The repeal legislation being floated by Ryan and his Republican cronies looks to be exactly as bad as everyone thought it would be. Under this repeal legislation, you can expect that millions of people will lose their health care insurance very quickly.
Two items first on the hit list, subsidies and expanded Medicaid. This repeal law will dismantle the individual mandate, subsidies based on income, and all of the law’s taxes that actually pay for the law. Not only will it significantly rollback Medicaid expansion, it is going to give money to help establish “high risk pools” for people with pre-existing conditions.
Some of these elements will be effective immediately and some won’t take effect until 2020. For example, beginning in 2020 people will no longer get subsidies but rather tax credits. These tax credits will be based on age not on income.
Currently it is reported that a person 30 years of age will get $2000 in tax credits for health insurance, and someone in their 60’s will get $4000 in tax credits. However, Price, the Secretary of HHS wants those tax credits much lower than reported.
What does this mean for you? Well, if you currently get a subsidy to help purchase health insurance, that amount of money will disappear and you will instead get a “tax credit”. But, in typical Republican fashion, it will not be enough to help you purchase health insurance, especially if you are low-income.
Medicaid covered people will also be hurt. According to their plan, they are going to rollback Medicaid expansion. States would be able to cover the expanded Medicaid expansion if they choose. However, they will receive far less money than under the Affordable Care Act. Instead of open-ended funds, the states will receive capped money based on the number of Medicaid enrollees. Meaning much less money to cover poor people on Medicaid.
The repeal plan also included $100 billion in “state innovation” grants to help subsidize extremely expensive enrollees. Meaning it will help “some” pre-existing patients, but not all.
There are other nice items in the bill. For example, under this bill, insurance companies will be allowed to charge older patients up to five times more than younger patients. The current ACA law caps that at three times.
Then there is this little item. If you fail to keep continuous coverage for any reason, like you lose your job and cannot afford to pay for insurance, if you re-enroll, you will be charged a 30 percent boost in premiums for the first year.
The Republican Congress isn’t the only ones ducking many questions about the ACA and their “repeal and replace” plan. Sarah Huckabee Sanders made the rounds yesterday on the morning shows. On ABC’s This Week, she said that it was the president’s “goal” to make sure people didn’t lose their current coverage.
Yet when pressed on whether everyone with coverage today would not lose their coverage with trump’s plan, she refused to answer, naturally. She hemmed and hawed and talked about how the ACA was broken and cannot survive. But, she could not say for certain that if you have coverage under the ACA you will not lose coverage under the Republican’s plan. Because, you know, a lot of people will probably lose their coverage.
It is estimated that up to 20 million people will lose their health care coverage under the plan being floated by Republicans. Remember, it is NOT their goal that ALL Americans have health care coverage. It is their goal that ALL Americans have ACCESS to health coverage. That is not quite the same.
What they are planning on doing is if you currently have coverage due to the subsides, and you lose those subsidies and cannot buy insurance, that is your problem. You have ACCESS to health coverage. It isn’t their fault you cannot afford to buy it.
They also use words like “personal accountability”. Like it is your fault if you are born with a degenerative disease. Your “personal accountability” should have prevented your birth with that degenerative disease. So, don’t complain about pre-existing condition high-priced pools, it is your fault.
The latest poll from Kaiser Family Foundation say 48 percent of Americans favor the current ACA law. Only 42 percent have a less than favorable view of the law. So, as usual, instead of listening to the American People, Republicans are hell-bent of doing exactly what they want, and not what the American people want.
The ACA does need some fixing. It does need all of the things that Republicans have pulled out of it over the last six years to work properly. But, it is far better than anything we have had before. Including this disaster they are planning to unleash on us. It is time to “fix” the ACA and not destroy health coverage in the country, again.
I wrote once before that the Republicans have decided that the biggest threat to America is the idea that too many people have health insurance. As you can see, they are working their very best to fix that problem. The more people are uninsured, the better they will like it.
If you agree with me that the best solution is Medicare For All, you won’t see that come forth from this crop of tyrants in charge of our government. How can you get rid of the elderly, sick and weak if you give them health care?
And, the shirts keep marching along.