While we at the National Committee extend warm holiday wishes to all our readers, the joy of the season is overshadowed by the knowledge that the coming year is full of unprecedented peril for our cherished income security programs – and our health care. Throughout the year, we warned about the dangerous positions Trump…
Bottom line: “Many rural and small-town Trump supporters may soon see that Make America Great Again means accelerating economic decline and social devastation. Mr. Trump shows little understanding of the intricate interplay of subsidies and rules in the health care system, and probably has no inkling that federal taxes collected from liberal states like California, Massachusetts and New York heavily subsidize vital health services, businesses and family benefits in the very places that voted heavily for him,” according to the report.
“In sum, Price’s replacement proposal would make it much more difficult for low-income Americans to afford health insurance,” they wrote. “It would divert federal tax dollars to people who can already buy individual coverage without subsidies and substantially reduce protections for those with preexisting conditions.”
One might reasonably ask Republicans the following: Why go through the motions of repealing Obamacare if you’re going to leave it in place while formulating an alternative? Why not just keep it there until you have TerrificCare ready to go?
Theatrics are why. Republicans in Congress have voted to repeal Obamacare multiple times, always with the luxury of knowing Obama would veto their legislation. It’d be pretty careless of them to do the high wire act without the Obama safety net. Thus, you’d think Republicans would have agreed on a replacement plan by now.
But not long after their euphoria over his inauguration fades, they are going to learn why his administration is so likely to drive those statistics in the wrong direction. Despite his promises to protect Social Security and Medicare — and his vow to replace the Affordable Care Act with “something much better” — Trump’s cabinet appointees and his allies in Congress plan ruinous changes to those programs. And that will mean ruin, and in thousands of cases death, for the mostly white and working-class people who depend so heavily on them.
Among the appointments to cabinet-level positions that a new president makes is to name the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In this case, the individual proposed is Seema Verma. She heads a health policy consulting firm which has worked to redesign Medicaid and one of her most notable undertakings was in Indiana, the state where the incoming vice president was governor.
That plan reflects Verma’s idea that everyone should be personally responsible in some way for both their health and finances. In Indiana, Medicaid patients (and many of these are individuals in nursing homes) should have health savings accounts into which they make monthly deposits. According to this plan, if contributions are not made, the individual is eliminated from the program for 12 months. Furthermore, preventive care is not covered as it was found that participants could not afford it.
There is as yet no indication of any immediate changes in Medicare, which is funded differently from Medicaid, and already requires participant contributions for both Part B and Part D premiums.
Not long ago, Americans learned that the average life expectancy for white people in this country – those most likely to have voted for Donald Trump – actually declined for the first time in many years. The pathologies and frustrations believed to have driven that decline may have motivated the tiny handful of votes that gave Trump his Electoral College victory.
But not long after their euphoria over his inauguration fades, they are going to learn why his administration is so likely to drive those statistics in the wrong direction. Despite his promise to protect Social Security and Medicare – and his vow to replace the Affordable Care Act with “something much better” – Trump’s cabinet appointees and his allies in Congress plan ruinous changes to those programs. And that will mean ruin, and in thousands of cases death, for the mostly white and working class people who depend so heavily on them