Sunday, November 13, 2016

Can Trump Kill Obamacare? Yes, He Can!

(The caricature of Donald Trump is by DonkeyHotey.)

Donald Trump has said throughout his campaign that he would repeal Obamacare, and replace it with something "better". That something "better" turns out to be a rather pathetic program that would allow people to buy insurance across state lines, and create health savings accounts instead of buying insurance. Neither of these would help the 20 million people who now have insurance because of Obamacare, or those who still remain uninsured.

If a person can't afford to buy health insurance, then they certainly can't afford to create a health savings account (which would have to contain more money than paying an insurance premium to cover health care costs). That might be fine for the rich and the upper middle class, but it leaves the poor and the working class out in the cold.

Buying insurance across state lines would be even worse. Insurance is currently regulated by each state, which is why you can't buy insurance from another state. Buying from another state would mean buying insurance that is not regulated at all. The insurance company would be able to abuse those customers at will -- raising premiums, refusing to pay for needed medical care, putting a cap on the amount of care they will pay for, or refusing to pay for medical procedures they haven't "approved".

Trump has said he would like to keep the provision that keeps insurance companies from charging more or refusing to cover those with pre-existing conditions. This would drive up the cost of insurance for everyone, since he would remove the requirement that everyone have health insurance. That requirement is what keeps insurance premiums from rising even more than they are currently rising.

So, Trump's plan would not work. It would raise the cost of insurance premiums, and it would take health insurance away from the 20 million covered by Obamacare. In fact, PriceWaterhouseCoopers has released a study that estimates the "repeal and replace plan could boost the number of uninsured to over 50 million Americans.

This brings up the obvious question -- can Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress actually repeal Obamacare? Probably not. If they tried to repeal the whole thing, it would be killed by a Democratic filibuster in the Senate.

But while Trump cannot repeal Obamacare outright, he could effectively kill it by defunding it -- by refusing to fund the expanded Medicare benefits, the state exchanges, and the money provided to help pay for premiums for working class individuals. That could be done through a budget reconciliation measure (which can't be filibustered), and it would leave Obamacare as a worthless shell of a plan.

Thanks to the 2016 election outcome, the Republicans now have the power to kill Obamacare. If you voted Republican, third party, or didn't bother to vote, you did this. You are to blame for the deaths of those Americans who will not have any health insurance (which pays for preventative care) after the Republicans kill Obamacare.


  1. It would be a worthless shell of a plan in those states which did not fight him on it. I can guarantee you that if the Medicaid expansion is defunded, the State of California *will* take it to court. That money as well as the taxes that generate that money is guaranteed by the current law, and short of repealing the current law (which cannot be done in reconciliation), it will remain the law. The state of California, amongst others, will sue to obtain the money that the taxes are gathering in order to fund its Medicaid expansion -- and will win. Because the ACA money is *off budget* -- it's a dedicated funding stream from a medical devices tax and from redirecting money from other programs that are similarly off-budget. It cannot be defunded by budget maneuvers.

  2. The basic rePUKEian health plan most likely supported by the orange trumpkin....Get sick & Die!!!


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