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How the GOP Is Trying Again to Screw Millions Out of Healthcare

During Trump’s presidential campaign, he claimed that he was going to dismantle and replace Obamacare within his first 100 days of office. He said that it was going to be easy and it needed to be destroyed. Like with the majority of the things that he says, he lied.

The bill that was originally introduced was called the American Health Care Act. It was explained by Paul Ryan with a PowerPoint and was subsequently memed, a foreshadowing to the ill-fated end to the bill.  The GOP leaders were so uncertain about the bill that they didn’t even bring it to a vote because of the extreme backlash from the American people and their representatives. The backlash got so bad that Trump didn’t even want his name on it but it was too late. Trumpcare stuck. After information got out about the bill, millions of Americans rallied together and called their representatives. They talked to them at town halls about Trump claimed that he would revisit Obamacare at a later time and the focus of his administration would now be on taxes. Paul Ryan even said, “We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future.”

But this didn’t last for long. Trump wanted to try again to fulfill his campaign promise, even though his 100 days were nearing their end. They started again from the beginning. They were doing everything that they complained that the Democrats were doing back in 2009. They were trying to push a bill quickly without putting a lot of thought into it. Instead of creating a specific bill that explained things extensively, like the ACA did back in 2009 (it was 25,000 pages), it was a lot shorter and more generalized to give room for negotiations so that people couldn’t argue the specifics of the bill. The bill included extreme hikes to premiums and blocking hundreds of preexisting conditions that were originally covered by the ACA. Ironically, the states that would be most affected by this bill were the ones who voted for Trump. The GOP did not wait for the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) rating of the bill, which a lot of politicians and people like to see before voting on a bill like this. The CBO rating estimates the budgetary impact of any proposed legislation.

Here are some of the major changes from the bill:

  • The individual mandate, or the tax on people who do not get insurance, would be removed.
  • States would have an option to waive out of two Obamacare requirements: that insurers cover “essential health benefits” and that everyone gets charged the same rate for insurance regardless of their health industry. This was one of Obamacare’s key protections for people with “pre-existing conditions”.
  • The Medicaid expansion would be eventually stopped. Before the ACA, it was extremely difficult for low income or poverty ridden families to get coverage. ACA expanded the program to help these families and subsequently drove down the uninsured rate. Under the AHCA, this expansion would last until 2019, but after that, no new families would be allowed to be covered. People often go in and out of Medicaid because of their employment options so this would lead to a decrease in insured people.
  • Wealthy people get more tax breaks. Obamacare introduced tax increases for the wealthiest of Americans to help pay for the new insurance options available for people with lower incomes. AHCA would get rid of these increase and replace them with cuts that would benefit the wealthy by giving them back $883 BILLION dollars. The Robin Hood like redistribution of wealth from Obamacare would disappear.
  • Tax credits would be based on age rather than income. They would increase as the person got older.
  • Goes back on the principle that the ACA was based on. ACA was created to turn the tides in the favor of low-income, disadvantaged ill people but the AHCA gives the power back to the wealthy and healthy.

Here are some pre-existing conditions that will not be covered under the AHCA:

Acne, Acromegaly, AIDS or ARC, Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Anemia (Aplastic, Cooley’s, Hemolytic, Mediterranean or Sickle Cell), Anxiety, Aortic or Mitral Valve Stenosis, Arteriosclerosis, Arteritis, Asbestosis, Asthma, Bipolar disease, Cancer, Cardiomyopathy, Cerebral Palsy (infantile), Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Cirrhosis of the Liver, Coagulation Defects, Congestive Heart Failure, Cystic Fibrosis, Demyelinating Disease, Depression, Dermatomyositis, Diabetes, Dialysis,Esophageal Varicosities, Friedreich’s Ataxia, Hepatitis (Type B, C or Chronic), Menstrual irregularities, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Myasthenia Gravis, Obesity, Organ transplants, Paraplegia, Parkinson’s Disease, Polycythemia Vera, Pregnancy, Psoriatic Arthritis, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Renal Failure, Sarcoidosis, Scleroderma, Sex reassignment, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Sleep apnea, Transsexualism, and Tuberculosis.

Here are some hikes in premiums for various conditions:

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The bill passed in the House with 216 votes, every single one of them Republican, even with the widespread dislike of the bill. Only 19 Republicans voted No and all 192 Democratic representatives voted No as well.

You will know someone who is affected by this bill. Millions will possibly lose healthcare and die from loss of medication, coverage, and/or treatment. The only people who win are the 1% but they always get the better end of the straw.

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