Back on the campaign trail, President Donald Trump sounded like a broken record when talking about the failure of “Obamacare,” promising to his supporters (many of whom didn’t realize that Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act were one and the same thing) that he would repeal it.
His Republican colleagues have echoed the same sentiment for even longer, and now their terrifying replacement plan his finally emerged from the shadows.
Although the GOP has advertised their Obamacare replacement as a plan that would “deliver the control and choice individuals and families need to access healthcare that’s right for them,” the measure stands to put the health of millions in jeopardy. There’s a great deal of devil in the details of the GOP’s healthcare reform plan, and here are a few of the most alarming ones.
Planned Parenthood & Abortion: Considering the longstanding vendetta that the Republican Party has against Planned Parenthood, it’s no surprise that the new proposal would defund the prominent women’s healthcare organization. The repeal act would disallow federal funding from being directly or indirectly given to any organization that “provides for abortions”.
Thankfully, the rule doesn’t apply in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk.
Even in the private health insurance sector, the bill would forbid women the right to have their abortion covered with federal tax subsidies. Customers would be able to purchase separate policies to cover abortions, but insurers will likely charge extremely high premiums due to the small market.
Employer & Individual Mandates: Workers who are insured under their employers are also at risk of losing their health insurance. The GOP repeal act would eliminate penalties placed on employers who don’t provide insurance to their workers, essentially giving them no incentive to offer such benefits. On top of that, the bill would allow individuals to drop their insurance immediately once bill is passed, potentially resulting in the collapse of the insurance market.
While healthier Americans will likely drop their coverage without worry, those in desperate need of health insurance will almost certainly face increasingly high rates.
Elimination of Income-Based Subsidies: The measure would also replace income-based subsidies covered under the ACA with age-based subsidies, leaving working-class families in danger of not being able to afford coverage for themselves and their children. While the GOP plan would focus financial assistance towards senior citizens, struggling families and individuals in need of help will be left out to dry.
Medicaid Expansion: Under the GOP bill the expansion of Medicaid would be officially repealed by the end of 2019. This would result in severely reduced federal funding for joint state-federal program, essentially leaving those in need to fend for themselves without assistance from the state.
Tax Cuts For the Wealthy: Last but not least, the repeal act would also result in massive tax cuts for individuals earning more than $200,000. The GOP plan would effectively eliminate the tax surcharge on high-income Americans, leading to at least $346 billion in cuts for the wealthy over the next 10 years.
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Needless to say, it doesn’t take a policy expert to realize that Trump and his Republican cronies are aiming to strip healthcare from the poor and fatten the wallets of the rich. The Congressional Budget Office has already warned the GOP that their proposals would result in lost coverage for millions and increased costs for even more. The right-wing is pushing ahead regardless, leaving the health of an entire country at risk in the process.