NEW ANALYSIS: GOP’S HEALTH CARE REPEAL WILL DO MORE HARM TO TRUMP’S “OBAMACARE VICTIMS”
President Trump highlighted the stories of four people who he claimed were “victimized” by the Affordable Care Act during a press stunt today.
Unfortunately for the Senate GOP, based on what’s known about the people President Trump highlighted, their health care repeal would do nothing for them. And could actually make things worse.
Trump Said: “After an excruciating series of events and complications, Melissa and her husband found themselves just before Christmas, emotionally and financially devastated, crying in a doctor’s office faced with yet another seemingly unpayable bill. When insurance wouldn’t cover the Ackisons’ care, they emptied out Melissa’s 401K to pay their bills.”
If GOP’s Repeal Passes: Under the Senate’s BCRA repeal effort, essential health benefits would be repealed, so routine doctor’s visits and hospitalizations may not even be covered by insurance plans.
Trump Said: “Democrats promised Americans like Steve Finn, a former police officer in West Virginia, that they would save $2,500 per year under Obamacare. Instead his premiums have more than tripled. That’s pretty bad. As a result of Obamacare’s skyrocketing costs, Steve and his family, and many of his employees, had no other option than going on Medicaid and giving up their existing coverage. For them Obamacare’s promise was a nightmare.”
If GOP’s Repeal Passes: Under the Senate’s BCRA repeal effort, premiums are projected to go up by 20% next year and deductibles would skyrocket to $13,000. Steve and his family could pay more out-of-pocket for their premiums and care because, unlike under current law, BCRA’s tax credits would not offset rising premiums. And if they are still Medicaid beneficiaries, the BCRA cuts over $700 billion from the program, so Steve and his family could lose their Medicaid coverage altogether.
Trump Said: “Democrats promised families like the Weers that if they liked their doctor, they could keep their doctor — but now there is only one insurer left in the state exchange, and Marjorie says that every year she waits anxiously to learn if the doctors and hospitals which her son needs the most will remain in their network.”
If GOP’s Repeal Passes: Under the Senate’s BCRA repeal effort, insurance companies would be allowed to contract with hospitals and draw narrower networks than under what is permitted under current law. Under current law, consumers benefit from “network adequacy standards,” but the narrow networks of hospitals and doctors now could get even worse under the BCRA. In short, the Weers could still buy a plan where their doctor was out of network. But under the BCRA, the cost of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions would skyrocket.
Trump Said: “Erin and Andy Witzig are small business owners from Illinois. They have six children. Their youngest daughter, Poppy, has a rare genetic condition. Children born with it are sometimes called Butterfly Children, because their skin is as fragile as the wings of a butterfly. Poppy has to wear special bandages all of the time. Unfortunately, under Obamacare, Poppy’s family insurance has been repeatedly discontinued and replaced with what Washington deems equivalent policies, but for Poppy these plans are not equivalent, and Poppy’s family has to spend precious time and tremendous resources fighting for exceptions for Poppy.”
If GOP Repeal Passes: Under BCRA, without insurance plans required to offer comprehensive coverage, people with complex medical needs such as the Witzig’s youngest daughter would be left to pay substantially more out-of-pocket for a similar level of coverage offered today. BCRA would also allow insurance companies to implement annual and lifetime limits. For someone with medical needs like Poppy, this could result in even higher out-of-pocket costs for her care.