Trumpcare 3.0 is “meaner” than the last version

We are days away from a vote on Trumpcare, and too many Senate Republicans still aren’t getting the message about just how devastating this bill would be for their own constituents.

The good news is, there’s still time to make a difference — and as you are tweeting, calling, and rallying, I want to make sure you know about one message to send loud and clear to Senate Republicans who are still deciding whether to stand with patients or their party: the latest version of Trumpcare is the absolute worst version yet for the 130 million people nationwide who have pre-existing conditions.

Here’s why.

In a bid to get extreme conservatives on board with Trumpcare — because they think it leaves too much of Obamacare intact — Senator McConnell negotiated a backroom deal with Senator Ted Cruz to make the impact on patients with pre-existing conditions even worse in the version of the bill he released this week.

Right now, all insurance plans are required to cover a list of essential health benefits like maternity care, substance use disorder treatment, mental health treatment, and more. But this latest version of Trumpcare allows insurance companies to offer plans that completely ignore that requirement — so long as they offer at least one plan that does cover these benefits.

Let’s be clear: if insurance companies don’t have to play by the rules that are currently in place to protect patients, they can outright discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, up to and including refusing to cover them. That’s how our health care system used to work, and families can’t afford to go back.

This might give some conservatives a talking point for cable TV hits, but what it means for patients is higher costs.

Specifically, anyone who has a pre-existing condition will be forced to pay for the plan that covers the care they need. That plan will inevitably be more expensive.

Those who choose plans that cover far less — it’s fair to call them “junk plans” — will find themselves paying dramatically more out of pocket should they need to see a doctor or go to the emergency room. And, if you have a junk plan, get sick, and find you need better coverage — you won’t be able to switch until the next enrollment period.

Unfortunately, it gets worse. Trumpcare 3.0 even excludes its “junk plans” from the legal definition of health insurance. So if someone who gets sick wants to switch plans, she will be subject to the bill’s six month lock-out period, which prevents people from getting good coverage for months even if they need life-saving care.

The bottom line is that under Trumpcare 3.0 and the Cruz backroom deal, patients and families pay dramatically more — many will be priced or shut out of care altogether — and the health care system as a whole will be sent reeling. Just so that Senate Republicans can score a few political points.

In fact, this backroom deal is so irresponsible that even some conservative experts have said it would push the health care system into a death spiral.

This week, I was proud to stand with families like the Hungs and the Morrisons. They came to Congress to tell Senate Republicans how Trumpcare — and specifically this awful backroom deal — would put brave kids like theirs, Xiomara and Timmy, who have serious medical needs, at risk.

At the end of the day, a health care bill that puts brave children and patients at risk is no health care bill at all — it’s just politics. That’s why Senate Republicans need to hear from you — and all your friends — that now is the time to stand up, do the right thing, and oppose Trumpcare so it never gets signed into law.

We have just a few more days to get the word out — let’s keep it up.