Friday, June 23, 2017
The Senate Finally Reveals It's Health Care Bill To Scathing Reviews ... “It Will Kill People"
To start things off let's take a look at what Donald Trump said of his plan to "repeal and replace Obamacare" while on the campaign trail trying to con people out of their votes.
Trump claimed: No one would lose coverage, there will be insurance for everybody, it will be a lot less expensive for everyone and there would definitely be no cuts to Medicaid.
Yeah, about that...
Today we all finally got a peek at what is in the health care bill that 13 white male Republican senators were crafting behind closed doors... and now we know why they were hiding it.
Trumpcare or the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" (BCRA?) will cut billions out from the Affordable Care Act's programs that help those American's most in need and in turn give those billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations and the super wealthy (Trump's friends and family).
The 142-page bill would result in millions of people losing their health benefits and would shrink the safety net of those left.
Meanwhile wealthy people and health-care companies would see their taxes go down... A lot!
The BCRA would also offer states the ability to drop many of the benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, like maternity care, emergency services and mental health treatment. You know, the unnecessary stuff.
And while some consumers might pay less for their insurance, an untold number of people wouldn’t have access to the coverage and medical services they have under the existing law.
The bill would also eradicate the central components of the Affordable Care Act, such as its expansion to Medicaid to cover more poor, working-age adults. The bill calls for cutting $834 billion from Medicaid over 10 years which would result in fundamentally changing the program by ending the federal government’s open-ended commitment to funding the program at whatever levels it takes to cover everybody who becomes eligible.
Instead, states would now receive a lump sum per year or a lump sum per enrollee.
This means that the federal government would spend far less on Medicaid which would force states to make deep cuts to the program by taking actions like eliminating coverage and benefits and reducing already-low fees to doctors and other medical providers.
THE NEW RULES:
The Senate bill would also retool the ACA’s reforms of the private insurance market for people who buy coverage on their own.
While people would still be eligible for financial assistance fewer middle-income people would get it and its rule that large employers must offer health benefits to workers would be eliminated.
Plus the assistance that people get would be smaller, meaning people would have to pay more to get the same kind of coverage they have now or put up with policies that leave them exposed to higher out-of-pocket costs.
This is because the Senate bill redefines the “benchmark” plan that the federal government would use as its basis for calculating financial assistance. This would result in an across-the-board reduction in subsidies for people buying coverage on their own.
Certain changes in the Senate bill would result in younger people paying less for their coverage but the price to pay for that would mean older consumers would have to pay more.
In addition, low-income consumers would also face substantially higher copayments and deductibles, because the bill would eliminate special subsidies that presently reduce out-of-pocket costs for people with incomes below 250 percent of the poverty line, or about $30,000 per year for an individual
Health insurance companies would be permitted to sell skimpier policies that cover a smaller share of patients’ medical bills, which likely would mean even higher deductibles and other costs than the plans available under the Affordable Care Act.
The companies would also have more leeway to vary premiums by age. Under current law, insurers can only charge older consumers three times as much. This guideline would be effectively removed.
The bill would also eliminate the individual mandate, which requires that most people obtain health coverage while states would have the ability to waive some regulations on insurance, including requirements that all plans cover an “essential” set of benefits.
While the bill retains the Affordable Care Act’s rule that insurers can’t reject applicants because of pre-existing conditions or charge them more than healthier people that promise could prove empty as states could revoke the current set of guaranteed benefits. This would includes benefits like hospitalizations, prescription drugs and maternity care as insurers would be able to design policies that would leave out these important treatments.
For example, insurers couldn’t refuse to cover a patient with HIV/AIDS, diabetes or a history of cancer, but they could offer plans that don’t cover the treatments for those things.
And while the Senate bill might do away with some of the "meaner" aspects of the House measure, such as letting states entirely cast aside the guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions by offering tax credits for private insurance, compared is to what currently exists in Obamacare it's peanuts.
This all sounds terrible but fear not... Here's the good stuff you've been waiting for!
The Senate bill would eventually eliminate most of the Affordable Care Act’s taxes on health care companies including health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device makers and best of all ultra-wealthy individuals.
Plus there's a gift to the religious right tucked away in the bill as well.
In addition to the draconian cuts to medicaid, the tax breaks to corporations and the wealthy and the essential destruction of the ACA the Senate bill would also block Medicaid patients from accessing family planning and preventative health care at Planned Parenthood clinics for one year.
That means 60 percent of Planned Parenthood’s 2.5 million patients will no longer be able to go there for affordable birth control, pap smears, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, or breast exams.
This means that the family planning provider would lose nearly a half-billion dollars in federal reimbursements inducing a financial hit that would ultimately force most of its clinics to close.
So to break it down: Unless your a corporation, a health insurance company, in the top 1 percent or an anti-choice anti-Planned Parenthood wingnut... Under this bill you lose.
Now we wait to see what score the Congressional Budget Office gives this piece of garbage.