Trumpcare…

So we have another horror story associated with the current White House AKA the DC Dark Place. The Warlock-in-Chief is championing his new healthcare bill, although people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have also pranced around the bubbling cauldron to conjure up the best poison they can find for the infirm and elderly in America. Let’s first analyze the chief features of this wicked potion.

The individual mandate of the ACA will be repealed. While even that wasn’t enough to drive millennials and other youthful citizens to participate in ACA and thus increase the healthy people in the insurance pool because in some areas the ACA insurers had stiffer premiums than the fine, instead of fixing the latter, Trumpcare will make it worse. The employer mandate will be repealed. Larger companies will now be able to tell people not to look for healthcare as an employee benefit. Subsidies for out-of-pocket expenses—deductibles and co-payments, will be repealed. Insurance companies will have a field day with that. Medicaid expansion will be killed. Planned Parenthood will be defunded (why aren’t anti-abortion activists more worried about the lives of the living?).

Premium subsidies will be eliminated and replaced by tax credits. Let’s consider the implications of that one a bit further. Will the GOP send money to a poor person if her or his tax credit is more than what s/he would pay in taxes (sometimes zero)? If the answer is yes, that’s a subsidy. If the answer is no, that person won’t bother with healthcare insurance and return back to the old days when s/he went to an ER after getting too sick, virtually eliminating preventative care, increasing death rates and lowering lifespans, and driving up hospital costs—not to mention the evil implicit in penalizing the poor and rewarding the rich. The latter is consistent with the overall reverse-Robin Hood policies of the GOP, of course. Until every American has the same healthcare as a congress person, America will still have a healthcare problem!

Sure, Trumpcare will keep some popular provisions of Trumpcare. Guess what? You’ll only be able to benefit from those provisions if you have insurance! Because more people won’t have it, keeping those provisions is a moot point for many poor SOBs who will have to opt out of any healthcare. Again, access to these benefits doesn’t mean that you can afford them.

There are two more items in this evil witches’ potion brewed up by Trump and his coven. First, instead of fixing the stupid feature of the ACA that allowed insurance companies to charge elders between 50 and 65 three times what they charge young, healthy people, thus making the ACA more like Social Security (the young pay so when they’re old they will benefit), Trumpcare makes it worse: insurance companies will be able to charge five more times or more. When you add to that Paul Ryan’s plan to raid the Medicare fund (that is like Social Security) of $365 billion, you have a double whammy on the elderly (OK, triple, if you count the one just mentioned): that plan will help pay for those tax credits and tax breaks for the rich and, at the same time, make Medicare look like it will go bankrupt. Of course, the GOP has been gunning for Social Security and Medicare since FDR, so they’re out to use any methods, no matter how inhumane they are, to destroy them. No wonder AARP and the AMA is up in arms! Don’t these congressional GOP SOBs have elderly relatives? Hmm. Maybe they’re covered by the SOBs’ congressional health plan?

Trump and his cronies in the White House and that sanctuary of incompetent and greedy SOBs known as the GOP Congress need a lesson in English—accessible doesn’t mean affordable. As Bernie Sanders and other progressives have pointed out so many times, a ten-million-dollar house is accessible to everyone but it’s affordable only to privileged few. I suppose to be nice we should call Trumpcare the Accessible Care Act, but it’s horrific features don’t deserve a nice name other than legalized murder. Get the death squads and euthanasia centers ready!

Standard & Poors and the AARP estimate that ten million or more now covered by ACA will no longer be covered if this bill is passed. And, I hate to say it, but it might not be passed because ogres like Rand Paul think it’s Obamacare Lite—in other words, not and egregious enough attack on Americans. That proves at least why Libertarians will never be a viable third party, but it also means that his claws are worse than that other mutant the Wolverine fought in Logan and he’s even more inhuman.

One of my pet themes is the healthcare crisis in America. I’ve been thinking about it for years, and writing about it in my blog and my fiction (the blog category “Medical Coverage Crisis” has 137 entries, not as many as “Capitalism without Control,” 379, and there’s overlap between the two, of course). Full Medical was my first novel (now in an ebook second edition) and is still current today. With Obamacare now threatened by repeal (it never was a complete solution) and replacement by the horribly inhumane Trumpcare conjured up by Warlock-in-Chief Trump, the theme of my story seems more and more plausible. Only the privileged will be able to afford good healthcare, and the way they do it here in this sci-fi story will creep you out. Pay attention to the scherzos too—they show how bad healthcare coverage can become when it’s driven by greed and not a human right. Unfortunately that healthcare apocalypse in Full Medical might come true a lot faster than I thought–I’d have rather not been so prescient, of course.

I first started thinking about healthcare issues when Nixon and the CEO of Kaiser Permanente (CA) decided to push the new concept of HMO, thus making medical services just another way for the rich to get richer. Taking greed out of the system is a must—greedy insurance companies, greedy drug companies, greedy hospitals, and greedy healthcare providers must be reined in. After many years of studying healthcare issues, I stand by my conclusion: Anything other than single-payer (even Medicare isn’t that) can’t be a solution that satisfies the most important problem healthcare faces in America—it isn’t a right that every person and it is a privilege that only some can afford. Trumpcare is a huge step backwards. Instead of fixing the ACA, Trumpcare is making things worse. But the sad thing is, Trump and his GOP cronies, with people like Rand Paul being the worst, just don’t give a rat’s ass for Americans’ wellbeing—they’ve got theirs, so to hell with everyone else. If you’re not happy with what they’re doing, make sure they’re out of their jobs in 2018, and work to impeach Trump.

 

And so it goes….

 

5 Responses to “Trumpcare…”

  1. Scott Dyson Says:

    Your post makes me sad and angry. Anyone who has tried to buy their own health insurance should know that even under the ACA, the companies could charge whatever they wanted to charge. Before ACA, my own premiums were skyrocketing (I’m talking about 2010/2012 time frame.) We were able to buy insurance that was more affordable and better individually after that time. But premiums continued to climb, and this year (2017) they finally became unaffordable to me. Fortunately again, we were able to go to a group health care plan through my business during open enrollment.

    With the changes, and with me getting older, I can only hope that I’ll be able to afford insurance in the years to come. At some point, I think I’m paying quite a bit more in premium dollars than I am receiving in benefits. Perhaps the value of the health care plan is in the access to their fee schedule. But it seems to me that if a provider can offer it to the PPO, they should be able to offer it to their non-insurance patients. It may be that at some point I will have to go without insurance and hope that I can make it to Medicare age without serious health problems, and that Medicare is still there and somewhat useful at that point…

  2. Steven M. Moore Says:

    Scott,
    Instead of fixing Obamacare (there were things wrong with it), Trumpcare makes things worse. There are many people who are “sad and angry,” I’m sure, including Trump voters who feel they were misled by their candidate.
    For people who are 50+ in age, Trumpcare is a disaster. For 50-64-year-olds, they can be charged up to 5 times what younger insurees will pay; for 65+, stealing from Medicare and Medicaid will emasculate those programs, so don’t look for Medicare to save you.
    But the young won’t be better off. Because of costs, they’ll opt out, so they will be lining up with their elders for the ER care.
    Trumpcare does win out in one respect: it’s the worst government health care plan in the Western world!
    r/Steve

  3. Joyce Beamer Says:

    I like most of my friends are in the 7th decade of our lives. We are covered by Medicare by 80% and other insurance choice for 20%. Some of my friends have Social Security as their only retirement income and do not file any taxes as they live at far below poverty level. How does tax credit work for them? I remember reading your novel Full Medical and feeling terrified. I/we feel terrified, fearful, without control, and preyed upon. The man in the White House is in my lifetime, the most outrageous , narcissistic, and says things that have no moral compass or credibility. It is so unsettling to have a President that behaves like he does. Oh my gosh, and so it has been in his first , I don’t know how many days.

  4. Steven M. Moore Says:

    Hi Joyce,
    Thanks for your comment.
    Many people will suffer under Trumpcare, including many who voted for him. Attacking the ACA is only one thing on his evil agenda (the title of the sequel to Full Medical, by the way), but that post-apocalyptic sci-fi story Full Medical is coming true a lot faster than I thought. Of course, 1984’s bleak world of fascist doublespeak is already upon us.
    Nasty bullying and total lack of compassion characterize this regime, both the president and his minions and the GOP congresspeople. Just make sure you tell all your friends that we must emasculate Narcissus le Grand in 2018–we need to rectify this awful mistake!
    r/Steve

  5. Steven M. Moore Says:

    An update: Trumpcare would steal $117 billion from Medicare–still a good hit–and $880 billion from Medicaid. That’s without considering Meals-on-Wheels, Planned Parenthood, and other popular programs. Many budget cuts will actually hurt many who voted for Il Duce!
    r/Steve

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