The 7 most terrifying things about the Trumpcare bill that could pass today.

The American Health Care Act could pass the House today — and people are scared.

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

With the addition of a last-minute amendment, Republican leaders are confident just enough moderate Republicans are on board to push the bill through to the Senate.


Despite the ostensibly moderating changes, the bill remains as potentially destructive as before.

As a result, thousands of citizens are hurriedly telling their representatives in no uncertain terms that they'll be voted out of a job if they pass it.

Here's why they're not waiting:

1. The Congressional Budget Office hasn't scored the current version of the bill, so we don't know how many people will lose coverage or how much it will cost.

A running congressman works to pass a bill very few people have even seen. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

When the CBO scored the old draft of the bill that was tabled back in March, it found that, under its provisions, up to 24 million people could lose insurance coverage by 2026. The new version of the bill has been amended several times, but the score hasn't been reissued yet.

The updated law could cover more people. It could cover fewer. It could be less expensive. It could be more expensive. The problem is — nobody knows.

The House still plans to vote on it.

That's terrifying.

2. If you have any number of common pre-existing conditions, the bill could massively spike your premiums.

Despite Republican assurances that the proposed law "protects" people with pre-existing conditions, a recent amendment allows states to choose which health benefits they require insurers to cover — meaning maternity, mental health care, and more could be out depending on where you live — and to permit insurance companies to charge based on health status rather than age.

A Center for American Progress analysis concluded that this amendment would raise premiums by thousands — and in some case tens of thousands — of dollars for individuals with asthma, pregnancy, autism, kidney disease, cancer, and more.

3. Rape and sexual assault could be considered pre-existing conditions under the new law.

Prior to the ACA, insurers were largely free to deny health coverage to those who had suffered sexual violence.

Under the new law, insurance companies in some states could charge survivors much more than they're currently paying.

That's shockingly cruel.

4. Lifetime limits could make a comeback.

Before Obamacare, insurance companies could cap the amount they agreed to pay out over a customer's lifetime, forcing even insured people with expensive medical conditions to go deep into debt or go without care.

Allowing states to apply for waivers for essential health benefits could mean that insurance companies start setting those limits again, which would be devastating for people with chronic, lifelong illnesses.

5. The bill could cut funding for special education programs.

As if the heretofore illustrated level of cartoon villainy wasn't enough, the bill's giant Medicaid cuts would probably spell the end of many school services for disabled children who rely on that funding.

Clearly on a roll, the bill's architects figured they might as well throw in gutting care for poor, sick old people too while they're at it.

6. It could even mess with the health coverage you get through your employer, like most Americans do.

If you work for a big company with a presence in many states, your boss could choose to set up shop in the one with the skimpiest essential benefits standards, saving the company some money and gutting your coverage in the process.

That could mean you lose your mental health care, your mammograms, your vaccinations, or even your prescription drug coverage.

7. It could cause massive, unknown damage to the U.S. economy.

Over 12 million Americans work in health care. It's our country's fourth largest industry by GDP. No one knows for sure what impact the bill might have on all those jobs and all that market value because the bill has yet to be released publicly in its final form.

And the House seems like it's just going to roll the dice with it.

The vote is dangerously close.

Representatives leaning no as of now seem to include Mario Diaz-Balart, David Joyce, and Michael Turner.

Still undecided representatives presently may include Justin Amash, Paul Cook, Carlos Curbelo, John Faso, Darrell Issa, Steve Knight, Erik Paulsen, Bruce Poliquin, Peter Roskam, Ed Royce, Elisa Stefanik, Rob Wittman, Kevin Yoder, and Don Young.

If any of these people represent you, and this bill freaks you out, do yourself and your fellow Americans a favor, light up their phones this morning.

Emotionally, spiritually, and — perhaps most crucially — physically, we might all feel a lot better if this thing goes down.

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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