The Republican Party has submitted for our approval a fix for concerns over preexisting conditions.
Though The New York Times calls it a “breakthrough,” don’t get your hopes up. It doesn’t fix anything though it may persuade morally bankrupt but re-election hungry Republicans opposed to the AHCA to vote for it anyway.
Or, as Andy Slavitt, who ran Medicare, Medicaid & ACA for President Obama called it, “a shell game.”
According to CAP,
“The high-risk pool plan is an attempt to cover up for another provision in the bill, via an amendment by New Jersey Rep. Tom MacArthur (R), that would allow states to easily waive protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions in the individual market if they experienced a gap in coverage.”
“With the deal,” we are told, “up to $138 billion could go to high-risk pools under the AHCA, but that additional $8 billion would subsidize just 76,000 more people” and “The $8 billion promised to House Republican moderates would fill in just 4 percent of the funding gap.”
As Consumers Union, the policy and action division of Consumer Reports explains,
“This amendment is like slapping a band-aid on a broken bone and expecting it to heal — it’s a drop in the bucket in terms of actually providing protections for the millions of people insurers consider to have preexisting conditions.”
Andy Slavitt read the Upton amendment and issued an alert on Twitter:
ALERT: A team of folks have just read the Upton amendment. Intended to be spent on ppl w pre-ex in a paltry way.
There's a major shock.1
— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) May 4, 2017
Here’s the thing. As Slavitt points out, the $8 billion “doesn’t have to be used for ppl w pre-existing conditions.”
Slavitt says “GOP leaders have created a fog of war,” and “People who vote for this won’t have had time to read it. Let alone analyze it.” As we have seen countless times, Donald Trump doesn’t even know what is in the bill he is championing, or worse, what isn’t in it.
He concludes with the revelation that makes a mockery of this whole GOP attempt to pull the wool over our eyes:
.@AislingMcDL And now– the kicker. The $ can go to subsidize healthy people anyway. 11
— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) May 4, 2017
Emily Gee and Topher Spiro of CAP conclude that,
“Even if the Upton amendment wins votes, the staggeringly large funding gap could leave many Americans with pre-existing conditions stranded outside the high-risk pool without affordable options for coverage.”
Trumpcare mentions preexisting conditions ZERO (0) times. The Upton amendment really doesn’t change that, and when you see Republicans say it does, you really can’t disagree with David Corn’s assessment that “Republican hatred of Obama is causing House GOPers to act like a drunk trying to fly a 747.”
In other words, what Slavitt said a week ago before the Upton amendment remains true today:
There's one sentence every American needs to know:
Trumpcare eliminates pre-existing condition protections.
— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) April 27, 2017
That is the essential calculus of the heartless Republican alternative to Obamacare. The Upton Amendment changes nothing: by voting for Trumpcare the GOP shows it still wants to murder our children.
And today of all days I won’t be taking for granted my ability to go the clinic at the hospital and watch my son get infused with the meds that are keeping him alive. Paul Ryan calls this “momentum.” I call it murder.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.