Monday, March 27, 2017

Trumpcare and what's wrong with it

The Republicans finally unveiled the replace part of Repeal and Replace of the Affordable Care Act which is sure to become known as Trumpcare. It should come as no surprise that Trumpcare cuts funding for Medicaid and Exchange subsidies in order to give huge tax breaks to the wealthiest among us. If you earn in the top 1% or above $450,000 a year your tax break will be $33,000. If you earn in the top one tenth of 1% or above $1,695,000 annually then your tax break will be $190,000. Just about everyone else comes out on the short end of the stick.

That’s right in order to give tax breaks to people who don’t need them Trumpcare will cause upwards of 14 million people to lose their healthcare immediately and within the next six years 24 million will likely be without healthcare. Trump and his Republican acolytes in congress want to smear the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office with claims that they’re over-estimating the number of people who will lose their health insurance coverage but even if they’re estimate is twice as bad as reality that’s still 7 million people losing healthcare immediately and 12 million within a few years. How is that not disaster?

Trump has repeatedly stated that Americans should look forward to his plan because it will cover more people for less money and provide better coverage. Trumpcare fails on all three counts. The bill cuts subsidies by more than two thirds for many people meaning to get the same coverage on the exchange a 60 year old person living in a rural area will pay as much as $9,000 more than they do now. That’s why the AARP opposes the Trumpcare.

The bill eliminates funding for the Medicaid expansion which will cut 10 million low income Americans out of healthcare. That won’t be noticed in Texas because Republicans like John Kuempel wouldn’t vote to accept the federal money to expand Medicaid in the first place meaning that nearly one million Texans have gone without healthcare unnecessarily.

Trumpcare fails on providing better coverage since in order to lower premiums the bill lets insurers write barebones policies which don’t cover things like: prescription drugs, laboratory services like x-rays and blood tests, outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital, emergency services, pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (both before and after birth), mental health care like counseling and psychotherapy, rehabilitative services and devices to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, or pediatric oral and vision care. That’s why the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association oppose the bill.

Trumpcare isn’t about making life better for you and me, it’s all about providing tax breaks for the very wealthiest Americans at the expense of everyone else. Ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans will not only mean they’ll be sicker it means many will die unnecessarily and that’s immoral.

Trump lied about his healthcare bill and he’s still lying about it, that makes him #donthecon. The only question is; will the American people push back and tell congress to kill this bill before it kills them?

Published in the Seguin Gazette March 17, 2017

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