During the entire seven years and 60+ votes to repeal Obamacare, Congressional Republicans were suspected of simply opposing Obamacare for purely political purposes and they couldn’t care less about healthcare.
After campaigning on the promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare, Paul Ryan and fellow Republicans have proven that theory right. After years of promising a comprehensive replacement plan to reform healthcare, Ryan released a plan dubbed “Obamacare Light”. It is a plan that takes out the least popular elements of Obamacare, conserves the popular elements and completely ignores the costs and feasibility of their plan. Most of the unpopular elements of Obamacare were there because they were essential to maintain economic feasibility.
The OMB will price the new plan and nearly every serious analyst predicts that the costs of the Republican plan will dwarf Obamacare. Some of the offsets to reduce the explosive impact on the budget include gutting the EPA, HUD, and Energy. Even if these agencies were completely eliminated, the saving would be a fraction of the costs of Trumpcare. However, the budget-busting price tag on the plan is the least serious consequence of Trumpcare. The human costs could be immeasurable.
For all of you who voted for Trump believing his promise of full access to health care, lower premiums, etc., you should look carefully at the plan. Even though the official cost estimate and consequences of Trumpcare are yet to be calculated, some consequences are obvious, and even admitted by Republicans. Trumpcare will result in overall increase in premiums of around 30%, not including huge increases in deductibles. Americans over 60 years old with any history of healthcare will be relegated to insurance company defined “high risk pools” with premiums up to 40% higher, partial coverage and an average deductible of $5000.00.
The subsidies to help Americans afford insurance have been replaced with a tax deduction. For Americans averaging $40,000.00 of income per year, they get a tax deduction of $4000.00, which will be less than the average minimum yearly deductible most will face. For the poorest Americans, the idea of having any access to health insurance is gone. For those Americans who are unable to make a payment or miss a payment of a monthly premium and let their insurance lapse, then insurance companies can charge the same person 30% higher premiums to re-enroll.
Republicans are aware that Trumpcare will cause millions of poor people, elderly and sick people to have much less access to health insurance and health care treatment, and they also realize that as a consequence uninsured people will begin to seek treatment in Emergency Rooms, raising the cost of health care and insurance premiums even more than the projected 30%. Their solution is to raise the minimum age requirement for any Medicare to 65 years old, and to reduce Medicaid funding and turn them to block grants to the States. In other words, let the States deal with the carnage.
The winners in Trumpcare are the youngest and healthiest Americans, who no longer have to purchase insurance; Americans with incomes over $250,000.00 because they get a huge tax break and the Insurance companies who will be unregulated and can dictate costs and coverage as they choose. So, is this the deal you wanted when you voted for Trump? Is Obamacare looking better?