Instead, new GOP plan aims to deny care, make the rich richer
Unless you’re a health insurance company CEO or stockholder or extremely wealthy, the new Republican-led plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will mean you’ll pay more for worse coverage while the government loses money as it subsidizes the rich.
“The plan rearranges the deck chairs on the “Titanic” of our country’s broken and sinking health care system by throwing millions of Americans off of coverage, hiking rates on the elderly and others to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, and renames the ship,” said Ivan Miller, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care.
Miller said calling the plan “Rearrange and rename,” instead of “Repeal and Replace” might be funny except that, were the plan adopted, millions more Americans are likely to die and fall into poverty.
On Tuesday, S&P Global Ratings said the GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act would result in six to 10 million Americans losing health coverage, and the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation estimated its cost at an additional $600 billion over the next 10 years. This despite the fact the bill allows health insurers nearly $1 billion in tax write-offs on CEO salaries, and gives millions in tax breaks to the wealthy.
“Any plan to reform health care or improve the ACA should cover everyone, cost less, and be simpler,” Miller said. Instead, the GOP’s ACA “replacement” covers fewer people, costs more, and is more complicated.
A few of the lowlights. The plan would:
- Cover fewer people, cost more, provide fewer health benefits, and is way more complicated than Obamacare.
- Give enormous tax cuts to the wealthy — at least $346 billion over 10 years to taxpayers earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for couples).
- Remove the $500,000 cap on CEO salaries, already in the millions, that companies can deduct from taxes. Many health insurance CEOs make more in a day than most Americans make in a year.
- Target Medicaid funds for savings, but also give big tax benefits to millionaires, losing money overall.
- Decrease Medicaid funding over time, meaning states will have fewer federal resources to help the neediest and sickest.
- Repeal requirements that plans provide essential health benefits such as hospitalization, mental health, and maternity care, leaving whether they’re covered or not up to the states.
- Mean millions lose coverage
- Replace income-based subsidies with age-based subsidies regardless of income. That means many who need the subsidies would lose them, and many would gain them who don’t need them.
- Defund Planned Parenthood and forbid federal tax subsidies for any private insurance plans that offer abortion.
“Had lawmakers sought to fulfill promises by President Donald Trump to provide health care for every American–they could have done so much more simply for a fraction of the cost by replacing the health-insurance-dominated U.S. health care payment system with a nonprofit system to pay for health care for everyone,” Miller said.
“In order to propose a plan for health care for the 100% instead of to benefit the 1%,” Miller said, “lawmakers would need put the needs of American families before the greed of the health insurance industry and the wealthiest 1 percent.”
Every other developed nation provides health care to all people with better outcomes more affordably than the U.S does.
“If lawmakers wanted a simple way for the American people to have health care affordably, they would have proposed Medicare for all,” Miller said.
Instead, the GOP plan would siphon money from the Medicare trust fund so it would run out four years sooner, in 2025. It would also allow health insurers to charge as much as five times for older adults than for younger. Check out this excellent Editorial in the Aurora Sentinel, “Death by Health Care Reform” and:
We’ll keep fighting until everyone has health care.