President-elect Donald Trump made a populist pitch by saying he'd get rid of the bad parts of the Affordable Care Act without touching the part that protects people with pre-existing conditions (otherwise known as almost all disabilities). He said he'd balance the budget without touching Medicare and Medicaid. Our able-bodied relatives keep saying that we should give him a chance and point out all the things he said he wouldn't do. Trump's pick for the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price is a bucket of cold water for anyone who thinks he'll keep those promises.

Trump's actions speak louder than words

Tom Price is not exactly in favor of Medicaid's existence. Throughout his career in government, he has proposed turning it into a voucher program multiple times. For those who don't know what that means, I'll explain. Right now, people on Medicare/Medicaid get their healthcare paid for directly by the government. Under a voucher plan favored by Price and other high-ranking Republicans, you would get a voucher to use on the private market. If you can't afford any of the plans offered, oh well.

They've also suggested using tax credits to pay for health care and health savings accounts

To make matters even worse, both Price and Trump want to bring back high-risk pools and get rid of the preexisting condition mandate that has made the Affordable Care Act popular among the disabled. Prior to the mandate, insurance companies could decide not to cover people for a broad range of conditions like severe cerebral palsy or autism.

The solution was high-risk pools funded by the states. However, save for more liberal states like Minnesota, they didn't work. In fact, high-risk pools were unmitigated disasters.

Under Trump, there is no 'third rail'

Many Trump supporters insist that he'd never touch Medicaid and the like because they're so popular. However, this crop of conservatives doesn't seem to care about Americans. They're dead set on selling off all public services to the private sector, preferably to their donors.

Allegedly, the private sector would administer Medicare and Medicaid better than the government. However, recent experience shows differently. Unless Democrats filibuster and derail this privatization scam, disabled people are in a bad spot. We already have evidence that privatizing the programs can never work.

Recently, Kansas has turned Medicaid over to three private companies. Instead of better service at a lower cost the way Kansas Tea Party Republicans promised, Kansans got less service, higher costs, and waiting lists for services that exceed 7 years.

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You think wait times are bad now? Just wait until Trump's private sector friends get involved and start declaring us too unprofitable to cover and exile us to unfunded high-risk pools. The private sector does not want to cover us for any reason. If the private sector wanted to cover us, Medicaid would never have existed.

There is no option for the disabled but to oppose privatization for any and all reasons.

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