As a general rule the economy needs stability to thrive. Donald Trump just tossed a monkey wrench of chaos into one sixth of the nation’s economy.
It is well known that for the past seven years Republicans have promised that if handed the reins of power they would repeal Barak Obama’s signature piece of legislation…Obamacare. Having been rewarded control of the entire federal government, GOP spent the ensuing nine months struggling to fulfill that promise. The impasse largely over what the replacement plan would entail. Frustrated far right members of the caucus pushed for keeping faith with their voters by enacting repeal now and worrying about replacement later. Cooler heads understood the economic disaster that would result from such a reckless move. Fortunately for the country the cooler heads prevailed.
Furious over the failure of the GOP controlled congress to hand him a promised “win” on health care reform; the president used his executive authority to roll back federal subsidies essential in providing the poor and lower income families the assistance they need to access quality affordable health care. A clear effort on the part of the president to dismantle Obamacare at its very core.
The net effect of this reckless edict will be a destabilization of the insurance marketplace, skyrocketing premiums, a huge spike in the number of uninsured and a resulting increase in preventable deaths due to the inability of millions of American’s to access affordable coverage.
Senator Rand Paul, who worked with the president in orchestrating this train wreck, defended the president’s actions. Paul argues that individual Americans will now be able to join association plans that will afford them the ability to access better coverage at more competitive pricing. That individual insurance consumers will now have the same purchasing leverage as large employer based groups. That may be true to some extent in the long term but the short term will be an unmitigated disaster.
Under the president’s plan, the primary health care provider in this country continues to be the health insurance industry. The health insurance industry continues to owe its allegiance, not to the general public facing a monumental shift in its health care needs, but to its shareholders. Given the chaos and uncertainty resulting from the president’s proclamation, the insurance industry will do what it needs to do to protect its interests and its profits. Premium increases and coverage limitations will be implemented whenever possible. This is not a threat…that is capitalism. As pundit Mike Barnicle said this morning: “Don’t get pregnant, don’t get cancer and don’t let grandma get too comfortable in her nursing home because you’re not going to be able to afford it.”
Young healthy people will flee the exchanges leaving only the sick and elderly behind to face skyrocketing premiums as the insurance industry adjusts its pricing to brace for the unknown. Many young individuals will opt to buy the “junk bond” policies now legal under the president’s plan. These policies, outlawed under Obamacare, cost little and cover less. The result will be a spike in financial bankruptcies when unsuspecting insureds try to collect on the uncollectable. Health issues once caught early by free access to physicals, mammograms, prostate tests etc. will now go largely undetected until well advanced stages result in more expensive treatment and death. To be clear…people will die as a result of this presidential order.
Adding insult to injury…the socio-economic class that will be hit hardest by the president’s order…the very same people who voted for Trump in part because he promised to repeal Obamacare.
In keeping with his belief that his base will stick with him no matter what he does…Trump believes that any negative fallout resulting from his decision will be blamed on Obamacare. He said as much on twitter this morning.
Trump is disillusioned. He and his Republican cronies now own health care. By undercutting the very foundation of Obamacare with this executive order Trump has effectively made Obamacare, Trumpcare.
This morning Trump addressed the faith based Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” Conference. There, the cruelest man ever to hold the presidency, a man who was married three times and met his mistress in church, spoke about family values, kindness, morality and hope.
This after enacting a cruelly reckless executive order that will literally destroy the lives of millions of Americans.