Trumpcare is the worst possible Obamacare sabotage, and it could happen in less than two weeks
The Senate is closer than it has ever been to finalizing a bill that reportedly includes a series of small fixes to Obamacare — if Democrats can convince Republicans not to throw out the “guardrails” that protect consumers. These slight adjustments have historically followed every major reform, most recently the GOP’s Medicare Part D, but haven’t followed Obamacare because the GOP would rather burn money and let Americans die than see the ACA work.
Upon hearing it had bipartisan support, the president had one question: “Can I call it ‘repeal and replace’?”
Trump has no conception of and no concern for what he’d do to our health care system to get a “win,” but he’s even less cynical than two of the major backers behind the latest version of Trumpcare AKA Graham-Cassidy — Bill Cassidy and Dean Heller.
These Republican Senators both gulped down valuable airtime to grandstand about issues that they alleged were crucial to them and their constituents — pre-existing conditions for the Cassidy and Medicaid for Heller. The bill is an unabashed assault on both. And it could become law by September 30.
Here are 5 reasons that this bill — which allegedly has the support of 48-49 of the 50 Republican Senators — must be taken seriously even though it needs to pass both houses of Congress in two weeks or less.
1.It would uninsure as many as 32 million.
We now have the lowest uninsured rate ever recorded by the Census Bureau — 8.8 percent. This bill would raise that percentage, likely even higher than it was during the worst of the Great Recession.
2. It will end Medicaid expansion and ends Medicaid as we know it
This was the singular most effective way we’ve reduced our insured population, even though the three states with the highest uninsured rate in the developed world — Texas, Florida and Georgia — refused to offer their residents coverage the states were paying for any way. “On average, states that expanded Medicaid at the outset now have an uninsured rate of about 6.1 percent, a decline of 5.9 percentage points since 2013,” the Washington Post reports. “In those states that never expanded Medicaid, more than 10 percent of the population lacks insurance on average, and the decline since 2013 is a more modest 4.6 percent.”
How can a bill repealing Obamacare uninsure more people than Obamacare expanded coverage to? Because this bill isn’t just an ACA repeal, it ends Medicaid as we know. And it does it in a way that’s designed to harm blue states in effort to win over key Republicans or Republican, John McCain. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports Graham Cassidy would “Convert Medicaid’s current federal-state financial partnership to a per capita cap, which would cap and cut federal Medicaid per-beneficiary funding for seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.” And that funding would END in 2027 meaning the cuts would likely “result in even deeper coverage losses than that in the second decade.”
Dean Heller said in June, “At the end of the day, it’s all about Medicaid expansion, and making sure that somehow, someway we make sure that these individuals who now have this health insurance will continue to have health insurance. You have to protect Medicaid expansion states. That’s what I want.”
Now, apparently, all he wants is to vote for anything that will Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn and Donald Trump off his back.
3. It allows states to end pre-existing condition protections.
Insurers could be allowed, say, to charge parents considerably more for a baby born with a heart defect, like Jimmy Kimmel’s child Billy.
In May, Bill Cassidy said on CNN, “Will a child born with congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in the first year of life? I want it to pass the Jimmy Kimmel test.”
His bill doesn’t.
“The revised Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal plan from Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, which is also backed by Senators Dean Heller and Ron Johnson, would give states broad waiver authority to eliminate the ACA’s core protections for people with pre-existing health conditions,” The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports.
4. Obamacare is doing better all the time.
Perhaps the biggest story of the year is how despite the Trump Administration’s relentless assault on the ACA, every county in this nation has insurance coverage. The rates are higher because of the sabotage but thanks to subsidies most people in the exchanges can still get coverage for under $75 a month. A fixes bill is urgently needed and could improve the ACA’s fate and premiums.
But the most vulnerable are far better off under the ACA than they would ever be under Trumpcare.
5. The velociraptors are at the door.
So what should you do?
JUST OUT: Here's a summary of the Graham-Cassidy repeal. Yes, it's that bad.
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— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) September 13, 2017
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) September 15, 2017
[Image via spencer77 | Flickr]