Back in 2015, at the outset of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump told the American people that, as President, he would replace Obamacare with something better, “something terrific.”
“I am going to take care of everybody.” Trump told 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley. “Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
And he continued to make such claims right through the election, and up until he took office.
Just two months ago, in fact, Trump promised the American people, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody.”
In reality, though, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Far from it.
People all around the country woke up this morning to headlines like this one on the front page of the Arizona Republic, announcing that TrumpCare, if implemented, would mean that millions of Americans would lose the health insurance they currently enjoy.
And it’s not just a few million people. According to the analysis of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), TrumpCare would “increase the number of people who are uninsured by 24 million” over the next decade. And, not only that, but it would make health care more expensive for the elderly and the non-wealthy. It’s so bad, in fact, that the Brookings Institution today referred to the legislation as an act of “class warfare.” Here’s a clip.
…The Republican plan, released this week, would, if enacted… would cut off Medicaid coverage altogether to millions of low-income households. It would encourage states to cut Medicaid benefits for those who remain covered by eliminating federal cost sharing on additional outlays. It would reduce financial help to the old and the sick — those who have most difficulty affording health insurance. Meanwhile, it would extend subsidies to higher-income households, who need little or no help in affording insurance coverage…
The Republican plan would eliminate assistance with deductibles and copayments for low-income households. It would reduce the refundable tax credits ObamaCare provides to available to comparatively old and poor households to help them afford health insurance premiums. In contrast, the plan would increase credits available to most comparatively young and middle-income households. In addition, It would extend full assistance to higher income households most of whom can afford health insurance without assistance — by providing tax credits of as much as $8,000 to couples with incomes as high as $150,000 a year, two-and-one-half times the current limits under ObamaCare…
The Republican plan would also repeal a series of taxes that fall exclusively on high-earners and the wealthy. One of those taxes helps support Medicare. Its repeal would hasten depletion of the Hospital Insurance Trust Fund.
Overall, the plan would boost the number of uninsured and shift federal assistance away from some of the most vulnerable people in this nation, while cutting taxes for the richest. Exact estimates of each of these effects must await official reports from the Congressional Budget Office and other research organizations…
And that’s why the Republicans wanted to rush this to a vote, before people had an opportunity to read the bill, and before the CBO had an opportunity to weigh in. And it’s likely also why Trump has been so adamant about not wanting to refer to the legislation as TrumpCare. [As someone else pointed out, it’s telling that a man who puts his name on everything from tap water to second rate steak would turn down an opportunity to have an ambitious piece of legislation like this named after him.] He knows that, the more the American people know about it, the more they’ll hold it against him.
So, today, we’ve got Republicans everywhere trying to cast doubt on the CBO’s numbers, neglecting to mention, of course, that the CBO Director got his start in government as a Bush nominee, and took the job at the CBO with Paul Ryan’s support. This isn’t a Democratic “hit” job. These are just facts. But the Republicans know that the facts won’t help get this passed, so they’re spinning another narrative. Trump is calling the CBO numbers “unbelievable,” and Newt Gingrich is declaring that the “corrupt” CBO should be abolished. And that’s really all they’ve got. They can’t defend it on the merits. They can’t answer the American people who ask why, after eight years of promises, the Republicans have given them a plan that sees 24 million losing their health insurance. And those are the facts. 24 million Americans, mostly in red states, will be loseing their health care if this bill passes. And the rich will get richer.