While more than 100 million people get insurance through their employer, Trumpcare may threaten those plans if it passes and becomes law.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the amended version of the Republicans’ answer to the repeal-and-replace question would end a rule putting a cap on how much customers have to pay out of pocket for catastrophic illnesses in an employer-sponsored health insurance plan. This means that even if someone got health insurance through their work, as a full third of Americans do, it could prove useless in the event of a major illness. The repealing of the regulation would basically allow employers to limit the coverage they provide if an employee’s health care needs are too expensive.
This, and other details could prove tricky for the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) to pass the Senate and land on President Trump’s desk. Another major focus of controversy is the bill’s MacArthur Amendment, which has the endorsement of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus — the diehard Republicans credited with torpedoing the previous version of Trumpcare.
The Amendment allows states to limit coverage of “essential benefits” covered under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), like prescription drug coverage, mental health treatment, addiction rehabilitation services, and even pre-existing conditions. This means that an austerity-obsessed state like Wisconsin would suddenly be in a position to dramatically increase health insurance costs for a patient with cancer, for example.
However, none of this may matter, as House Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Majority Whip Steve Scalise appear to have successfully whipped enough votes in the House to pass the bill, despite several Republican members of Congress openly admitting to not even reading the bill in the first place.
The Trumpcare vote is scheduled for this afternoon.
Jamie Green is a contributor to the Resistance Report covering the Trump administration, and lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.