HEALTH & WELLNESS Middle Age Maladies  >  Is It Going To Be ‘Trumpcare’ or ‘TrumpDon’tCare?’

Is It Going To Be ‘Trumpcare’ or ‘TrumpDon’tCare?’

Is It Going To Be ‘Trumpcare’ or ‘TrumpDon’tCare?’
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BY STEVE NUBIE

Who exactly is going to benefit from Repeal and Replace?  American citizens or American Insurance Companies and the Republican agenda?

Repeal and Replace has been the mantra of the Republican party for some time. The unfortunate fact is that many facets of the replacement plan will have significant, adverse effects for people 50 and over.  The debate continues and what is reported here is as of this writing and today’s date.  Things could get better, things could get worse but right now there is a definite threat if you are 50+.

What makes this significant is that many people 50 and over are unemployed and due to ageism and other factors, can’t find full-time work or any kind of work with health insurance benefits. The Affordable Care Act helped many people in that situation in ways they may not realize.   TrumpCare may make it painfully clear why.  In the meantime, many are waiting for age 65 to sign up for Medicare, but others are so financially challenged that they depend on Medicaid.  And that’s where thing really start to go awry.

It’s at age 50 that many people start to endure the onset of significant medical issues. We’re the ones who can least afford to be without medical coverage, but our financial state can make health insurance extremely expensive or simply unaffordable.  This is especially true for people with pre-existing conditions.  Many aspects of the new “TrumpCare” plan raise some significant concerns for this reason and others.

Here are some key points to ponder as Donald Trump and the Republican party led by Paul Ryan push for “TrumpCare”:

  • TrumpCare will revoke the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  This expansion provided coverage to millions of Americans with low incomes.
  • TrumpCare will take health insurance away from 24 million Americans according to the CBO.  The actual number is probably higher.
  • Under TrumpCare, Medicaid will become a block grant which enables states to disqualify otherwise eligible people off their coverage and to cut benefits if they choose.
  • Medicaid funding will be slashed by more than $880 billion over 10 years under TrumpCare.
  • TrumpCare will allow insurers to charge dramatically higher premiums to older patients.
  • Tax cuts and subsidies to middle-income people to help them afford health insurance will be removed (or should I say repealed?), and replaced with tax credits and subsidies based on age rather than income.  That means that Donald Trump will receive a bigger tax cut than a young, poor, single-mom battling cancer.
  • TrumpCare will allow health insurance companies to impose both yearly and lifetime caps on coverage.  This was outlawed by the Affordable Care Act and could even affect the majority of non-elderly Americans receiving insurance through their employers.
  • TrumpCare would allow states to seek waivers for essential benefits such as emergency services, maternity care, hospitalization, preventive care, mental health care and substance abuse treatment which is now required by the Affordable Care Act.
  • TrumpCare would produce higher deductibles and co-pays for all patients.
  • TrumpCare would provide tax cuts to families making over $250,000 a year totaling hundreds of billions of dollars.
  • TrumpCare would put people with pre-existing conditions in high-risk pools which have been shown to be underfunded, charge enormous premiums, provide inadequate benefits and can’t cover the population in those pools.  The money that TrumpCare would provide for the pools is inadequate leaving the most vulnerable patients without insurance.
  • TrumpCare allows the return of medical underwriting which means you will have to document every medical condition you have ever had in your life.
  • TrumpCare will allow the states to waive the requirement that they charge people the same rates regardless of their medical condition or history.  This allows for denial for pre-existing conditions or charging enormous premiums which would make it impossible for people with pre-existing conditions to afford healthcare.  All of these provisions were part of the Affordable Care Act, but TrumpCare will remove (or should I say replace) those provisions.

There’s more that shows up every day. If you’re concerned there are a few things you can do about it.  For one, contact your congressman and Senator (especially if they’re Republican) and let them know how you feel about the ongoing evolution of this debate and the seeming chaos of “Repeal and Replace.”  You could also think ahead to the elections of 2018 all look for candidates who support healthcare concepts that benefit people 50 and over rather than punish them as the evidence seems to indicate at this point.

At this point in time I think it’s official. If the current bill passes it should and probably will be the “TrumpDon’tCare” act.

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