New Provisions Eliminate Healthcare From GOP ‘Wealthcare’ Bill
As fighting between Trump and the Republican Party leads to a delay of the vote for the GOP health care bill, Moral Mondays leader Rev. William Barber and Bernie Sanders call for the US to adopt a single-payer system
DONALD TRUMP: Unfortunately, Obamacare is making it much harder for all of the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, men and women alike, to do their job.
JAISAL NOOR: Uncertainty looms over House Republican efforts to hold a Thursday evening vote on their Obamacare rollback bill. With the final tally expected to be extremely close. The billionaire right-wing Koch brothers have promised millions to Republicans to oppose the bill, which faces opposition from the right-wing freedom caucus, who want even deeper cuts to public services and Obamacare subsidies.
Meanwhile 54 disability rights advocates were arrested in their wheelchairs in the Capitol, chanting, “Rather go to jail, than die without Medicaid,” A key measure being cut by Republicans. Meanwhile Democrats and their allies rallied outside, including William Barber, of the North Carolina NAACP.
WILLIAM BARBER: The Trump-Ryan take care away death bill is being pushed through Congress. It is an unmerciful act of meanness.
JAISAL NOOR: The bill was updated overnight to appease the far right of the Republican Party, which included taking away essential healthcare benefits. Meanwhile a New Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday, found Americans opposed this measure by a three to one margin. Meanwhile the non-partisan Center for Budget Priorities says the updates make a bad bill even worse. It would leave many people with pre-existing conditions unable to find the coverage they needed at any price, and could weaken the ACA’s core protections even for people with coverage from large employers, just as the previous versions would have done.
Total cost increases would be larger for people who have lower incomes, or older, or live in high-cost states. In 15 states, many who are solidly Republican and went to Trump, average costs increases would be even more. They would exceed $4,000. Yet the Trump Administration continues to lobby for the bill.
SEAN SPICER: And this bill represents the best chance of repealing and replacing Obamacare and instilling a patient-centric healthcare system that increases choice, and lowers costs. And that this is the only train leaving the station.
JAISAL NOOR: Meanwhile, Democratic leaders gathered on the steps of the Capitol to voice their support for Obamacare.
JERRY BROWN: This is not about healthcare reform. This is about disease, death and suffering. Mr. Trump, come down from Trump Tower, walk among the people, and see the damage that this latest exercise in raw political power will wreck on the women, the men, and the children, of this country.
JAISAL NOOR: But many maintain by relying on a market-based solution, Democrats made the rising costs in premiums in Obamacare inevitable. Seizing on those problems, Trump campaigned on repealing and replacing it.
DONALD TRUMP: As insurers flee Obamacare’s broken marketplace, and it is broken. It’s broken badly. The insurance companies are fleeing. So, that is one of the more vital reasons why we must repeal Obamacare. It’s one of the reasons why we’re here today.
JAISAL NOOR: And this is seen as a first major test of Trump’s legislative ability, and whether he can keep his big promises to businesses. While opposing the cuts, William Barber was joined by the likes of independent Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, in demanding a single-payer universal healthcare solution that guarantees the right to healthcare access, as virtually every other advanced country provides.
Stay tuned to The Real News Network for updates to this story. This is Jaisal Noor.