Immediately after passing the $1.5 trillion tax reform bill last December—further enriching the “one-percenters” and exploding the national debt—House Speaker Paul Ryan spoke to a throng of fellow conservative legislators in the U.S. Capitol rotunda as they congratulated themselves on their dubious achievement.
“House Republicans will aim to cut spending on Medicare, Medicaid and welfare programs next year as a way to trim the federal deficit,” he said. “We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and deficit.”
Reneging on budget promises they had just agreed to six months prior, in order to get their “tax reform” measures to pass, Trump and House Republicans are now hard at work putting together a package of painful social welfare spending cuts they intend to propose to Congress later this year.
And, should Republicans continue to hold their vice grip on both branches of Congress in the coming congressional elections this fall, societal havoc will reign as Dishonest Don and the “conservative elites” get their chance to put Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid on the chopping block, and inflict a near-death blow to the Affordable Care Act.
Trump and his Republican lemmings (pack rodents known for following their leader as they charge to their deaths off cliffs) intend to clean up their fiscal mess by proposing up to $50 billion in spending cuts on the hard-earned benefits of seniors, cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits, and gutting Medicaid and other essential programs that serve the disadvantaged, the working poor and the disabled.
Bent on abolishing the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, Republicans are more than willing to deprive upwards of 52 million Americans of their health insurance coverage, including 13 million adults under the age of 65 who have a pre-existing condition.
Obamacare had made the practice of redlining those with pre-existing conditions illegal. But the Trump administration, in its attempt to destroy President Obama’s signature program, has withdrawn from defending the Affordable Care Act in court, saying it no longer supports these consumer protections.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that as many as 130 million adults under the age of 65 have a pre-existing condition and if Obamacare is scrapped, it could result in most not being able to qualify for insurance coverage in the private market.
Surprised? Wasn’t it Donald Trump during the presidential campaign who promised over and over again to protect Americans with pre-existing medical conditions and not tamper with Social Security and Medicare?
In fact, if Republicans still rule Congress next year, rest assured that your Social Security and Medicare benefits will be targeted for cuts; that Medicaid benefits in participating states will be slashed; and that anyone with a history of medical problems who doesn’t get health insurance from his or her employer will probably lose coverage. Even having a job with medical insurance benefits may not be enough; should Trump’s tactics succeed, employers could decide to refuse to cover pre-existing medical conditions.
Prior to the Affordable Care Act becoming law, insurance companies routinely declined health insurance coverage to people who had ongoing medical conditions or recent illnesses. In addition, insurance companies regularly canceled insurance coverage for people who became ill once the policy year ended.
It’s interesting that America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade association for health insurance companies usually allied with Republican Party interests, ardently supports those provisions in the Affordable Care Act that protects the right of individuals with pre-existing conditions. “Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019,” the AHIP stated in a recent report.
No matter that the vast majority of America’s voters (including 59 percent of Republicans) want no changes to Social Security and Medicare and, most importantly, also want the Obamacare provision on pre-existing conditions preserved. The deceptiveness of Trump and his minions, and the vindictiveness of the Republican Party towards the disadvantaged, has always been obvious. Should cuts to social welfare funding come and critical health insurance requirements be done away with, Republican voters who lose benefits will only have themselves to blame.