Tuesday, March 14, 2017

CBO-- A Bigger Thumbs Down For Ryan's TrumpCare Bill Than Anyone Thought


Here's the whole CBO report on Ryan's Trumpcare proposal. The way Ryan, Pence and Price wrote the bill, 14 million people would lose their health insurance immediately and then coverage would be reduced by 21 million in 2020 and down by 24 million in 2026. Oddly enough, a White House internal analysis is even worse on Ryan's proposal! Trump's own people predict 26,000,000 people will lose insurance during the next decade, 2 million more than what the more cautious CBO reported! Not even Trump voters, whose fault, after all, this is deserve the horrible fate the Republicans have in mind for them. The Washington Post report emphasized that "14 million fewer people would have health insurance next year alone. Premiums would be 15 percent to 20 percent higher in the first year compared with the Affordable Care Act and 10 percent lower on average after 2026. By and large, older Americans would pay 'substantially' more and younger Americans less, the report said. The report from the Congressional Budget Office fueled concerns that the GOP health-care plan would prompt a dramatic loss in health-insurance coverage, potentially contradicting President Trump’s vow that health-care reform would provide 'insurance for everybody' and threatening support from moderate Republican lawmakers."

Ian Millhiser, was much tougher on the Republican bill, writing for ThinkProgress that "approximately 17,000 people could die in 2018 who otherwise would have lived if a House Republican health proposal endorsed by the Trump administration becomes law. By 2026, the number of people killed by Trumpcare could grow to approximately 29,000 in that year alone."

Even though the new head of the CBO, Keith Hall, was handpicked by Paul Ryan and celebrated by HHS Secretary Price who said he would bring an "impressive level of economic expertise and experience," he was ready to slam their report even before it was given. He told White House reporters that the Regime "disagrees strenuously with the report that was put out" and argued that their report looked "at a portion of our plan, but not the entire plan... We believe that our plan will cover more individuals at a lower cost and give them the choices that they want for the coverage that they want for themselves and their family, not that the government forces them to buy." When a reporter asked him to concede that without that mandate to buy coverage, there will be millions of uninsured, he snarled, "No, I wouldn’t concede that at all. The fact of the matter is they are going to be able to a coverage policy that they want for themselves and for their family. They are going to have the kind of choices that they want… So we think that CBO simply has it wrong."

Progressives generally felt that the CBO's report-- on top of the opposition from the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, AARP and from a solid majority of voters-- signals a death knell for Ryan's bill. One congressmember who requested anonymity said that "Price and Ryan are both full of shit. They've been hanging around Trump and Kellyanne too much and forgot about the rigors of reality."

Mark Pocan, who represents the Madison area in Congress said that "The CBO report proves what we already knew-- millions of Americans will lose coverage under Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. To make matters worse, out of pocket costs will rise especially for older and low-income Americans. At the end of the day, this plan means millions of hard-working Americans will lose coverage while the wealthiest few get a massive tax cut. So much for Trump’s boast to provide 'insurance for everybody,' The CBO report confirms yet another broken promise by President Trump and Republicans in Congress."

Ruben Kihuen, a freshman representing North Las Vegas expressed similar sentiments. "The Republican proposal is just a massive tax cut for the wealthy disguised as healthcare reform. This so-called 'plan' is a direct attack on older Americans, effectively placing a heavy tax on getting older. Republicans should be working to improve on the Affordable Care Act to make health insurance cheaper and more robust for everyone."

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter talked with her constituents in New Hampshire and found a lot of disagreement with the GOP plan. "Today’s estimate by the independent Congressional Budget Office that 14 million Americans would lose their insurance next year under the Republican health plan should be the nail in the coffin for this draconian proposal, which would not only take away Americans’ insurance but also slash Medicaid, end Medicaid expansion, roll back requirements that insurance cover basic medical services, increase deductibles, and raise premiums for older Americans-- all while slashing taxes for the wealthiest. According to CBO, 24 million people would lose their coverage by 2026, meaning the Republican plan not only erases the gains we’ve made since the Affordable Care Act but would actually leave fewer people with coverage than before the law passed. Now that the Republican health bill’s devastating impact has been laid out in black and white, it’s time for President Trump and Congressional Republicans to join the American people and the health care industry in rejecting this harmful bill, and instead come to the table to find bipartisan solutions that make our health care system work better for everyone."

Pramila Jayapal (Seattle) didn't mince words. "The CBO report," she said, "shows the Republican bill is nothing more than a dangerous ideological wish list that strips 24 million Americans of health care, raises premiums by more than fifteen percent, makes our seniors pay more, and guts Medicaid by almost $1 trillion. All of this in order to give $600 billion in tax cuts to corporations and the wealthiest amongst us. Americans will pay more for health care and get less coverage. This will be life and death-- literally-- for millions of Americans. This plan is simply not a plan. Republicans who truly care about their constituents will vote no to ripping apart our health care system and leaving millions of families without insurance."

Blue America is in the middle of vetting two new congressional candidates now, Houston cancer specialist Dr. Jason Westin and Katie Hill, an executive of a non-profit that helps veterans find affordable housing, who are, respectively, running against Republican anti-health care backbench conservatives John Culberson (TX-07) and Steve Knight (CA-25). I reached out to both of them for a perspective on the meaning of the CBO report yesterday. First Dr. Westin:

The CBO report analyzing TrumpCare is excellent news for two groups: those determined to shrink the federal government at any cost and the ultra-rich. For everyone else, the CBO analysis concludes that TrumpCare will be absolutely devastating.

The good news? The analysis projects a budget deficit reduction of $337 billion over the next decade. The bad news? How long do you have? The bill would reduce Medicaid funding by $880 billion dollars, or 25%. This drastic reduction would force states to cut services, resulting in fewer Americans receiving less effective care, hurting those most in need including kids, pregnant women, those near the poverty line, and seniors in long-term care. The CBO determined that a staggering 24 million Americans, or 1 out 14 of us, would lose insurance under TrumpCare, increasing the uninsured percentage from the current ~8%, the lowest ever recorded, to ~15%, an increase of 88%. Lastly, the CBO finds that Americans aged 50-64 will see premiums jump “substantially” due to the age tax allowing insurance companies to charge five times more than charged to younger enrollees.

If the non-partisan CBO determined TrumpCare is so very bad, why is it even being considered? Simply put: a massive tax cut of $900 billion over 10 years for the wealthiest Americans. Is there a connection between cutting critical services to create a colossal tax cut for the 1 percenters? The CBO analysis offers none. In short, 24 million Americans, our daughters, uncles, friends and neighbors, will lose their health insurance so that the very rich get even richer. TrumpCare is a reverse Robin Hood bill of the worst kind.
Katie Hill isn't a medical doctor but her concerns are very much those felt by people throughout the L.A. area. "In my community, as it is, far too many people still can't afford healthcare because the premiums are too expensive, deductibles too high, they barely make enough to make ends meet, and they don't qualify for Medicaid or a subsidy through the exchange. We are in a place when we need to be expanding coverage-- not cutting it. The Antelope Valley, a large portion of the district I hope to represent, has L.A. County's highest death rates from lung cancer, diabetes and heart disease, and a very high percentage of people who have only gained access to care because of the Medicaid expansion made possible by the ACA. Cutting that will take some of our poorest, most vulnerable neighbors out of preventative primary care and put them back into the emergency room as uninsured patients. More people will die, and ultimately, taxpayers will foot the bill no matter what. We need to continue to build on the progress made by the ACA. We can't afford to go backwards."

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At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


First, they WANT millions to lose insurance. How else can 10s of thousands die?

Second, the CBO gauged the savings to the gummint, by kicking millions off of Medicaid, at $34 billion per year.

This is what they were after. This $34B will be directly transferred to the uber rich in the form of tax cuts. THIS is their true motivation.

And the dead bodies. They want lots of dead bodies.


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