The Republican Obamacare replacement bill, the AHCA, is not a health insurance bill. It is a tax cut bill with a health care facade. The bill will kill. The Republican leadership required an early vote to ensure that they codified it before the entire bill got dissected before Americans learned how bad it is.
Republicans are asking Americans to believe an impossibility. First, they want you to believe that throwing all sick people into one high-risk pool will cost those sick people no more than it cost them when those costs were spread out among all in Americans in Obamacare. Second, they want you to believe that even as drug prices, costs of tests, etc. continue to rise, removing about a trillion dollars from health care will lower prices and provide better care. Third, they want you to believe removing the minimum requirements every insurance policy have under Obamacare is advantageous to the customer.
"High-Risk Pools," Paul Ryan said several times. "When you have a risk pool that covers the catastrophic cost of people with catastrophic illnesses, the rest of the insurers, the rest of the insurance pool, don't have to pay for those costs. So by directly helping support people who have preexisting conditions with their catastrophic cost, all other insurance products don't have to price that into their insurance, and you dramatically stabilize and lower the price of insurance."
Here is what Paul Ryan is saying. Within his Obamacare replacement, insurance companies will no longer have the burden of insuring those with preexisting conditions. Instead, high-risk pools will be set up for the millions with preexisting conditions. This defies logic. If you put all the sick or likely to be sick people into one pool, then you do not spread the risk between healthy and unhealthy people and it costs much more for every individual within that high-risk pool. Insurance companies can make more profit because they insure mostly healthy people.
In effect, Paul Ryan is picking winners and losers. The health insurance companies win. People with pre-existing conditions will lose as their rates skyrocket. The American people lose. Why? We will all pay premiums to the insurance companies, and some of the taxes we pay will subsidize the high-risk pools. In other words, in the end, the American people pay to ensure health insurance companies are always profitable, and CEOs and other executives can maintain their inordinate unearned salaries.
We must not be fooled, health insurance, and specifically high-risk pools are giveaways to corporations. And they are doing so as they put our health and ultimately our lives at risk.
Many suggest that Trumpcare, AHCA, is nothing more than a tax cut bill disguised as Obamacare replacement. That is absolutely true. In fact, that is why Trump desperately needs to pass it in hopes of providing a tax cut windfall for the wealthy. To do that he has to lie to Americans by telling them that cutting about a trillion dollars from health care could actually make it better. We all know that the trajectory of drug cost and health care services is always up. There is no way to get efficiencies that justify removing monies from health care by repealing the Obamacare taxes necessary to pay for it. Trump and Ryan think so little about the American intellect that they believe most will buy that fallacy.
Remember the days when women paid more than men for insurance? What about the days when insurance companies could say something was a pre-existing condition at the time of service to decline to pay your medical bill? Remember the days when there was no maximum out of pocket expense for your medical expenses? Remember those cheap policies that gave you a sense of security until you needed to use it when you got sick? Well if the AHCA becomes law guess what? Those bad old days would be back.
Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are playing with the lives of every poor and middle-class American. As MSNBC's Ali Velshi explained, the free market simply does not work for health insurance, period. Chuck Todd recently pointed out that the new plan decimates coverage for all but mostly to the Trump voter.
Learn why Single-Payer/Medicare-For-All is our future.
Call your Senators and Congressional Representatives every day and let them know you do not want the Affordable Care Act repealed. Also tell them they must support H.R. 676, Medicare-for-all. If you do not know how to get in touch with them, click here.
Also published on Medium.