By Doug Porter
Thirteen men operating in secret are just about finished bolting together the various parts the Senate version of Trumpcare. This bill is obviously so bad the only defense Republicans are able to mount is lie about the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
Congressman Darrell Issa’s version of these falsehoods is to claim Obamacare is so flawed as to warrant an emergency replacement. It’s the big lie technique writ large because the biggest flaws in the current program are the result of deliberate acts of sabotage by his party.
— Darrell Issa (@DarrellIssa) June 21, 2017
Let’s dismantle Issa’s claim. The Congressman obviously thinks that if he repeats these misrepresentations with enough certitude, people will believe him. Even small town newspapers, like the Easton Maryland Star Democrat can see through this twaddle:
Republicans filed the first of their 100-plus lawsuits against Obamacare the day the law was passed. Virtually all were rejected by the courts except for the Supreme Court ruling that states could reject Medicaid expansion. Nineteen red states did, which prevented millions of Americans from accessing health care. They held 66 votes to repeal Obamacare with no replacements.
In 2015 Republicans snuck a provision in the spending bill that slashed subsidies to insurance companies authorized in the ACA to offset the expected short-term losses by 87 percent in 2015 and 2016. President Trump and Republicans threaten to continue to withhold ACA-authorized subsidies in the future, which freaks out insurers and creates the uncertainty that is forcing them to abandon individual markets in states altogether and/or greatly increase costs to policy holders, especially in the poorer red states that can least afford them.
President Trump has purposefully accelerated Obamacare’s problems further by signing an Executive Order to refuse to enforce the individual mandate called for in the ACA and withhholding traditional funding and efforts to promote signups for Obamacare this year.
The vast majority of localities with limited choices in health care insurers are in states opting out of Medicare expansion. Insurance companies have also opted out of participating in areas where state law enabled “grandmothered” insurance keeping pre-Obamacare plans on the market.
The grandmothered plans allowed healthy people to opt out of the Obamacare pool in those states, thus guaranteeing insurance company losses.
Issa’s tweet fits in rather nicely with the Trump administration’s latest push to trash Obamacare, namely a website.
The goal: “This page will highlight the complete disaster that has been Obamacare, and feature videos and personal stories of everyday Americans across the country who have been negatively impacted by its failure,” per a White House official. It will be updated with highlights of the Senate’s replacement plan after the bill is released tomorrow.
UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies released a poll this week showing a record number of California residents -65%- now support the Affordable Care Act.
A majority of Golden State residents -56%- are afraid they or someone in their family will lose health insurance coverage if the ACA/Obamacare, is dismantled by Republicans.
It should surprise no one the worry about the consequences of Trumpcare increases as household income decreases. After all, a major part of this so-called reform involves a transfer of wealth upward.
From the Mercury News:
But some of the most telling differences come among ethnic groups. More than seven in 10 of the state’s Latinos — or 71 percent — are personally worried about health care reform, as are 67 percent of African-Americans. That compares to just 46 percent of white non-Hispanics and 50 percent of Asian Americans.
“The repeal of the ACA has the potential to impact people who get their insurance in a wide range of ways,’’ said Amy Adams, a senior program officer at the Oakland-based California Health Care Foundation.
“It would completely de-stabilize the Covered California individual market, and there are also policies being proposed that would reduce protections for people in employee-sponsored coverage,’’ she said. That includes re-instituting annual out of pocket limits and annual and lifetime limits.
What the Republicans are proposing in the way of “replace” will end Medicaid as we know it, stop further expansion, and move to a capped system, leaving the decisions on exactly who gets left behind up to the states.
What we know of the Senate version of Medicaid is it will cut even more than the 25% the House lopped off. Premiums and deductibles will rise.
States will have more options when it comes to waiving requirements for coverage of pre-existing conditions, which is mere window dressing. Sick people won’t get insurance. And re-introducing caps on coverage will negatively impact even those with employer-provided health insurance.
The primary difference will be an attempt to game the Congressional Budget Office score, using Obamacare-type tax credits. The dirty trick here is there will be no provision actually accounting for the funding. Here’s the list of impacts, via the man who ran Medicare, Medicaid & ACA for President Obama.
What people who aren’t sure if they’re impacted by a Trumpcare should see.
There are no sidelines in the Trumpcare debate. pic.twitter.com/EkpFS4h4kw
— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) May 14, 2017
Finally, remember that what you see won’t be what you get. The Senate is going to reveal its ‘less mean’ Trumpcare. There will be a few hours–less than ten is the current estimate–of debate, and then, just before the vote an amendment will be adopted gutting the version originally presented and replacing it with the real bill.
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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