In case you haven’t heard, once again, Donald Trump and House Republicans are trying to get a health care bill/Obamacare “repeal” passed. Well, at least through the House where the only requirement for legislation to pass is a simple majority vote. Seeing as the GOP has a 44-seat advantage in the House of Representatives, the fact that Trumpcare 1.0 and 2.0 were such disasters that Republicans couldn’t muster enough votes to pass either bill is a testament to how awful their ideas to “fix” our health care system are.
Well, it appears House Republicans believe they have enough votes to pass Trumpcare 3.0 and plan to vote on this latest health proposal Thursday unless something unexpected happens.
I’m sure quite a few people reading this are curious about what Trumpcare 3.0 is, exactly. That’s a fantastic question considering, unlike before, there wasn’t a great deal of coverage about this latest health care proposal backed by Trump and most of his party.
Fear not, because I’m here to tell everyone everything they need to know about Trumpcare 3.0.
Let’s start with what’s more or less the same from the previous version that failed just a few weeks ago. Trumpcare 3.0:
- Eliminates taxes on the wealthy and insurance companies.
- Gets rid of the individual mandate.
- Makes health care subsidies mostly focused on age instead of income.
- Allows Americans in their 50’s and 60’s to be charged higher premiums.
- Drastically guts Medicaid and allows states to add a work requirement on adult recipients.
- After 2020, any states that had expanded Medicaid under Obamacare would lose federal funding to cover lower-income adults.
In other words, pretty much everything awful about the bill that failed just a few weeks ago is still in this newest proposal.
So, what’s different?
If you know nothing else about Trumpcare 3.0, this is all you really need to know: At this point, just hours away from Thursday’s vote where House Republicans seem confident it will pass, the final text of the bill has yet to be released to the public or lawmakers, let alone to any independent agency to do analysis of its potential impact on Americans.
If you knew nothing else about this bill (and there’s still more — I’ll get to that in a moment), all you’d need to know is the people who seem to think that this bill is the one that’s going to make our health care system amazing seem to be doing everything they can to avoid letting the public know the full details of what it actually is.
Though as I’ve pointed out before, there’s really only one way to make our health care system better, and it’s the one thing Republicans absolutely will not do.
It’s easy to see why Republicans wouldn’t want Americans knowing too many details about this legislation. It’s essentially equally as awful as the one that failed a few weeks ago, with one big, extremely controversial tweak: In this version of the bill, states would have the option to opt-out of covering people with pre-existing conditions.
Each state would have the right to apply for waivers to allow insurers to offer policies that don’t cover the 10 essential health benefits currently mandated by Obamacare. For those wondering about those essential requirements, here they are:
- Ambulatory patient services (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
- Emergency services
- Hospitalization (surgery and overnight stays)
- Pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care (before and after birth)
- Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment
- Prescription drugs
- Rehabilitative and habitative services and devices (services to help people with injuries, disabilities, or chronic conditions gain or recover mental and physical skills)
- Laboratory services
- Preventative and wellness services and chronic disease management
- Pediatric services, including oral and vision care for children
Those are the benefits Trumpcare 3.0 will allow states to opt-out of requiring insurance companies to cover. What that means is, for anyone with pre-existing conditions living within any state that opts-out of requiring those coverages, they’ll no longer be protected from discrimination by health insurance companies.
It’s easy to see why Republicans are doing their best to conceal the details of this bill leading up to the actual vote. It’s more or less the exact same bill that failed weeks ago — just worse. This bill actually allows states to opt-in to allowing insurance companies to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions.
And guess what that’s going to do to premiums in states that continue to require that insurance companies cover these essential benefits? They’re going to rise by even more than they would have under Trumpcare 2.0. Meaning not only will people with pre-existing conditions ultimately pay much more for health care in any state that allows insurance companies to discriminate against them — if they can get coverage at all — those individuals in states that don’t opt-out are also going to see their premiums drastically increase because insurers will be able to claim that the mandate to cover higher-risk patients is the reason for those higher premiums.
It goes back to my main point of this article. If you knew nothing else about Trumpcare 3.0, all you’d really need to know is that Donald Trump and House Republicans are doing their best to push through a vote as quickly as possible, while concealing the details of the actual bill, because they don’t want Americans to know how terrible this piece of legislation is before voting on it.