On the 26th of June, Planned Parenthood held a protest against “Trumpcare” with hundreds of supporters, many dressed in Pink at Upper Senate Park. Speakers noted that once again, all of the proposed bills boot millions off insurance, bring back pre-existing conditions exclusions-and all defend Planned Parenthood. They also pointed out that all this is to fund tax cuts for the rich.
Speakers emphasized that Planned Parenthood is often the only available source not only of reproductive health care but ALL healthcare for many of their patients. In many places it is exceptionally difficult to find physicians that accept Medicaid, even after the ACA’s expansion of the program. While not mentioned by the speakers, even Montgomery County, MD can be such a place, probably because so doctors there serve the well-off. During 2015, a check of many of the county’s walk-in health clinics and medical centers found them refusing to accept United Health Care’s “community plan,” the most common private insurance plan MD funds via Medicaid. Planned Parenthood accepts Medicaid, and sometimes nobody else does.
This is the 4th attempt by the GOP to pass a Trumpcare bill. This is under “unlimited amendment” rules, but also it has been determined cannot use the “reconciliation” process so whatever the final bill is would need 60 votes to pass. On July 26, one repeal proposal was voted down, getting just 43 votes with 7 GOP Senators voting NO. Planned Parenthood, ADAPT, and many other groups are pressuring Senators to continue voting NO on all of the proposals.. Meanwhile the Koch Brothers have reportedly shut off Congressional access to their “Kochaine” campaign cash until both Trumpcare and Trump’s tax plan pass.
Supporters of Trumpcare may point to the “individual mandate” but as that is already unenforcible it is not a reason to support the Medicaid rollbacks, employer mandate removal, Planned Parenthood cutoff, and return to pre-existing condition exclusions Trump is peddling. There is a consensus that the “skinny repeal” of just the individual mandate, employer mandate, and medical device tax is nothing more than a placeholder and not a bill anyone seriously expects to pass. More likely it is a vehicle for getting Medicaid rollbacks, insurance subsidy cuts, and big tax breaks for the rich back on the table. In and of itself the “skinny repeal” would be an “accelerationist” bill that would speed up the exodus of private medical insurance sellers to the point that Trump would face the choice of instituting single payer himself or going down in history as having effectively killed medical insurance outright in the US.