Despite claims that Trumpcare will maintain protections for people with pre-existing conditions, there’s a catch. It could make coverage unaffordable.
The bill House Republicans are prepared to vote for on Thursday, takes away a key provision of Obamacare that prevents insurance companies from charging whatever they want to the sickest Americans. So technically, you can’t be denied coverage, but the premium could be tens of thousands of dollars.
In a misleading effort to get around political backlash from constituents who could face life-and-death consequences under the GOP Obamacare repeal plan, the far-right Freedom Caucus added the MacArthur Amendment, which allows states to opt-out of requirements to offer comprehensive coverage plans. People with pre-existing conditions would be pushed into high-risk pools. An additional $8 billion in funding, pushed for by Rep. Fred Upton (R-Michigan) is supposed to offset some of the costs, but the money is only short-term, and not enough to help the neediest patents.
The result would be a dramatic rise on premiums for children born with birth defects, older Americans with chronic conditions, and people with diseases that need expensive treatments, like cancer.
The Washington Post reports,
The theory is that removing sicker people from the markets and allowing policies with skimpier options would result in lower overall premiums.
Policies with ‘skimpier options’ amount to junk insurance that would allow Republicans to claim that some people could afford insurance, but the policies wouldn’t cover much, and they would lose their prescription drug coverage.
According to the Centers for American Progress, a person with metastatic cancer could see a premium of $142,650.
What Republicans don’t want to talk about is how deep cuts to Medicaid expansion and the elimination of Obamacare subsidies will be reallocated to fund their planned tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans.
New York Magazine slams Trumpcare, calling it a ‘moral disgrace.’
The heart of the bill is the same one that was polling at under 20 percent and failed two months ago: a near-trillion dollar tax cut for wealthy investors, financed by cuts to insurance subsidies for the poor and middle class. They have added a series of hazily defined changes: waivers for states to allow insurers to charge higher rates to people with preexisting conditions and to avoid covering essential health benefits, and a pitifully small amount of money to finance high-risk pools for sick patients.
It could be argued that much of the misleading rhetoric about the real goal of repealing Obamacare can be found in Rep. Labrador’s (R-Iowa) town hall comments in April, when he said, “I do not believe health care is a basic human right.”
Trumpcare fulfills that belief, if you look at who benefits and who may end up paying for the ACHA with their life.
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