Schumer: Cruz Amendment makes GOP health care bill even worse

President Donald Trump attends the Women in Healthcare panel hosted by Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the White House in Washington DC

Ted Cruz, a man so unpopular that his iPhone contact list is just one sad face emoji, has done it again.

The proposal "is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people now enrolled in the individual market", trade associations America's Health Insurance Plans and BlueCross BlueShield Association wrote in a letter to the Senate.

"Policy solutions exist to create more stability in the market by reducing premiums and attracting enrollment of younger and healthier individuals", AHIP said. But experts say insurance simply doesn't work this way, and the "Cruz amendment" would unleash destructive forces for individuals without employer-sponsored coverage as well as for the system.

Writing a year ago, CBO's Susan Yeh Beyer and Jared Maeda warned, "If there were no clear definition of what type of insurance product people could use their tax credit to purchase, some of those insurance products would probably not provide enough financial protection against high medical costs to meet the broad definition of coverage that CBO and JCT have typically used in the past-that is, a comprehensive major medical policy that, at a minimum, covers high-cost medical events and various services, including those provided by physicians and hospitals". It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people now enrolled in the individual market.

"I will support this bill", he said.

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Ultimately, the starkly explicit letter warned, "This provision will lead to far fewer, if any, coverage options for consumers who purchase their plan in the individual market". That meant the people left in the individual market were on average older, sicker, and more costly to insure. Mark Kirk who's no longer in the Senate.

Every time Republican lawmakers have submitted a bill to the Congressional Budget Office for analysis during the health care debate, the score has come back with a prediction of tens of millions of additional Americans without health insurance within a decade.

"This proposal would fracture and segment insurance markets into separate risk pools and create an unlevel playing field that would lead to widespread adverse selection and unstable health insurance markets", the group America's Health Insurance Plans wrote in a memo. Some of the pre-existing conditions that insurers declined coverage because of before the ACA, according to the foundation, include diabetes and heart disease, which affects millions of Americans. But at least the pools provided a way for people with expensive or chronic health problems to have some form of health coverage. Premiums for those who need comprehensive coverage would shoot up. In general, a fixed-indemnity insurance plan does not conform to the Affordable Care Act (ACA or "Obamacare"), because it doesn't provide the minimum essential coverage required by the ACA.

"If we drive down the cost of premiums so that people who are struggling can more easily afford health insurance for their family, we will have succeeded", Cruz said. Hence the skyrocketing premiums under Obamacare.

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