Who needs health care anyway?

“We are going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump said less than two months ago. Moreover, it would be “[m]uch less expensive and much better” than under the ACA.

In an op-ed timed to the release of the GOP health care plan, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the bill would “give every American access to quality, affordable health care” and “lower costs.” Trump, meanwhile, said it was “a great bill” that “will lower costs.”

I’ve read the bill (obtained via a GOP-provided link). At least as to my wife and me, they’re liars.

We bought a Marketplace health plan in 2014. I was still practicing law and the marketplace premium was several thousand dollars less than our law firm’s group health insurance policy — and provided better coverage. (I could choose between the group and private coverage because I was legally considered self-employed.) We’ve kept the policy ever since, although we’ve seen the recent premium increases.

The GOP bill’s reduction in tax credits alone will increase our cost more than $5,000 a year — without regard for any premium increases. But premium increases are virtually guaranteed. Subtitle D allows insurers to charge people in their 50s and early 60s up to five times more than younger policy holders. Currently, that ratio is capped at three-to-one. Does anyone believe insurance companies won’t take advantage of this provision? If our current premium uses the 3:1 ratio, I estimate that with the tax credit changes and a 5:1 ratio health insurance would consume 75% of our annual income.

That means our only affordable “choice” is to go uninsured and hope neither of us gets cancer or other life-threatening condition before becoming eligible for Medicare in 2021. As an estimated 24,000+ South Dakotans have ACA plans and 89 percent get tax credits, there’s no question this legislation will endanger their health — and that of millions of other Americans.

So if you hear Trump or any Senator or Representative — or anyone — tell you the GOP plan will bring lower costs and make affordable health care available to everyone, you can be sure of one thing. For us, it’s a lie.

We must have universal healthcare.

Donald Trump, The America We Deserve

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