Mitch McConnell might want to check his plan and see what the copay for Prozac is.
The Senate Majority leader appeared downtrodden and genuinely insulted at the inability of his party to pass the “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the GOP’s latest weapon against a law they seem to hate more because of its connection to Barack Obama than its actual policy.
While Obamacare is far from perfect, Republicans seemed overly confident that replacing it with a law that effectively pulls the rug out from under 20 million Americans in a bid to improve business for wealthy insurance companies would be a walk in the park. McConnell has declared that it’s time to move on — here are a few people, or groups of people, who should be grateful for that.
Individuals with Pre-Existing Conditions
The Affordable Care Act changed the face of medical coverage in America by requiring insurers to cover people with “pre-existing conditions,” illnesses or other complications that could lead to the need for professional care.
Before the ACA, insurers could raise rates on these people through the roof, making it impossible for persons with life-threatening conditions to receive medical coverage in some cases. While the conditions provision of Obamacare does raise premiums for all people in the program, it also ensures that more Americans have access to the health care they need.
In a nod to the GOP’s endorsement of conservative Christian values, Trumpcare would have removed funding for Planned Parenthood, an organization that promotes healthy family planning. The new plan would have left the 2.5 million patients that Planned Parenthood treats every year without care, and would also have led to more pregnancies among low-income patients who would no longer have access to free contraceptives.
The Trump administration tends to lean in favor of supporting wealthy senior members of our population, and rich folks can afford medical care. Many seniors, however, aren’t rich. They rely on Medicaid, a program that Obamacare funnels hundreds of billions of dollars into.
Gut Obamacare and older people who can’t afford the expensive premiums that private insurers would demand given their age would go without care.
While Trump has promised that he is a supporter of women and women’s health care, the numbers say otherwise. 69 percent of the people enrolled in the Medicaid program that Trumpcare would defund are female, and Trumpcare would also make plans that include abortion coverage exclusively expensive.
They might not be the most pleasant group of folks, but victims of our nation’s ongoing opioid scourge should be glad they can keep Obamacare. Republicans have suggested that Medicaid and Medicare expansion is incentivizing health care fraud. However, pulling funding for these programs would leave millions without coverage. What is the cost of a life?
Opioid overdose deaths have spiked since 2010 and would undoubtedly increase under Trumpcare. The Medicaid program is where 30 percent of the nation’s addicts get care. Remove Obamacare and not only are those people unable to receive help, but more of the nation’s poor will become users as they attempt to self-medicate without access to help.
The Donald has seen it all in less than a single year as president. Despite his skill in misdirection and sensationalism, it’s apparent that he’s having a difficult time with the obvious comparisons between him and his predecessor Barack Obama.
The Affordable Care Act will need a manicure if it is to become the effective solution Obama was hoping for when he drafted the law, but to pull it out by the roots now would do much more harm than good.
By failing to repeal Obamacare, Trump has avoided a pitfall that could have ensured him a spot at the bottom of the all-time presidential rankings list. Then again, there are years of this administration left. Potentially.
People of Earth
Many Americans feel that what is needed to finally put the healthcare dilemma to rest is a single-payer system. Implementing such a program would align American policy with the 50+ civilized nations that currently have universal healthcare.
We’re not there yet, but choosing to stick with the ACA, which lays a foundation on which a universal plan can be built, is a message to the world that American values haven’t completely failed.
Instead of lining the pockets of insurance companies, we choose to pay a little more so that our countrymen can get the care they need. That should be a glimmer of hope for a nation that — at the moment — isn’t doing much to win respect from the rest of the world.