House Passes Pay or Die Trumpcare
by Stephen Lendman
Obamacare was bad enough - a deplorable rationing scheme to enrich insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains.
Trumpcare makes things far worse. Family subsidies to help low-income households without employer or VA coverage are slashed to $2,000 - $4,000, largely based on age.
Insurers can charge older Americans up to five times more than younger ones - making coverage, or enough of it, unaffordable for millions not eligible for Medicare.
Medicaid as an open-ended entitlement is ended for the nation's poor. States will receive allotted amounts of federal funding as a lump-sum block grant with few restrictions - giving them the option of aiding their poor residents or restricting it, perhaps diverting some of the funds for other purposes.
Over the next 10 years, Medicaid for the nation's most vulnerable will be slashed by $880 billion. Millions of poor households will increasingly be denied vital healthcare when they most need it for expensive treatments.
If continuous coverage is interrupted for any reason, insurers can impose a 30% surcharge on premiums to restore it.
States can opt out of federal mandates, prohibiting higher premiums for emergency services, maternity care, and for individuals based on their health status, namely pre-existing conditions.
Insurers cannot charge sick people higher premiums unless a state has a high-risk pool or reinsurance program - to help residents with serious illnesses.
States will get $138 billion over 10 years - to be used at their discretion for subsidizing health insurance premiums, covering residents with pre-existing conditions, and treating drug addiction.
Corporations and high-net worth households get a $600 billion tax break windfall over the next 10 years.
America's low-income, poor and most vulnerable face draconian cuts in a fundamental human right. Millions will be denied it altogether.
Trumpcare is a scheme to benefit business and America's rich at the expense of providing vital healthcare equitably for everyone.
Trump's Thursday celebratory photo-op White House Rose Garden beer bash for GOP lawmakers was testimony to his reckless indifference for the rights and needs of ordinary Americans.
His (Un)American Healthcare Act now goes to the Senate for consideration where its fate is uncertain.
Healthcare advocacy groups intend all-out efforts to stop its enactment into law. The welfare of millions of Americans depends on it.
Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) president Dr. Carol Paris said Thursday's House vote "shows (its) leaders are not only out of ideas on health care, but out of touch with their own constituents."
"In polls and at town hall meetings, Americans consistently demand Medicare for all, the only plan that is universal, sustainable, and proven to work in every other industrialized nation."
"The Medicare for all train is leaving the station and the majority of Americans are on it. Members of Congress need to get on board or get out of the way."
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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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