Commentary, News

Health advocates, doctors, individuals with pre-existing conditions decry “TrumpDon’tCare”

In the aftermath of today’s vote in the U.S. House to repeal the Affordable Care Act and “replace” it with what critics are rightly calling “TrumpDon’tCare,” health advocates, physicians and average North Carolinians who would be impacted by the change braved a rainstorm to address the media this afternoon at the state Capitol Building.

Nicole Dozier, Director of the NC Justice Center’s Health Advocacy Project neatly summed up many of the sentiments expressed when she observed that

“As an American it’s disappointing that a bill called the American Health Care Act will have consequences that are quite un-American.

As a North Carolinian, I’m sad to report that our state will be one of the biggest losers —second only to Alaska.

Here’s why–nearly 550,000 Tar Heels enrolled in Marketplace coverage and 90.5% who earn low to moderate incomes received financial help to pay their premiums so they could access preventive, primary and specialty care. Under this replacement plan, these hardworking residents will get a flat amount not adjusted for income or location.

Instead of building upon the ACA that improved affordability, equity, access, coverage, and increased protections, Trumpcare dismantles healthcare.

The ACA does not allow being a woman or an older adult to be considered a pre-existing condition and parents have assurance that their children- who’ve spent their first days in the NICU or who’ve received screenings that led to care–will never reach a lifetime cap. The AHCA or as rep Alma Adams called it, “TrumpDon’tCare” does not protect women, children, seniors, and people with pre-existing conditions – it helps his wealthy friends.

Today, we have taken a step backward into the bad old days where the nearly four million North Carolinians (from the youngest to the oldest) living and thriving with pre-existing conditions may face discrimination. This plan turns its back on the people we see every day who are building our towns, caring for our children and elders and who are serving us in our communities….

The majority of Americans and North Carolinians are clear that this bill fails the economic and moral test of government.”

Meanwhile in Washington, veteran federal policy expert Robert Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities issued a scathing assessment that included the following:

“I have been in Washington, D.C. for 45 years.  But I have never seen members of Congress vote to so deeply hurt so many of their own constituents.  If enacted, this bill will stand as the biggest assault on ordinary Americans — and the largest Robin-Hood-in-reverse transfer of income up the income scale, from low- and middle-income families to those at the top — in our country’s modern history.

Specifically, the bill’s Medicaid cuts would reach 24 percent by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, placing adequate coverage at risk for many of the tens of millions of Americans whom Medicaid serves.  The bill also sharply cuts the premium subsidies that now help 10 million lower- and middle-income people afford health coverage — and the bill entirely eliminates all assistance to help such people meet their high deductibles and cost-sharing expenses.

Overall, the bill subjects millions of Americans to higher out-of-pocket health costs.  Those costs would rise by an average of $3,600 in 2020 for people buying coverage through HealthCare.gov — and by even more for people with marketplace coverage who are older, have lower incomes, or live in rural areas or in states with high health insurance premiums.

Rubbing salt in the wounds, the bill takes the $1 trillion it extracts from low- and middle-income Americans and uses the bulk of it for tax cuts tilted to those at the pinnacle of the income scale.”

 

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