PUBLISHED ON APRIL 13, 2017
President Trump’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have been a complete failure so far, and the plans Republicans put forward never even came close to fulfilling Trump’s campaign pledge to deliver a health plan that would cover everyone at a lower cost.
Each failure has brought complaints from Trump and his allies that their failure is the fault of Democrats who refuse to work with them on their sinister plans that would leave over 24 million people uninsured.
Then Trump, Mike Pence and Paul Ryan warned us that Obamacare is going to collapse if they don’t act.
Now, with ObamaCare working and millions thankful it hasn’t been destroyed by political assassins, the new Trump strategy is to destroy it just to prove the Republicans are right.
The latest Republican concocted changes are straight off a wish list put forward by big insurance companies who want fewer regulations, more freedom to do as they wish, and greater profits.
They were quietly released while most Americans were more concerned about Trump’s bombing in Syria, political battles with Russia and the threat of nuclear war with North Korea.
“Many of the changes announced Thursday follow recommendations from insurers,” reports the Los Angeles Times, “which wanted the government to address shortcomings with HealthCare.gov markets, including complaints that some people are gaming the system by signing up only when they get sick and then dropping out after being treated.”
That, of course, flies in the face of reality. A tenet of Obamacare is that everyone is required to sign up or face financial penalties, which keeps churn down. That is why under Obamacare, the number of people in the U.S. with health insurance exceeds 90 percent for the first time ever.
Here is the laundry list of the changes announced today to cure Obamacare the way Dr. Frankenstein would:
- The annual sign-up period is being cut in half, so insurance companies don’t have to spend as much time marketing. Experts on consumer needs say this will only insure fewer people sign up.
- Curbs on “special enrollment” options which allow people to sign up outside of the enrollment period. Insurers say this just encourages people to sign up only when they are sick. ObamaCare advocates say it is another way to limit sign-ups during the year.
- Insurance companies for the first time have the right to withhold medical insurance and services to anyone who isn’t fully paid up on their past premiums, no matter what their circumstances. In other words, when the consumer is in the worst possible situation, the insurance companies can cut them off completely.
- Insurers have more flexibility to design special policies for young people, who tend to be healthier and use the insurance benefits less. This takes the balance out of the system so that people who are healthy and working don’t have to subsidize people who are old and sick. It is another way to ensure the system fails.
- Despite throwing these bones to the insurers, none of the big players like Anthem Blue Cross have agreed to stick with the ObamaCare system next year. Like all pigs, they first want to come back to the trough for more and more and more.
The war on Obamacare heated up yesterday, when Trump told the Wall Street Journal that if Democrats don’t do what he wants, he may cut subsidies that currently make Obamacare affordable through the state exchanges for literally millions of Americans.
His comments have been compared to the tone a gangster takes when he wants to strongarm someone into compliance: “I don’t want people to get hurt. What I think should happen – and will happen – is the Democrats will start calling me to negotiate.”
The money Trump is threatening to withhold, according to the Kaiser Foundation, would represent about 19 percent of what healthcare costs, which would be a disaster for consumers and force many insurers to drop out of the plan – creating a self-fulfilling scenario to prove their evil prediction that ObamaCare is near collapse.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) describes it as Trump trying to “manufacture a crisis.”
You can’t expect a President who is willing to hold sick people hostage to blackmail Democrats to act any differently. Trump and Ryan said ObmaCare was failing – and they will make sure it does.
If this doesn’t make you sick and angry, you aren’t paying attention.