Disastrous Trumpcare Only Works for the Wealthy and Healthy
by Stephen Lendman
Becoming seriously ill or injured in America can be lethal for its majority low-to-modest income population.
Its healthcare system is a deplorable pay or die scheme, rationing care, enriching predatory industry providers.
Treatment for illnesses, diseases or injuries in the world's richest nation comes at double the cost of other developed countries - an indictment of how America is run, for its privileged class at the expense of most others, especially its most vulnerable.
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chairman Lamar Alexander said its members intend crafting their own bill.
"We will write it, find out what it costs, vote on it, and then we'll compare our bill to the House" version. "And then they'll pass our bill or we're going to go to a conference committee."
Republican Senator Bob Corker said the House measure has "zero" chance of passing in its current form. Senate legislation may take months to complete and reconcile with the House version. It's unclear what congressional healthcare will look like when completed.
Physicians for a National Health Program board member Dr. Adam Gaffney calls the House version of Trumpcare "homicidal" healthcare, designed to "kill some and enrich others," saying:
"(I)magine (you'd) like to redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars from working class people to the rich, and wouldn't hesitate to risk the lives of tens of thousands of people to do so."
Trumpcare as it now stands works this way. Instead of a safety net so no one is denied what they need when ill or injured, a chasm exists.
America's poor and low-income households fill it, either denied proper healthcare or able to get too little of it when most needed because of high cost.
Anyone can get whatever they want - based on the ability to pay. Predatory insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains make healthcare the way it should be unaffordable for tens of millions.
If Trumpcare as it now stands became the law of the land, "the negative impact on ordinary Americans would be enormous," Gaffney explained - for America's most disadvantaged potentially catastrophic.
Medicaid alone will be slashed by over $800 billion over a 10-year period. What this essential program loses for America's poor, goes right in the pockets of its rich, exacerbating an already deplorable wealth disparity, bipartisan complicity supporting it.
If 24 million or more people lose healthcare coverage under Trumpcare's original version, as the Congressional Budget Office earlier estimated, around "24,000 additional deaths annually" would occur, according to the American Journal of Public Health, based on studies it cited.
"Modern medicine saves lives, while stripping healthcare coverage from millions to fund tax breaks for millionaires takes lives," Gaffney stressed. "There's no way around it, whatever some may tell themselves to help them sleep at night."
He and thousands of other doctors support the only egalitarian system - government-sponsored, single-payer, universal coverage, everyone in, no one left out. Nothing less is equitable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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