This is Not the Healthcare Reform Trump Promised

When campaigning for president, Donald Trump promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, which has been a disaster for too many Americans. He promised that the healthcare reform his administration would pass would cover more people, lower deductibles and costs, would not cut Medicaid and would protect those with pre-existing conditions (one of the few good things about the Affordable Care Act).

The House of Representatives has just passed a bill that would do none of the above. Projections are that several million people would lose their health insurance, insurance companies would be allowed to increase deductibles and out-of-pocket costs, includes significant cuts to Medicaid and allows states to opt out of covering pre-existing conditions (yes, there is a provision to provide funds to states to allocate to those whose costs will go up, but most experts say the funds provided will be insufficient).

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are two houses of Congress and the Senate seems entirely uninterested in even entertaining the bill passed by the House. Also, there are few Republicans in the Senate and no Democrats, whose support they’ll need, with an appetite to discontinue one of the few provisions of Obamacare that enjoys near universal support, covering pre-existing conditions.

It seems entirely fair to me for insurance companies to expect customers to pay into the pot for a bit before they benefit from coverage of pre-existing conditions. No one should be allowed to willingly go without health insurance, then purchase it only after they get a devastating diagnosis and expect full coverage. That would be like purchasing home owner’s insurance after your home burned down and expect full payment for a brand new home. But, to allow insurance companies to simply deny any coverage at all for a pre-existing condition regardless of how long a person has paid into the pot is unjust. What do we purchase insurance for, after all?

Hopefully, the Senate will come up with a plan that will work. I’m not betting on it, but I try to keep my hopes high even as I keep my expectations low. It saves me a lot of frustration.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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