The only people who seem to like the Republican “Trumpcare” bill (no matter how many different version they come up with) are the people who helped write it, Donald Trump, and the people who are naive enough to trust them.
When far-right Republicans criticized it as “Obamacare Lite,” they really weren’t kidding. What Republicans did was take a flawed law in the Affordable Care Act, kept parts of it, then stripped it down to make it much more flawed than it already was.
Trumpcare effectively does nothing more than:
- Removes the mandate, which will cause huge spikes in health care premiums as millions of people get rid of their health care while sick people continue to remain insured.
- Strips down subsidies so that most people (especially the poor and elderly) will get much less help than they currently receive to help pay for premiums.
- Drastically increases the costs older Americans will have to pay for health insurance.
- Cuts off Medicaid expansion.
- Guts the Medicaid program altogether by stripping away hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding that states won’t be able to make up.
- Gives massive tax cuts to wealthy Americans and health care companies.
- Effectively strips away any protections people with pre-existing conditions have under the ACA.
That’s basically it. There’s nothing in this bill that’s going to make health care coverage cheaper or better for the overwhelming majority of Americans — not a damn thing. It’s actually ridiculous to call this a health care bill, because it certainly isn’t about providing health care. This is about Paul Ryan leading the charge to mask a giant tax break for the wealthy, and a plan to get rid of Medicaid, under the guise of “making health care better for everyone.”
The only “positive” provision (if you want to call it that) is by removing the mandate, Republicans appease those who’ve spent years whining about a law mandating that they purchase health insurance.
Here’s the harsh truth for everyone: You can’t pass a law that requires health insurance companies to provide insurance to everyone, even those with pre-existing conditions, while not mandating that everyone carry health insurance.
Well, you can, but health insurance premiums are going to skyrocket unlike anything we’ve seen before.
The entire premise behind any type of insurance is to “spread liability around.” You’re never paying just for yourself. Typically when we engage in any sort of insurance system we’re assuming that we’re almost always going to pay in more than we get back. After all, these insurance companies are for-profit, right? There would be no point for them to operate if they were paying out more in premiums than they were taking in.
Ah, but therein lies the problem: For-profit.
Those are the two words at the heart of why Obamacare is flawed and Republicans will never be able to come up with a better solution. There’s absolutely no way to significantly lower overall costs, while providing affordable quality, comprehensive health insurance to everyone, in a for-profit system.
You. Simply. Can. Not. Do. It.
That’s the reason why practically every industrialized nation on the planet provides its citizens with some form of socialized health care. As long as the people providing the coverage see people as both expenses and revenue streams, profits will always come before human life.
If for-profit companies have shareholders, then they have to answer to those investing in them. If profits dip for whatever reason, that company has to find a way to increase them. In the world of health care, that means either eliminating expenses (paying out on fewer claims/providing less coverage) or increasing premiums.
But it’s not just the health insurance companies that need to be accounted for. You have to factor in for-profit hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and practically every other revenue-focused company involved that’s trying to “game” the other. They’re all part of this for-profit bloodsport trying to make more and more money as human lives literally hang in the balance.
So, Republicans can dance around this issue all they want while trying to spin their horrible health care bill as “amazing,” but it’s all bullshit. The reason why Obamacare is flawed, and why Trumpcare is such a disaster, is exactly the same: They both rely on a for-profit health care system.
Which means until we “fix” that part of it — aka pass a true universal health care system like the rest of the modern world — premiums are going to keep going up.
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