During the 2010 protests against Obamacare, tea party members alleged that the legislation would cause death panels, but now it seems Trumpcare might actually make them a reality.
Republicans accused Democrats of setting up an ethics panel that would determine if those over 75 would be given major medical procedures. The conspiracy caught on fast and the myth of “death panels” was born. But as Steve Rosenfeld notes, allowing states to opt-out of the pre-existing conditions mandate and turn it into a “high-risk pool” could turn into actual death panels.
“I don’t think people really understand how serious this is,” children’s book author Cannon Slayton told the New York Times. The 50-year-old is suffering from brain cancer. Under Trumpcare, she would lose her coverage and with it, possibly her life.
High-risk pools were part of a plan in several states prior to Obamacare. There were so many applicants from people that they had to start a waiting list to get treatment. Florida had to kill their program altogether.
“Such pools have no real purpose unless insurance companies are once again given the right to deny people coverage based on their health histories,” Florida Today wrote in an editorial. “And doing that would once again turn sick people into second-class citizens.”
It would ultimately put people in a desperate situation where if they are denied care they have to wait for the high-risk pool to save them.
“As of Wednesday, House Republicans are blinking when it comes to amassing enough votes to pass their latest Obamacare repeal bill because what they are hearing loud and clear is turning crazy Sarah’s macabre vision into reality. Americans struggling with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses are expressing their concrete fears that the House’s latest handiwork will accelerate their demise because it repeals Obamacare’s ban on insurers rejecting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and allows insurers to segregate these people into pricier high-risk pools. Both are disasters,” Rosenfeld wrote.
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) rejected the GOP’s proposal when the leadership needs a few more to ensure passage of Trumpcare. To score his vote, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) promised he would keep $8 billion in subsidies back into the bill.
Rosenfeld cites Republican media consultant Rick Wilson, who explained in a Twitter storm that the pre-existing conditions rule is the most popular part of Obamacare and Republicans would be essentially committing political suicide by voting for it in the House.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Wednesday that the GOP doesn’t have teh votes in the Senate to pass the bill.
“Set aside policy. Set aside the economics. Think about the politics of it. They’re awful. They’re idiotic,” Wilson explained. “It’s a vote that makes House… Members vote for a bill that the Senate will NEVER pass. A Senate source tells me they now have MAYBE 25 Rs (and shrinking) [sic].”
He said that the bill is too heartless for moderates and not mean enough for the tea party, who just wants to see healthcare gone. Passing the bill would send waves of shock and fear through any family with a member struggling with cancer, diabetes, heart disease or even survivors of sexual assault.
Rosenfeld referred to a famous rant from Sarah Palin, in which the former vice presidential candidate said that seniors and the disabled “will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.”
Palin seems to have prophesied her own party’s repeal and replacement.