Thursday, May 25, 2017

Is The CBO Score A Death Sentence For The Republican Congressional Majorities?


The CBO sums up their report on the new version of TrumpCare with one sentence: "CBO and JCT estimate that enacting the American Health Care Act would reduce federal deficits by $119 billion over the coming decade and increase the number of people who are uninsured by 23 million in 2026 relative to current law." The original version would have kicked 24 million off their health insurance but it would have reduced the deficit by $150 billion. The NY Times reported that the Senate Majority Turtle (R-KY) looked at it and sniffed "I don’t know how we get to 50 at the moment... but that’s the goal."

Congressional Republicans spent the day running around quacking out their focus group-tested talking points: "The status quo under Obamacare is completely unacceptable and totally unsustainable... Prices are skyrocketing, choice is plummeting, the marketplace is collapsing and countless more Americans will get hurt if we don’t act." Snd doing all in their power to undercut, sabotage and destabilize the Affordable Care Act, regardless of how much it hurts people in need of healthcare.
Democrats say much of that instability stems from Republican efforts to repeal and undermine the Affordable Care Act. The Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, harshly criticized House Republicans for voting on their revised repeal measure without an updated analysis from the budget office.

“Republicans were haunted by the ghost of C.B.O. scores past, so they went ahead without one,” Mr. Schumer said. That action, he said, was reckless-- “like test-driving a brand-new car three weeks after you’ve already signed on the dotted line and paid the dealer in full.”

The House repeal bill was approved on May 4 by a vote of 217 to 213, without support from any Democrats. It would eliminate tax penalties for people who go without health insurance and would roll back state-by-state expansions of Medicaid, which have provided coverage to millions of low-income people. And in place of government-subsidized insurance policies offered exclusively on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, the bill would offer tax credits of $2,000 to $4,000 a year, depending on age.

A family could receive up to $14,000 a year in credits. The credits would be reduced for individuals making more than $75,000 a year and families making more than $150,000.

Senior Republican senators say they want to reconfigure the tax credits to provide more financial assistance to lower-income people and to older Americans, who could face much higher premiums under the House bill.

The House bill would roll back a number of insurance requirements in the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans say have driven up the cost of coverage.

In the weeks leading up to passage of the House bill, Republican leaders revised it to win support from some of the most conservative members of their party.

Under the House bill, states could opt out of certain provisions of the health care law, including one that requires insurers to provide a minimum set of health benefits and another that prohibits them from charging higher premiums based on a person’s health status.

Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) emphasized in a statement to his constituents that the new version is even worse than the old version. "Twenty days ago, House Republicans turned their backs on millions of Americans by passing the American Health Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office’s score released today confirms what we had known all along; dismantling our healthcare system will leave millions uninsured, roll back basic coverage, and increase premiums for the most vulnerable populations. It will send costs skyrocketing for seniors and those with pre-existing conditions in order to provide financial windfall to millionaires and billionaires... Instead of dismantling the progress that has been made to improve health care in this country, we should work together on behalf of our constituents to make common sense improvements to the ACA. We should pass a public insurance option to ensure plan prices are competitive, allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices to reduce the costs of prescriptions, reduce deductibles and make premium tax credits more generous. Unfortunately, the majority is interested in nothing more than political gamesmanship, but a game that risks American lives is one that must never be played."

Progressives in Congress agreed with Grijalva and his no Progressive Caucus co-chair, Mark Pocan (D-WI), said in his own statement that "this latest CBO score confirms that Trumpcare is a terrible proposal and people will pay more for less coverage, if they can even afford it. What’s really alarming is that less healthy people, like those with a preexisting condition, could face extremely prohibitive costs for coverage and essentially be priced out of buying insurance. This means people with diabetes or a heart condition could wind up uninsured, which would be devastating for many families. On top of that out-of-pocket expenses for essential health benefits such as maternity care and prescription drugs would skyrocket. This is just a bad bill that was never intended to help people, only to give $600 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest in this country, insurance companies, and Big Pharma."

Ruben Kihuen (D-NV), who seems likely to run for the Nevada Senate seat held by Republican Dean Heller next year, pointed out that the CBO score reaffirms that Trumps and Ryan’s "vision for healthcare reform is completely off the mark... hell-bent on repealing the Affordable Care Act no matter the cost, even if it means 23 million more people would be uninsured by 2026. The CBO estimates that health insurance premiums for those nearing retirement could increase 800%, and that a 64-year-old making $26,500 would go from paying 6.4% of their income towards their insurance premiums to a whopping 60.8%. That’s indefensible and immoral! This new CBO score is further evidence of what we already knew to be true-- the American Health Care Act is a bad deal for all Americans, but especially Nevadans who have benefitted immensely from the Affordable Care Act.

Unfortunately, Republicans in the House decided to pass this bill without seeing its true cost. I hope they read this report and think long and hard about who they really serve: their leadership in Congress or their constituents back home." In fact, one last stat: In the old version of TrumpCare (pre-Meadows/MacArthur), a 64 year old worker making $26,5000 a year would have had an unbelievable premium of $14,600 per year to be covered. After Mark Meadows and Tom MacArthur worked their magic, that same worker's premium would go up to $16,100 annually. Was that what they were trying to do? Was that what Paul Ryan was trying to cover up when he rushed the House vote through without a CBO score? These people are disgusting-- and an existential threat to our families and our nation.

Goal Thermometer Matt Coffay is the candidate running in western North Carolina against the Republican who managed to make TrumpCare even worse-- by eviserating the provisions protecting people with preexisting conditions (that candidate Trump solemnly pledged to keep)-- Mark Meadows, the Freedom Caucus chair. There are few races anywhere in the country that would send an "enough is enough" signal to the GOP than seeing Coffay defeat Meadows in 2018-- and you can help him do that by tapping on the thermometer on the right. This is what Matt told NC-11 residents after the CBO score was published:
Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report on the AHCA: the disastrous bill that Mark Meadows crafted in secret with other Republican leaders, and pushed through the House several weeks ago.

CBO’s report confirms all of our worst fears. Meadows’ health care bill will kick 23 million Americans off of their health insurance. Over $800 billion will be cut from Medicaid, involving caps on Medicaid payments and termination of federal matching funds-- which we desperately need in North Carolina, a state that failed to expand Medicaid. Further, CBO determined that nationally, one in six people live in an area where private policies will be “destabilized” as states-- like North Carolina-- opt out of Essential Health Benefits, and allow insurance companies to charge more to people with pre-existing conditions. People in these areas will suffer under this law.

Western North Carolina is one of these areas.

CBO concluded that “less healthy people” will face “extremely high premiums.” And because of the rush to get this report out-- because Meadows chose to ram this bill through the House-- CBO hasn’t even had time to assess the wider reaching macroeconomic effects on the U.S. economy.

This report is clear: Mark Meadows has crafted and passed a bill that will hurt the people of this district. This bill will take away health insurance for thousands of folks in Western North Carolina. It’ll make health care unaffordable for people with pre-existing conditions.

And it cuts over $800 billion from Medicaid, funding that is critical here in Western North Carolina. We’ve already seen Angel Medical Center in Franklin shut down its labor/delivery services, and Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva do away with its hospice and palliative services, because of Medicaid cuts.

How many more people have to lose access to health care before Meadows is satisfied?

Let’s put an end to this insurance company, profit-driven madness. When I’m in Congress, I will support H.R. 676: Medicare for All. It’s time for universal health care. Let’s send Meadows home, and put a progressive in his place.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,


At 2:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How many of those 24 million read CBO reports (or even know it exits)?

Ditto for any national newspaper that might slip and divulge the information.

John Puma

At 6:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't speak for MT, in particular, but their main papers endorsed giantdouchenozzle for congress until he committed (and admitted to) FELONY assault.

giantdouchenozzle won by 6 points. MT voters are flooding to clinics to have their he-man sized priapisms they got, when they heard of the assault, treated medically.

For MT giant dumbfucktards, the CBO is probably believed religiously to be a liberal plot to make gawd look like a pussy.

The more DWT puts up delusional fairy dust like this, the more they will prove their own delusions about American voters.

If giantdouchenozzle had strangled that reporter to death, he'd have won by 20 points. he's the kind of white guy the Nazi voters are looking for all over the country to give der orange all he needs to turn this country into Germany in '38.

Think I'm wrong? Just watch shit for the next coupla years.

At 4:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Is The CBO Score A Death Sentence For The Republican Congressional Majorities? "

Not as long as corporatism dominates the sources of information available to the majority of the public. I'm sure the spinmeisters on the payroll are already hard at work on how to present this AHCA bill as a positive prospect which will benefit all - whether it does or not.


Post a Comment

<< Home