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.

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-s-backing-healthcare-plan-breaks-his-promises-n733031

http://www.vox.com/2017/3/13/14914812/trump-ahca-medicaid-cuts

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2017/03/14/conservatives_can_t_debunk_the_cbo_s_blockbuster_report.html

http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/03/mitch_landrieu_trump_blatantly_1.html

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.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2017/03/14/daily-202-cbo-bombshell-is-going-to-force-changes-to-health-care-bill/58c73ea6e9b69b1406c75d65/?utm_term=.229ddee2f10e

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/3/14/14923784/christopher-ruddy-medicaid

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/paul-ryan-wont-escape-blame-failing-health-care?cid=sm_fb_maddow

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.

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/articles/2018-senate-democrats-are-very-exposed/

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.

Town Hall Stall

When Republicans gained control of Congress in 2010, it was due in no small part to the conservative populist movement now known as the Tea Party. This group adamantly opposed the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, and they were not afraid to show it. Their venting arena of choice – Democratic Town Halls.

Fast-forward to 2017. Republican Town Hall meetings similar to those in 2010 are taking place all over the country. Angry constituents are packing Town Halls to voice displeasure regarding a wide range of topics. However, a single theme runs through all these meetings.

Republican voters don’t want to lose their Obamacare.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/10/republican-townhalls-are-becoming-the-leading-edge-of-the-democratic-resistance/?utm_term=.1eb7f7318d16

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/13/politics/republican-town-hall-obamacare/index.html

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/katie-mcfarland-tom-cotton-response

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/tough-questions-private-events-republicans-recess

And for good reason. Despite a terrible roll-out, a 2015 CDC study based on Census data shows that, under the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate fell from 15.7% to 9.2%.

So after years running against the Affordable Care Act, Congressional Republicans are just now discovering their voters like it. I think Republican voters also like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and a host of other “socialistic” programs.