President–elect Donald Trump has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that the first thing he will do is overturn Obamacare. And the fact that Republicans kept control of the Senate and increased their control in the House, this seems a very doable thing. And for all of you who were horrified when your employer insurance changed — when premiums skyrocketed and your network narrowed — you might be happy. Or not.

Employer supplied insurance

Once Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, is repealed, assuming there is nothing to replace it with before hand, nothing will magically revert to the way it was before.

Even if you have insurance through your employer, those high premiums are not going to go away. And why should they? Once the reins are off, the health insurance companies will have absolutely no compunction about earning as much money as possible. Look at how many of the big insurance companies are pulling out of the ACA exchanges, claiming heavy losses for insuring sick people. Like chicken-eating dogs, once they’ve tasted blood there’s no going back. Case in point: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas dropped all of its individual PPO plans for less expensive HMOs and told plan owners there would be a 24 to 80 percent rate hike in premiums for 2017. All this while paying out $48 million in executive bonuses.

And if you are on the exchange

Well, kiss low premiums good-bye; that is if you can even find coverage. If you have a pre-existing condition you’re probably not going to be insurable anymore. Without the ACA companies can decline anyone insurance or pretty much charge anything they want. Prior to ACA, many states, like Texas, had a risk pool where people who were denied private insurance could purchase insurance.

At much higher rates, of course. BCBS of Texas, which turned down most any single payer with a previous condition, would suggest they apply to the risk pool. Which happened to be run by BCBS of Texas. Of course most states, like Texas, who had risk polls disbanded them after the advent of ACA. So now there’s no safety net at any price.

Oh, you’re almost 65

According to Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan, the eligible age for Medicare would increase from 65 to 67. The plan also calls for increasing copayments and deductibles.

Obamacare was never perfect, it was a patchwork plan that just barely helped, but it did allow millions of Americans to have health insurance, many for the first time. What will all these people do next year? Probably go back to flooding county hospital ERs, where local taxpayers will pick up the tab. The best possible solution would be for universal, single-payer healthcare like Canada and so many other countries have. At the very least America needs to allow people to opt into Medicare and pay for it at a reasonable rate until they reach the required age.

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