Email #100, Subject: “broken promises”?

The President stated in a mass email last week:

“Americans were promised that Obamacare would bring down healthcare costs — that promise was broken. Americans were promised they could keep their healthcare plans under Obamacare – that promise was broken. Americans were promised that Obamacare would not raise taxes on the middle-class – that promise was broken.”

I am startled then that the new American Health Care Act breaks so many of President Trump’s own promises.

He promised that the new health care plan would get “insurance for everybody” and with “much lower deductibles.”

He promised: “The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance, and that is what we are going to do.”

He promised: “And I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.”

He promised he would give governors “the resources and flexibility they need with Medicaid to make sure no one is left out.”

He promised: “Everybody’s got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say … I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now. … The government’s gonna pay for it.”

But the American Health Care Act doesn’t cover everyone. It doesn’t even cover everyone who currently has insurance under the ACA. The Congressional Budget Office says 14 million people will lose their insurance next year if the ACA is replaced by this bill. 24 million will lose their insurance over the next ten years.

The American Health Care Act doesn’t include enough funding for those forced into its high risk pools and so the government isn’t “gonna pay for it.”

The American Health Care Act cuts Medicaid by eliminating the entire ACA expansion. States will have fewer “resources” and so far less “flexibility.”

The American Health Care Act raises deductibles on the sick and elderly, patients who under the ACA can’t be charged more than three times more than other patients. But new the bill allows insurance companies to charge five times more.

Given these broken promises, how can you continue to criticize Obamacare but ignore all of the flaws and broken promises contained in your own party’s replacement bill?

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Email #99, Subject: “not trying to leave anyone in the lurch”?

I don’t understand why the GOP has put forward a health care plan that is more flawed than Obamacare.

As you know, the Affordable Care Act combines all recipients into a single, cost-balancing pool. But the American Health Care Act divides recipients into two pools: low risk and high risk. Because the high risk recipients can be charged five times more, keeping them on insurance will cost the government $178 billion. That’s far more than is currently being spent on the same people now enrolled under the ACA.

The Republican bill would cost all taxpayers more because it eliminates the ACA tax penalty for those who don’t sign up for any insurance and because those in low-risk pools would contribute less and so raise prices for high-risk people. alternatively, Secretary Tom Price, the bill’s primary author, has proposed radically underfunding the high-risk pools. At one point he suggested as low as $1 billion. The current proposal is $100 billion—leaving $78 billion unpaid.

You said “We’re not trying to leave anyone in the lurch” and that “There should be more options, not fewer.” But the millions of people who end up in your high-risk pools will be left in the lurch. Instead of more options, they’ll end up with far fewer or none at all. And that’s not because the new plan is merely “flawed” like the ACA. It’s because the plan is designed to fail.

The Republican Congress would intentionally underfund the high-risk pools. You said of high-risk patients currently getting their health insurance through the ACA Medicaid expansion: “We can’t afford this when we have $20 trillion in national debt.” So rather than adding an annual $78 billion to the debt, do you intend to cut off insurance to those who need it most?

If you prioritize the debt over life-saving health care for millions of Americans, then state that fact. Stop pretending the American Health Care Act improves Obamacare. The ACA has one core goal: to provide more health care. Your plan has one goal too: to provide less health care.

I consider that immoral. And a majority of voters across the District 6 do too.