Nothing could define better the contrast between D.C. and the American citizenry than Mr. Trump’s picks to lead the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), and the HHS agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid, Seema Verma, who radically changed how the state of Indiana administered Medicaid, making the poor pay for a portion of their healthcare costs or go without. While Mr. Trump campaigned on the promise of NOT dismantling Medicare—surprise—his HHS pick has already proclaimed they’ll work diligently to dismantle and privatize Medicare within 6 months, in other words, by July.
Rep. Price, supports repealing “Obamacare”—the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—which now insures 20M Americans. In fact, Price was the primary sponsor of the only ACA Repeal bill to pass both houses of Congress, “Empowering Patients First,” get vetoed by the President and have insufficient votes to override the veto. Had it passed, it would have returned us to the time when insurance companies could refuse coverage to anyone with a “pre-existing” condition and charge women more than men. The ACA actually extended the lifespan of Medicare, but with that gone and Medicare funding in trouble, it will become much easier to justify dumping retirees out into the private market which will screen them out as ineligible for any reasonable coverage, because of their pre-existing conditions. Rejected retirees will likely have to join a high-risk pool with some seriously high premiums and pay-outs before anything would be reimbursable. In other words, they’ll be relegated to the “hurry up and die plan.”
Congratulations folks! You elected a Republican President, with a Republican Congress. No checks and balances will exist on whatever power they want to exert. Hope that bait and switch on all their healthcare and Medicare promises, to say nothing as of yet about their Social Security promises, works out in your best interests. Before all is said and done, we’re all going to be thrown under the bus.