Shame on every Republican leader who has no difficulty in backing the intentionally coldhearted Trumpcare plan.
As you remember, Trump ran on the promise of a repeal and replacement of Obamacare with “insurance for everyone” with “great health care for a fraction of the price that’s gonna take place immediately after we go in” — proclaimed with his usual thumb-to-forefinger jab of exaggeration.
Why does the GOP Congress hate Obamacare so much?
Maybe because Obamacare works as well as it does — or because their hard-right Republican ideologies dictate that wherever there is money to be squeezed out of “big government” (and after the Pentagon gets its share) it must go into the pockets of their rich backers, who are always somehow the neediest of us all.
The respected non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) ran some figures from the Trumpcare plan: 24 million and more would their lose health insurance. Speaker Paul Ryan hadn’t taken time — or had the nerve — to do the math.
So what did our Republican government do about all these miserable statistics from CBO?
They used their magic “alternative truth” and immediately began discrediting CBO and throwing them into the same category as the mainstream media, the “enemies of the people.”
Elders get the worst deal. Insurers would be free to charge elders up to five times the premium of others. And elders’ tax credits would shrink, in addition. Few elders can afford thousands of dollars extra each year.
Those with low-income and disabilities would lose their insurance over time, as well.
Medicaid, for our truly needy, would be deeply cut. Imagine a nursing home (long-term care) without Medicaid patients. They first go through their Medicare, then sign over their homes and go on to Medicaid payments. Where would they go?
“Obamacare imposes a mandate to induce healthy people to sign up, offers means-tested subsidies to make insurance affordable and expands Medicaid to take care of people with really low incomes,” the New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote.
“Trumpcare eliminates the mandate, slashes subsidies overall and redirects them to those who don’t need them and sharply cuts Medicaid. Of course, that leads to a huge drop in coverage.”
Tax cuts. “At the same time, the plan provides a $600 billion tax cut over 10 years for wealthy Americans [richest 1 percent], because they would no longer be subject to the taxes that pay for the health care subsidies,” the New York Times’ Editorial Board wrote.
“When the tax cuts for the rich and the spending cuts to Medicaid are combined, they would result in deficit reduction of $337 billion by 2026. That’s a small fraction of the national debt in exchange for an enormous amount of human misery.”
Other tax cuts. Needy corporations include insurers, drug manufacturers and importers, and medical-device manufacturers and importers, the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell wrote.
Trump, the ever-present shiny bauble of distraction, did his job by announcing (while his government tries to destroy regulations and departments) that he discovered that President Obama had wiretapped him during the campaign. All the minions are dashing about — investigating and wasting time and money.
“Obamacare obviously has flaws,” the New York Times’ David Leonhardt wrote.
“Most important, some of its insurance markets — created to sell coverage to the uninsured — aren’t functioning well enough. Republican leaders … are not trying to fix that problem. They’re trying to fix a fictional one: saving America from a partisan, socialistic big-government takeover of health care.”
He added, “Today’s Republican Party has moved so far to the right that it no longer supports any plan that covers the uninsured. Of course, Republican leaders are not willing to say as much, because they know how unpopular that position is. Having run out of political ground, Ryan, McConnell and Trump have had to invent the notion of a socialistic Obamacare that they will repeal and replace with … something great!”
My opinion is Americans are tired being terrified by the behavior of our government on a steady basis. Are we still a democracy — you know, government of, by and for the people? When did “the people” start deserving this kind of treatment?
— Marylin Olds is an opinion columnist living in North Kitsap. She welcomes feedback from readers. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.