By Carla Feinkind

The GOP “healthcare” bill will be the largest single transfer of wealth FROM the poor and middle class TO the rich in American history.  Over the course of 10 years  $1.4 TRILLION dollars will be taken out of healthcare through tax cuts and slashes to services.
 It is not a healthcare bill, at all  IT IS AN ACT OF MALICE

Remember Trump and the House Republicans celebrating the healthcare bill (that “act of malice” as Rep. Joe Kennedy aptly named it), in the White House garden with drinks and laughs? Then, a week later, the President turned around and called the bill “mean” and instructed the Senate GOP to craft a kinder, gentler bill. Too little, too late, President Trump. The bill with your name on it is a heartless disaster for the American people.

The non-partisan CBO says that 23+ million Americans will “lose” their healthcare. But, people will NOT carelessly misplace their healthcare .  NO!  Republicans will  BRUTALLY yank healthcare away from: the poor, the disabled, the old, the mentally ill, working class Americans, the middle class…. All will be without health coverage or face huge out of pocket expenses. The ACA offered subsidies to the working poor,  and the middle class but under the GOP plan subsidies are gone starting in 2020 and Medicaid expansion phases out by 2021. The middle class will suffer higher premiums, higher drug costs and states will have the option of ending coverage for those with pre-existing disease or raising their premiums exponentially.  Senior care will be cut due to reduced funding for Medicaid and Medicare.  The “kinder” Senate plan exposes millions to INCREASED out of pocket costs that could run to $12,000 per family or even more.  The Senate bill reduces assistance for millions of people who buy coverage through state and federal marketplaces. In these times of continuing economic changes and job insecurity, at least 23 million will have their health  and security put at risk by the GOP plans. This is a giant step in the wrong direction.  

Some more details:

People under 26
o   ACA – they stay on parent’s plan
o   Under the GOP House bill, stays the same
o   Under the GOP Senate plan, stays the same
·       Adults under 65
o   ACA – they can buy insurance on exchanges with tax credits and subsidies (if they meet 400% of poverty level, based on tobacco use and age). Premiums cannot cost more than 9.5% of income. Those with very low income or no income qualify for Medicaid.
o   Under the House bill, tax credits will be based on age, not income, BUT, max out at $4000,  MUCH less than under the ACA. The oldest people could be charged 5 TIMES more than the youngest, or more according to state rules!  Medicaid cut after 2020.
o   Under the Senate plan, the oldest people under 65 would pay 5 TIMES  more than younger people. Subsidies to help pay for insurance would end at incomes of 350% of poverty level. Medicaid would start to be cut by 2021.
·       Low-income nursing home residents
o   ACA – 100 days of skilled nursing care is covered by Medicare.  Medicaid is available according to income
o   Under the House bill, skilled nursing care is covered up to 100 days by Medicare. Medicaid services could be cut as states see federal subsidies drop.
o   The Senate plan is the same as the House bill
·       Pre-exisiting conditions
o   ACA – coverage cannot be denied OR cost more
o   Under the House bill, states are allowed to let insurers charge more for pre-existing conditions and EXCLUDE some people, altogether. States would have access to federal money to help with expensive policies or conditions.
o   Under the Senate plan, insurers would be required to accept all applicants regardless of health status. But, states could ask permission to reduce required coverage, also called “ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS” (ER services, ambulance, pregnancy, medications, vision, opioid addiction, mental health etc.) LIFE TIME AND ANNUAL medical care caps will be allowed.
·       Planned Parenthood
o   ACA – federal programs reimburse Planned Parenthood for services (Excluding abortions)
o   Under the House bill, all payments blocked for 1 year
o   The Senate plan is the same as the House bill.  
·       People with Disabilities (The majority of Medicaid dollars go to people with disabilities and the elderly)
o   ACA – people can apply for Medicare and Medicaid
o   Under the House bill, services covered by Medicaid could be cut as federal funding declines.
o   Under the Senate plan, the cuts would be LARGER than in the House bill.
·       Mental health services
o   ACA – covered by all plans under essential health benefits           
o   Under the House bill, people could lose coverage in states that get waivers from covering essential health benefits.
o   Under the Senate plan, Medicaid would not be required to cover mental health after 2019!!
·       Working poor on Medicaid
o   ACA – 31 states and the District of Columbia expanded Medicaid
o   Under the House bill, federal funding phased out for Medicaid expansion  affecting MILLIONS of people who enrolled
o   Under the Senate plan, federal funding for Medicaid expansion phases out between 2021 and 2023. Further reductions start in 2025 in these 8 states:  Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington.
·       The Wealthy
o   ACA – the wealthy pay extra taxes to support the ACA
o   Under the House bill, ACA taxes on corporations are repealed and taxes cut for the wealthy  will equal about $880  BILLION.  This is in addition to the budget proposal of 600 billion in tax cuts or over $1.4 TRILLION from healthcare.
The GOP’s plans for  replacement of the ACA are acts of thoughtless  MALICE.
Repeat after me 

1.     Call the Congressional Switchboard for both Houses  (202)  224-3121  Blame the GOP! Ask Democrats to MAKE NOISE blaming  and shaming the GOP!
2.     Keep talking! Use the slogans! Spread the word to Democrats AND Republicans.  Call TV stations and tell them to report on the facts. (Use the telephone numbers in this newsletter). Write letters to the editor when you see misinformation. Stay vigilant!

DON’T LET THE GOP RIP HEALTHCARE AWAY FROM US. Remember, we are the many!        
Make sure our voices are heard!