Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Pre-Existing Conditions Coming Back As Insurance Bar !

As of yesterday the GOP in the House and Trump have a new proposal for federal health care to replace Obamacare, one that moderate GOPs in the House and the arch-conservative Freedom
Caucus reportedly can agree on. Astonishingly, the new plan is even worse then the one that failed to come to a vote on March 24.

Though it seems insane, Trump and Ryan are now proposing to effectively abolish Obamacare's most popular provisions by destroying both the ban against insurance companies denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and the ban against charging older people higher premiums.    Ryan says rekindled health-care talks in ‘conceptual stage’  (See footnote at the end for relevant sentences in this Washington Post report.)

How can you get support for a dead bill by making it worse?

They've tried to disguise what they're doing by using a sly trick: erecting a new barrier against the sick and the older people by allowing insurance companies to charge them a lot more than they charge younger, healthier people.

We will be back at pre-Obamacare. By a different route we will arrive at the same bad place: no insurance for the sick or older people . The high cost of premiums will bar them as surely as did the pre-Obamacare practices by insurance companies. ("Older people" here means those over 55 but too young for Medicare.)

Because Trump and Co are hereby relieving insurance companies of covering the people who most need insurance, the right-wing Freedom Caucus can support this new bill. And because GOP leadership is hiding what they are really doing, the Ryan and Trump think they can persuade the "moderate" Republicans to also support the bill.

The GOP leadership also apparently think the moderates will be lulled by the proposal that the federal government will dole out a subsidy for the higher premiums, thus helping people who were so naughty as to get old or sick.

But will this Congress really give people adequate subsidies to afford the insurance? C'mon! This Congress, dominated by penny-pinchers, is not really going to give much in the way of federal subsidies, is it?

You can bet the farm on that. And why is it such a sure thing?

Because this so-called health care bill is really a huge money swap! The GOP penny-pinchers need to pinch financial aid for the poor and middle-class so as to give away money to the rich in their upcoming "tax reform" effort. To do a massive tax giveaway to the wealthy, the Congress needs an offset of "savings" in spending.  That is the real motive for their revived efforts to "replace" Obama care. It will become the milk cow from which "savings" flow to offset the tax breaks for the rich.

This plan not only heartlessly destroys medical insurance for the sick and pre-65 seniors; it will also fatally undermine Medicare.

"Medicare?" you ask. "How does Medicare figure in?"

Like the recently failed Ryan/Trump bill proposed, this plan will raid the Medicare trust fund for $365 billion by reducing the payroll tax the higher-earners now pay into Medicare. That's a gift of $365 billion to the people who least need it. And it puts Medicare's future at real risk so Speaker Paul Ryan can truthfully argue hereafter that Medicare is failing and he alone can "rescue" it, i.e. replace it with inadequate vouchers. He argues even now that Medicare is a doomed program, failing financially.

But that's a lie! Like Social Security, Medicare is fine now and can be given minor tweaks when needed. Ryan exaggerates its plight because he wants to kill it by issuing vouchers or "privatizing it instead. But robbing it now of $365 billion does indeed doom it. Thus this new GOP proposed health plan is a big step forward in Ryan's oft-repeated pledge to rid America of entitlement programs. (Next up?  The attempted privatization of Social Security?)

On top of all this conniving and heartlessness, this new plan apparently still kicks 24 million Americans off their health insurance and thus achieves another major "saving" through cutting Medicaid spending. Which is more money for the "tax reform" bill to claim as an offset for its giveaway to the rich.

And this givaway to the rich? We're talking trillions, folks!

I laid this all out nine days ago when the GOP's first health plan failed:  Trump and GOP Are Done For! Ides of March Came On ...

I also said Trump, Ryan and their health bill were dead politically, forgetting that vampires can come back!

Be sure your friends and family understand that the axe still hovers over our collective necks. The fox is still in the henhouse to steal trillions. The avalanche still rumbles towards us. The house is still on fire! Someone has to save crippled Uncle Arthur and Little Bobby who has asthma. Someone has to stop the thieves looting trillions from our people's basic needs.

You can do this! You can be the hero once again!

Go to the next district meetings of your Congressional representative. Just like you did before! Tell your representative that you still oppose the same old baloney in its new wrapper. Call the local and D.C. offices and register your opposition.

Trump and the GOP will be counting on us having drifted away after our first victory in protecting Obamacare. Show them the Minuteman is still on the alert. That we are not idiots to be hoodwinked.

You are warned now. "One if by land. Two if by sea!"

Now, ride, ride, Paul Revere! The redcoats are coming yet again!

Vampires in redcoats!

Reported in the Washington Post today: "The proposal... would allow states to apply for federal waivers exempting them from some health insurance mandates established under the ACA — including “essential health benefits” requiring coverage of mental-health care, substance abuse treatment, maternity care, prescription drugs and more, as well as a provision that bars insurers from charging the sick more than the healthy.That last idea is likely to meet with protests not only from Democrats but from moderate Republicans, who could view it as tantamount to eliminating the ACA provision that bars insurers from treating people with preexisting conditions differently than those without."  Ryan says rekindled health-care talks in ‘conceptual stage’

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