River Stillwood

Congressional Republicans yesterday revealed their 7-years in the making heath care package to replace the Affordable Care Act. It's a disaster for the poor. This according to multiple news outlets.

Tax credits are reduced and basic coverage is more expensive. While it retains ban on exclusions for preexisitng conditions, it allows insurance companies to charge a 30% surcharge for one year on all preexisting conditions if a patient has experienced a gap of 2 months or more without insurance coverage. It also reduces and then halts the expansion of Medicaid.

Experts are saying the new package will cause "millions" to lose their insurance coverage.

In a callous response, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said of the poor who will likely have difficulty paying for the new insurance plan, “Maybe rather than getting that new iPhone” Americans “should invest in their own healthcare.”

Erin Gloria Ryan at the Daily Beast calls the Republican 123-page bill, "Just a gigantic tax on women." She writes:

The GOP’s plan guts the Medicaid expansion, defunds Planned Parenthood, and sunsets a federal rule that requires that qualified insurance plans cover things like mental health care, maternity care, and pediatric dental and vision care, among other things. That means that states could individually choose not to require insurance plans to cover maternity care, and that women who are planning on having a child would need to purchase special insurance riders, which would likely be prohibitively expensive. Further, the fate of the ACA’s birth control mandate—which allowed women to obtain contraception at no out-of-pocket cost, ostensibly ecause making it extremely easy for a woman to not get pregnant is more cost effective than dealing with a woman who is pregnant and does not want to be—is also up in the air.

In short, if the House GOP plan were signed into law as-is, women could face financial repercussions for being poor, or for using birth control, or for not using birth control, or for giving birth, or for having children who need medical care. How many iPhones does an out-of-pocket Cesarean Section cost?

No comment yet on the abundant tax breaks Republicans are giving to rich...

There is a bit of good news however. Ryancare, as it is being called, is not guarantee to pass as it stands. Four Republicans are expressing dismay over the ACA replacement, its likely effects on the poor, and the end to medicaid expansion.

Senators Rob Portman, Shelly Moore Capito, Cory Gardner, and Lisa Murkowsky have penned a letter to Senate Majoiry Leader Mitch McConnel which said the new health care legislation "does not provide stability and certainty for individuals and families in Medicaid expansion programs or the necessary flexibility for states.”

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