TRUMPCARE: A CONGRESSMAN SPEAKS OUT

Rep. Justin Amash is a Republican congressman from Michigan and a self-described libertarian. I clipboarded this straight from his Facebook page, so these words are either his or his minion’s:

The bill does not change the ACA’s federal requirements on guaranteed issue (prohibition on policy denial), essential health benefits (minimum coverage), or community rating (prohibition on pricing based on health status). In short, Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions provisions are retained.

The latest version of the AHCA does allow any state to seek a waiver from certain insurance mandates, but such waivers are limited in scope. Guaranteed issue cannot be waived. Nobody can be treated differently based on gender. And any person who has continuous coverage—no lapse for more than 62 days—cannot be charged more regardless of health status.

Consider what this means: Even in a state that waives as much as possible, a person with a pre-existing condition cannot be prevented from purchasing insurance at the same rate as a healthy person.

Bear in mind two things, please. First, these are aspects of Trumpcare that the Congressman doesn’t like. Second, he’s confused; one look at the Trumpcare website will prove that Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions provisions are not retained.

REPUBLICAN MISDIRECTION ON TRUMPCARE

The Right is engaging in fascinating and skilled misdirection to imply that, look, under Trumpcare the coverage for pre-existing conditions won’t be that different from what it already is [under Obamacare] or was under private insurers. This is Avik Roy in Forbes, via Redstate:

[P]rior to Obamacare, the vast majority of Americans with health insurance were already in plans that were required to offer them coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions. Employer-based plans were required to offer coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions. So were Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs like the VA. Employer- and government-based plans, prior to Obamacare, represented 90 percent of Americans with health insurance.

Amazingly, that’s an entire paragraph without (so far as I can tell) a single lie in it. But would you like to drive through the hole it nonetheless contains? The pre-existing condition coverage provided by the VA is probably safe, because of the stink that would follow any attempt to delete it. I’ve got my fingers crossed that the same is true for Medicare. But if Trumpcare says that employer-based plans are no longer obligated to cover pre-existing conditions, a lot of them no longer will. And as for Medicaid… Any number of Republicans have been looking for an excuse to get rid of Medicaid for decades. The facts are cut in stone: a majority of poor people do not vote Republican, and Republican legislators do not want to provide medical care to those people. Roy’s implication is that, when Obamacare is replaced by the AHCA, the insurance environment will go back to what it was before Obamacare. Other statements by Republican legislators make it clear that that is ridiculous.

I still can’t find a verified deniable conditions list. Stay tuned.

URGENT: TRUMPCARE DENIABLE CONDITIONS LIST HORRIFIC

The AHCA’s list of deniable conditions has been published and is unconscionable, not to mention unbelievable. I’m looking for a verified copy, but what I have (from Facebook) includes almost all heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, hemophilia, and almost all other serious pre-existing conditions. The Trumpcare propaganda says “[T]he AHCA does not eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions. Like the Affordable Care Act, Trumpcare will require all health insurers to cover people who apply regardless of their medical history. But there are some key differences in what that coverage looks like under Trumpcare vs. the current law.” Then the next section begins with “What Does “Pre-Existing” Mean?” Whether pregnancy is covered or not, at this point, is anybody’s guess. Stay tuned, I’m digging.