There’s an ever-increasing number of critics who are slamming the latest Republican healthcare bill for a variety of very good reasons. If you take the bill apart and look at all its different parts, you’ll see it amounts to nothing more than a war on the poor by Donald Trump. Although Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has said publicly that the new legislation would make for more affordable insurance, stronger Medicaid and a more robust insurance market, it’s obvious who will benefit and who will suffer if the bill becomes law.
Here’s a brief rundown of what you can expect.
Problems For The Working Poor
There are projections that up to 23 million people will lose their healthcare under the new Republican Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). As you might expect if you’ve been following along with Trump’s other measures, one of the hardest hit will be the working poor.
The poorest and most vulnerable of Americans will lose their health coverage under the bill that promises to slash Medicaid by $880 billion over the next decade. Of the previously mentioned 23 million people who might lose their coverage under the new bill, 14 million are classified as poor. It’s interesting to note here how a president who promised to make America Great Again will effectively end the expansion of Medicaid starting in 2021.
This would all work in tandem with the fact the BCRA would eliminate the two separate taxes the wealthy shelled out to help pay for Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. This bill would also allow people to put more into health savings accounts which are the vehicle that many wealthy Americans already use to save for their healthcare.
It’s clear the BCRA has been designed to help those of the top at the expense of the poor parts of our society. According to Medicaid experts like Joan Alker from Georgetown University, there are some specifics already that we need to look at.
For example, the proposed rule changes could affect eight states particularly and 3.3 million people who currently are enrolled in the Medicaid program could lose their coverage.
Seniors Get Slammed
Another big segment of our population could get hit hard by the new changes proposed in the BCRA. Reports are saying that it’s not just the people who gained Medicaid coverage under Obama’s expansion plans that are going to be hard-hit by Trump’s rollback.
A per capita cap plan is part of the new bill and it has seniors and disabled groups up in arms over what’s sure to be a rollback in their coverage. Instead of giving a block of funds to each state, this change requires that everyone is properly vetted and they get a certain amount of money.
Long story short is states that have many disabled and aging people can’t shift the money around to the group that’s most needed. This new provision is a way of tightening up the way the cash gets allocated but the per capita cap doesn’t keep up with the increased costs of aging populations.
This all means that more and more disabled and poor people will be left to fend for themselves as they get older or their disabilities grow more severe. There are other segments of society that will feel the pinch if this bill passes and these groups include:
PeopleThat Need Prescriptions
The dangers behind one of these per capita caps go farther than you might think and attacks another vulnerable segment of our society. Opioid abuse has put a tremendous strain on the Medicaid system. Under the BCRA, the system would be strained further and people who need help getting over drug problems pushed further back down the line.
Here’s How The Situation Will Worsen If The Bill Passes
If a new drug came on the market that could help with opioid addiction, the chances are it would be expensive and be out of people’s reach under the proposed per capita caps. As the system stands today, federal funds would increase with the need from the states. However, under the Republican bill, the whole burden would be placed on the states.
Although the Republican plan does add US $2 billion to address the opioid problem, experts say that wouldn’t be enough to address the damage caused by drugs like Fentanyl.
People Who Use Planned Parenthood Clinics
People who rely on Planned Parenthood clinics for services not related to abortions can be affected by the BCRA. The clinics are already barred from using federal money for abortions, but under the proposed bill there will be no Medicaid reimbursements for at least a year for other services too.
Fewer Middle Class Subsidies
Because the eligibility for premium government subsidy help would change with the new bill, more middle-class folks won’t be eligible if the bill passes. This change is set to take effect in 2020. Those earning up to 350% of the poverty level or $41,600 this year will still qualify. That’s a big difference from the 400% threshold or $47,500 this year that was the previous benchmark in Obamacare.
Some Lower Income Americans Will Be Shut Out
Under Obamacare there was a Medicaid expansion that provided for about 11 million Americans with low income. Under the BCRA, this federal funding program will be eliminated by 2024.
It’s important to keep in mind there are plans to limit Medicaid support from the federal government. This part of the program covers over 70 million disabled and elderly people as well as low income children and their parents.
Finally, the new bill will allow states to seek waivers for the 10 essential health benefits that insurers must provide. This allows companies to provide less comprehensive policies in important areas like maternity, prescription drugs and even substance abuse.
It’s clear if you look at the provisos in the new Republican healthcare bill that only the rich will benefit at the expense of the poor. What’s more, people with pre-existing conditions might be precluded from buying the coverage they need to look after all their care and treatment.