The GOP finally released their Obamacare repeal proposal after being kept under strict lock and key. So what’s the problem? It’s actually a really bad attempt at a replacement. The plan essentially confirms the fears of most conservatives: this plan is Obamacare Lite. I say that because the bill truly does only trim around the edges of Obamacare, keeping a lot of its original issues while allowing others to manifest into larger problems.
Don’t get me wrong, a lot of it is good policy. However, there is a larger issue at play here that isn’t just healthcare. This Republican blunder is the first major policy proposal of Congress since Trump’s inauguration. So far, the highly-anticipated Republican Congress has been anti-climactic, to say the least. This new bill is being dissected and torn apart by every media outlet, including Breitbart. The Breitbart article, in particular, is the most interesting because it plays to the fear that many Trump voters have about Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus: they’re too establish for the Trump team and will be detrimental to his campaign.
Note: there’s much more wrong with Trumpcare than what’s on this list. These are the top three issues as I see it.
1. Pre-Existing Conditions Mandate Is Still In; Premiums Will Go Up. We all remember when, while under Obamacare, premiums soared. It looks like this bill won’t be any different thanks to this crucial mandate that requires insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. The bulk of the funding for insurance companies to pay for pre-existing conditions, unfortunately, comes from other mandates. The individual and employer mandates are now being cut. Normally I’d say that’s a good move, but when you are keeping a mandate that literally depends on the other ones existing, it becomes a situation that is destined to be disastrous. This only disincentivizes people from purchasing healthcare, and instead gives them a reason to wait until they have a pre-existing condition to buy healthcare, essentially creating a huge money crisis. Premiums will then soar and we’ll be back to square one. Instead of getting rid of government intervention that shouldn’t be there in the first place, the GOP instead finds itself bound up in a web of mandates, unable to escape without making the problem worse.
2. The Individual Mandate May Be Gone, But You’re Still Going To Get Penalized For Not Having Insurance. For people who want decide to drop their plan, a 30% surcharge will be forced upon them. That’s right; the federal government will be monetarily penalizing you if you decide. But why? This 30% penalty is supposedly going to cover the cost of the pre-existing conditions mandate subsequently to the original funding source being cut. There’s just one big issue with this logic, however. Premiums will be higher than the penalty. Forbes notes, “My concern on the 30 percent surcharge is that there are going to be plenty of people who game the system when their health costs are greater than 30 percent of the normal premium. Let’s say you decide not to buy insurance, then you have a heart attack and then buy health insurance. Your health care consumption is going to be way higher than 30 percent above normal. So the AHCA effectively mandates insurers to sell you coverage at a loss.”
3. Republicans Will Be Responsible For The Failure Of Obamacare, And Now Trumpcare. Ever since Obamacare was first introduced, Republicans promised to fight tooth and nail for its disengagement from America. Obviously, that fight has not been a successful one. Now, in a congress completely controlled by Republicans, the GOP is responsible for Obamacare as well as its replacement. They’ve failed once again, but this time a potentially massive political fallout. Republicans could lose their decisive majority vote in the 2018 midterm elections, giving the Trump presidency, and the legislative branch in general, a significant hindrance from passing conservative policy.