During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised, over and over again, that he would replace Obamacare with “something terrific,” that would “take care of everybody” and be “a lot less expensive” for consumers and the government.
But despite claims by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that his latest version of Trumpcare would provide “stability” while “improving affordability,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price made a major admission about the bill Sunday: that the legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare would simply permit insurers return to the ways they used to operate.
On ABC’s This Week, the longtime Obamacare critic was pressed by Jon Karl about a provision in the bill pushed by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), which would allow insurance companies to offer sub-standard plans. Karl noted that not only do more than 10 medical groups and 32 cancer organizations oppose the Trumpcare bill, “a rare joint statement by the biggest insurance companies in the country called the Cruz amendment ‘unworkable in any form’ [as] ‘it would lead to, ‘widespread terminations of coverage.”
Price responded that he found that wall of opposition “really perplexing, especially from the insurance companies, cause all they have to do is dust off how they did business before Obamacare.”
The administration had not previously admitted so clearly that this bill would mean a return to the pre-Obamacare days where insurers could deny customers coverage for pre-existing conditions, impose lifetime coverage caps, and force patients to pay out-of-pocket for essential care.
But while much of this bill would return things to the bad old days, it would also hurt consumers in a novel way. Under the Trumpcare bill, customers who purchase a cheapo Cruz substandard plans would not be considered to have had “continuous coverage.” And a provision of the bill states that anyone without continuous coverage would be subject to a six-month waiting period before they could buy any real plan. In other words, it could be even worse than the pre-Obamacare system for people who suddenly become sick.