Editorial: Trumpcare

The Republicans in the U.S. House celebrated with Bud Light. The House Democrats, showing a stunning amount of immaturity, serenaded the victors with a song used by winners of athletic events. But, make no mistake. If you don’t own an insurance company, you are not going to be better off if the U.S. Senate passes this monstrosity of a bill. But, Obamacare….is the standard response. It’s heard almost as often as “But Hillary…” Third District Congressman Jeff Duncan said the American Health Care Act (henceforce called Trumpcare) is a victory. It’s certainly a win for his new best friend Donald J. Trump. In a lengthy social media explanation, Duncan said, “First and foremost, the bill contains numerous protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The law is clear: under no circumstance can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition…” The bill sets aside $8 billion for people with pre-existing conditions who haven’t maintained continuous coverage to acquire affordable care. If you believe Congressman Duncan, pop a Bud Light and head on over to your friendly neighborhood health care provider to partake in the wonders of Trumpcare. That $8 billion is for the next five years -- $1.6 billion a year – for the entire country. States can get permission to allow insurance companies charge more for some pre-existing conditions. But they would never do that, would they? States can also apply for a waiver that will allow them not to be required to cover those who are already sick. The House GOP website says Trumpcare make another $130 billion available to states to “repair their health markets damaged by Obamacare.” The states can use the funds to slash premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, offer dental and vision care or increase health care options. Look up in the sky. It’s a pie. The Washington Post editorial board said Friday, “There can be no doubt that this legislation would erode protections for people with pre-existing conditions. States seeking to weaken regulations protecting vulnerable people would face few legal barriers.” The Brookings Institution says people who are sick will be priced out of the market. The final version of the bill was produced the night before the vote. Lawmakers are now required by law to read a bill prior to voting on it. Here’s a safe bet – they didn’t read the American Health Care Act before voting and many of them haven’t read it yet. Maybe the bill should be printed on a Bud Light can. Most of the bill passed by the House was the same bill introduced and defeated in March, so lawmakers have certainly had time to read and study the proposal. The Congressional Budget Office said the March legislation will throw 24 million Americans off the insurance roles. The Medicaid expansion in Obamacare (which South Carolina is not participating in) will be cut for the poor and chronically ill. The Republicans will take the money saved from saving lives and get the richest people in America a tax cut. Medicaid services for low-income people in nursing homes will likely be cut as states see federal funding decline. Services provided to low-income people with disabilities and mental health services can be cut as states lose federal Medicaid funds. All in the name of God.

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