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GOP “Working Overtime” to Spike Costs, Gut Protections for Millions With Pre-Existing Conditions

“If the Lawsuit Succeeds, Protections for People With Pre-existing Conditions Would Be Wiped From the Books”

In an op-ed for the New York Times, a health law expert lays out the consequences of Republicans’ toxic health care agenda, including their lawsuit to end coverage protections for millions of Americans and their efforts to push “junk” insurance plans that drive up costs and can deny coverage for critical benefits like prescription drugs and maternity care. Republican Senators voted again this month to uphold these junk plans, and a ruling could come at any moment on the health care lawsuit that “could deal a death blow to the law” — which Senate Republicans laid the foundation for with their corporate tax giveaway.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

New York Times (Opinion): Some of Trump’s Most Devious Lies Are About Health Care

By Nicholas Bagley

November 12, 2019

Key Points:

  • [The Trump administration is] working overtime to make the system more fragile for the sick and the poor, even as it misrepresents to Congress and the American public what it’s up to.
  • Far from supporting protections for people with pre-existing conditions, the Trump administration has thrown its weight behind a lawsuit seeking to topple the Affordable Care Act. In court filings, if not in its public statements, the administration is clear about what it wants done to the law: “The proper course is to strike it down in its entirety.”
  • If the lawsuit succeeds, protections for people with pre-existing conditions would be wiped from the books. Overnight, we’d be back in a world where private insurers could discriminate against the sick.
  • Without the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration doesn’t have the power to force insurers not to discriminate against the sick. You’d need a new law for that.
  • And the bills that are most popular among Republicans don’t actually protect sick people. During the repeal-and-replace debate in 2017, for example, the leading replacement bill would have increased the number of uninsured by 23 million over a decade. For the sick, deductibles would have gone up, not down.
  • Originally meant to serve as a stopgap for those with temporary breaks in coverage, short-term plans discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions and usually exclude vital protections, including prescription drugs and maternity care. They’re cheap — but you get what you pay for.
  • As relatively healthy people who like the low price tag leave the exchanges to buy short-term coverage, the pool of people left on the exchanges will be relatively sicker. Prices will surge by an average of 18 percent in most states, according to researchers at the Urban Institute.
  • Many of those people will be in for a rude shock when they get sick and discover how little their insurance actually covers.

Read the full op-ed here.

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