The Senate’s Secret Assault On Older Americans
By Alex Lawson
While cable news has been transfixed by James Comey and Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell has been busy. He is preparing to ram the disastrous health care repeal bill that House Republicans passed last month through the Senate and down the throats of the American people. McConnell isn’t holding hearings on the bill where Senate members get to debate openly and hear testimony from experts. Instead, Senate Republicans are writing the bill in secret. The public, the press, and their Democratic colleagues are all in the dark about the contents of a bill that would reshape one-sixth of the American economy. The only people they are bothering to get input from? The for-profit insurance industry.
The health care repeal bill, often known as “Trumpcare”, would be a disaster for tens of millions of Americans, and especially those over fifty. Trumpcare would allow health insurance corporations to charge older Americans up to five time as much for coverage. Particularly for those just below Medicare age, this would be catastrophic. Currently, a 64-year-old with total income of $26,500 pays an average of $1,700 a year for health insurance bought in an Affordable Care Act exchange. Under Trumpcare, she would pay $16,100 a year! That’s more than the average Social Security benefit.
Even those who are over 65 would not be spared the ravages of Trumpcare. That’s because this bill doesn’t just repeal the Affordable Care Act – it also guts Medicaid, cutting it by a massive $834 billion in order to fund a tax giveaway to the ultra-rich. Millions of Americans, low-income seniors and people with disabilities, are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid is particularly essential for those who require long-term care, which will be most of us one day. An estimated 70 percent of Americans 65 […]