On the future with Trumpcare

Published 9:34 am Tuesday, April 4, 2017

President Donald Trump in his campaign consistently railed against the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, as a disaster. He said he had a healthcare plan that would be cheaper and cover everyone. Many people voted for Trump because they wanted lower premiums and deductibles. Well, based upon the healthcare bill introduced by Speaker Paul Ryan, I can only conclude that Trump voters have been conned.

Of course, the main reason many people hate Obamacare isn’t its effectiveness or cost but because the ACA’s popular name remind them of President Barack Obama, whom numerous white people have had a hard time accepting as their president. When the news came out last year about sharp increases in health insurance premiums for some plans, they and others blamed Obama for it.  They failed to understand that since you’re buying insurance from a private company, the premium prices are set by the insurance companies, not Obama or anyone in government.

One of the major differences between Trumpcare and Obamacare is the amount available for tax credits to subsidize premiums. Trumpcare gives a maximum credit of $4,000 for older people while tax credits are based upon income under Obamacare and can be much higher. Per the Kaiser Family Foundation, under Trumpcare, a 60-year-old earning $30,000 will see in 2020 their tax credits reduced by $3,820 or 49 percent compared to Obamacare if they live in Prince Edward or Buckingham County.  For Cumberland, the tax credit amount is reduced by $3,020 or 43 percent. Of course, you will be on the hook for the difference with no guarantee the maximum tax credit will ever rise.

In addition, both the Congressional Budget Office and the White House estimate that well over 20 million Americans will eventually lose their insurance. Trump has said you might have to wait a while for Trumpcare II or III. Some of you will not have to worry about that as you will be dead long before that happens. What the Trumpcare plan wants to do is solve two problems: rich people not having enough money and poor people living too long.

However, there is a way out. House bill HR 676 was introduced by U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan. In its simplest terms, it reduces the age restriction for Medicare from 65 to 0. In other words, Medicare of all. Call U.S. Rep. Tom Garrett, R-Buckingham, and demand he drop any support for Trumpcare and instead support HR 676.