Waking up to the details the day after the Republicans in the House rammed TrumpCare through (without CBO scoring, hearings, or public discussion), we have the opportunity to look more closely at what is actually in the bill.
An unpopular part of Obamacare from the beginning has been the individual mandate – a provision that requires most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.
According to Brianna Ehly, TrumpCare eliminates Obamacare’s “individual mandate requiring most Americans to have health insurance. But in its place, the bill allows insurers to charge people who have been uninsured for about two months a 30 percent surcharge on their premiums, an incentive designed to encourage people to maintain insurance coverage.”
The “continuous coverage requirement” in TrumpCare simply shifts payment of penalties to private insurance companies rather than to the federal government.
Here are two questions to consider:
TrumpCare and Continuous Coverage Requirement – Do we trust private, profit-driven enterprises to operate with the best interests of Americans and their health care at heart? There are numerous examples of corporate America putting profits ahead of people (S&L crisis, Great Recession, and recently United Airlines) that legitimately raise questions about the wisdom of pouring more money into insurance providers’ coffers.
Obamacare and the Individual Mandate – Do we trust federal and/or state governments to manage the funds and support Americans’ quest for better health care? While there have been examples of the federal government managing funds poorly, Medicaid is run rather well, at costs that private insurance companies cannot match.
In the end, TrumpCare
- penalizes people who let their insurance lapse
- gives the money to insurance companies
- under a plan the companies have roundly rejected
- to meet the needs of the uninsured
What could possibly go wrong?