Last night was an unmitigated disaster for the country – and for the world. While it has yet to be seen just what form that disaster will take, it’s already becoming apparent now that the GOP has a lock on Congress and the senate, as well as the White House.

In addition to these major shifts in the government, a Trump presidency means that millions of Americans will be losing the health care they won under the Affordable Care Act. We can also look forward to even worse and more egregious price gouging by Big Pharma as their blood-sucking CEOs pop champagne corks, celebrating last night’s victory of Big Money and Greed over Compassion.

Trump has already promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, something that the GOP has repeatedly attempted to do since the law was enacted. Now, thanks to the dysfunctional electoral system that enabled a racist, sexist, hyper-capitalist demagogue to take control of the Executive Branch (Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote – the fourth time in U.S. history that the will of the majority was thwarted by the Electoral College), those unable to afford premiums or have pre-existing conditions can look forward to the wonderful “PAY or DIE” system that was American health care.

Not all Repukes agree with Trump on everything, and many still dislike him – but repeal of the Affordable Care Act is one issue upon which they wholeheartedly agree. Of course, the Orange Phony, the Great Pretender who will spend the next four years destroying the legacy of his predecessor, has his own “plan” – which some have dubbed “Trumpcare.” That is an oxymoron if there ever was one, because it will “care” for no-one but the predatory, profit-driven corporations that control health care in this country.

To be sure, Trump talks pretty. He claims that his plan – which is lacking in details – “must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance… [I will] not allow people to die on the sidewalks and the streets of our country” because of an inability to pay.

Unfortunately, that is exactly what “Trumpcare” will do. First of all, health insurers will once again be allowed to exclude people with pre-existing conditions. Secondly, it relies on “health savings accounts” and tax deductions for health insurance premiums. Those are all well and good for those with high incomes and/or have employer-sponsored plans. However, what those ideas fail to consider is that low and moderate income people will find it difficult, if not impossible, to come up with the means to pay those costs in the first place. For those who don’t itemize, this will be no help whatsoever.

The advantage of the tax credits offered under the Affordable Care Act is that it provides the same value to everyone, regardless of income level. But those will be going away now, thanks to the cruelty of a CONgress prostituted to a greedy, heartless oligarchy and a psychotic, clueless so-called Executive who has promised to enable them and their agenda.

Insurers will also be able to return to the practice of underwriting, meaning that those who are sicker pay substantially higher premiums. Sure, someone with a catastrophic illness like cancer could deduct the cost of his or her treatment come April 15th, but having enough money to pay for it in the first place is a BIG “if.”

The bottom line: by 2018, 48 million people – approximately 15% of the U.S. population – will once again be consigned to the old “Pay or Die” system. Millions of people will die as a result of these changes – this blood will be on Republicans’ hands.

Of Trump and his GOP collaborators, this writer – who has been a beneficiary of the ACA – has only this Yiddish curse to offer: Oyf doktoyrim zol er dos avekgebn. “He should give it all away to doctors” – because that is what he’ll be condemning others to.

SHARE
K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues.