*(Via LA Times) – Congressional Republicans, who for years blasted the Affordable Care Act for disrupting Americans’ healthcare, are now pushing changes that threaten to not only strip health coverage from millions, but also upend insurance markets, cripple state budgets and drive medical clinics and hospitals to the breaking point.
President Trump and GOP leaders have touted their Obamacare repeal bills — one passed by the House last month and a Senate version unveiled last week — as a necessary fix to problems created by the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare
But in physicians’ offices and medical centers, in state capitols and corporate offices, there are growing fears that the unprecedented cuts proposed in the GOP legislation would create even larger problems in the U.S. healthcare system.
“These reductions are going to wreak havoc,” warned Tom Priselac, chief executive of Cedars Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, one of the country’s leading medical centers. “It will be a tragic step backward not just for the people most affected, but for the country as a whole.”
Trump sounded a very different note in his weekly radio address Saturday, pledging anew to save Americans from rising healthcare costs he blames on Obamacare. “The American people are calling out for relief, and my administration is determined to provide it,” he said.
Even supporters of the ACA acknowledge the current law needs adjustments, especially to insurance markets, where premiums have risen sharply in recent years and many insurers have pulled out.
But there are few indications the GOP repeal bills will bring much stability.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated the House repeal bill, which Trump celebrated in a Rose Garden ceremony last month, would nearly double the number of Americans without health coverage over the next decade, pushing the ranks of the uninsured to more than 50 million.
And the Senate bill, which includes even deeper cuts over time, is unlikely to be much less disruptive.