Wavering on Insurance Protections for Medical Conditions

On Sunday, President Trump boiled down the debate on repealing health insurance protections in the Affordable Care Act:

I don’t know what they’re doing, but you know what? Eventually we’ll win, whether it’s now or later.

Most people probably share his uncertainty. It’s pretty hard to know what they’re up to. But right now it’s not looking too good.

Protection for People with Pre-Existing Conditions?

The greatest passion around this increasingly desperate effort to repeal and replace the ACA comes on the subject of pre-existing conditions. Just about every major medical organization came out in opposition to the latest bill known as Graham-Cassidy. Patient groups lined up against it too.

And in case you missed it, Jimmy Kimmel, who has an infant son with a heart defect, is pretty adamant that this bill stinks.

All that passion is about protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions, like obesity and all of its complications.

Before the ACA, people were getting priced out or excluded from health insurance if they had any health problems that might be expensive. Right now, that’s against the law. Graham-Cassidy would ease up on those restrictions. On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace found fault with “a loophole big enough to drive a tank through.” He said it would allow states to raise rates for people with pre-existing conditions.

Desperate to Beat a Deadline

This morning, the news is that Republicans have added a hefty dose of sweeteners to the bill for Alaska and Maine. They’ve revised the bill to include more money for those states. Will that buy the votes of Senators Collins and Murkowski?

It’s gonna be a cliffhanger this week. Republicans are in a no-win situation. They don’t have a good bill. But if they don’t pass the stinker they have, they fear they’ll look pretty bad. They’ve been promising a repeal for seven years now. We can thank Senator Chuck Grassley for capturing the essence of this drama.

So watch closely this week and tell your elected representatives what you think. The future of your health insurance is on the line.

Click here and here for more on the latest version of the Graham-Cassidy Bill.

Protection, photograph © Eva-Maria Vogtel / flickr

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Month 25, 2017