The one thing the plutocracy and their political establishment cohort are good at doing is fooling people into voting against their interest, and they could win doing that with Trumpcare as well. I purposefully did not put Republican establishment in my first sentence because our corrupt health care system is a function of corrupt politicians from both parties just with different gradations evil.
I have said this a million times before. It was not Republicans who created the current dysfunctions in Obamacare. It was the collusion of certain corporatist Democrats using corporatist Republicans as an excuse for a flawed bill dependent on private insurance and that allowed drug companies to continue the pilfer of drugs taxpayers were instrumental in developing. Democrats held a filibuster-proof Senate long enough to defeat Republican intransigence. But insurance companies and other factions in the medical industry owned those Establishment Democrats as well.
Progressives will win when we earn the trust of the American people. Being 'better than' is not sufficient because Right Wing marketing has quickly closed that gap. That is why Republicans win. Progressives must show the conviction of their values in all issues including healthcare. They must not hesitate on our values at all.
To be clear, I want Obamacare fixed until we elect politicians with spines to ignore the lobbyists and transfer our system to a single-payer Medicare for all system. It is the only system proven to work where all citizens get covered at an affordable cost. Let's get a public option to compete against the insurance companies pilfering the middle-class purchasing these policies while giving corporate accounts attractive rates.
The one thing we must not do is fall into the trap that somehow Trumpcare, a bill that guts Medicaid and provides billions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy out of the taxes that pay for the Affordable Care Act, can somehow be a better alternative.
Trumpcare is a disaster for those with preexisting conditions
A Keiser article titled "Preexisting Conditions And Continuous Coverage: Key Elements Of GOP Bill" lays out the pitfalls that the Trumpcare snake oil salespersons are taking about. The following story the article points out is probative.
Before he was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2015, Anthony Kinsey often went without health insurance. He is a contract lawyer working for staffing agencies on short-term projects in the Washington, D.C., area, and sometimes the 90-day waiting period for coverage through a staffing agency proved longer than the duration of his project, if coverage was offered at all.
When Kinsey, now 57, learned he had cancer, he was able to sign up for a plan with a $629 monthly premium because the agency he was working for offered group coverage that became effective almost immediately. The plan covered the $62,000 surgery to cut out the diseased bone and tissue on the left side of his face, as well as chemotherapy and radiation. His share of the treatment cost was $1,800.
If the American Health Care Act, which the House recently passed, becomes law, people like Kinsey who have health problems might not fare so well trying to buy insurance after a lapse.
The Republican bill would still require insurers to offer coverage to everyone, including people who have preexisting medical conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or even cancer. But it would allow states to opt out of the federal health law’s prohibition against charging sick people more than healthy ones. In those states, if people have a break in coverage of more than 63 days, insurers could charge them any price for coverage for approximately a year, effectively putting coverage out of reach for many sick people, analysts say. After a year, they would be charged a regular rate again.
But it is much worse than that.
But some health policy analysts suggest that it’s not only people who have a gap in coverage who could be affected if a state seeks the health law waiver. There could be consequences for anyone with a preexisting condition, even those who have maintained continuous insurance coverage. That’s because the bill opens the door for insurers to set rates for people based on their health. For example, those without a health condition could be offered discounted premiums.
“If you have a preexisting condition, you’re going to be put into the block of business with the sicker risk pool,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms.
And for the fallacies about high-risk pools, there is this.
State high-risk pools, which were available in 35 states before the ACA passed, have been widely criticized, however, as inadequate for people with expensive health care needs. Premiums were often extremely high, and there were frequently lifetime or annual limits on coverage. Some plans excluded coverage for as long as a year for the very conditions people needed insurance.
Irrespective of high-risk pools where there is ample evidence they do not work, the callousness and disregard for humanity for those who allowed their coverage to lapse, many time out of necessity, is expressed by the Conservative American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Thomas Miller.
High-risk pools offer a reasonable solution for the 2 million to 4 million people in the individual market he estimates have preexisting conditions but would otherwise be medically uninsurable or offered such high-cost coverage that they couldn’t afford it.
Besides, he argued, the higher rates would last for only a year. “Once you’ve paid up, you graduate back to the regular market,” Miller said. “It’s not like being sentenced to the Gulag.”
Of course, he fails to mention that the rates in the high-risk pools are likely to be unaffordable for those who most need it. We have got to keep our eyes wide open and maintain the pressure on those that would sacrifice the lives of sick Americans to give tax cuts to a select wealthy few.
Single-payer Medicare for all the only answer
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 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 are not sure how to get in touch with them, then click here.
Let's get busy encouraging everyone to register to vote. We must vote in a new slew of Progressives who will put people and country first.
Also published on Medium.