Despite House Speaker Paul Ryan’s fascinating (and ill-informed) old-school PowerPoint presentation on the GOP Obamacare replacement, many Americans are still concerned how the new administration’s health care plan will affect them.
It’s a valid concern since millions of people who receive private health coverage through former President Barack Obama’s signature Affordable Care Act would be at risk of losing it under President Donald Trump’s American Health Care Act, which would override the current system of premium subsidies based on income and the cost of insurance in each state.
Trumpcare would also end Medicaid expansion in two years and is likely to hit lower-income Americans, particularly those in their 50s and 60s, the hardest as they would have to pay more for their premiums.
However, House Republicans want you to think everything is fine and no one is going to suffer any financial setbacks.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price recently appeared in an interview with Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to push the same agenda.
“I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through, understanding that they’ll have choices that they can select the kind of coverage that they want for themselves and for their family, not that government forces them to buy,” said Price, a former orthopedic surgeon and Republican congressman. “So there’s cost that needs to come down, and we believe we’re gonna be able to do that through this system. There’s coverage that’s gonna go up.”
As is the custom with the members of Trump administration, Price did not reveal any details to back up his claims. The only thing he pressed on was how Obamacare was bad and the GOP had come up with a plan that was good for everyone.
Well, it was a lie.
Or perhaps the U.S. health secretary doesn’t really know how health care plans work.
For starters, the government cannot build a health insurance market where everyone gets to keep their coverage (remember Obama administration’s unfulfilled promises?). Then there is the fact that in every healthcare plan, there is bound to be group that benefits tremendously and the other that does not — for instance, if a certain provision aids the sick and elderly, it is likely to put young and healthy individuals at a disadvantage.
The same analogy can be used for the middle and lower-income citizens.
The statistics also don’t support Price’s bold and unsubstantiated claim.
As the Vox pointed out in its analysis, if approved today, Trumpcare would increase per year cost for the average enrollee by $1,542. In 2020, the cost will be increased by $2,409.
Meanwhile, the cost for older individuals between the ages 55 to 64 would be increased by $5,269 today. In 2020, that amount will be increased by $6,971.
As for those who fall 250 percent below the federal poverty line, their average costs would increase by $2,945 today and by $4,061 in 2020.
Moreover, since the controversial bill includes a provision to defund Planned Parenthood, lower-income American women are already at a huge disadvantage.
So, saying “nobody will be worse off financially” is as big of a lie as President Trump saying he’s the “least racist person” ever.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Joshua Roberts