Donald Trump’s cancelling of the subsidies to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act is expected to lead to a rise in premiums that will significantly impact the elderly and middle class Americans.
Trump has frequently claimed the Obamacare is imploding and health care premiums are exploding. Now, his latest executive order is going to make that so.
The health care industry is a seller’s market and is going to be for some time due to the high demands of caring for aging baby boomers. The U.S. ranks 32nd in the world in doctor per patient ratio. The shortage of doctors means longer wait times, especially in less populated rural areas. So, with demand on the rise, it is inevitable that health insurance companies will raise premiums when the open enrollment period begins November 1, if they decide to stay in the system at all.
Those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but still struggle to pay their premiums will be affected most. Elderly folks who buy supplementary insurance will see their rates rise significantly.
And many of these elderly and rural folks voted for Trump whose approval rating now stands at 38 percent. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 51 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Obamacare compared to 41 percent who dislike it. Yet, the vast majority of Republicans continuously back Trump’s plan to demolish the Affordable Care Act.
The World Health Organization ranks American health care at #37. France’s health care system was ranked #1 followed by Italy.
So, why do these lazy continental Europeans enjoy better health care than hard-working Americans?
Many Americans are disturbed by the prospect of free anything. Someone has to pay for it, right? Why should the government take someone’s God-given wealth to pay for poor freeloaders?
It turns out that, just like with education, the system evens out when more people are included in it. American health care and education aren’t the best, but they are pretty damn good if you’re rich and can buy your way around the system. And this is a fact that many Americans aren’t willing to accept.
Americans, especially white Christians, tend to view poverty as the result of laziness rather than unavoidable circumstances. To them, subsidizing the poor is encouraging poor behavior. And for many of these Christians, particularly Evangelicals, prosperity is viewed as a gift from God, and the mere act of taxing it is an affront to God’s will.
This may explain why so many Republicans resist the idea of universal health care and free higher education, because it involves higher taxes. Trump repeatedly insists that America is the “highest taxed nation on Earth,” a claim that is patently false. Many support the idea of repealing the federal estate tax, even though only the top 5 percent of Americans pay it.
It is not only ignorance of facts that drives Republicans’ fervor, but attitude as well. Equality is not viewed as an ideal goal of society, but more like “If everyone is created equal, why should anyone need help participating in the economy?” So, if you’re poor, it’s only the will of God.
So, Republicans will continue to obstruct Democratic attempts at reform at every opportunity. And their base will not care.