Thursday, March 23, 2017

Stop TrumpCare! (UPDATED)

Today, Republicans are planing to bring the so- called "American Health Care Act" (TrumpCare) to the floor of the House for a vote. While only a day ago it appeared opposition from the farthest right Republicans (the Freedumb "Freedom" Caucus) plus a few endangered Republicans in swing districts might have caused the bill to fail, things may have changed over night. To placate the hard right members, the bill has been made even more cruel and farcical than it was originally.

Jon Chait summarizes the benefits in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) that the hard right Republicans may have succeeded in stripping from "essential benefits" health insurance must provide:
• Outpatient care without a hospital admission, known as ambulatory patient services
• Emergency services
• Hospitalization
• Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care
• Mental health and substance use disorder services, including counseling and psychotherapy
• Prescription drugs
• Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, which help people with injuries and disabilities to recover
• Laboratory services
• Preventive care, wellness services, and chronic disease management
• Pediatric services, including oral and vision care for children
Needless to say, this would open up a new market for cut- rate, no- coverage insurance, creating a Social Darwinist redistribution of health care costs. As Chait goes on to describe:
... Eliminating essential health benefits does not lower the cost of health coverage, it redistributes it. If men, or women past childbearing age, no longer share the cost of childbirth in their insurance premiums, then the cost of insurance for somebody who might have a baby would become wildly expensive. Healthy people can save on costs by buying plans that don’t cover all sorts of chronic diseases, but then people who do have those conditions would be stuck paying for their own treatment. 
A system without essential benefits would make the law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions meaningless. Insurers couldn’t turn you away if you had a pricy condition, but the only people who wanted to buy plans covering them would be sick and expensive, making covering their conditions unaffordable — just like before Obamacare existed. Eliminating these reforms would enable young, healthy people to enjoy lower premiums, as long as they remained young and healthy. It would essentially jack up the massive redistribution from the old and sick to the young and healthy already in Trumpcare to new heights.
There's still time to make a call today to your Representative (especially if he/she is a Republican). Calls matter a lot.  They affect votes. The House of Representatives switchboard number is (202) 224-3121. Ask for your Representative's number and when you get through, tell them to vote NO.

UPDATE:  Once again, public opinion is on our side --
American voters disapprove 56 - 17 percent, with 26 percent undecided, of the Republican health care plan to replace Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Support among Republicans is a lackluster 41 - 24 percent.  
If their U.S. Senator or member of Congress votes to replace Obamacare with the Republican health care plan, 46 percent of voters say they will be less likely to vote for that person, while 19 percent say they will be more likely and 29 percent say this vote won't matter, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.  
Disapproval of the Republican plan is 56 - 22 percent among men, 56 - 13 percent among women, 54 - 20 percent among white voters, 64 - 10 percent among non-white voters, 80 - 3 percent among Democrats, 58 - 14 percent among independent voters and by margins of 2-1 or more in every age group. (our emphasis)
Pretty definitive.

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