In a sickeningly gleeful attack on everyone in the country the Republican Senate began the grisly dismantling of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday January 11th. It happened quietly, while most of America slept in their beds, visions of tax cuts dancing in their heads. They snuck it into the budget, rather than attempt to write and pass a new bill overturning the ACA.
Why did they sneak it into the budget? Because a bill faces Democratic filibuster, requiring 60 votes to overcome. The Republican Senate only has 52 seats. So instead of trying to work with the other senators that represent the rest of this country they instead cut federal spending for the program with only 51 votes, using a “reconciliation directive” within the budget.
In other words, the slimy cowards snuck the change into the budget instead of arguing new legislation in front of all of America.
Democrats offered a number of amendments to the resolution to attempt to save parts of the ACA but each one was voted down by Republicans.
Thanks to the Republican party insurance companies no longer have to cover “pre-existing conditions.” Sorry cancer patients, those with diabetes, each and every spoonie out there and anyone who ever gets seriously sick ever. You cannot get private coverage anymore. Thankfully Republicans voted to increase taxes to cover the additional cost of emergency room visits caused by millions of uninsured Americans — OH WAIT. THEY DIDN’T.
Republicans voted to terminate federal aid to rural hospitals, insuring all the Americans in rural parts of this nation will be unable to access emergency services and therefore inadvertently putting a term limit on their own careers. Without emergency care in rural areas the Republican voting base will die off faster now, but that’s ok, they voted for these people so clearly this is what they wanted to happen. It would seem the Senate is just as short-sighted as the people they claim to represent.
Republicans killed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, a program which provided children with health care so that they didn’t grow up to be chronically ill adults without any insurance thanks to the pre-existing conditions rule. By doing this the Senate has assured a consistent increase in the number of Americans who can only receive care at free clinics and emergency rooms, further straining our State and Municipal governments.
Republicans voted against the rule saying you can keep your kids on your private insurance until they’re 26. Happily they voted to raise taxes and increase federal funding for colleges so America’s young adults can get insurance through school. OH WAIT, yeah, I know – old joke. They didn’t.
Republicans reduced funding for Medicare and Medicaid as well. It doesn’t matter how hard you have worked in this country, when you are retired and old you should know that you better have saved enough in retirement to pay for your medical care, cause we ain’t gonna.
The Republicans have yet to offer a replacement for the ACA despite claims that they intend to do so. Interestingly President Trump, once again not understanding how our government works, has promised that he has a replacement that will be in place “probably the same day, could be the same hour” as the repeal. As the Republican Senate cannot just slip a new Healthcare Act into the budget they will have to get the 60 votes necessary to pass any plan Trump will offer. Democrats have been clear that they will fight against both the repeal, and the replacement, as neither is in the best interest of the electorate.
So welcome to the new America. If you are wealthy, you’re likely going to be just fine. For the rest of you who felt that somehow you were improving your life by restricting intelligent and inexpensive preventive health care for millions of Americans you haven’t. What you have done is make sure that all of these people are going to cost our hospitals millions of unrecoverable dollars.
Welcome to America, land of the sick.