Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Who Says We Don't Have Great Statesmen These Days?

Trumpcare 1.0 failed in the House because it was too cruel for moderates, but not cruel enough for conservatives. Trumpcare 2.0 looks like it will just let the GOP be the GOP, and go for full torture on the sickest Americans, mostly with the aim that when T2.0 dies in the Senate, Conservative-Radio-Host Blame can be diverted to the Senate instead of the House:
Allowing health plans to price-discriminate like this would, of course, require them to identify sick people in the first place, which would presumably entail a return to underwriting and practices similar to rescission (the right to cancel plans retroactively, which the ACA banned). Those already insured would thus face huge premium increases when they become sick, or if they have used too much insurance already. Those who are uninsured would have to disclose their medical histories to insurance companies before being given premium and deductible quotes.

It is possible, of course, that few states will seek a community rating waiver, in which case its existence would prove to be largely symbolic: Republicans could claim a victory for states’ rights, while also deflecting conservative donor-class ire away from Congress and toward those very states.

But the AHCA was a dead letter in the Senate before this proposed change; making the bill more extreme would render it even more toxic in the upper chamber. That’s why its resurrection, and the concomitant horse-trading, should be read first as an effort to reroute right-wing outrage, which is currently directed at the House Republicans, toward the Senate.

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