Republicans want to take away health care protections

For many, many reasons Americans in October 2020 are focused on the pandemic and health care issues. The election is upon us. So let’s look at the record.

For the last ten years the Republican Party has promised to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (aka, ACA or Obamacare). For the past four years Trump has promised the same. The Republican Party has failed.

This is how William Shakespeare might have described Republican plans if he was a 2020 network commentator rather than the 16th century author of Macbeth:

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow … It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Trump has many times said something about a great health care plan he will soon announce along with all the amazing improvements in drug coverage that he has in the works. Watch what he does, not what he says.

Here are the facts concerning health care legislation and litigation:

• Over the past four years the Trump administration has chipped away at the ACA protections through changes in federal regulations.
• There is a case before the United States Supreme Court that originated in Texas which would declare the ACA unconstitutional. The Court hearing is on November 10.
• The Trump administration supports that action, as do, it appears, all Republican elected officials and candidates.
• Trump has indicated that one of his motives in appointing Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court is to make it easier for the Court to declare the law unconstitutional. Barrett has criticized previous Court decisions that upheld the law.

This is important stuff. Here is a summary of what the end of Obamacare would mean to tens of millions of Americans if the Republicans are successful:

• There are approximately 11 million people who have their medical coverage via purchase on the health care marketplaces established by the ACA. The law provides subsidies to the great majority of these individuals, and it is likely that millions of them, in the face of the pandemic’s economic recession, will not be able to afford continuing coverage if the law is struck down.
• There are an additional 12 million adults who receive health insurance through the expansion of Medicaid under the ACA in states that agreed to participate in the program; about three million children also received coverage when their parents enrolled in Medicaid. The numbers have grown as people have lost their jobs. The federal government covers 90 percent of the costs. Absent support of the law, many, perhaps most of the states will not be able to pay the full costs of the extended coverage, leaving most of these Medicaid beneficiaries without health insurance.
• Protections for the 100 million plus people who have pre-existing conditions would be eliminated if the ACA is declared unconstitutional. Trump’s “executive order” about the subject has all the force of a tweet. Republican members of Congress and this year’s new candidates are running for cover on this critical issue. Insurance companies, removed from ACA responsibilities, will either decline to offer such protections, or will only offer the coverage at a substantially higher cost.
• There are now more than 7.4 million Americans who have been infected with COVID-19. There is much evidence to suggest that even for those who have recovered from the virus there are lingering negative health issues – the type of thing that defines pre-existing conditions.
• The ACA prohibits dollar caps on coverage protection. Prior to the law going into effect many private insurance plans had hard dollar limits on the amount they would pay for medical needs, exposing people with major medical challenges such as heart disease, cancer and transplants to huge medical bills that can lead to bankruptcy and the loss of homes.
• The approximately 60 million seniors and the permanently disabled who have their coverage through Medicare will be negatively impacted by the end of the ACA. Preventive care including wellness visits is currently free. Seniors who buy their drug coverage through Medicare will see the emergence of the infamous “doughnut hole” which required many people to pay for a significant portion of their prescription medications even if they have Medicare coverage. Obamacare has been narrowing the doughnut hole.
• If the law is declared unconstitutional then the 0.9 percent increase in payroll tax for high income individuals would be eliminated, which will reduce money coming into the Medicare trust fund, an account that is already running low.
• Adults under the age of 26 who have had medical insurance under their parents’ policies will lose that benefit, which will leave many without medical insurance.
• Medicaid assistance for those dealing with opioid addiction will be negatively affected as people lose their coverage provided through the expansion of Medicaid. The law requires insurance carriers to cover substance abuse treatment and that protection would be lost too.
• Hospitals that are currently dealing with pandemic-related lost revenues and added operating costs have had some relief for the costs of providing medical care for uninsured patients under the ACA. The end of the law would see spikes in hospital costs as people once again rely in greater numbers on emergency rooms that are legally required to provide services to people who cannot pay.

All of the above benefits of the Affordable Care Act will go away if Republicans are successful in totally eliminating the law. The attack on health care for tens of millions of Americans goes further than Trump. Republicans who hold public office or are running for office have remained mute as Trump, Republicans in Congress and some judges have worked to destroy health care coverage. They have offered no alternatives, even after ten years.

Voters have a whole lot of things to consider as they vote this year. The threat to health care is right at the top of the list. Another reason why your vote is so critical.

Register to vote
If you, your friends or relatives are not registered to vote, in New York State you still have until October 9 to do so. If you mail the registration form to the Board of Elections it must be postmarked by that date and received by October 14. Here is a link to registering.

5 thoughts on “Republicans want to take away health care protections

  1. The ACA was a disaster when it was in thrust upon the public. The decision by Roberts to legislate and not uphold existing law stands as a bright disgrace. President Trump will take our medical coverage requirements like cost, age and precondition back so that citizens can exercise their options based upon actual choice.

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  2. When you say to watch what Trump says not what he does” is that worse than Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats saying to pass the ACA bill and then we will tell you what is in it? Is Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer and Obama hiding their ACA healthcare law more or less deceptive than Trump saying to wait because he has an alternative healthcare plan.
    YOU MAKE SOME GOOD ARGUMENTS BUT YOU FORGET THAT EVERY ONE OF THE DEMOCRATS SAID THEY WANTED TO EXTEND MEDICAID AND MEDICARE TO LEGAL AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS….OK BUT THEN YOU SAY MEDICAID AND MEDICARE ARE SHORT ON FUNDS…SO ONCE AGAIN WE GET BACK TO DEMOCRATS WANTING TO RATION HEALTHCARE FOR THE DISABLED AND THE ELDERLY AND THE POOR WHO ARE US CITIZENS IN ORDER TO EXTEND THOSE HEALTHCARE PROGRAMS TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO DONT BELONG IN THIS COUNTRY AND SHOULD BE DEPORTED AS WELL AS LEGAL IMMIGRANTS USING CHAIN MIGRATION TO BRING SICK RELATIVES WHO WILL NOT WORK AND WILL BE LIVING OFF MEDICAID AND/OR MEDICARE AND/OR SOCIAL SECURITY! IF ALL YOUR ARGUMENTS WERE VALID THEN YOU WOULD BE DEVOTING ALL RESOURCES TO US CITIZENS AND RESTRICTING CHAIN MIGRATION BUT DEMOCRATS WON’T.
    There is one thing believe is true…when the republicans do have a healthcare plan (whether piecemeal or comprehensive) at least the republicans and conservatives will tell you what is in it before they pass it into law. Republicans won’t be trying to hood wink the public as the democrats did with ACA.
    PS: I have been to Europe and Canada. I have seen their universal government run healthcare. The restricted prices for pills mean there is no biotech and pharmaceutical and medical instruments industry. The restricted salaries for Doctors and nurses and other specialties mean that indigenous native white Europeans can’t afford medical or nursing school so those countries with universal healthcare claim a shortage of healthcare workers and fast track foreign immigrants with a medical or nursing background. Tell me. Dont you think those slots in medical school and other STEM colleges should go to US citizens as a priority over foreign students…and the income of these students upon graduating should be enough to pay for their medical and nursing degrees? Dont you think that those entry level jobs in the biotech, pharmaceuticals and medical instruments industries should be given to US citizens as a priority over foreign immigrants?

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  3. The only trouble with the republican health plan is there isn’t one. Trump stumped on a beautiful health care plan and only after he was ushered in to the white house by Russian intervention did we find out there was no plan. Trump and McConnell stood there looking at each other “wait, you don’t have a plan? No I thought you had one.” As Paul Ryan so aptly quipped, it’s a lot harder to actually govern than it is to just obstruct.
    But our weasel in chief does have the gold standard of health care so why should he care about the 200k+ dead Americans. They are losers and suckers too.

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  4. You mean that a government takeover of healthcare and lying about keeping your doctor and rationing healthcare for the elderly and disabled so you (democrats) can extend free medical coverage to illegal aliens….and we wont tell you what is in the ACA bill until after its passed…your saying a bad democratic plan is preferable to a yet to be disclosed republican plan…ok…well that’s one persons opinion

    200,000 deaths because democrats like Cuomo, Schumer and Pelosi said it was fear mongering and racist to shut off flights from China and that every American should go to their cities China town and hug a Chinese person thereby spreading the contagion.

    You forget that the Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control would have the same people working on COVID whether Hillary Clinton was President or whether Trump was President. They would be offering the same guidelines. They would be offering the same science and facts. They would be offering the same advise to the President regardless of whether they were a democrat or a republican so Jim is just being a democratic ideologue.

    Let us not forget that it was Gov Cuomo and other Democratic Governors that forced by law infected senior citizens out of the hospital and back into their nursing homes thus infecting everyone in those nursing homes killing thousands and not taking any responsibility for doing it even though he knew those with compromised immune systems and senior citizens had the highest mortality rate from the virus. Let us not put angel wings on Democrats because they spent the entire duration of the COVID pandemic trying to impeach Trump, blaming Russia, deflecting China’s responsibility and allowing super spreaders protest without masks and without social distancing. Nancy Pelosi caught getting her hair done without wearing a mask. Maxine Waters caught outside a retail store without wearing a mask. Diane Feinstein caught in an airport without wearing a mask. Yet democrats want to make it a crime not wearing a mask but their hypocrites who won’t wear masks themselves unless there is a camera on them. Hypocrites. Hypocrites. Hypocrites. Most of whom wont take on China or WHO because they are corrupt and receiving bribes from the Chinese…just like Biden used Hunter to funnel money from Ukraine and China and other countries into the pockets of his coke addicted family.

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  5. Well first of all I’ve been a Republican for nigh on 46 years. Since George W my eyes have been opened. The Republican party’s body is rotten. Trump is a criminal and the Republican’s are cowards, it’s just that simple. Will I vote for Biden? Hell yes. We have every 4 or so days the equivalent of the 9/11 death toll. Did Cuomo and others make mistakes? Of course. The difference is they learned and improved. This numbnuts is making things worse. It’s simple math, look at any graph and you see all other countries flattening out and we are skyrocketing.

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