The House “Freedom” Caucus, Republican leadership and more moderate Republicans have reached a tentative agreement on a new bill to kill Obamacare and replace it with a terrible plan that would still eliminate coverage for tens of millions of people and dramatically raise costs for those with preexisting conditions.
A deal between House Freedom Caucus Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Tuesday Group co-chairman Tom MacArthur (D-NJ) would let states waive the community rating provision, according to The Huffington Post. The community rating provision stops insurers from charging higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. Moderate conservatives would allow this as long as Trumpcare 2.0 includes the Essential Health Benefits provision that was taken out of the previous version of the health care plan. However, under certain circumstances, states could waive this provision as well.
This means that under the latest Republican healthcare bill, enrollees could have premium increases of tens of thousands of dollars. The invisible risk pool Republicans have proposed would do little to offset those costs for the least healthy Americans. The CAP analysis found that people with asthma would face a premium surcharge of $4,340 and people with diabetes would face a surcharge of $5,600 a year. For pregnant individuals, insurers would charge $17,320 more for premiums. But the results were worst for patients with chronic illnesses. People with metastatic cancer would be charged $142,650 more.
The Federal Invisible Risk Sharing Program, which establishes a $15 billion fund to pool together people with expensive health conditions, would be ineffective for several reasons. First, the $15 billion would only lower annual premiums by about 1 to 2 percent each year. Second, the administrative burdens would be expensive, since it only covers the costs of certain conditions and that would require a lot of paperwork.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation Senior Vice President Larry Levitt reacted to the report’s findings. “No insurance company will want to cover people with expensive health conditions if they don’t have to, so they will set premiums to make sure the coverage is out of reach,” Levitt said. “Health care costs are highly concentrated among a small number of people who are sick, and they would find it impossible to get affordable coverage.”
That would include me, by the way. I am self-employed and have several chronic health conditions that require a great deal of ongoing expense. If this bill passes, I’m as good as dead if I stay in the United States. I would be forced to leave the country and go to a country that has some form of nationalized health care. Large numbers of people will die. Not that the Republicans give a damn, of course. Profits over people should be the motto of the GOP.