Democrats Republicans And Your Health Insurance
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a healthcare journalist and fact checker.;She has co-authored two books for the popular Dummies Series .
Healthcare reform has been a contentious political topic in the U.S. for many years, and is shaping up to play a major role in the 2020 presidential and congressional elections. What does each party want? Let’s take a look at how the priorities of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party;could impact your health insurance.
National And State Level Coverage Losses
Because the economic crisis stemming from the pandemic is driving millions of people onto coverage programs supported by the ACA, CAP estimates that approximately 3 million more people stand to lose coverage from the health care repeal lawsuit than the 20 million previously estimated. According to a March 2019 analysis by the Urban Institute, full repeal of the ACA would cause enrollment in Medicaid and the Childrens Health Insurance Program to fall by 22.4 percent and enrollment in individual market coverage, including for the ACA marketplaces and other insurance people purchase on their own, to drop by 35.4 percent.
The economic stress of the pandemic has pushed the United States into a recession. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the unemployment rate in the second and third quarters of this year will average 15 percent higher than it was during the Great Recession. At an unemployment rate of 15 percent, 17.7 million people would lose employment-based health insurance coverage, according to a recent report by the Urban Institute. With access to ACA coverage options, most of these people would find new forms of insurance. Urban estimates that 8.2 million would end up with Medicaid/CHIP coverage, and 4.3 million would gain coverage through the ACA marketplaces or other private coverage. About 5.1 million would remain uninsured.
Doubling Down Again On Health Savings Accounts
Bolstering health savings accounts has been a very popular reform idea among Republicans, and that enthusiasm is clear in the RSC plan.
The plan proposes to increase how much an employee can contribute to a health savings account. Currently, an individual can contribute $3,500 and a family can contribute $7,000.
A 2018 bill that passed out of the House but didnt make it through Congress increased the contribution cap to $6,650 for an individual and $13,300 for a family.
Now, the RSC plan wants to increase the figures again, this time to $9,000 per individual and $18,000 for families, in line with a proposal from libertarian think tank Cato Institute.
The RSC plan would also expand health savings accounts so that they could be used for a number of health services and products that currently must be paid for with after-tax dollars, the plan said.
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The Health Care Repeal Lawsuit Could Strip Coverage From 23 Million Americans
Tomorrow, the Trump administration and 18 Republican governors and attorneys general will file their opening briefs with the Supreme Court in California v. Texasthe health care repeal lawsuit. The lawsuit, criticized across the political spectrum as a badly flawed case, threatens to upend the Affordable Care Act and strip 23.3 million Americans of their health coverage, according to new CAP analysisabout 3 million more than was forecast before the coronavirus pandemic. The anti-ACA agitators who initiated the health care repeal lawsuit, backed by the Trump administration, continue their attempts to dismantle the ACA, including its coverage expansions and consumer protections, amid the pandemic, during which comprehensive health coverage has never been more important. Millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and job-based insurance due to the current economic crisis are relying on the insurance options made possible by the ACA to keep themselves and their families covered.
Is The Supreme Court Likely To Save Obamacare
The Supreme Court is likely to leave in place the bulk of Obamacare, including key protections for pre-existing health conditions.
Conservative justices John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh appeared in two hours of arguments to be unwilling to strike down the entire law a long-held Republican goal.
The courts three liberal justices are almost certain to vote to uphold the law in its entirety and presumably would form a majority by joining a decision that cut away only the mandate, which now has no financial penalty attached to it.
Leading a group of Democratic-controlled states, California and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives are urging the court to leave the law in place.
A decision is expected by late spring.
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Republicans Really Hate Health Care
Theyve gone beyond cynicism to pathology.
By Paul Krugman
Of all the political issues that divide us, health care is the one with the greatest impact on ordinary Americans lives. If Democrats hadnt managed to pass the Affordable Care Act, around 20 million fewer Americans would have health insurance than currently do. If Republican-controlled states hadnt refused to expand Medicaid and generally done as little as possible to support the act, national progress might have tracked progress in, say, California so another 7 or 8 million people might have coverage.
You obviously know where I stand on this political divide. But Im starting to believe that I misjudged Republican motives.
You see, I thought their behavior was cynical and strategic: They opposed Obamacare because they thought there was political mileage in scaring people about change, and also in denying Obama any successes. Oh, and their donors really hated the taxes on the rich that pay for the ACAs subsidies. And right up through 2016 they could hope to convince voters that they had a secret plan for something much better than Obamacare.
Indeed, all of these things surely played a role in GOP health care strategy. But at this point theyve clearly lost the political argument. In 2017, Republican attempts to repeal Obamacare made it clear to everyone that their party didnt have any better ideas, and never did; everything they proposed would have devastated the lives of millions.
The Real Reason Republicans Couldnt Kill Obamacare
Democrats did the work, Republicans didntand that says a lot about the two parties.
Adapted from The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage, St. Martins Press 2021.
The Affordable Care Act, the health-care law also known as Obamacare, turns 11 years old this week. Somehow, the program has not merely survived the GOPs decade-long assault. Its actually getting stronger, thanks to some major upgrades tucked in the COVID-19 relief package that President Joe Biden signed into law earlier this month.
The new provisions should enable millions of Americans to get insurance or save money on coverage they already purchase, bolstering the health-care law in precisely the way its architects had always hoped to do. And although the measures are temporary, Biden and his Democratic Party allies have pledged to pass more legislation making the changes permanent.
The expansion measures are a remarkable achievement, all the more so because Obamacares very survival seemed so improbable just a few years ago, when Donald Trump won the presidency. Wiping the law off the books had become the Republicans defining cause, and Trump had pledged to make repeal his first priority. As the reality of his victory set in, almost everybody outside the Obama White House thought the effort would succeed, and almost everybody inside did too.
That was no small thing, as Republicans were about to discover.
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The Healthy Could Buy Less Expensive Policies In Some States
Obamacare requires insurers to provide an array of health care benefits, including maternity, mental health, prescription drugs and substance abuse. This comprehensive coverage, however, jacks up premiums and provides services that some consumers find unnecessary — think, a couple in their late 50s who aren’t having any more kids likely don’t need maternity coverage.
The bill would allow states to waive this federal mandate, which would allow insurers to offer skinnier plans that offer fewer benefits with lower premiums.
Do you have a pre-existing condition? How will the GOP healthcare bill affect you and your family? Share your story: Text/WhatsApp us on +1-347-322-0415
Opinion: Democrats Are Lying On Health Care
In November of every even-numbered year since at least 1970, the biggest lie in American politics has been Democrats claiming that Republicans are going to take away your Social Security. Republicans learned to live in a defensive crouch and to try to avoid mentioning the words Social Security. Now the new lie is about health care, mostly that Republicans are going to take away coverage for;preexisting conditions.
As usual, the truth is very different. The Senate Republican Policy Committee explained in a May 2017 paper that under the Republican-backed alternative to Obamacare, the American Health Care Act, no one will be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Even if you are skeptical of Republican talking points, you dont have to look very far to find objective confirmation. According to FactCheck.org, Sen. Schumer was wrong to say, as he did on the Senate floor April 28, that the bill goes back to the day when insurance companies could deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions.
Democrats cant accept that the hallmark of the Obama years Obamacare has been a flop and is being taken apart piece by piece. And they will do anything to use the health-care issue against Republicans. No lie is too big.
Republicans dont want to take away your health care or leave people with preexisting conditions without coverage. If Democrats will lie to you about this, they will lie to you about other things.
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Why Do Republicans Oppose Obamacare
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- 11:10 ET, Nov 11 2020
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REPUBLICANS have campaigned against Obamacare ever since it was signed into law in 2010.;
But with a change in presidency ahead, the Supreme Court is likely to leave in place the bulk of Obamacare, including;key protections for pre-existing health conditions.
Why Is The Affordable Care Act So Despised By So Many Conservatives
IT HAS been called the most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed, as destructive to personal and individual liberties as the Fugitive Slave Act and a killer of women, children and old people. According to Republican lawmakers, the sources of each of these quotes, the Affordable Care Act , or Obamacare, is a terrible thing. Since it was passed by a Democratic Congress in 2009, it has been the bête noire of the Republicans. The party has pushed more than 60 unsuccessful Congressional votes to defeat it, while the Supreme Court has been forced to debate it four times in the acts short history. Obamacare was also at the heart of the two-week government shutdown in 2013. Why does the ACA attract such opprobrium from the right?
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Opinionwe Want To Hear What You Think Please Submit A Letter To The Editor
Despite what they say on television about protecting the most vulnerable, one by one the Republican senators are all getting in line behind Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. We don’t yet know who that is, but we can assume how he or she will vote on Obamacare.
People with pre-existing conditions like me are again terrified of losing our insurance, this time in the midst of a pandemic. We’ve lived through years of scary uncertainty and now months of sheltering in place. Enough is enough. We are all health care voters now. We’ll see whether our wavering senators are health care voters, too.
Laura Packard is a Denver-based health care advocate and cancer survivor. She is the founder of Health Care Voices, a non-profit grassroots organization for adults with serious medical conditions, co-chair of Health Care Voter, and runs the pharma accountability campaign for Hero Action Fund. Follow her on Twitter:
States Allowed To Add Work Requirements To Medicaid
What is it? Medicaid expansion was a key part of the ACA. The federal government helped pay for states to expand Medicaid eligibility beyond families to include all low-income adults, and to raise the income threshold, so that more people would be eligible. So far, 37 states and Washington have opted to expand Medicaid.
What changed? Under Trump, if they get approval from the federal government, states can now require Medicaid beneficiaries to prove with documentation that they either work or go to school.
What does the administration say? “When you consider that, less than five years ago, Medicaid was expanded to nearly 15 million new working-age adults, it’s fair that states want to add community engagement requirements for those with the ability to meet them. It’s easier to give someone a card; it’s much harder to build a ladder to help people climb their way out of poverty. But even though it is harder, it’s the right thing to do.” Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Washington, Sept. 27, 2018
What’s the impact? Even though HealthCare.gov and the state insurance exchanges get a lot of attention, the majority of people who gained health care coverage after the passage of the ACA 12.7 million people actually got their coverage by being newly able to enroll in Medicaid.
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Republicans Stop Giving A Sh*t About Babies Once They’re Actually Born
Republicans are generallyÂ;pro-life, and mostÂ;conservativesÂ;believe that life beginsÂ;at the moment of conception.
They see aÂ;fetus not as part of a woman’s body, but asÂ;a human beingÂ;who doesn’tÂ;deserve to die throughÂ;abortion.
In last week’sÂ;Republican debate, nominees Â;the viral and controversialÂ;videoÂ;of a Planned Parenthood official allegedlyÂ;discussing the sale of fetal organs.
Republicans used the video asÂ;a springboardÂ;to discussÂ;limiting — and, in some cases, completely prohibitingÂ;– a woman’s access to an abortion.
In fact, Republicans areÂ;so committed to protecting the lives of the unborn that there isÂ;an entire page on the party’sÂ;websitededicated to the importance of upholding its reputation asÂ;the “pro-life party.”Â;It says:
The Republican Party must continue to uphold the principle that every human being, born and unborn, young and old, healthy and disabled, has a fundamental, individual right to life.Â;Like Abraham Lincoln, we rely on the Declaration of Independence for our authority to assert that every individual human being has a Creator-endowed right to life, and that it is the duty of government to protect that right.
Besides the obvious “my body, my choice” liberalÂ;perspective on this, which says that what a woman decides to do with what’sÂ;in herÂ;body is up to her,Â;there’s a massiveÂ;problemÂ;with the Republicans’ pro-life platform.
But why don’t they give a single sh*t about that baby once it’s actually born?
Paul Ryan Has Dreamed Of Slashing Medicaid Since His Keg
Republican Paul Ryan, like most other members of the U.S. Congress, is a millionaire.
Christa Patton is 68 years old. She is frail and no longer able to leave her home. She lives on a fixed income. Patton told Van Jones on a recent episode of his CNN show “The Messy Truth” that she would not be able to eat without the Meals on Wheels program.
Paul Ryan is the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. By his own account, in college he used to hang out with his friends and drink beer while sharing his dreams of cutting Medicaid. When Ryan was 15 years old, his father died from an alcoholism related heart attack. Ryan and his family then received his father’s Social Security survivor’s benefits. Ryan used that money to attend college. This was not the only money that Paul Ryan received from the federal government. His family built its wealth from receiving government contracts.
Like his idol Ayn Rand , Paul Ryan has combined meanness, cruelty and callousness toward the weak and the vulnerable with gross and unapologetic hypocrisy.
Republicans like Ryan along with the millionaires and billionaires who comprise Donald Trump’s Cabinet and inner circle literally want to take food, shelter and health care away from poor people like Christa Patton. Today’s Republicans view these Americans as useless eaters to be disposed of by means both passive and active.
Social psychologists have shown that, in effect,;poor people become;invisible to the rich and upper classes.
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Premium Subsidies And Affordability
The ACA’s premium subsidies were designed to keep health insurance affordable for people who buy their own coverage in the individual market. Premiums for individual market plans increased alarmingly in 2017 and 2018, although they were much more stable in 2019 and 2020, and rate changes for 2021 appear to be mostly modest. But premiums for people who aren’t eligible for premium subsidies can still amount to a substantial portion of their income.
The individual market is a very small segment of the population, however, and rate increases have been much more muted across the full population .
Democrats have proposed various strategies for making coverage and care affordable. Joe Biden’s healthcare proposal includes larger premium subsidies that would be based on the cost of a benchmark gold plan and based on having people pay only 8.5% of their income for that plan . Biden’s proposal would also eliminate the ACA’s income cap for premium subsidy eligibility and provide subsidies to anyone who would otherwise have to pay more than 8.5% of their income for a benchmark gold plan. This would eliminate the “subsidy cliff” that currently exists for some enrollees.
The 2020 Democratic Party platform calls for a “public option” health plan that would compete with private health insurance carriers in an effort to bring down prices, and lowering the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 60.