by the 2017 

Republican tax law and ruled unconstitutional last week by an appeals court. None of the other leading Democratic hopefuls have reprised it as part of their health-care plans.

“Mayor Buttigieg’s retroactive enrollment is just a supercharged version of the unpopular individual mandate that he’s trying to obscure with misleading rhetoric,” said Matt Bruenig, head of the People’s Policy Project, a left-wing think tank.

“Instead of paying a $695 fine at the end of the year for being uninsured, you are hit with a bill to pay an entire year of premiums that could be ten times that amount,” he said. “This will be a political nightmare.”

The Federalist summed up Buttigieg's plan perfectly:

The “Medicare for All Who Want It” plan promotes the individual mandate, one of the most unpopular and problematic aspects of the “Affordable Care Act,” commonly known as Obamacare. The individual mandate fined uninsured Americans to pay for health care costs that Obamacare’s quasi-socialized medicine increased. By forcing everyone to pay for expensive coverage, the individual mandate essentially penalizes healthy people in order to pay the expenses of sick people and bureaucrats, while making the entire health system more expensive and inefficient for everyone.

Obamacare was passed in 2010. Seven years later, Republicans repealed the individual mandate in a tax bill. As of December 18, the individual mandate was also ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Court of Appeals. This decision obliterates Democrats’ ability to pay for “Medicare for All” through an individual mandate.

Despite the changes in legality, a Buttigieg presidency means the individual mandate could return and at a much higher price. Matt Bruenig, the head of a left-wing think tank, told the Washington Post that Buttigieg’s individual mandate will be far more expensive than Obama’s individual mandate. If an individual was uninsured under the Obamacare mandate, he or she was forced to pay a $695 annual fine or 2.5 percent of his or her income, whichever number was higher. According to Bruenig, this price could be far higher under a Buttigieg administration.

“Instead of paying a $695 fine at the end of the year for being uninsured, you are hit with a bill to pay an entire year of premiums that could be ten times that amount. This will be a political nightmare,” Bruenig told the Washington Post. The estimated costs for Buttigieg’s individual mandate, according to the Washington Post, is approximately $7,000 per uninsured individual.

It is ridiculous to claim that Buttigieg is a moderate in the race for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Any attempt to charge individuals upwards of $7,000 per year for being uninsured can’t be labeled moderate. In fact, Buttigieg’s health care plan is just as insane as Sanders’s and Warren’s plans, he’s just trying harder to hide the underlying costs.

And, here's more details on Buttigieg's "Medicare for All Who Want It" from his website:

In our country, the more than 27 million people who are uninsured are either paying too much for care or not getting the care they need because it’s too expensive.1 Uninsured individuals are less likely to access crucial preventive services—such as cancer screenings or cholesterol checks2—and more likely to forego care for chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. And 87 million people are underinsured, which means they’re also paying too much for care, in the form of high deductibles or out-of-pocket costs that make them more likely to struggle to pay for care or skip it altogether.3 We must ensure that everyone has an affordable option for health coverage that guarantees access to care when they need it.

                        
We must ensure that everyone has an affordable option for health coverage that guarantees access to care when they need it.            
                                                    

Through Pete’s Medicare for All Who Want It plan, everyone will be able to opt in to an affordable, comprehensive public alternative. This affordable public plan will incentivize private insurers to compete on price and bring down costs. If private insurers are not able to offer something dramatically better, this public plan will create a natural glide-path to Medicare for All. The choice of a public plan empowers people to make their own decisions regarding the type of health care that makes sense for them by leveling the playing field between patients and the health care system. It gives the American people a choice and trusts them to set the pace at which our country moves in a better direction on health care.

Pete’s Medicare for All Who Want It plan will cost about $1.5 trillion over 10 years. It will be paid for by rolling back the Trump corporate tax cuts, which will generate $1.4 trillion in revenue, and the rest from cost savings that result from empowering the federal government to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.

    

Pete’s coverage and affordability plan includes the following policy proposals:

Because health care is a human right, guarantee universal coverage through Medicare for All Who Want It.

The Medicare for All Who Want It public alternative will help America reach universal coverage by providing an affordable insurance option to the currently uninsured. The public alternative will provide the same essential health benefits as those currently available on the marketplaces and ensure that everyone has access to high-quality, comprehensive coverage.

The plan will automatically enroll individuals in affordable coverage if they are eligible for it, while those eligible for subsidized coverage will have a simple enrollment option. A backstop fund will reimburse health care providers for unpaid care to patients who are uninsured. Individuals who fall through the cracks will be retroactively enrolled in the public option.

           



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