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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

The American Health Care Act is even worse than Democrats warned from the floor of the House last month when they fell one vote short of blocking Paul Ryan’s bill that was marketed as Obamacare-repeal legislation but was mostly a tax cut for the rich.

The first Congressional Budget Office reports analyzing an early version of the bill estimated that more than 20 million Americans would lose health insurance in the next decade, and premiums would rise 120-125 percent for adults nearing Medicare age. But on Wednesday, the CBO released its analysis of the House-passed bill and found that it would prompt 14 million people to lose their health insurance in 2018 and 23 million within a decade. At the same time, those Americans approaching 65—the age they can obtain health care via government-run Medicare—would face steeper cost increases.

“CBO and JCT [Joint Committee on Taxation] estimate that, in 2018, 14 million more people would be uninsured under H.R. 1628 than under current law,” their analysis said. “The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026. In 2026, an estimated 51 million people under age 65 would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.”

The non-partisan congressional analysts said that the law would reduce federal health care spending by $1.1 trillion while also being a tax cut of nearly a $1 trillion.

“CBO and JCT estimate that, over the 2017-2026 period, enacting H.R. 1628 would reduce direct spending by $1,111 billion and reduce revenues by $992 billion,” it said. The analysis broke the tax cut down into two large elements, $664 billion for “repeal or delay of taxes on high-income people, fees imposed on manufacturers, and excise taxes enacted under the ACA [Obamacare],” and $210 billion for “collection of penalty payments from employers and uninsured people.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans passed Trumpcare without holding a single hearing and without waiting for an updated CBO score, which was released Wednesday—a day after the White House released its proposed 2018 budget. Together, the Obamacare repeal and the Trump budget would cut federal health care spending by $1.4 trillion—a figure scores of interest groups slammed as deeply cruel and inhumane.

“Today’s CBO score confirms older Americans’ worst fears: the American Health Care Act passed by the House is a disaster for older Americans who are not yet eligible for Medicare,” said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the Alliance for Retired Americans. “The CBO’s numbers are especially troubling for anyone with a pre-existing condition. Premium increases are going to be massive for this group, which includes millions of older Americans. That will destabilize the health care markets. Among people ages 55 to 64, 84 percent had at least one pre-existing condition in 2014.”

“The CBO tells us that at least 23 million people will lose health coverage under the Trump-Republican health plan, including 14 million by next year—most due to $830 billion in Medicaid cuts. On top of that, the president’s budget proposes cutting ANOTHER $600 billion dollars from Medicaid, and it slashes Social Security Disability Insurance,” said Frank Clemente, executive director, Americans for Tax Fairness. “So between Trump’s health care bill and his budget, Trump is breaking three core promises he made to his supporters over and over again: that he wouldn’t cut Medicaid, that he wouldn’t cut Social Security, and no one would lose their health insurance. Why? So that millionaires, billionaires and corporations can get giant tax cuts.”

“The CBO score proves what we already knew: Trumpcare is a tax cut for millionaires disguised as a health care bill,” said the Patriotic Millionaires’ Sam Quigley. “The supporters of the AHCA have disturbingly misplaced priorities. As wealthy Americans who would prefer living in a healthy society over yet another tax cut for millionaires, the Patriotic Millionaires have spoken out time and time again to say they neither need nor want another tax cut, especially one that comes at the expense of American lives.”

“This bill is nothing short of a disaster,” said Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA, whose remarks echoed many Democratic members of Congress.”

“This CBO score highlights what we already knew—the AHCA is cruel, deadly and irresponsible,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. She urged “each and every Senator to consider the grave effect this loss of coverage would have on our nation. Each one of the 23 million people counted in the CBO estimate is a family member, neighbor and part of a community. Instead of continuing to work on this unconscionable bill, members of Congress should listen to their constituents, read Network’s Ten Commandments of Healthcare, and come up with a real solution that expands access to affordable health care.

The CBO score came out the same day Trump and his family were visiting Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s democracy and voting rights. He is the author of several books on elections and the co-author of Who Controls Our Schools: How Billionaire-Sponsored Privatization Is Destroying Democracy and the Charter School Industry (AlterNet eBook, 2016).

This article was made possible by the readers and supporters of AlterNet.

9 Responses to GOP Obamacare Repeal Would Kick 23 Million Off Health Insurance And Give Trillion-Dollar Tax Cut To People Who Don’t Need It

  1. Oh, but obviously this is better than the previous bill! This one only calls for 23 Million people to lose health care as opposed to the 24 Million of the original proposal. So now, all those who may have been against it live in hope they are part of that 1 Million! Of course, that was the “best case scenario”. The “worst case” will probably be closer to 50 Million, especially as more companies find out they can opt out of employer provided healthcare, and as more state “exchanges” fold for lack of federal support.
    Eventually, the only people with guaranteed health care insurance will be the members of Congress!

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  2. Of the so-called 23 million to lose health care, 19 million of them don’t have health care now. How can we have anyone without health care now? Doesn’t Obamacare force everyone to purchase insurance or get fined? Since it began Obamacare rates have gone up a average of 100%, with some states the rates have gone up 200% and more. Obamacare has cost more than the CBO said it would. Now even Blue Cross is pulling out of some states. Obamacare is failing and will die on the vine. Soon, no private insurance companies will participate in it. Something new and better has to be built. I don’t think anything written in a month can fix the problem. Both parties need to assign a number of members to a committee to rewrite the healthcare system. I don’t care if it takes a year for a committee to write a good system. It needs to be agreed upon before any committee is appointed, that when a bi-partisan committee finishes, then that system will go to the President for his signature. I know that’s not the way our system is designed, but anyway else will end with nothing getting done. Healthcare is just to darn important for our politicians to keep making it a political thing and not a human necessity.

    • Wow! You make up lies faster than a speeding bullet – virtually every thing you’ve posted is an outright lie!! So I’m not even going to waste my time pointing out one lie after another!! Trumpcare would strip healthcare from far more than 4 million Americans that have ACA now YOU ARE A PATHOLOGICAL LYING FOOL!!!

      And I’m sure you will just be thrilled with this assessment of what a conservative journalist who writes for the Washington Post thinks about a GOP that is simply just rotting away!!

      Right Turn Opinion: A week that reveals how rotten today’s Republican Party is

      President Trump has had more-scandalous weeks. He has had weeks with
      more bombshell bad-news stories. But no week has matched this one in
      revealing the moral and intellectual rot at the center of the GOP. Pandemic intellectual dishonesty and celebration of uncivilized conduct now permeate the party and its support in the conservative ecosystem.

      Consider what we saw and learned this week:

      .Trump in Saudi Arabia disclaims any concern for human rights.

      .Trump bullies NATO allies in public (and physically shoves one leader).

      .Trump’s budget is built on a rickety scaffold of math errors, economic nonsense and fantasyland predictions.

      .Trump’s advisers defend massive cuts to the safety net, coupled with huge giveaways to the rich.

      The Congressional Budget Office score, which the House did not require
      before voting on a mammoth health-care bill, confirms that GOP leaders falsely claimed they protected people with preexisting conditions.

      .Trump’s lawyers contemptuously swat away a request for information relating to his receipt of foreign monies, finding that it is too impractical to abide by his own promise and the Constitution.

      .Trump has nothing but praise for thuggish autocrats, including Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

      .Trump continues to pursue a Muslim ban, repeatedly struck down by the courts as bigotry disguised under the cloak of national security.

      .A GOP congressional candidate, conclusive evidence suggests, attacks a
      reporter and apparently lies about it (he later apologizes for actions he denied less than 24 hours earlier), but party leaders do not repudiate him or demand that he withdraw.

      .Jared Kushner, the beneficiary of egregious nepotism, now is a focus of the FBI’s Russia investigation, bringing a once-in-a-lifetime scandal one step closer to the presidency.

      .Sean Hannity is forced to stop propagating a detestable hoax about a young man’s murder; Fox News after a week withdraws the original false report without much explanation or an apology.

      .This is the state of the GOP — a refuge for intellectual frauds and bullies,
      for mean-spirited hypocrites who preach personal responsibility yet excuse the inexcusable.

      And isn’t this juste peachy keen??

      Jared Kushner Reportedly Discussed Setting Up Secret Communication Channel With Moscow

      Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, reportedly discussed opening a secret communication channel between the administration’s transition team and the Russian government, The Washington Post reported Friday.

      According to the report, Kushner discussed that possibility with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, in December, before Trump’s inauguration. Specifically, Kushner reportedly asked about using Russia’s diplomatic facilities to secure the channel to avoid being monitored.

      That suggestion surprised Kislyak, who is widely believed to be involved with Russia’s spying operations, according to the Post: Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate — a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team.

      Another possible piece in the Russia puzzle.

  3. 20 million+ off of health care, and a corresponding bonus for the wealthy. Quintessential Conservative Arithmetic, inspired by a satanic quest to increase the social disparities in America.
    For me, it has been a source of mystery why the wealthy are intent on enriching themselves at the expense of others in America. The greed which motivated global colonialism was not so much to knowingly increase income disparity, but to satiate the lust for resources, no matter whose land had to be plundered to get it.

    But the GOP knows full well what it’s doing, and the majority of its make-up are compelled to ignore what they’re doing, as long as the satanic conservative ideology is furthered. Like some false idol that needs appeasing and human sacrifices in the way of impoverishing as many as possible and limit their access to services—this is the “Religion” of Conservatives in America.

    Truly, an unfathomable enigma defying a thorough understanding of what motivates the GOP of America to pursue such a ruinous agenda. A pox on this Party—the appointed time is coming for these miserable Congressmen who relish inflicting pain.

    It would therefore seem to me that this utterance, by Baha’u’llah as an aphorism in His “The Hidden Words”, applies to the machinations of the GOP vis-a-vis its social/political agenda:
    “O OPPRESSORS ON EARTH! Withdraw your hands from tyranny, for I have pledged Myself not to forgive any man’s injustice. This is My covenant which I have irrevocably decreed in the preserved tablet and sealed with My seal.”

    As one reads “The Hidden Words”, in the preamble, Baha’u’llah cites that the entirety of this work repeats themes and words revealed unto the Prophets of old, but “…clothed in the garment of brevity as a token of grace unto the righteous…”.

    Just something to think about in light of America’s plight, and the plight of the world.

    • So people keeping their own money is somehow enriching themselves at the EXPENSE of others? Such irrational thinking is the true evil.

      • You have a severe problem with thinking. Instead of thinking on many dimensions in a parallel fashion, your pattern of thinking has been restricted to thing serially and can focus on one thing at a time, denying yourself the possibility of seeing linkages. To much TV, especially FOX-type programming will exact that kind of damage of thinking patterns.
        Now that I’ve established that premise, when I make reference to greed and an inordinate preoccupation with acquiring money, you rush to the false conclusion that I’m advocated denial of wealth and all other material goods that make for comfort and ease in conducting one’s affairs.
        Trump, for example, and many politicians, are going to extremes to the point of having money and goods define their essence. This focus causes humans to lose sight of the examples and themes provided by all of God’s Messengers. If you wish to point out to me references in the Holy Books that exalt greed and focusing on acquisition of material goods, please let me know.

        “O Son of Being! Busy not thyself with this world. For with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants.”

        Good day, citizen!

        • You once again post many words to hide your primary argument. That it is somehow your business what is the proper amount of income for any particular person or group of people.

          You once again dodge the question by blowing smoke all over the field. Sorry, but I can see through your haze.

          • The haze surrounds you. Why do you feel compelled to post empty-headed responses. It should would be a nice change of pace to have you post anything that makes one stop and ponder. With you, it’s the same tiresome whining, protesting because you lack the acumen to understand non-FOX comments.
            This site isn’t suited for McDonald’s-type thinking fellows like yourself. Some junior high students might find you interesting in a shallow sort of way,.

            “Once again—Once again”, ad nauseam. Your favorite and only refrain.

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