Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sociopathic Republicans Voting Today On Gutting Health Insurance

They've decided today's the day to take affordable health care away from tens of millions of Americans in order to give the wealthy a near trillion dollar tax break.

Just about every organization in the health field, and the powerful AARP,  is strongly opposed to this cruel, reactionary bill (click on images to enlarge):

The vote is proceeding before the Congressional Budget Office can score it (which will occur next week).

Yes, just wait.

As Jon Chait notes, it's basically the same POS bill that failed earlier, with a risible fig leaf attached for craven pols to say they've addressed the pre-existing condition flaw:
The heart of the bill is the same one that was polling at under 20 percent and failed two months ago: a near-trillion dollar tax cut for wealthy investors, financed by cuts to insurance subsidies for the poor and middle class. They have added a series of hazily defined changes: waivers for states to allow insurers to charge higher rates to people with preexisting conditions and to avoid covering essential health benefits, and a pitifully small amount of money to finance high-risk pools for sick patients. 
The implications of these changes are vast. The Brookings Institution notes that if a single state eliminated the cap on lifetime benefits for a single employee, then employers in every state could actually follow suit, thus bringing back a horrid feature of the pre-Obamacare system, in which people who get hit with expensive treatment suddenly discover that their insurer will no longer pay for their care. This would affect not only those getting insurance through Medicaid or the state exchanges, but also through their job. (our emphasis)
The resulting ticking time bomb:  personal bankruptcies due to exorbitant medical costs. Guess what will happen to personal bankruptcies, which have gone down significantly since the passage of the Affordable Care Act?

It may be too late to stop this from happening; the vote will be very close and may hinge on one or two cowards making a last minute switch. In any event, whether or not this passes the House or goes anywhere in the Senate, this needs to be the message going forward:  The Republicans are out to get your health insurance, and they'll keep trying until they succeed -- don't ever let them.


Jonny Scrum-half said...

Not to be the turd in the punchbowl, but although I completely despise the Republicans and support the Democrats I think that it's important that we not get drawn into "fake news." Regarding the chart showing personal bankruptcies since Obamacare, it occurred to me that maybe the drop was more due to the improving economy than any effect of health insurance. I looked at the longer-term trend, and it turns out that bankruptcies are now down to what they were in or around 2006. That was a low point, having been generally decreasing since the 1980s (when bankruptcies were higher than in 2010), but the point is that I'm not really sure that it's a fair argument to make that Obamacare has had a great effect on the number of personal bankruptcies.

Jonny Scrum-half said...

I retract my earlier comment - the chart I was looking at was apparently business bankruptcies, which obviously are different.

It's true that there were fewer personal bankruptcies in 2006 than in 2016, but apparently that's because of a 2005 law that made it more difficult to file for personal bankruptcy. From what I can tell the numbers over the last 2 years are significantly lower than earlier years, except for 2006-07, which was affected by the bankruptcy law.

W. Hackwhacker said...

Jonny - the Consumer Reports article linked to in the tweet says:
"The many experts we interviewed also pointed to two other contributing factors: an improving economy and changes to bankruptcy laws in 2005 that made it more difficult and costly to file. However, they almost all agreed that expanded health coverage played a major role in the marked, recent decline."

So your points are well taken, but the impact of the ACA on declining bankruptcies seems to have been "major" according to the CR experts.