WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

First do no harm — oops!

Well they went ahead and did it, didn’t they. Repealed the Affordable Care Act. Oh, I know — just passing the House doesn’t mean anything, really. The abominable AHCA (which sounds like a death rattle if you pronounce it out loud) still has to get through the Senate, then make it through conference, and finally pass both the House and the Senate again.

Maybe the odds are against everything lining up just right for it, I don’t know. Nothing surprises me anymore. I hear the Senate will probably handle the bill through the reconciliation process, which precludes the possibility of a filibuster. That means all they need is fifty-one votes, and I can imagine a number of Democrats who are shitlessly scared enough to fall in line with the GOP. Joe Manchin of W. Va. comes to mind, the typical red state DINO who never comes through when you need him. The usual band of “moderate” Republicans, like Susan Collins of Maine, can often be counted on to crumple under pressure. On the other hand, public opinion could turn against this thing hard when the gnarly details start coming out, along with the revised CBO numbers. It won’t be pretty.

Folks, we’re all going to be paying if “Trumpcare” becomes law. Partly because we’ll be hearing the word “Trumpcare” for the rest of our lives.

But as for my wife and me, since the ACA is working quite nicely for us now, it can only be downhill from here. We both have “pre-existing conditions,” and I bet you do too. Hypertension, high cholesterol, migraines, or, more chillingly, PTSD, rape, and eating disorders are said to be excludable in this bill. (See Sen. Sherrod Brown’s Twitter feed for a more comprehensive list.) Clearly, the purpose is to allow insurers to charge higher premiums to almost anyone who has been ambulatory for any length of time. We’ve all had something or other. Add the feature (not a bug) that states will be able to opt out of coverage for “essential benefits” like hospitalization and we have a genu-wine clusterf*&k on our hands.

Insurance that doesn’t cover hospitalization? Are you kidding me?

Disgust is what I’m feeling more than anything. Another tax break for the rich folk (as per Warren Buffet’s own assessment), on top of whatever they’ll get in a Trumpian tax reform package later. Ka-ching.

Our only hope is that the “system” somehow regains a conscience and some integrity and stops this disaster in its tracks. Otherwise, against my own best interests, I’m going to hope that the next five years fly by, because at least I’ll be eligible for Medicare then.

Start letting your senators know where you stand. It’s #Resistance time.

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5 comments on “First do no harm — oops!

  1. Mark Paxson
    May 8, 2017

    I saw something somewhere that I would like to see explored a little further. What would happen if we had a true market-based system, paying as you go, for routine health care — like annual check-ups and preventative care, etc. — and insurance for the big what ifs? Not sure exactly how it would work and it would depend on
    what is in the first bucket versus what is in the second bucket, but at this point I’m willing to consider just about anything.

    I have always had employer provided health care and if I make it another year as a state employee, I will have health care provided as a retirement benefit for life. So, I’m set. I just would like to see a better system than what we have for those who don’t get health care through an employer. AHCA doesn’t seem to be it and I have no confidence the Senate Republicans will come up with something much better.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 8, 2017

      There used to be something called “catastrophic” insurance, which was basically what you describe. It covered only the big stuff. It was cheaper and aimed at younger, healthier people. I know, because I signed up for it in my first real job.

      In effect, though, this is what my wife and I have with an ACA “bronze” plan. Basically we have to spend $7500 each in order to get $1 worth of real coverage. Meaning that we pay for everything except the big stuff (oh, and the Obamacare preventive things like physicals).

      And from the sound of the heinous Trumpcare bill, it looks like catastrophic coverage is what most people in the individual market would wind up with. Bare bones because of the cost.

      My wife and I have been self-employed for 20 years and we’ve never seen it this bad. It’s never been clearer: single-payer is the only way this mess is going to get fixed.

  2. Heartafire
    May 8, 2017

    The harsh reality of Trumpcare is going to hit us all hard…when it does maybe it will be a true wake up call to his sheeples that it is time to “really” clean the swamp.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 8, 2017

      It’s getting to be one soggy swamp, isn’t it? You’re so right about the sheeple too. They’re sitting right in the crosshairs and seem to have no idea …

      • Heartafire
        May 8, 2017

        I think this healthcare bill is going to hit a lot of his backers very hard…

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This entry was posted on May 8, 2017 by in Et alia and tagged .
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