Considering the epic proportions of disaster that the first version of the American Healthcare Act (Trumpcare – a term he hates, so don’t use it) was, it’s a pretty impressive feat for Congressional Republicans to roll out an even worse plan.
But, that seems to be the course they’re currently on. Republicans are planning on adding an amendment allowing for “high-risk pools,” Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced earlier this week. That amendment isn’t likely to comfort anyone, as this legislation will deliver substantially worse health care for America’s more vulnerable patients.
High-risk insurance pools are insurance programs for people with preexisting medical conditions. Their premiums are higher, but state high-risk pools are publicly subsidized. Critics of these plans say the costs are too unpredictable to budget for and that people under this coverage often have to wait too long to get the care they need.
Think Progress reports:
Thirty-five states had high-risk pools before Obamacare passed and mandated that regular marketplace plans cover preexisting conditions. The federal government also had a high-risk pool to assist with the transition to Obamacare.
In place of the ban on screening for preexisting conditions, the Republican amendment would create a federal insurance pool for people with particularly expensive medical conditions. The idea is that through subsidizing coverage for patients with serious preexisting conditions, premiums would fall for healthier patients. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the amendment has “been embraced by a broad spectrum” of the House Republican caucus — presumably including both the relative centrists and far-right Freedom Caucus members whose irreconcilable differences sank Trumpcare the first time around.
“We have come together in a new amendment that we all believe will lower premiums and provide added protections to those facing real challenges gaining access to affordable care,” Speaker Ryan said.
I’m starting to believe that Paul Ryan doesn’t really understand how any of this works. If people have to pay much higher premiums and have to wait (often too) long for their care, it’s not an improvement in any way, shape or form. You’re only making things worse. Of course, we already knew that. It doesn’t matter to people like Paul Ryan if they’re making Americans sicker and poorer. In fact, that’s Ryan’s lifelong goal based on his actions and beliefs.