On Tuesday, Congressional Republicans released their latest health care bill, which would feature potentially life-threatening provisions. The bill would allow states to disregard the Affordable Care Act’s ban on discriminating against Americans with preexisting conditions. But according to the Health Affairs Blog, the bill would exempt lawmakers, their staff, and family from this provision. The bill’s author, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), has since clarified on Wednesday that this exemption will be withdrawn, but not before having exposed the hypocrisy of Republican lawmakers.
Obamacare requires all members of Congress and their staff to purchase health insurance coverage through the ACA marketplace. According to Vox, this was “meant to demonstrate that if the coverage in this law were good enough for Americans, it should be good enough for their representatives in Washington.”
The bill would allow states to be able to waive protections of individuals with preexisting conditions, which could have fatal consequences for low-income individuals in need of care. However, an amendment by GOP lawmakers would protect lawmakers, their family and staff with preexisting conditions from discrimination, while forcing everyday Americans to bear the burden.
How bad is the GOPs' new healthcare proposal?
So bad they had to exempt themselves from it.https://t.co/hE4pbeGPOQ
— Facts Do Matter (@WilDonnelly) April 26, 2017
As of Wednesday, this exemption has been removed, but this doesn’t take away form the fact that the health bill remains an utter disaster for poor Americans. By waiving the ACA’s guarantees for Americans with preexisting conditions, MacArthur intended to attract conservatives who believe high-risk groups should pay more for insurance coverage so that other healthy Americans will pay less for premiums.
By opting to repeal these protections, the latest GOP health bill is already slated to face an uphill battle to garner support, and by exposing the selfishness and hypocrisy of the Republican lawmakers behind it, it’s likely to be even more unpopular.
Featured image via Gage Skidmore