Ohio Congressman Pat Tiberi, a follower, fan and product of his former boss John Kasich, urged his constituents to not believe the “fear-mongering he says Democrats are spreading about the American Health Care Act Republicans passed Thursday, that they say “has pre-existing conditions covered.”

Emailing his misleading and apparently uninformed message to Ohioans this week, Congressman Tiberi, whose name has been floated as someone who might take on Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel for the right to challenge U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown next fall, linked to an article from House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California that warned Democrats are trying to ” induce panic” with scare tactics as House Republicans jammed through so-called “Trumpcare,” a bill experts said is worse than a previous bill that failed the first time it was brought to a vote months ago, after the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] scored it dropping 24 million people out of coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

Unscored GOP Bill Includes Defunding Planned Parenthood

Also, as Erica Sackin of Planned Parenthood alerted, “the House bill up for a vote today also includes a provision to ‘defund Planned Parenthood,”  a provision she said is included in the underlying bill introduced in March.

In a statement on today’s vote in the House, Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards expressed what millions of women ar thinking: “This is the worst bill for women’s health in a generation. It makes it harder to prevent unintended pregnancy, harder to have a healthy pregnancy, and harder to raise a family.”

What Tiberi and his tribe of callous, conservative congressmen mean when they say “covered” turns out to be a string of “ifs,” any one of which can knock someone off coverage under the ACA, the national health care law a majority of Americans now want kept and improved on, not repealed and replaced as GOP droids like Tiberi and nearly all of Ohio’s House Members voted to do today, so they can say they delivered on a cruel campaign slogan.

The mystery bill Tiberi and cohorts voted on Thursday, which was rushed through pell mell before the CBO had a chance to score it, has pre-existing conditions “covered” in all the wrong ways:

  • Competition and market forces will lower premiums, making health care easier for people to afford.
  • Those who still have trouble affording health care will receive refundable tax credits according to their need to help them purchase insurance.
  • Nobody will be charged higher premiums if they keep up their coverage.
  • Nobody can be denied coverage.
  • States that opt out of Obamacare regulations will receive hundreds of millions of dollars to fund high-risk pools that cover costs for those with pre-existing conditions

Republicans touted 8 bullion set aside to bring down premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the small group that could have fallen into the gap, a sum House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi called “a pittance” compared to the real amount needed.

The gamble Mr. Tiberi and his tribe took today is voting for a bill Democrat across the board, and many health industry leaders, did not support, that now goes to the Senate where it will either be changed drastically or die, as GOP senators fear the political fate that awaits them in 2018, when voters may say they’ve had enough of the GOP’s charade of cold and costly sympathy to help with health care.

Sen. Sherrod Brown released a warning after the vote that Republican passage of the bill “could rip care away from up to 900,000 Ohioans, including more than 200,000 Ohioans receiving treatment for opioid addiction.” He said the plan “weakens protections for those living with pre-existing conditions, and does nothing to lower costs or improve care for Ohioans.”

Adding her perspective, Betty Sutton, who has declared her candidacy for the open governor’s seat in Ohio next year, said, “This is a disgrace to hardworking, everyday Americans. The poorly named American Health Care Act does just the opposite — it guts our existing health care legislation in favor of tax cuts for the wealthiest. The new bill is a discouraging turn of events, but our fight isn’t over.”

Hard-Of-Learning Republicans

For hard-of-learning Republicans like Pat Tiberi, walking the plank today to vote for this mystery bill will be remembered, as Democrats remind voters next year that Republicans were eager to make their lives a living hell in order to say they fulfilled their promise to trash a workable system with one that many experts say will drive costs higher, offer weaker policies, and throw tens of millions of people with pre-existing conditions into the fire of free market pricing so private health care insurers can maintain their already obscene profit margins.

In light of Ohio’s control by hard-right Republicans, it’s not a stretch to think they would opt-out of covering pre-existing conditions, as the new bill allows them to do, which sets up hundreds of thousands of Buckeyes for failure at managing their health in an affordable way. That idea is already in play in the state’s next budget cycle debate, with Republicans wanting to discontinue participation in expanded Medicaid coverage, a desire they expressed once before that Gov. Kasich thwarted with an administrative end run.

By voting for this new and worse version of their already bad bill, Republicans are playing Russian roulette with their election hopes for mid-term elections, when voters may revolt against them and President Donald Trump, who have conspired to hurt them in the name of helping them.

 

 

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