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Letter: GOP healthcare bill a 'Yugo while pretending it's a Cadillac'

Published: May 14, 2017 12:00 AM

When the Republicans promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, they said it would be just as good if not better than the "failing" law, and cheaper. If we imagine health insurance as a car, that would mean the same car would cost less. Instead, the house-passed version is a terrible car that costs more. In this analogy, the monthly premiums are the car payments, the gas to use it is the out-of-pocket expenses like co-pays and deductibles, and the safety belt, airbags and brakes are the essential benefits of Obamacare, including the protections for pre-existing conditions.

But when Republicans say they want cheaper insurance, they never meant with the same coverage. They want to get rid of Obamacare's requirements that insurance actually cover basic things, so that bad, cheaper policies could again be sold. That's like selling you a Yugo while pretending it's a Cadillac. So of course it's cheaper, but it also is nearly worthless. For the poorest, oldest and sickest people, out-of-pocket expenses would skyrocket, like being charged hundreds of dollars per gallon for gas.

The bill would also allow insurance companies to reinstate lifetime caps, and get rid of out-of-pocket maximums. In the car analogy, that would be mean if you hit 100,000 miles, they repossess the car.

All of this is to meet their one goal: giving huge tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. And because it shifts the cost of healthcare back on everyone else, it reduces the deficit, allowing them to push through even more tax cuts through "tax reform."

If they cared about quality, lower-cost healthcare they would fix Obamacare or allow us to consider moving to single-payer, which every advanced nation uses in some form. Unfortunately for most of us, that's not what their donors are paying them to do.

John Denker, Twinsburg


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