One of the reasons it was so tough for Obamacare to get traction is that most people get health insurance from their employer and Obamacare did nothing to alter those policies negatively. That is not the case with Trumpcare. Get ready to feel the pain if the GOP passes the bill.
Trumpcare will affect every person with or without health insurance
Obamacare shored-up employer-based insurance by ensuring women care was improved, prices normalized, and many other features that are gone with Trumpcare. Michelle Andrews' article "GOP’s Health Bill Could Undercut Some Coverage In Job-Based Insurance" makes it very clear.
Q: Will employer-based health care be affected by the new Republican plan?
The American Health Care Act that recently passed the House would fundamentally change the individual insurance market, and it could significantly alter coverage for people who get coverage through their employers too.
The bill would allow states to opt out of some of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, including no longer requiring plans sold on the individual market to cover 10 “essential health benefits,” such as hospitalization, drugs and maternity care.
Small businesses (generally companies with 50 or fewer employees) in those states would also be affected by the change.
Plans offered by large employers have never been required to cover the essential health benefits, so the bill wouldn’t change their obligations. Many of them, however, provide comprehensive coverage that includes many of these benefits.
But here’s where it gets tricky. The ACA placed caps on how much consumers can be required to pay out-of-pocket in deductibles, copays and coinsurance every year, and they apply to most plans, including large employer plans. In 2017, the spending limit is $7,150 for an individual plan and $14,300 for family coverage. Yet there’s a catch: The spending limits apply only to services covered by the essential health benefits. Insurers could charge people any amount for services deemed nonessential by the states.
Similarly, the law prohibits insurers from imposing lifetime or annual dollar limits on services — but only if those services are related to the essential health benefits.
In addition, if any single state weakened its essential health benefits requirements, it could affect large employer plans in every state, analysts say. That’s because these employers, who often operate in multiple states, are allowed to pick which state’s definition of essential health benefits they want to use in determining what counts toward consumer spending caps and annual and lifetime coverage limits.
“If you eliminate [the federal essential health benefits] requirement you could see a lot of state variation, and there could be an incentive for companies that are looking to save money to pick a state” with skimpier requirements, said Sarah Lueck, senior policy analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Many Americans were not sufficiently empathetic to their brothers and sisters who've been pilfered by the individual insurance market for decades. Individuals, small business owners, self-employed professionals, and others have suffered mostly in silence until Obamacare came along. What is sad is that in order to give tax cuts to the wealthy, it was not enough for the Trump and his Republican cohort to return to the status quo of the past. Their intent is to further decimate the poor, the individual, and the employer health insurance markets.
It is up to us all to prevent them from destroying our health care system. You must resist. Keep the pressure on your political representatives.
Also published on Medium.