I know how hard it is to stay focused, or even conscious, these days, what with the phone alerts going off every couple of hours with the latest over-the-top antics at the White House.
But this time, people are going to get sick and die because of President Donald Trump’s spiteful malfeasance. Lots of people. Millions of people who work hard and are fast slipping away from being America’s middle class.
In a move that took even the breath away from people in Congress I once thought were the meanest and most spiteful people in the country, Trump announced last week he would no longer allow the federal government to make critical cost-sharing payments to health insurance companies across the country.
I know it’s hard to get apoplectic about the imminent collapse of the health insurance for millions of middle-class Americans when top Korean officials are saying that nuclear war will break out “at any moment,” and when Trump is arguing whether his IQ is bigger than his hands. But this time, Trump really has pulled the trigger on a disaster that will first crush the waning American middle class, and then pretty much everyone else.
Despite what he or the conniving Kellyanne Conway tells their propaganda pals at Fox and Fiends, these aren’t Obamacare handouts to insurance companies or subsidies to Democrat cronies he’s pulled the plug on. They’re part of a complicated formula to keep health-insurance prices down for middle-aged Americans who don’t have cake jobs taking care of business for them.
I stand at the front of the parade of those who don’t like the Obamacare system and pointed out from the beginning that this is how it exactly how it would end, but Trump’s prescription is to treat the system’s broken heart with a hand-grenade.
What Trump is withholding aren’t the insurance subsidies paid to poorer workers — yet. That money is written into a different part of the law. This is about $7 billion a year paid to insurance companies, who must pass that on to middle-class Americans who make too much to qualify for any subsidies and in most cases make far too little to be able to afford the full-price of even a crappy health insurance policy.
Trump just stuck it to 6 million Americans who are barely able to call themselves middle class as it is. Immediately, they can expect a 15 percent-20 percent insurance premium hike above the same hike everybody’s getting because of the supposed increased cost of medical care and the uncertainty in the market that Trump and Congressional Republicans have caused.
And the bottom line to the bottom line of millions of hard-working Americans, most of whom actually live in states that elected Trump? A 53-year-old construction supervisor who now pays about $3,000 a month for his crappy health insurance for him and his wife — oh, yes. that’s what crappy health insurance costs this year — now will be forced to pay about $4,500 a month for the same lame policy. It has an annual deductible of $4,800 for both of them. Add to that the continuing spiraling costs of medical care insurance increases to these insane numbers.
It means that millions of Americans will now have to drop their insurance, or pay only their insurance bill and lose their homes, everything.
Forget Trump’s roving obsessions, focused this week on kneeling football players and NBC News. Trump’s cruel and stupid stunt will be responsible for the illness, stress and death of millions of Americans. And that is only the beginning. If you take high-rate paying older people out of the funding equation who have not and will not need any expensive medical treatment, you further upset the finely orchestrated actuarial mess we have now, pushing rates up everywhere. And finally, those millions of now uninsured Americans will be begging for indigent and free care from hospitals as they grow gravely ill, pushing the price of health care even higher as hospitals and providers seek to equalize the cost of these new medical indigents.
This isn’t just me talking crap. This is the consensus of every health insurance company, provider, hospital and industry expert across the country. If you listen to Fox News and Trumpcare sounds good to you, ask your doctor.
Trump has outdone even himself in wreaking chaos in the lives of everyday, middle-class Americans. In the mean time, he continues to lie, misdirect and twist this story and every other piece of news that crosses his Twitter account.
So whom are you going to believe, Trump or everyone else in the country?
Americans have only a couple of choices here. We can beg Trump to say he was wrong and reverse course. That’s like trying to explain long division to a grumpy old dog.
We can all suck it up and pay even more for the crappy Obamacare policies we have as they dwindle down to nothing.
Or, we can force Congress to restore the funding until everybody can figure out what to do to replace what arguably was a nice try and an unworkable solution to America’s health care quagmire.
A realistic answer has to happen without Trump. He can either sign an Affordable Care Act savior bill, or a super-majority in the House and Senate can ram it up his asinine antics.
Our ace in this, America, are next year’s mid-term elections. Every member of Congress knows that the 2018 vote will be a referendum on impeachment.
It’s as plain on the dumb look on Trump’s face that not only does he have to go, but his gang of billionaire bandits in the White House must be fumigated out of Washington in one fell swoop. Republican reps and senators know the next U.S. president is going to be the next speaker of the House, and it’s probable that Republicans will be willing to pull out all the stops to keep that from happening. They’ll even try and prevent the health-care calamity that Trump has now set into motion.
So call your House rep and senator now, and give them the choice. Reverse what Trump has done immediately, or their replacement from the 2018 election will take care of everything the following January, provided we’re all here to see it.
Follow @EditorDavePerry on Twitter and Facebook or reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected]