The GOP keeps hammering at health care and specifically at the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In many ways, these efforts look like moments for election ads. Except, of course, that there are real people who are going to get hurt.
Removing essential benefits, one of which is coverage for pre-existing conditions, is a key portion of the ACA (otherwise known as Obamacare). The democrats in the Senate proposed a measure to keep the coverage of pre-existing conditions, but, NOPE, the GOP didn’t buy in.
We all know that people without health insurance cost more money than those who are able to get the care they need. My work in this field has shown 10-50% higher costs for patients with pre-existing conditions who are not compliant with their treatments (medicine, physical therapy, tests, etc). The average cost of the patient who is not compliant is 30% higher than a compliant patient. And when folks can’t afford to use the insurance because the deductible or copay is too high, the uncovered treatment becomes the tax payers’ problem, as hospitals and clinicians demand payment.
GOP Votes No to Pre-Existing Conditions Just Before Midterms
In a 50-50 vote, Republicans defeated a Democratic measure to stop the return of denying health coverage for pre-existing conditions. The measure was part of a Democratic attempt to bring healthcare to the forefront of the campaign for control of Congress in November.
Under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) insurers were no longer allowed to deny coverage or charge higher premiums to people who had a medical condition at the time of seeking insurance. This included everything from pregnancyto just being transgender among as many as 400 other conditions. President Trump reversed course on this, however.
This was possible because the short-term health plans Trump has been pushing don’t need to adhere to the standards of normal plans governed by the Affordable Care Act.
“The Trump administration is rewriting the rules on guaranteed health care protections that millions of Americans depend on,” stated Senator Tammy Baldwin(D-Wisconsin), who is up for reelection in November. “These junk insurance plans can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to provide essential health services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care.”
It was Baldwin who filed the petition to reconsider Trump’s weakening of pre-existing condition protections.
After a year of failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans began employing a new strategy — corrode it until it no longer had any meaning. This “collapse and replace” strategy has been working fairly well for opponents of Obamacare.