The debate over the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare has become more pointed lately, with the latest incarnation of the bill — dubbed “Trumpcare” — going up for a vote on Thursday even though it hasn’t yet been “scored” by the Congressional Budget Office.
Republican Congressional leaders have expressed confidence that the bill will pass the House when it comes up to a vote on Thursday. This confidence has naturally led those concerned for the future of the American healthcare system to become even more furious in their attempts to dissect and fight the train wreck of a bill that Republicans are trying to force on the American people.
On that note, the Wall Street Journal has now reported something worthy of deep concern about the implications of the GOP healthcare bill.
In short, Trumpcare, should it become law, will not only gut protections for those people who are already vulnerable through such means as having a pre-existing condition. Trumpcare will also remove protections for people who might think that they have a pretty secure health plan through their employer.
The Affordable Care Act, through its coverage of some 20 million people, took care of both of these groups of people. According to the Trump administration and the Republicans allied with it, however, cutting costs hasn’t been given enough priority, even though it’s literally a life and death situation that we’re talking about in the healthcare debate.
To (possibly over-)simplify it, Trump and his cronies value money in the pockets of insurance companies at least as much, if not more, than they value the lives of Americans.
It’s out of this worldview that Republicans have come up with their healthcare plan. Whereas under Obamacare, employers were required to provide a minimum amount of coverage to their employees, that minimum will be done away with should Trumpcare pass.
As The Hill reports:
‘A provision in the revised plan… allows states to get waivers from some ObamaCare insurance regulations… That could mean insurers in those states would not have to abide by a regulation requiring that they cover 10 specific types of health services… those who get insurance from their employers could lose protections limiting the amount out-of-pocket necessary for catastrophic illnesses under the provision.’
As experts speaking to the Wall Street Journal noted, just because the provision is in place to allow employers to opt out of providing certain kinds of coverage, that doesn’t mean that there will be a huge wave of employers who do that. Employers, obviously, often incorporate their employee health plans into advertising campaigns.
Still, there will no doubt be some employers who take advantage of the provision, should it become law.
Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama, said that what Republicans are doing is “huge” in that they’re creating a “backdoor way to gut employer plans, too.”
And as Larry Levitt — a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation — noted, just because employers often use health plans to attract employees, that doesn’t mean that employers aren’t “always looking for ways to lower costs.”
Should Trumpcare pass the House on Thursday, it would also need to be passed by the Senate.
Featured Image via Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/ Getty Images.