Friday, June 23, 2017

The Republican Unaffordable Care Act

The healthcare bill passed by the Republican House was not acceptable to the Senate.  Even Donald Trump said it was too mean.  The Senate version of the bill was just released.  It is even meaner than the House bill.  The basic difference between the two Republican bills is that Senate bill gets meaner on the installment plan.  Medicaid, which pays for much of the care is turned over to the states and federal payments to the states falls over time.  The fact that $1 trillion in federal funding is eliminated in the bill makes it inevitable that healthcare becomes more unaffordable over time.

Like its House counterpart, the Senate bill would also hurt millions of non-Medicaid beneficiaries of Obamacare, those who buy insurance on federal and state marketplaces. It would greatly reduce federal subsidies that help low-income and middle-income families buy health coverage, while allowing insurers to increase deductibles, forcing people to pay more for medical services. It would let states waive rules that now require insurers to cover essential health services like maternity care, cancer treatment and mental health care, which is likely to happen because this will be the only way that states can lower premiums. In sum, it will make health insurance more expensive and less useful, to the great misfortune of the poor, elderly and sick.
 One might ask why the Republican Party would attempt to sell this plan to the public.  The answer is simple: They promised their base that they would repeal Obamacare and they feel obliged to make good on their promise.  The bill also eliminates the tax in the Affordable Care Act that only affects very high income households.  The only to pay for the tax cuts was to reduce benefits and access to healthcare for those who need it most.  Robinhood stole money from the rich to provide it to the needy.  The Republican Party prefers to take money from the needy to give it to those who do not need the money.

This editorial in the Washington Post provides a similar analysis of the Senate Bill. It exposes another of the tricks in the Republican effort to repeal Obamacare.  It avoids doing anything that affects the availability of insurance for the middle class. Many who get their information from Fox News and similar sources resent paying taxes to provide healthcare to the "wrong kind of people".  They are also information poor.  They don't realize how children with learning disabilities and the elderly depend upon Medicaid

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