The Abject Stupidity of Trumpcare

It really is this simple…

The Republican Party is not capable of running the government properly. If you doubt that, look at their healthcare replacement. There is no way in which is isn’t a travesty,. And yet, they just lie about it. The latest example is HHS Secretary Tom Price on CNN this morning, just lying his ass off.

Now, the Senate version of the bill, like the House version before it, does bring down costs for the federal government. It does do that. However, it also destroys what little protection we have in the health insurance market. And overall healthcare inflation will continue to go through the roof.

The goal has to be twofold. First off, everyone has to have access to a doctor, both when they need it and before they need it., in the form of prevention. This is the part that seems to throw the Republicans into a tizzy. Before the ACA/Obamacare, we spent more than everyone else in the world on health care, by far, even though we were 37th in the world when it came to health outcomes. Every year, 47,000 Americans died because they didn’t have access to a doctor. And they didn’t have access to a doctor because they didn’t have access to insurance. More obnoxious was the fact that everyone’s insurance was incredibly defective, although most who didn’t know it because they didn’t have to use it. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) changed the game completely. Not only could almost everyone afford to carry health insurance, but the insurance they carried was far less defective. Everyone’s insurance covered everything. As a result, healthcare inflation was lower than it had been in 20 years.

Republicans want to return us to the old way, in which you could only get insurance if you were healthy and insurance companies, not doctors and patients, made decisions regarding a patient’s healthcare. And they want to do that because their ideology forces them to do so. This is an ideology in which those without money can simply suck it, those with tons of money get to make all of the rules and all taxation is theft and government spending is waste, by definition. Well, except what they laughingly call “Defense,” which means buying weapons we’ll never use to fight an enemy that doesn’t exist. This is the stuff that makes Republicans completely incompetent to run government at every level. It’s why they run up huge deficits every time they’re in. It’s why they cut taxes to the bone for the rich and largely screw working people on them. It’s why the red states are only able to balance their budgets because of subsidies from the blue states.

The current version of Trumpcare is an absolute travesty. Both the Senate and House versions should be an embarrassment to any so-called American. Here are the highlights:

  • Under Trumpcare, 23 million Americans will lose access to health insurance within a few years. If you think you don’t care, think again. If 23 million aren’t paying for health insurance, everyone else has to make up the difference. That means insurance rates will skyrocket.
  • Under Trumpcare, the reason 23 million people will lose their coverage is because there will be no subsidies. Oh, but that’s not the only reason, and it’s likely that the 23 million number could skyrocket to 40-50 million because it will then be optional for insurance companies to cover people with “pre-existing conditions.”
  • Under Trumpcare, The coverage of pre-existing conditions will be optional and depend on the state, which means we will have a hodgepodge of rules, where insurance companies in red states don’t cover them, but those in blue states do.
  • Under Trumpcare, insurance companies will once again be able to make treatment decisions in the pace of doctors. I have been through this with my mother, who damn near died 10 years sooner because an insurance company nixed a doctor’s decision on treatment because of the cost. Ironically, they ended up having to pay 10X more for the emergency surgery she needed and the second emergency surgery needed to fix the first botched emergency surgery.
  • Under Trumpcare, everyone’s insurance will get worse. And as was the case with the old system, most people won’t find out how bad it is until they need it desperately. Many of the current standards for coverage will go way, which will open the door, once again, for “cheap” health insurance plans that really don’t cover anything.
  • Under Trumpcare, we will return to the “Emergency Room” model of care, in which millions of people every year will have no choice but to head to the ER when they or their kid gets sick. ER care is far more expensive than standard care, which will result in a huge increase in insurance rates for everyone who manages to keep insurance because the number of people unable to pay will increase significantly.
  • Under Trumpcare, insurance companies can establish spending limits for the year and/or for lifetime, which means a family could run out of coverage in the middle of treatment for their child with cancer or their treatment for diabetes. Of course, under Trumpcare, diabetes may be a “pre-existing condition” resulting in the denial of access to treatment in the first place.
  • Under Trumpcare, insurance companies can jack your insurance rates way up just for aging, with someone just shy of Medicare eligibility age being forced to pay around five times as much for insurance as someone in their 20s. That’s another reason the 23 million number may be a conservative estimate.
  • Under Trumpcare, not only is the Medicaid expansion eliminated, but Medicaid is essentially gutted. That means the likelihood that someone will contract meningitis by being coughed on by a poor or working class person they encounter in their daily life just went higher.
  • Under Trumpcare, Medicare will take a major hit. That’s because Medicare is part of the overall healthcare system and, as health care costs inevitably rise, so will Medicare costs.

See, it’s really simple. The United States spends more on healthcare than any other country in the world, by far, and the Primary reason for the huge cost is that too many people get healthcare and then can’t pay their bill. It’s not because they don’t want to pay, but because they can’t. Few of those in the 99 percent have the means to pay any medical bill that comes along,  If you catch meningitis from someone who coughs on you on the bus on your way to work at $10 per hour, you can’t reasonably be expected to pay $15,000 for treatment. On the other hand, if you have insurance, expect your insurance premiums go back to rising every year. That is  because the primary reason they used to rise precipitously every year before Obamacare. Is because of unpaid bills. Unpaid bills mean hospitals have to make up the difference, which means they have to raise rates on everything for everyone. That means insurance companies pay more for everything and they’re not exactly going to eat the difference; they will pass it on to you. If you think 23 million people losing their health insurance has no effect on you because you get good insurance from your employer, think again. Overall, healthcare costs have been steady since the ACA was passed. As a result, premiums have largely been steady since then, only rising at about the rate of inflation for the rest of the economy.  The claims that premiums have increased by “140%” (a favorite number used by Lord Donny) are LIES.

If the Republicans get their way, health care costs will skyrocket. And make no mistake; when healthcare costs skyrocket, so do insurance premiums. And that means ALL premiums, not just those on the exchange.

If Republicans want to repeal and replace the ACA, fine, but the replacement has to be better for everyone, not just the one percent, who will see a massive tax break if this shit passes. And if you are stupid enough to believe that Republicans will make it better, you’re not very bright and you certainly haven’t been paying attention for the last 40 years. Their overall ideology makes improvements to health insurance an impossibility.

Call your Senators NOW, especially if they are Republican, and make sure they vote against this piece of shit. Make them realize that there will be a price to pay if they take away your health insurance. I doubt this will pass, but since November of last year, for some reason, I don’t put a lot of stock in “conventional wisdom,” so take no chances. Call them now and call them repeatedly. Make them fear the repercussions of their vote.

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