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Do not underestimate the power of Woke Grandmas.


Looks like more trouble for TrumpCare: The AARP, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and even the insurance industry's trade group have all come out against the mess, because it's not really a healthcare plan, it's a bucket of half-digested talking points designed to fulfill eight years of promising to repeal the ACA and not much more. It's almost as if the people who are most involved in delivering health care -- and those most affected by the Republican effort to kill the ACA -- have been paying attention. Let's see who the R's are pissing off with this dog's breakfast (with all apologies to dogs):

James Madara, chief executive of the AMA, wrote in a letter to Congress,

We cannot support the [American Health Care Act] as drafted because of the expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations

Richard Pollack, CEO of the American Hospital Association, said his group opposed the effort to change Medicaid from an income-based entitlement to a block grant program that

will have the effect of making significant reductions in a program that provides services for our most vulnerable populations and already pays providers significantly less than the cost of providing care.

And the largest trade association for the insurance industry, America’s Health Insurance Plans, didn't much care for the proposal either,

saying that while it appreciated several of the proposed changes, the changes to Medicaid “could result in unnecessary disruptions in the coverage and care beneficiaries depend on.”

And then there's the American Association of Retired People, which backed the creation of the ACA in 2009 and is gearing up for a major campaign against TrumpDon'tCare and its brilliant plan to allow insurers to charge older Americans as much as five times more for coverage than plans for young enrollees. We have to say we're impressed by the phrase they've come up with to describe that:

Before people even reach retirement age, big insurance companies could be allowed to charge them an age tax that adds up to thousands of dollars more per year.

"Age tax" is just a wonderfully effective phrase, even if it blurs reality -- the price hikes would go to insurers, not the government, so it's more of a penalty than a tax (thanks, John Roberts) but we're a bit in awe of the ballsiness of that Luntzian turn of phrase, used for good instead of evil. And speaking of evil, AARP's letter to Congress offers some jaw-dropping examples of how the switch from the ACA's subsidies to the AHCA's tax credits (capped at $4,000 regardless of the actual cost of insurance) would affect lower-income older people, the very population that turned out the most for Trump. (In general -- no, you don't get to say "Good, they're getting what they deserve," because TrumpCare will screw everyone.) So just how badly would this thing hit older Americans who make too much for Medicaid (especially after the Medicaid expansion is gutted) but aren't yet eligible for Medicare? Oh, not too bad -- just enough to make purchasing health insurance virtually impossible:

Yes indeed. A 64-year-old making $15,000 a year would be looking at an insurance increase that's more than half their annual income. That's a hell of a lot of iPhones they'll have to decide not to buy.

This is not to say that Trumpers won't still support the thing, even though it might just as well be named the Let's Screw Our Voters Hard Act of 2017. Here's a gorgeous comment on a Fox Business Channel article about AARP's opposition to the plan:

Older people should pay more for their healthcare because they are the ones that use it more than others. This is the time when their decisions in life have come back to haunt them.

Yep. Choices like, say, getting cancer or breaking a hip. Stop being so careless! Or perhaps the genius is opposed to these greedy old folks making the choice to age in the first place.

TrumpCare isn't a healthcare plan. It's not even an excuse for a healthcare plan. If it passes -- which seems unlikely despite the Republicans' best efforts to ram it through the House as quickly as possible, complete with voting on early parts of the process before the sun comes up -- it is going to take away insurance from millions, and it's going to kill people. Time to brush off that TV ad showing Paul Ryan throwing Grandma off a cliff.

Update the titles a bit and it's good to go.

Wonkette is ad-free, and supported by donations from generous readers like you. You wouldn't throw us off a cliff, would you? Of course you wouldnt!

[WaPo / AARP / AARP letter to Congress / Fox Business /ThinkProgress]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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