Senate GOP Updates Trumpcare Bill To Be Sure It’s Even More Cruel

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday updated the ‘health care’ bill and made sure it’s even worse than it was before, thus making it even more difficult for him to secure the votes he needs to pass it. The Senate health bill added an amendment which would force people who allow their health insurance coverage to lapse to wait six months before they are able to buy new insurance on the individual market. In short, Americans will be penalized who don’t have insurance but wish to purchase it on the exchanges. The GOP bill shows no signs of encouraging Americans to buy insurance.

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BuzzFeed News reports:

Under the amendment, starting on January 1, 2019 anyone who has not been continuously insured for a full year and wants to buy an insurance plan on the individual market must first wait six months. Anyone who goes at least 63 days without health insurance would be subject to this wait time. There are currently around 29 million people without health insurance.

This provision to encourage individuals to maintain insurance is far different than how the House dealt with the issue. The House-passed health bill punished lapses in coverage by letting insurance companies charge those people 30% higher premiums for six months on new plans. Obamacare used the individual mandate to level tax penalties on people who could afford insurance but did not buy it.

So, if you’re sick and/or lack coverage after your insurance lapsed for whatever reason, then ha ha on you! You could go six months without having access to care and medicine.

The worst thing is when people start laughing at you and this is laughable,” said John McDonough, a professor at the Harvard University School of Public Health, who formerly advised the Obama administration on health care.

“People have lapses in coverage all the time. Mostly because they can’t afford it, they lose their job, they’re sick, they have to look after a relative.” he said. “So now you’re creating this new inhumane barrier to coverage when they need it. It’s just a terrible idea.”

Republicans are literally sticking it to their own constituents in deep red states.

And it’s pretty bad.

Look at the numbers.

This awful bill does nothing to lower premiums. Republicans have had years to come up with a viable alternative to Obamacare and this cruel proposal is what they’re offering us. As for Medicaid recipients who can’t afford insurance at all, they’re screwed, too. Republicans are gifting the wealthy with a tax break by drastically cutting Medicaid.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will release its score of the legislation Monday afternoon, estimating how the bill will change coverage levels over 10 years.

Featured image via Win McNamee/Getty Images

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