Last Thursday, GOP Senate leadership released the latest version of their health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, to repeal and replace the Obama Administration’s Affordable Care Act.
The Editorial Board believes the bill strengthens the Republican ideal of aiding the healthy and disregarding the sick, producing what could be fatal consequences for many Americans.
Unsurprisingly, the bill follows its predecessor by allowing insurance companies to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, as well as charge the sick higher rates, a practice that benefits only healthy Americans. The bill will be the most costly for middle-class and lower-class Americans, with deductibles projected to rise under the GOP plan, according to an analysis by Vox.
Health insurance companies have criticized the legislation for the skyrocketing premiums that would result, adversely affecting those with already costly medical expenses.
Thanks to the Cruz amendment, a distinguishing characteristic of the revised bill written by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), insurers would be permitted to sell plans that do not comply with Obamacare standards as long as they also offer Obamacare-regulated alternatives.
Subsequently, healthy individuals and families would opt for non-Obamacare-regulated plans while sicker families would find coverage under the more expensive Obamacare-complying plans, leaving those who need the most adequate health care with unreasonably expensive coverage.
America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, two of the most influential lobbying groups on health care, wrote Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) regarding the dangers of increased premiums provided by this bill, especially as a result of the Cruz amendment.
“As healthy people move to the less-regulated plans, those with significant medical needs will have no choice but to stay in the comprehensive plans, and premiums will skyrocket for people with preexisting conditions,” the letter states. “This would especially impact middle-income families that [sic] are not eligible for a tax credit.”
The revised Senate bill still includes an estimated $657 billion in Obamacare tax cuts, according to Vox. However, the bill includes two notable changes: $45 billion in spending to combat the opioid epidemic and $70 billion to offset the costs of high-need patients under state-based reforms.
While the revised bill’s extra funding could be allocated to Medicaid coverage, the legislation continues to gash that service for low-income Americans.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release an updated score of the legislation Monday. However, it is unlikely that the revision will be significant in offsetting the projected effects of the GOP-made health care. The original bill’s CBO scoring projected that 22 million Americans would lose their health insurance.
According to the New York Times, governors from both major parties have denounced the revised bill.
Regardless of whether the revised Better Care Reconciliation Act receives enough votes to pass, it’s the American voters who will decide if its architects, politicians with no regard for the health of every different kind of American, deserve to stay in office.
Constituents must demand the respect of their representatives in sickness and in health. We must reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act.