Just like a lover who suddenly takes their phone everywhere, Republicans have Trumpcare on lockdown because if the public found out what was in it before they shoved it through, the public outcry would be too costly politically. Republicans want to cheat and not lose their relationship with you in the process.
The secret: If you thought being in an employer plan would protect you from the evils of Trumpcare, you are sadly mistaken.
Trumpcare V2.1 will impose annual limits on as many as 27 million Americans and lifetime limits on as many as 20 million. And it’s not just in states with waivers, which is to say your Democratic governor can’t protect you.
A new Center for American Progress analysis of the Senate healthcare bill, aka Trumpcare, shows it could lead to a return of annual and lifetime benefits — not just in states with waivers.
They explained, “This week Axios reported that the emerging Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will allow states to waive coverage of essential health benefits for small employer and individually purchased plans. In waiver states, this cut in benefits would be catastrophic for people who are sick or have a pre-existing condition and need prescription drugs, treatment for opioid addiction, or other services that could be excluded.”
The waivers would impact people with employer coverage, even in non waiver states:
“But the waivers would have a much broader impact, affecting millions of workers with employer coverage in every state—even nonwaiver states. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the waivers of essential health benefits would also eviscerate important financial protections that apply to large employer plans.”
Nationally, they estimate that Trumpcare would erode or eliminate financial protections for about 27 million workers and their dependents, “The Center for American Progress combined the results of a survey by Willis Towers Watson and census data to estimate the number of people with employer-based coverage who would be affected in each state. Nationally, we estimate that the Senate bill would erode or eliminate financial protections for about 27 million workers and their dependents.”
Yes, CAP is liberal, but they note that the nonpartisan CBO “recently confirmed that the bill’s waivers for essential health benefits would have this broader impact on employer plans.”
They gave an example of how this could happen, “Suppose that Utah obtains a waiver that eliminates all essential health benefits. Walmart, which is headquartered in Arkansas but has operations in all 50 states, could choose to apply Utah’s standard—or lack thereof—to all of its plans for all of its employees. In this indirect way, Walmart could impose annual and lifetime limits on any benefit for all of its employees nationwide.”
CAP then applied the results of a survey of large employers in which 20% said they would impose annual limits and 15% said they would impose lifetime limits if ACA protections were repealed, calculated an estimated number of people who had employer-sponsored insurance in 2015 and subtracted those enrolled in the small-group market.
They ended up with an estimate of annual caps in benefits hitting almost 27 million people and lifetime limits on about 20 million.
President Trump declared the House version of Trumpcare to be “mean” two days ago, and told Senate Republicans to make it better. Since these cuts are the conservative dream, Trump means to make it less Republican, not because Trump has an ideology or a principle he’s trying to live up to but because he needs to be loved and the people are angry. The people do not want their Obamacare taken away. The people want Republicans to work with Democrats to tweak Obamacare, as any major piece of legislation requires over time.
Trump’s task to Republicans was to find a nicer way of killing people, basically. A way that they can sell with less pushback. Better branding on bankruptcy and death, if you will.
Republican supporters have long used the argument that they have employer based insurance, so screw you if you have to buy your own because you own your own business or are self-employed as a contractor. Trumpcare takes that argument away from them, because now Trumpcare is coming for those with employer based insurance too.
Trumpcare is taking aim at an estimated 27 million people with employer-based insurance.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.