President Donald Trump had a party yesterday in the White House Rose Garden — while cases of beer were wheeled into the Capitol Building — to celebrate the just-passed Republican health care bill through the House of Representatives. If this bill passes the Senate and is signed by President Trump, the core elements of the bill will create conditions in which 24 million fewer people will have health insurance by 2026 than under the Affordable Care Act, which is, for the time being, still the law of the land.
But it’s much worse than that: This bill would allow states to let insurance companies refuse to cover maternity care, mental health care, coverage for substance abuse treatment, and many more basic functions of health insurance that people have been able to rely on since 2010. In addition, this bill will end the federal guarantee that health insurance companies cannot charge exorbitant premiums to people with pre-existing conditions, which includes everything from asthma and depression to pregnancy, cancer, and in a few states, most outrageously, conditions that result from sexual abuse. That’s right — under the bill the House Republicans passed yesterday, if you live in a state that opts out of these protections and need to buy health insurance, and you happen to be a rape survivor, insurance companies may be able to charge you more for health insurance than if you had not been a victim of this trauma.
This bill is the definition of putting the interests of the wealthy ahead of the most vulnerable members of society. Trumpcare would strip away health insurance from the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the disabled via $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid, in order to finance a tax cut north of a trillion dollars for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.
Trumpcare is a violation of several of Trump’s key campaign promises. He promised to provide insurance for everyone; that he would never cut Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security; and that no one who has coverage under the ACA would lose coverage under his plan. These are all lies. Trump savored his victory in the Rose Garden among a crowd of overwhelmingly middle-aged white men and was reportedly “radiant” for the rest of the day. Watching President Trump and House Republican celebrate passing a bill that would cut millions of people off of their health care to give a tax cut to the richest 2 percent will be a picture that we will all remember for a long time.
Jesus said, “I was sick and you didn’t come to see me.” The new health care bill shows how little its sponsors see the poor, the sick, the elderly, and the disabled whose health care is set to be stripped. They only see themselves and their fellow millionaires and billionaires who will reap the “rewards” of leaving the least of these to fend for themselves.