There are many aspects to Trumpcare 3.0 that are absolutely disgusting. It really is a “take your pick” when it comes to what part of the bill that passed Thursday is most repulsive. From gutting Medicaid while giving huge tax breaks to the rich, to stripping health care away from millions of Americans, it’s obvious why Senate Republicans have already said they don’t even plan to vote on this bill.
As many people have pointed out, this entire spectacle was really nothing more than Donald Trump and the GOP desperately trying to give him any kind of a “win” considering what an epic failure his administration has been thus far.
While most of Trumpcare 3.0 is a total disaster, without a doubt, one of the most controversial aspects is the massive hike in premiums older Americans would experience if this bill ever did become law. Under Obamacare, insurance companies are only allowed to charge Americans who are 50 and older a ratio 3:1 more for their premiums than they do younger individuals. However, under Trumpcare 3.0, that ratio would increase to 5:1. If signed into law, this bill would drastically increase premiums for older Americans and seniors who don’t yet quality for Medicare.
As USA Today reported:
A letter to Congress sent by AARP warned that, when taking into account both the rules for refundable tax credits and the 5:1 ratio, premiums could increase by as much as $3,600 for a 55-year-old with a $25,000 annual income.
For a 64-year-old with the same $25,000 income, premiums could go up as much as $7,000. If that same 64-year-old had an income of just $15,000 a year, the premium increase would actually be higher — up to $8,400.
In other words, while all Americans 50 and older would see their premiums drastically increase under Trumpcare, if you’re a low-income senior, you’re really screwed. There will be millions of older Americans, at a time in their lives when they need health care the most, who won’t be able to even afford coverage under Trump’s plan.
So, what’s the administration’s excuse for their clear disdain for the poor and elderly?
Someone’s gotta pay!
No, seriously, that’s what Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told Fox & Friends Friday morning when he was pressed on this issue.
“That’s going in the wrong direction,” Fox & Friends Steve Doocy said.
“Well, it’s pricing for what individuals’ health status is, and that’s important to appreciate,” Price replied. “Somebody’s going to pay for health coverage for the American people, and the question is how do you do that. And right now, what we’re seeing is that the current plan doesn’t work, because you’ve got 20 million individuals out there who’ve said, ‘Nonsense, I’m not even going to participate in this process.’”
Gotta love it. Someone’s going to have to pay, so why not the poor and elderly, right? That is absolutely appalling.
While he did say that there would “absolutely” be help for older Americans who struggle to pay their premiums, he didn’t offer a great deal of specifics as to what kind of help, or how much, they’d receive. Though I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point out the fact that the apparent solution by Trump and the GOP to help older Americans who might not be able to afford health care under their plan is — gasp — socialism.
This all goes back to what I’ve said for years: You can’t “fix” a for-profit health care system.
As long as human lives are seen as both revenue streams and expenses, profits are always going to be what matters most. You cannot lower premiums and provide comprehensive, quality health insurance in a for-profit system — it’s impossible. It doesn’t even make sense. How is a company going to increase profits (which is the main goal for these health insurers) when people are paying less for premiums (decreased revenue), but more for services (increased expenses)?
It doesn’t make any damn sense.
Hell, just ask Trump, himself, who recently admitted that universal health care is much better than what we currently have.
That’s exactly why, even though Republicans will never admit it’s true, it’s the socialism aspects of Obamacare that make it difficult to repeal. Otherwise they would have done what they’ve spent the last few years promising they’d do “on Day 1” — repeal Obama’s signature health care law.
Tom Price’s comments on Friday are further proof of the disdain for poor, middle class, sick, and elderly Americans which has become an integral part of Donald Trump and the Republican party’s platform. Those are the people who are going to suffer most if Republicans get their way on health care — while the richest among us are going to receive a massive tax break.
Watch the exchange below via Fox News: