Sunday, March 19, 2017

Trump puts America First and many Americans last with his health insurance and tax initiatives

Also publlished in the Sky Hi News on line and print editions March 22, 2017

Pres Donald  Trump puts America First and  many Americans last with his  two largest initiatives, replacing Obamacare and his budget proposal, Trump  is indeed making good on his promise to put America first as he defines those words in solely defense spending terms,  but he does it by putting  older, sicker, poorer, and the young, and blue collar lower income workers   last while reducing taxes on the very rich.

Trump’s definition of making America great again as expressed in his proposed budget and embrace of the GOP health care plan  is more military might and cutting  more than $600 billion from taxes on the already wealthy and businesses that  pay for Obamacare. It is a shift based on the ideology of the good of smaller government , isolationism, and lowering the  tax burden on the rich and corporations and reducing the federal deficit. But Trump  ignores the impact on humans, especially  the lower middle class working poor and older  Americans, groups  that voted for him  in 2016.

By  election time in  November 2018,  some of the ideological rubber and Trump campaign promises will have hit the real world road of human suffering and political backlash as Medicaid expansion is cut so that 14 million lose their insurance. Soon after 2018 elections  the 50-65 year old will be hit with a 20 to 25% increase in health insurance premiums.

The  purely ideologically motivated  claim that what people really want is choice and competition and less debt burden on their grandchildren. They fume that 3% of the American population do not have the choice of benefits or multiple plans since they only have access to one insurance company and they take that as proof Obamacare is failing.   That is not what  most consumers primarily care about.  Polls and media interviews of Trump supporters have been very clear. They want lower cost insurance premiums and  less out of pocket expenses. After all, candidate Trump had promised them better access to better health insurance.  The most damning disconnect with consumers  about the Trump administration making the gift of choice  the shiny object they want to provide,  is that is that 14 million will have no choice of even one plan, since they will have no way to afford premiums  with the cuts to Medicaid and premium subsidies. These disconnects  are   like a consumer asking for the chocolate  they were promised, but giving them a licorice stick  or an empty candy wrapper instead.  

Eventually, per the Congressional Budget Office, (CBO) 24 million currently insured will be uninsured in ten years, taking the US back to where  the number of uninsured was the same as was before Obamacare. Remember those days? Health care  bills were the number one cause of bankruptcy.  The emergency room became the primary care doctors and hospital’s  expensive charity care costs  were shifted to higher premiums for everyone else to pay.

The Trump budget proposal shows how little it cares about the human factor in many ways, claiming they see no benefit in certain programs so they are cutting federal subsidies to  latch key kids of after school programs including feeding them,  Meals on Wheels  (35% of funding is coming from the feds now) that keeps grandma at home instead of in a nursing home, reducing Medicaid that pays for seven million grandmas to stay in nursing homes. (Budget director says feeding kids is overrated) video
  (but uninsured over 2x more likely to have problems paying medical bills )

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