Trumpcare – the House Republican Healthcare Program, What Republicans and Bill Say

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People in the U.S. tend to be divided into three voting groups. Trump supporters who stand behind him no matter how many promises he breaks. Liberals who oppose anything Trump says, even the good ideas. And the largest group, independents, who look at facts more than political parties. That last group almost elected Bernie Sanders who wanted universal healthcare.

Republican (Trump) Healthcare

So, looking at the new Republican healthcare legislation and just what House Republicans say it contains and means. (If it was fair to call the ACA Obamacare, why isn’t it fair to call the new one Trumpcare?) Republicans had 8 years to come up with a replacement for Obamacare – this is what they offered.

We will cut costs, lower premiums, keep coverage for the sick, and benefit everyone.

Here’s what the bill actually says it does and what the Republican Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis says will happen.

The White House
The White House, courtesy Flicker creative commons license.

Republican Congressional Budget Office Analysis

  1. The biggest change is that the new plan will take $880 billion out of the healthcare system, mostly Medicaid. Speaker Ryan says this will result in better healthcare. Has anyone ever had a big cut in their income and seen they could buy more?
  2. Trumpcare will lower premiums for young healthy people. It will raise premiums for everyone else.
  3. By removing protections in Obamacare, healthy adults between ages 55 and 65 (Medicare) will pay much more for their insurance, on average, according to the Republican CBO, about $7,000 per year. Those are exactly the core Trump supporters. Did they know they were voting to save money for billionaires?
  4. Trumpcare says states can decide whether or not to keep insurance for pre-existing conditions at affordable rates. Insurance companies can charge much more if people stop paying for their insurance for two-three months. That sounds fair at first glance but actually, it means people who are sick and likely to lose their jobs or earn less (nothing while hospitalised), will not be able to keep up insurance.
  5. Trumpcare will remove the requirement that health insurance policies offer usable insurance. Obamacare required a minimum policy coverage because most people who go bankrupt do so because of medical bills and half of those actually have insurance – it just wasn’t any good. In other words, insurance companies sell a lot of bad policies which would be called a scam in any other industry.
  6. Trumpcare, according to the Republican CBO study, will remove almost 23 million people from the health insurance over ten years. Obamacare ADDED 30 million.
  7. “Tax credits – $3-4,000. A 40-year-old with health problems would have a $10,000 deductible for a $4,000 policy.” (According to Ohio Republican Governor Kasich.)
  8. Tax cut – the House was so anxious to get the healthcare plan through fast is they need the $880 billion Medicaid cut to pay for the multi-billion dollar tax savings for the very rich.

Republicans argue that cutting taxes will generate new jobs but how does cutting Warren Buffett’s taxes by 17% create new jobs? Rich people can already cut their tax bill by starting new businesses and hiring people. That investment would be tax deductible. So who would Donald Trump hire with the millions the proposed tax bill would save him?

Trump Promises

Supporters who still approve of Donald Trump and particularly the way he has been handling the presidency (95%) say they trust what he says. Should they?

President Trump promised that increased health care competition will lower costs. We had competition before Obamacare and insurance companies simply rejected sick people.

Candidate and now President Trump keeps saying his health care plan will cost less and guarantee healthcare for everyone.

Trump also said before and after the election, “I am not going to cut Social Security, I am not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” (The Republican House bill cuts Medicaid by $880 billion.

But he celebrated the House bill so it is important to recall that President Trump told CBS reporter John Dickerson if he stood behind his statement. On camera, President Trump said, “I don’t stand behind anything.

Why Doctors Don’t Accept Medicaid

By the way, Republicans complain that doctors won’t take Medicaid patients under Obamacare. The reason is simple, Medicaid doesn’t pay enough to be competitive. But paying them $880 billion LESS won’t get them to take more Medicaid patients.

Paying them more would get more doctors to take Medicaid patients.

Many democrats and the AARP, AMA, American Cancer Society, and more say taking $880 billion out of Medicaid is a cut.

Why Obamacare Failed

People argue that insurance premiums went up under Obamacare. They did, but more slowly than before 2010. Premiums went up because the cost of healthcare keeps going up. In part because insurance and drug companies keep making more money.

The Democratic health care program failed in part because many Republican states worked very hard to make certain it failed. The Trump Administration is making it worse by cutting funding for the ads that encouraged younger, healthier people to join.

Remember how many Republican state governors refused to go on the Obamacare insurance pool plan and then complained it didn’t work.

Bottom Line

The final reason Obamacare failed is because the only health care program that works in any advanced country is universal coverage where everyone pays in something and the 50%+ of health care costs that goes to insurance companies and clerks working to file the 200 different kinds of claim forms. Healthcare Billing and Coding is one of the fastest growing new jobs.

Republicans never tell you that Cuba has the same life expectancy as the U.S. which pays 200 times more per person for healthcare. Cuba has no insurance companies.