A new cartoon from The New Yorker perfectly captures our fears about Donald Trump and his incoming administration, especially when it comes to the future of Obamacare and our health insurance.
Drawn by Emily Flake, a cartoonist and illustrator from Brooklyn, the New Yorker cartoon shows a bespectacled man reading a letter while his wife and the toddler she’s holding peer over his shoulder. The caption reads:
‘It says our health insurance is being replaced by a series of tweets calling us losers.’
Here’s the cartoon, which The New Yorker posted on Facebook Thursday afternoon.
That cartoon sums up our fears perfectly, because deep down we all know that President-elect Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans believe those of us who can’t afford health insurance in a “free market” world are total losers.
And who can blame us for feeling anxious? Modern Healthcare reported nearly 12.7 million people had signed up for or re-enrolled in health insurance plans through Obamacare’s state and federal health exchanges in January of last year. When you add on more Americans who got health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through the Medicaid expansion, employer mandates, young adults staying on their parents’ plans, and other coverage provisions, the total comes to roughly 20 million.
Out of those 20 million who got their health insurance through the ACA last year, 86 percent received subsidies. The details for this year aren’t in yet, but CNN Money reports December saw us signing up in record numbers.
‘Nearly 6.4 million Americans have selected Obamacare policies through the federal exchange for coverage starting Jan. 1, federal officials announced Wednesday. That’s 400,000 more than had selected policies a year ago.’
The GOP have partially tried to justify their attempts to repeal Obamacare by claiming that since health insurance companies were jacking up prices and pulling out of exchanges, fewer of us would sign up. But U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell told CNN that despite our frustrations with the cost and coverage of our health plans, we still want to have health insurance.
‘Today’s enrollment numbers confirm that some of the doomsday predictions about the marketplace are not bearing out. American people don’t want to go backwards. They don’t want to gamble with their healthcare during a repeal and delay.’
She adds that if Republicans in Congress remain hell-bent on repealing Obamacare, “chaos” will ensure. Meanwhile Donald Trump continues to give mixed signals on whether he’d sign off on such legislation. One minute he’s saying he won’t repeal it, the next minute he’s back to saying he’ll repeal it and replace it with “something terrific.”
But the truth is, there’s no way the GOP can replace Obamacare with something better. Not unless they offer a public option to compete against the health insurance companies, cut them out entirely, and/or use Medicare’s clout to bargain down drug prices. Other than the $10 million and up the health insurance companies pay their CEOs every year, there isn’t much fat left to cut. President Barack Obama is a bit of a deficit hawk himself and took great care to ensure that the ACA wouldn’t add to the federal deficit.
Republicans claim they can cut costs, but the only way for them to do that is by clawing back on subsidies and leaving many of us without health insurance again.
WATCH: HHS Secretary tells CNN Obamacare repeal would be “chaos.”
Featured image: Ezra Bailey via Getty Images.