Trumpcare in the House

With a 217-213 vote along party lines, the Republican controlled House of Representatives passed its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act better known as Obamacare.

The bill now goes to the Senate. There it will either be passed, changed, or ignored. Unlike the House where it takes only a majority to pass legislation, the Senate usually needs 60 votes.

And if the passed through the budget  reconciliation process, Republicans can only afford to lose three GOP Senators.

GOP Senator Says He Can’t Support House O’Care Repeal Bill As It Stands

Unlike the House, Senators answer to an entire state. You can’t gerrymander districts to protect seats or dilute minority voting blocks. Senators answer to everybody.

And cutting medical access, because money does equal access, won’t go down well on a state level. and the estimated 14 million people losing insurance/medical access in 2018 will not be happy.

And neither will their friends and families.



Medicaid Cuts

If enacted, the Congressional Budget Office estimates over the next 10 years the American Health Care Act will cut $880 billion in federal funds from Medicaid. These cuts would leave up to 24 million people without health insurance over the same time period.

Under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid expanded coverage to around 11 million people.

Mr. Trump ran promising repeal and replace the Affordable Car Act with something better. He also promised not to make cuts to Medicaid or Social Security. The American Health Care Act breaks both these promises.

Trumpcare Scare

Monday, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act with the current House Republican plan will result in 14 million Americans losing insurance coverage this year. From there, the numbers just get worse. The estimate projects 21 million Americans will lack insurance in 2020, and 24 million will go without in 2026.

The new House Republican health plan, titled the American Health Care Act, is really just a tax bill. Among other things, it eliminates tax penalties on people who chose not to purchase insurance. It also eliminates taxes currently used to pay for health care subsidies. These cuts are essentially a ten year $600 billion tax cut benefiting the wealthiest Americans.

Mr. Trump campaigned against the Affordable Care Act in 2016. He made a promise saying those who currently had insurance wouldn’t lose it. Mr. Trump made a lot of bullshit promises but, when it comes to health care, people need results. And so far the results are far from pretty.

All politics aside, voting to toss 14 million disadvantaged people off insurance is never good policy. And doing so while dishing out tax breaks for America’s wealthiest is akin to political suicide. I don’t care how favorable 2018 looks for Republicans, the American Health Care Act will obliterate any advantages.

In it’s current form, the American Health Care Act, stands little chance of passing in the Senate. Republicans will eventually pass something. I predict some form of Obamacare-Lite relying on tax write offs that still leave million under-insured. The numbers will be low enough to claim victory and assuage upper-middle class guilt, but will still give huge tax breaks to the ultra-rich and guarantees healthy bottom lines for insurance companies.

Still, the real issue being ignored is governance. Aside from tax cuts, repealing abortion, and deciding where people pee, Republicans believe the free market sorts everything out. They believe these markets yield only positive results,  which is why they despise the social welfare system. And to some extent, they are right.

Capitalism/the free market does reward winners. These market winners get housing, healthcare, and excellent educational opportunities. Markets winners also enjoy access to legislators, who they contribute to/pay to advocate for them. Market winners have laws enacted that ensure they (and their children) remain winners.

And the losers get the leftovers.

Let Them Eat Cake

Republican lawmakers revealed their Affordable Care Act replacement package, and it looks to be a mix of Medicaid rollbacks, program cuts, and an enormous tax write-off for insurance company CEOs. The GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare is not surprisingly unpopular with Democrats. More surprisingly, the current plan is under fire from both moderate and conservative Republicans.

Fiscal Conservative oppose refundable tax credits, which they view as an entitlement. Moderate Republicans are justifiably concerned that millions of their constituents will lose their insurance. However, Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz has a solution.

Don’t buy a new iPhone.

During a CNN interview, Mr. Chaffetz said, “Americans have choices, and they’ve got to make a choice. So rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care.”

All the healthcare pros and cons aside, Jason Chaffetz is an asshole. Not only does he come off as a patronizing prick, Mr. Chaffetz compares buying a 700 dollar iPhone to paying thousands a year in healthcare costs. You would literally need to buy a new iPhone every month to make that argument stick.

But what Mr. Chaffetz inadvertently does is nail the Republican world view regarding poverty. Poor people make poor decisions and choose to be poor. In Republican Land, the poor are dope smoking “welfare queens/kings” who waste money on expensive luxury items. They sit around all day dealing weed, playing video games, and fucking. Also, the poor live in the inner-city and are predominantly black.


And it is bullshit.


Capitalism’s dirty little secret is its dependence on cheap labor. You can’t have millionaires and billionaires without poor people doing actual work. A capitalistic system only produces a middle class if the workers can afford to buy the things they (and others) produce. Forcing choices between healthcare and consumption actually hurts consumption, which damages capitalism.

Republicans argue that high taxes penalize success and hard work. The implication being poor people don’t work hard. And while that may be true in some cases, most wealth is inherited. Donald Trump and his children aren’t rich because they worked hard. They’re the result of rich people fucking.

Subsidizing healthcare through wealth redistribution doesn’t punish success. And even if it does, who cares? If you raise taxes on the richest people in the country, the result is they are still the richest people in the country. It doesn’t impact their lifestyle. They don’t skip meals. They still live in mansions. They still have lots of fancy cars. They still wear designer clothes.

The only thing that happens is everyone else has access to a doctor.