The Senate’s version of the tax cut for the one percent masquerading as a health care bill was only revealed to the public a couple of days ago, and, despite being universally condemned by medical professional organizations and the majority of the public, the Republican-led Senate leadership is still trying to salvage it in all of its death-dealing glory.
The upper chamber’s revision of the calamitous ACHA passed earlier by the House lacked any provisions ensuring that young, healthy people would enroll in insurance plans, essentially undermining the only way to ensure that premiums for everyone would not skyrocket once only people who need insurance are the only people buying it.
On top of the other onerous provisions in the bill that would lead to making health care unaffordable to millions of people in this country so the ultra-rich can afford another yacht, that lack of enrollment incentive alone would be enough to doom the future of the individual insurance market in America.
Now, according to a report from Vox, the cabal of all male Republican Senators who drafted this travesty of a bill are expected to add a provision that “could lock Americans out of the individual market for six months if they fail to maintain continuous insurance coverage.”
Under Obamacare, anyone who does not purchase health insurance faces a fine that was scheduled to increase each year, providing an incentive for even the healthy to purchase at least a minimal policy. The proposed amendment to the Republican bill goes much further, setting up a situation where anyone who drops coverage and loses access to insurance would have to avoid any catastrophic illness or accident for a full six months or risk a potentially devastating health care-related bankruptcy.
If there is a silver-lining in this draconian amendment, it’s the fact that the addition of this requirement could potentially violate the complicated budget reconciliation rules that the Republicans are using to try to pass their abominable bill without needing more than a simple majority in the Senate. If the parliamentarian of the Senate rules against it, either the provision could not be included in the bill, or it would need to be voted on as a regular bill where it would be doomed by a certain Democratic filibuster.
If it is included, and the Senate manages to find a way to bridge the divide between the extreme right wing of the Republicans who see the bill as still too generous to the poor & sick and the moderates who are looking at the public poll numbers on the proposal’s popularity and their own prospects in the next election and actually pass this monstrosity, expect a massive rise in both the death rate and the bankruptcy rate.