8 reasons Trump's push to kill the Affordable Care Act is such a cruel move

8 reasons Trump’s push to kill the Affordable Care Act is such a cruel move

Donald Trump sitting at a desk signing legislation

Flickr / The White House

Ignoring the advice of his top aides, President Trump plowed ahead in his quest to eliminate Obamacare.

In a filing with the Supreme Court, Trump’s admin claimed the Affordable Care Act is illegal and is hoping to get the whole thing scrapped. According to Politico, the move goes against the advice of both Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Bill Barr.

Former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump out on the filing, saying, “It’s cruel, it’s heartless, and it’s callous.”

Biden isn’t the only one crying out at the heartlessness of the decision; here are eight reasons why Trump’s push to kill the Affordable Care Act is such a cruel move

We’re in the middle of a pandemic

A picture is worth a 1,000 words: Twitter users spread Michael McFaul's graph of Trump coronavirus failure

Screenshot / Twitter

“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said in a statement on Thursday.

The U.S. has seen a significant spike in the number of infections in recent days. In fact, Florida has just had two record-breaking days in the same week. On Friday, the state had 8,942 new positive cases that beat the previous record from two days prior of 5,508 new cases in a single day.

Florida isn’t the only state seeing such increases. Texas is also struggling with an 80% increase in daily positives. The high infection rate caused Governor Abbott to roll back some of the reopening provisions.

People are losing healthcare by the thousands

Woman holding a sign that says "I lost my job due to coronavirus"

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According to People, Trump’s filing with the Supreme Court comes on the same day that the government reported 487,000 new people filed for Obamacare benefits between April and May.

“While the magnitude may be unclear, job losses due to COVID-19 have led to increased enrollments on HealthCare.gov,” the report by the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight says.

The Department of Labor has reported 1.5 million workers have filed jobless claims in the last week — potentially losing job-based medical coverage. According to American Progress, there are millions Americans at risk of losing coverage.

“In total, 23.3 million people stand to lose coverage and become uninsured if the ACA is repealed during the pandemic.”

130 million with pre-existing conditions will be left in the cold

A photo of a lung xray

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The Affordable Care Act doesn’t just provide insurance policies to those that don’t have employer-based coverage. It also keeps insurance companies from denying benefits or charging extra for benefits to people that have a preexisting condition.

“If President Trump gets his way, 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions will lose the ACA’s lifesaving protections,” Pelosi said.

It is already bad enough that people with cancer, asthma, or other conditions could lose protections if Trump is allowed to get rid of Obamacare, but COVID-19 adds another issue. Many coronavirus survivors are developing complications that could be long-term. Studies have shown COVID can cause neurological problems as well as attacking the kidneys, liver, heart, and other body systems.

Biden pointed out how Trump’s decisions have hurt Americans two-fold:

“They would live their lives caught in a vise between Donald Trump’s twin legacies: his failure to protect the American people from the coronavirus, and his heartless crusade to take health care protections away from American families.”

23 million people are currently enrolled

Baby getting a shot

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Trump has been vocally opposed to the Affordable Care Act as far back as 2014. However, if overturned, it would leave more than 20 million Americans without coverage.

In 2020 alone, 8.3 million people enrolled in the program.

Trump claims the GOP is the “party of great health care,” but they have yet to come up with a replacement for the millions of Americans that rely on the ACA.

Costs could rise, while the economy tanks

A person holding open an empty wallet

Pixabay

If Trump succeeds in killing the ACA, it could cause healthcare costs to skyrocket for many Americans. Losing the preexisting conditions protections would directly hurt 133 million people.

According to Common Wealth Fund, people with conditions like diabetes or cancer might see their costs triple. While those with conditions such as arthritis or high blood pressure could see an increase in costs up to 39%. It could also lead to an overall increase in out-of-pocket costs since spending on preexisting conditions might no longer count toward a deductible.

Hits minorities hardest

Black man wearing a face mask

Pexels / Maatla Kebs

According to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the ACA enabled millions to get health care coverage — particularly minorities.

“The ACA has been life-changing and now through this pandemic, we can all see the value in having greater access to quality health care at affordable prices… Now is not the time to rip away our best tool to address very real and very deadly health disparities in our communities.”

Statistics show, between 2010 and 2015, 15% of people enrolled were Black, 32% were Hispanic, and 10% identified as non-white. Obamacare also helped nearly 3 million children of all races gain coverage.

It’s a political ploy

Trump at one of his campaign events

Flickr/ Gage Skidmore

Trump and the GOP have long talked of getting rid of the Affordable Care Act without offering any viable replacement. In fact, Trump is looking to further dismantle Obama’s legacy despite the coronavirus crisis. According to Politico, he also refused to reopen the marketplace when the pandemic hit even though it would allow for uninsured people worried about COVID to get coverage. He disregarded the pleas from both Democrats and “moderate Republicans.”

The filing with the Supreme Court appears to some as a political ploy, especially since it is unlikely the case will be heard before the election. The timing is also suspect because it came just a day after Democrats in the House “unveiled a bill to enhance” Obamacare. The new legislation would undo some of the strides the administration has already made in dismantling the ACA.

Pelosi commented on the timing of Trump’s filing:

“It was wrong anytime. Now, it’s beyond stupid.”

It affects everyone

A photograph of a woman waving an American flag while sitting in a sunny field.

Pixabay

Everyone will be affected by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act — even those who have insurance through their employer.

The policies in the ACA ensure that insurance companies cover annual physicals. It allows parents to keep their children on their policies until age 26. It also protects senior citizens by lowering the cost of Medicare coverage.

Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, explains its importance: “The ACA made changes in every part of the health care system. Virtually everyone has been touched by the ACA.”

Trump’s cruelty — if he succeeds in dismantling Obamacare — will affect every American.

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