Proposed GOP Heathcare

     Currently the United States is the only industrialized nation in the world which does not provide health insurance to all its citizens.  Fast forward to the current GOP healthplan and President Trump’s promise to provide “everybody with more affordable and better insurance”.   The goal of  Obamacare (ACA) was feasibility (  and to provide both medical and preventive health care.  The proposed GOP plan replaces feasibility with the concept of accessibility with no mention of providing either good medical or preventive care.  To provide more access, GOP plans want insurance to be sold  across state lines with the HOPE of increasing the number of choices available.  Using the marketplace  MAYBE insurance  rates then decrease.

The problem with this approach is that the ACA already has this option for insurance companies and no company has pursued or utilized it.  The only restrictions that exist are state regulations and decisions insurance companies make themselves.  An example of being able to choose an out of state policy might be like driving across states lines to buy gasoline to save a few pennies a gallon at one of the many stations available. You might save a few pennies a gallon, but the price of gasoline is going to be what the oil companies say it is going to be – just as the cost of specified medical services and procedures are going to be set according to the medical industry standards. How does this save  money ? Also while you might save money by purchasing an inferior quality of gasoline only later to experience engine problems, what happens when you purchase a medical policy which doesn’t cover major life issues including preventative care ? What good is having insurance if you can still get sick and not be covered for your illness?

Specific to the proposed GOP plan is the cutting of 600 billion dollars collected through tax revenues to pay for the subsidies to the individual policies and the Medicaid expansion.  The plan for 465 billion of this 600 billion dollars is to refund it to the top 2% of wage earners, drug companies, medical equipment makers and the insurance companies.  Also eliminated is the requirement that 80% of all premiums paid for insurance policies are actually used for health care and not used for executive and CEO salaries.  The entire expanded Medicaid coverage has been targeted for elimination by 2018 and the CBO reports that will immediately leave 11 million people without insurance.  By 2026 the GOP  plan will have reduced Medicaid funding by 880 billion dollars which is a full 25% less than its present funding levels.  GOP Governor  Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas describes this plan and “shift and shaft” .  Shifting the financing for Medicaid  to the state with future funding ceilings and shafting the vulnerable people who rely on it for their well being.  Policy  Matters Ohio has reported 3 million Ohio poor and disabled people – about 1 in 4 Ohio citizens- are going to be affected by these cuts.  This number includes 700,00 working age adults earning wages low enough to qualify for assistance.

This GOP plan has had no hearings and no expert testimony and, we are told, it will be voted upon in several weeks.  So what the ACA replacement looks like now is a 880 billion “savings” stolen from the poor’s Medicaid assistance program plus 600 billion in bonus tax cuts for our wealthiest citizens and the insurance industry.  It also looks to be explicitly designed to fail millions of Americans while passing truckloads of tax dollar to billionaires and the insurance industry.  The part missing appears to be “everybody will have more affordable and better insurance”!!!

Tom Mosier

Democratic Communications Co-ordinator