Republicans loved the Affordable Care Act, when it was proposed by the Heritage Foundation and when it was known as Romneycare. That all changed when Barack Obama proposed it. Suddenly, the healthcare plan Republicans proposed as an alternate to Bill Clinton’s attempt at healthcare reform became “socialized medicine” and a host of other terms that Republicans clearly don’t understand. For example, it isn’t “government run health care” when the insurers, hospitals, pharmacies and clinics are privately owned and healthcare providers are not government employees. Naturally, calling it government run healthcare scares people. That always matters more to Republicans than niceties like facts and integrity.
Back in 2012, failed presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. Since then, Congressional Republicans voted to repeal the ACA 40 times and tried to blackmail the President into repealing it by shutting down the government. The Republican propaganda machine continues to manufacture hairy scary myths about the law, despite the fact that most of the people they keep claiming to represent want the bill fixed, but not repealed.
After 3+ years of obstruction, failed stunts and propaganda, Republicans finally came out with the “replace” part of Romney’s “replace and repeal.” Actually, it’s amazing that it took them 3 years to propose something even worse than what we had before the ACA became law.
It goes without saying that the “new” Republican proposal will take health insurance away from the millions of Americans who have insurance for the first time under the ACA. Naturally, the Republican plan doesn’t include any consumer protections such as free annual physicals or requiring coverage for mammograms and AIDS testing.
In the name of making healthcare cheaper for corporations, the Orwellian titled Patient CARE Act places a cap on the federal tax exclusion for employees’ healthcare. This is a double whammy because it means a tax hike for 150 million Americans who have employer based health insurance, and as a consequence it means more people will be stuck with junk insurance because that’s all they will be able to afford with this huge tax hike. Between that and the reduced subsidies, more Americans will pay higher premiums for inferior coverage. Fewer Americans will be able to afford any insurance at all. It will be back to the emergency rooms, which will also increase healthcare costs under the Republicans “new” plan because people will not have preventative care, and will postpone getting medical intention until an ailment gets more serious (and costly.)
While discussing the Republicans “new” proposal with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), didn’t dispute the fact that the Republicans idea of making healthcare more affordable is to make it less affordable for seniors most likely to have age related health issues.
Partial Transcript via Think Progress:
CHUCK TODD: One of the assumed benefits in your new plan would allow for cheaper policies for young folks. At the same time, you would allow insurers to sell insurance at varying rates. So if you allow for a cheaper policy for younger, healthier people, right, this has been among the issues, the translation is you’re going to see — how do you prevent a spike for older Americans who, maybe just by default of genetics, are starting with a lot of health care problems, and because of that, end up getting charged more? How do you prevent that spike in rates for them?
ORRIN HATCH: Well, we have a formula in there that it can’t go beyond a certain position. But the fact of the matter is, somebody has to pay for these things. And the Obamacare bill doesn’t pay for things, they pushed them into — into Medicaid, which is non-functioning and not doing what it should do right now.
Aside from throwing grandma and grandpa under the bus, the Republicans “new” plan resurrects blackballing people with pre-existing conditions, because having a pre-existing condition, (like being a woman) is your fault and someone has to pay for “these things.”
They want to resurrect the gender penalty, by charging women higher premiums for maternity care because in Republican land everyone knows that women get pregnant all by themselves and “someone has to pay for these things.” That’s in addition to other gender based penalties like having the IRS investigate IF a rape victim was “legitimately” raped and in some states, requiring women to buy rape insurance.
I guess when Republicans said they are waging a war “for” women, this is some of what they were talking about.
All in all, the Republicans’ “new” plan is really more of the same social Darwinism they always chant. Corporate sick care insurers benefit as they push more junk policies on Americans who will pay a lot more to get a lot less. Americans with employer based insurance will see a tax hike, because while the rich are too poor to pay their share of taxes, the poor are way too rich. They’re throwing Granny and Grampy under the bus with higher premiums. If you have a pre-existing condition, you’ll be priced out of the market if you’re allowed to be insured at all. Women will pay more for basic coverage, and rape insurance. Of course, the state will regulate our uteruses and make our reproductive healthcare decisions for us, also driving up costs, both human and financial.
Since fewer people will be insured and that insurance will cover next to nothing, it means people who are insured will see their premiums go up, just like they did before the ACA. But the Republican plan is all about Patient CARE because the name of their bill says so.
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