Republican health care bill targets millions with preexisting conditions
6 May 2017
In a White House Rose Garden victory rally Thursday following the House of Representatives’ passage of the Republicans’ American Health Care Act (AHCA), President Donald Trump called the measure “a great plan” and declared, “Yes, premiums will be coming down; yes, deductibles will be coming down.”
Such shameless lies are being used to promote a thoroughly regressive bill that builds on the pro-corporate framework of Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and sharply expands the assault on health care initiated by the previous administration.
Obamacare is based on compelling people who are not covered by health insurance to purchase coverage from the for-profit insurance industry or pay a tax penalty. It has left 28 million people uninsured and burdened millions of others with rising health care premiums and massive deductibles, while enriching the insurance companies and cutting costs for the government and corporations.
The AHCA solves none of these problems. Instead, the bill slashes taxes for corporations and the wealthy, ends the Medicaid program for the poor as a guaranteed entitlement based on need, and disproportionately targets health coverage for the poor, older Americans and those with preexisting conditions.
The legislation now moves from the House to the Senate, with no clear indication as to how long it will take to emerge as a bill that can be signed into law by Trump. What is clear, however, is that most of its more reactionary features will be retained in some form. Of particular concern to millions of Americans is the fate of people with preexisting conditions.
Under Obamacare, people with preexisting conditions cannot be denied health…