This week Republicans in Congress are taking another stab at throwing millions of Americans off their health insurance to both satisfy their own lust for ending "evil" Obamacare (and killing people) and to give Trump what he thinks will be a "win," in that he'll get to sign something in front of the cameras (that will kill people) while claiming it's the best health plan ever put together in the history of health plans, facts be damned.
Facts. They are indeed pesky details that have tripped Trump up at every turn in his short time in office as the man who would be king, and the facts surrounding the latest version of Trumpcare will be no different. He claims this new version is even more awesome than the last one was, except the first was actually pretty bad and this one is even worse. It essentially takes the "health insurance" out of the "having health insurance" equation by ending provisions for covering basic health essentials like going to the hospital, along with protections and coverage for pre-existing conditions, something that a majority of the population have. Should you need that kind of coverage, the new plan would allow insurance companies to spike the cost of your premiums causing many to be priced out of the market altogether.
This is similar to the last plan that was so bad they couldn't even get enough Republicans to vote for it. So this time they added an incentive to turn those "no" votes into "yes" votes. They simply made sure members of Congress will be exempt from all of the above. In other words, they will get to keep their Obamacare and all of its protections, while the rest of us will get stuck with Trumpcare, which could barely be called insurance anymore. (They now claim they'll remove that exemption AFTER the bill passes, and we should just trust that they'll keep their word on it. Sure.)
Another problem with the new Trumpcare is what it could do to Floridians: The new plan would allow states to waive all sorts of benefits rules.
Here are the basic rules states could waive, eliminate, and/or "tweak" under the latest version of Trumpcare, as summarized by the New York Times. They fall into three categories, essential health benefits, community ratings, and age ratings, and what could be eliminated from the current Obamacare law:
A basic set of benefits, including hospital care, prescription drugs and maternity care, that must be included in all health insurance.
A pillar of Obamacare that prevents health insurers from charging higher prices to customers with pre-existing health conditions.
Rules about how much more insurance companies can charge older customers than younger ones.
Allowing states to set their own standards and requirements could have deadly consequences for Floridians at the hands of Republicans. I suggest reading the above referenced article in full for deeper details on just how devastating and deadly these waivers could be.
As Floridians know all too well, Republicans here have already declared a war on health care, and just the thought of these new waivers probably have Rick Scott rubbing his hands together, dancing a jig and wearing a permanent version of his evil, laser-eyed grin, while Republicans in the legislature are probably lining up to collect insurance company donor checks as I write this. After all, Scott was the king of the "Let's Kill Health Care" movement long before he became governor, after being forced out of his own company due to the company's record breaking Medicare fraud problem. After Obamacare passed in spite of his efforts, he and Republicans refused to expand Medicaid and passed a law that allowed insurance companies to charge Floridians higher premiums while also allowing them to falsely blame Obamacare for it. Right now Florida Republicans are trying to force a work requirement on those who still have access to Medicaid.
In other words, this latest effort to kill Obamacare (and lots of people along with it) and replace it with Trumpcare would be a dream come true for Florida Republicans, not to mention the members of Congress who will get to keep their Obamacare and all of its benefits even as they vote to cut yours.
Unless you're a Floridian who plans to get through life absent any illness, any basic need for medical care, and don't have a pre-existing condition, you might want to give your Representative a call before they vote on this nightmare tomorrow or Saturday.
It's a matter of life and death.