During the campaign Donald Trump promised better, cheaper health care for all Americans. Every step he has taken flies in the face of that promise.
Republican bills to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act allowed insurance companies to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, to impose lifetime caps on coverage, and to sell junk insurance that did not cover essential services. The bills also destroyed Medicaid, changing it from a guaranteed coverage program for low income and elderly Americans to block grants with no certain funding. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that 30 million Americans would lose coverage and premiums would rise by as much as 60 percent.
Unable to pass those bills, President Trump chose sabotage. He has reduced the enrollment period, is taking the website down every Sunday for “maintenance,” and is defunding programs to assist Americans in choosing health insurance. This past week he took two more steps to undermine the ACA. He authorized selling of junk insurance driving the healthy people out of the marketplace and premiums up for those remaining. More devastating is his decision to stop paying the cost sharing provisions that assist lower income Americans struggling to pay deductibles and co-pays. Today, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department announced, that because of this last action it has approved premium increases averaging 30.6 percent for 2018 instead of the expected 7 percent.
Was Obamacare perfect? No! But Trumpcare will deprive health insurance to millions of Americans and drive up costs for millions more.
Helen M. Sheehy, Tyrone
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