Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Price Is Wrong For Obamacare

Donald Trump has apparently decided on Georgia GOP Rep. Tom Price as head of the Department of Health and Human Services, and as Vox health reporter Sarah Kliff points out, that signals Trump is deadly serious about eliminating Obamacare completely.

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services Secretary, already has a plan for how to abolish Obamacare. 
The Washington Post reported late Monday that Trump intends to announce Price, who currently serves as House Budget Chair, to lead the federal agency overseeing Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. 
Price will arrive with at HHS with a clear blueprint for what comes next: he is the author of the Empowering Patients First Act, one of the most thorough and detailed proposals to repeal and replace Obamacare. He’s the HHS Secretary you’d pick if you were dead serious about dismantling the law
It would replace the law with a plan that does more to benefit the young, healthy, and rich — and disadvantages the sick, old, and poor. Price’s plan provides significantly less help to those with pre-existing conditions than other Republican proposals, particularly the replacement plan offered by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI). 
The biggest cut to the poor in Price’s plan is the full repeal of the Medicaid expansion, a program that currently covers millions of low-income Americans, which Price replaces with, well, nothing
Most Republican replacement plans are still white papers rather than actual legislative language. This means they leave out a lot of key details — who, for example, would qualify for a high-risk pool or how big tax credits would be. But Price’s plan is detailed. It is 242-pages long and lays bare exactly how he would repeal Obamacare — a program Trump is now putting him in charge of.

So yes, this is pretty much the worst-case scenario for Obamacare.  Price's plan would kick more than 20 million people off Medicaid and drastically reduce subsidies for the individual market.  It would skyrocket the number of uninsured overnight.  And regardless of the expected early GOP legislative response to Obamacare, putting its nastiest foe in charge of the plan all but guarantees de facto repeal.

In other words if you have health coverage through the Affordable Care Act, kiss it goodbye.

It's what you voted for, after all. And don't you dare say that you weren't warned.

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