So, Trump’s stab at the ACA (also known as Obamacare) is pretty pathetic. He claims that his plan will give everyone “access” to health insurance coverage. Well, we all have “access” to caviar and champagne too. But that doesn’t mean we all have it because most of us cannot afford it! Same with health insurance, it’s pretty unaffordable here. I just went over a plan with my friend here, and the premiums and deductibles were very high, more about that later.
The new plan, TrumpCare, or the AHC Act of 2017 would in essence do the following plus more:
- Offer less coverage overall
- Result in higher out of pocket costs
- Increase insurance premiums across the board
- De-funds Planned Parenthood, devastating women’s healthcare.
- Penalizes for lapses in coverage by up to 30%
- Is less accessible for Seniors and the poor
- Eliminates the Medicaid expansion, resulting in loss of mental health and substance abuse treatment/programs (Medicaid covers 72 million Americans, approximately 1/3 of who have mental health or substance abuse care needs.)
- Gives tax breaks to the rich
I am perplexed that our GOP is so cold and heartless as to present a bill that would cause millions of people to lose their health insurance, due to an increase in premiums that they can’t afford or to a pre-existing condition or a lapse in coverage for over 60 days. They claim this is “reasonable”, that reducing access to subsidized health insurance isn’t cruel, that it’s some form of “tough love” -without the love – in which people are forced to make good choices instead of bad ones. This is patronizing and a big misreading of the actual outcome of this new bill. One guy, I think it was saying that, and I am going from memory here) that maybe someone would “have to not buy that new iPhone” in order to afford their insurance. That is really stereotyping us! Isn’t this guy really saying that Americans are just stupid? Hell, it would take quite a few iPhones to cover the cost of a year’s insurance premiums on someone my age, single and with a pre-existing condition or two.
Many of the GOP are also against this new AHCA (American Health Care Act of 2017) or TrumpCare. Some call it ObamaCare Lite, or ObamaCare 2.0. I think it would be cool to call it something after Obama, he is the one who got us established with the Affordable Care Act and does deserve most of the credit. We wouldn’t be discussing health care right now if it weren’t for his pushing the ACA through.
I am really concerned with the elimination of the Medicaid expansion. Medicaid is administered by each of the states. Every state has it’s own program, and if you cut or eliminate funding many people will be at risk. I am very concerned that any poorly implemented or poorly timed change in the current funding structure in Medicaid could result in a reduction in access to life-saving health care services. And will certainly result in the loss of mental health services and to substance abuse treatment. It will also result in the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, which means the loss of free mammograms, pap smears, birth control and family planning services for those most at risk. Access to mental health and substance abuse treatment is vital in my opinion and cannot be compromised.
It’s all about money in the end. Conservatives want everyone to just pay for their own health insurance out of pocket. Who is rich enough, in the real world, to do that? Congressmen and Senators, that’s who. Rich cronies of Trumps, that’s who. But not us regular hard working citizens. I listen to people who make a lot more money than I do complain that they can’t afford the premiums of their health insurance policies, so they either don’t have insurance or are carrying the bare minimum required by the 2015 ACA law. I know many people who just don’t have health coverage. Some even need care and cannot access it due to the cost.
For instance, a policy with a $500 deductible, a 15/30/60 prescription co-pay for a single 55 yr old white woman is about $67.00 per week. That’s $3484.oo per year. (I just went over this policy with a friend, that’s where my numbers come from here). That is A LOT of money when you only make $400 a week, they take taxes and SSI out of you, leaving you with about $320, then subtract the health insurance premium and you are left with $253.00 to live on. You have to pay rent, electricity, heat, water and everything else….leaving one behind the proverbial 8 ball quite frequently. Not to mention you have to meet the yearly $500 deductible before coverage kicks in, and you have pretty high co-pays on medications to deal with monthly. It’s crazy.
Personally, I am lucky. I am on Medicare…which they haven’t yet attacked and eviscerated. I have good coverage, and it’s a good thing with my pre-existing conditions. I also have Medicaid to help me with prescription costs. Currently I pay for my mental health care and substance abuse treatment out of my own pocket each week as the program I am in isn’t yet covered by my insurance, although the medication IS covered. So for now I feel like my own health insurance is stable. I pay $130 per month for Medicare and $68 per month for Medicaid coverage. THIS is more reasonable than the $290.00 per month for the policy I spoke of in the last paragraph.
These are the basics on the newly proposed Republican AHC Act of 2017. I am opposed to the implementation of these new laws on health insurance until they fix the short comings above. We need a health care act that provides access and availability of affordable coverage for all Americans. It’s just plain common sense. Protect the most vulnerable, protect our seniors and our sick and poor too. Money should not be an obstacle when it comes to getting proper care for yourself. If it is, there should be programs to help defray the costs so that people can stay healthy, be treated and feel safe in this aspect of life.
We’ll see what happens. I am following this very closely and will update my thoughts as this issue is hashed out in Congress and the Senate. Trump’s wild card is to just not make any changes and let Obamacare fail on it’s own….I’m not sure if it would fail, but they seem to think that it would if left alone as it is. The failure of the program would be a loss of health benefits for millions…it just can’t happen. But Trump is saying it’s this new plan or none at all. Bastard. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself. That’s obvious.