A few weeks ago, we wrote about the disastrous Trumpcare plan and what it would mean for Virginians. Thankfully, the bill was dead on arrival. Republicans are at it again trying to pass a bill that will line the pockets of the mega-rich at the expense of hardworking Americans who just want to go to a doctor when they need one.
People With Pre-Existing Conditions Are Still Screwed
Pre-existing conditions are a major sticking point. It seems unfathomable to pass a bill that doesn’t protect people who are sick but that’s exactly what this bill does. Amendments to the bill would allow states to opt-out of covering people with pre-existing conditions. If passed, 5 million people would lose health insurance coverage. These families would instead be forced into high-risk insurance pools with huge deductibles and unaffordable premiums.
What is worse is how Republicans define “pre-existing conditions.” Not only are diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease included in the definition, but victims of sexual assault and domestic violence are considered to have a pre-existing condition as well. You also have a pre-existing condition if you can get pregnant. That’s correct, simply being a woman is a pre-existing condition.
Spending for Kids with Special Needs Will Be Slashed
The American Health Care Act cuts Medicaid spending deeply. Subsidized health insurance for hard-working people just isn’t a priority for the GOP. Instead Republicans would rather give tax cuts to the wealthy. The side effect of spending cuts impacts school districts across the country. The massive funding reductions minimizes the services for kids with special needs.
So if your child gets physical therapy, needs a feeding tube, or uses special equipment at school, they may not continue to get that care because the school district just won’t be able to pay for it. And if they do get that care, the money will have to come from somewhere else–meaning your local government could cut other services to fund school programs.
We Have No Idea How Much It Will Cost or How Many Will Lose Healthcare Coverage
Republicans are trying to ram this bill through as quickly as possible. They are desperate for a victory and have a compulsive need to please Trump, who is disappointed his first 100 days accomplished so little.
The GOP’s attempt to move quickly means the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the nonpartisan government agency that scores legislation and tells us what the impact will be, hasn’t had a chance to review the changes. Without the CBO’s review, we have no idea how much the bill costs or how many people might lose coverage.
The original bill estimated a total of 24 million people would lose health insurance coverage. It is not clear the changes made would improve CBO score. Voters should be very concerned members of Congress are attempting to pass this out of desperation. It’s very possible Trumpcare will do nothing to improve the lives Americans, struggling to afford their health insurance and going without seeing a doctor even though they need to.
We Have To Fight Back
Nothing in this bill is acceptable. It isn’t okay that your friend who was sexually assaulted will pay more to receive the care she needs. It is outrageous your nephew with special needs won’t get the services he needs to thrive at school. It is appalling we are ramming through legislation with no clear idea of its impact. We cannot allow Republicans to give tax cuts to millionaires while the rest of us make the decision between putting food on the table and going to the doctor just because a President with a fragile ego wants to be able to point to an accomplishment.
This bill literally costs people their lives. We must fight as hard as we can to ensure our friends and family aren’t hung out to dry. Call your representatives in Congress. Protest outside their office. Do whatever you can to make it clear: we will not stand for this.