Sen. Al Franken discusses how dangerous Trumpcare actually is:
The GOP’s AHCA, if enacted, will strip people of their protections, not so much in the language as written striking those protections directly, but through the granting of “waivers.” Various states, specifically “red” states, want to be able apply for waivers such that they don’t have to provide healthcare plans that provide coverage for any “essential healthcare benefit” identified in the ACA that they don’t particularly like. That means MEN in GOP-dominated legislatures who don’t think “maternity care” should be an essential benefit because MEN don’t get pregnant, can seek waivers for having to provide plans that cover maternity care. The same might hold true for those opposing inclusion of Emergency Room care, or prescription drugs, or 1st-day expenses associated with a hospital admission (the most expensive day), or cancer screenings, etc. Similarly, waivers could be sought regarding annual or lifetime limits of coverage. We already know that they’re seeking an amendment that would block all coverage for 3-months should someone come up short after getting fired from a job and miss a payment to their healthcare insurer.
If the AHCA passes in the Senate and goes back to the House for a vote, the House could choose to short-circuit the process and end their struggle to “repeal and replace” by merely voting to accept the Senate-passed bill and it would head to interloper in the White House’s desk for his glorious 2″ tall signature in some binder he can hold up for all to see.
One thing all of us need to understand is that enactment of the AHCA will be the first step in the race to the bottom for ALL of us (not just those on medicaid or those buying insurance via exchanges) — even those who currently have employer-based insurance will be dramatically impacted. You see, employers already buy insurance “across state lines” because they typically have plans that insure employees in multiple states. That means, they’ll be looking at which states sought waivers and for what type of coverage they sought waivers that will drive their cost of insuring their workforce down. When they start buying insurance from waivered-state insurance providers, those essential health benefits you’ve become accustomed to having and using are going to start disappearing. Your costs/cost-sharing/deductibles/etc. are all going to dig deeper into your pockets, and that’s before all those age-rated factors start kicking in, or your workplace becomes too hostile for you to tolerate any more as they lean on you more heavily attempting to get you to leave so they can hire a less expensive to insure younger employee.
Those of us who live in rural America already know how hard it is to obtain services or to even find a healthcare insurer … at any price. Corporations have no interest in doing business in rural America where doctors are fewer, where hospitals and clinics serve smaller populations and where serious emergency cases have some seriously high transportation costs associated with getting them to the nearest trauma center. It can only get worse for us.
Bottom-line? People are going to lose their ability to afford insurance. AND … people are going to needlessly die early deaths.