Senate Republicans just issued a revised version of their healthcare bill Monday afternoon – and it made the disastrous legislation even worse, further ensuring more Americans will be unable to get coverage.
Now – under the new package – people will face a six-month delay before being able to buy health insurance if they are unable to afford the payments or if they let their insurance lapse during the year.
Basically, people who don’t have insurance will have to wait six months.
Republicans decided to finally implement the penalty after serious pressure from the health insurance industry. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell just took awhile to budge. Apparently, McConnell had talks with insurance companies on Friday, promising them the provision would be added.
The idea behind the new rule is that it will encourage people to keep their insurance while at the same time decreasing the likelihood that sick people will only buy insurance when they need it, thereby making premiums higher for everyone. That’s the logic given, at least.
But – in truth – the penalty will impose an additional barrier on individuals who want health insurance and reduce the immediate benefits of receiving coverage. The outcome of this could prevent people from even enrolling in the individual market in the first place, thus lowering the number of people who are paying into the system as a whole. The end result? Higher premiums still.
But, money aside, waiting six months for health insurance could be the difference between life and death. It’s immoral at its core. And, that’s the bottom line.
Currently, Republicans only need a simple majority vote in the Senate to get the bill passed, requiring only 51 votes rather than the usual 60.
The American Medical Association blasted the bill earlier, saying the legislation would “expose low and middle-income patients to higher costs and greater difficulty in affording care.”
McConnell is trying to get the bill passed as early as this week.