A low-budget summary of the proposed American Health Care Act in movie trailer format from act.tv.
House Republicans have finally released their plan to replace Obamacare, and it’s a train-wreck. It replaces insurance subsidies with a flat tax credit which is not only less generous but tied to age instead of income and which won’t guarantee coverage.
Gender and Age discrimination protections are repealed so older people and women can go back to paying a lot more. The plan does away with the individual mandate in a way that could case the individual market to collapse. The mandate for employer coverage is gone too! Up to 10 million people would become uninsured in 2020 when the plan revokes Medicaid expansion.
Even if you can get coverage insurers would no longer be required to cover maternity care, mental health services, or hospitalization. The plan also repeals every tax in the ACA making it impossible to pay for a program that would actually replace the coverage of Obamacare. But the tax breaks will be a great big boon for the rich!
Staunch conservatives hate the new plan; not because millions will lose their health care but because they don’t think it’s the government’s problem if you can’t afford the world’s most unaffordable healthcare. For any plan to pass it will take at least a few Democratic votes in the Senate so Republicans still have a long way to go to keep their promise.
President Trump: “Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.”
And regarding just one aspect of this impending catastrophe to sensible health care coverage options for the poor and low to middle class, here is Joe Kennedy III addressing the planned lack of mental health coverage:
“Question for the legislative council, just to make sure I fully understand it. Based off of what you were saying, sir, I understand the fact that this law does not impact mental health parity. But it was the combination of mental health parity and the ACA that included mental health benefits as part of the essential health benefits package. The parity just says if you offer mental health benefits, they have to be offered the same way that physical health benefits are — it does not mandate the offering of mental health benefits.
With the combination of the repeal language that we see on page 8, it means that mental health benefits are not required now, by federal law — that it would be up to the states to actually impose, so when we look at those essential health benefits, whether it’s mental healthcare or potentially for other health conditions, that is no longer essentially covered, or required to be covered by this version of this text, is that not correct?”
Attorney: “The text before us does remove the application of the central health benefits for the alternative plans in Medicaid.”
Kennedy: “It does remove them — including mental health. Yes, thank you.”
But what really stuck me was this statement Representative Kennedy, Robert Kennedy’s grandson, made about the general nature of this attempt at ungoverning national health care…
I was struck last night by a comment that I heard made by Speaker Ryan, where he called this repeal bill ‘an act of mercy.’ With all due respect to our speaker, he and I must have read different Scripture,” Kennedy said as the House Energy and Commerce Committee dove into the details of the GOP effort … The one I read calls on us to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to shelter the homeless, and to comfort the sick. it reminds us that we are judged not by how we treat the powerful but by how we care for the least among us.
Mercy. Defined in purely secular terms, compassionate treatment for people in distress. It’s kindness, it is grace.
There is is no mercy in a system that makes health care a luxury.
There is no mercy in a country that turns their back on those most in need of protection: the elderly, the poor, the sick, and the suffering.
There is no mercy in a cold shoulder to the mentally ill.
There is no mercy in a policy that takes for granted the sweat the tears and the sacrifice of working Americans that they shed every day so that they might care for their family’s basic needs; food, shelter health, and hope for tomorrow.
There is no mercy for the 2.6 million people who will lose their jobs if Obamacare is repealed.
This is not an ‘act of mercy.’ It is an act of malice.