Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Unconscionable Republican Health Care Proposal

According to The New York Times, reporting on the CBO report on the Republican’s American Health Care Act, the impact of the Act on Americans in their 60s would be catastrophic.  In addition, millions of the poor who benefited from Medicaid expansion will loose their insurance.

The proposed law bases subsidies for people not on their income … like just about every other subsidy system in the world does … but on their age.  So for example, a 21 year-old would have a net (after subsidy) premium of $1,450 a year.  A 40 year-old would have a net premium of $2,400.  A 64-year old would have a net premium of $14,600!

So a 60 year-old, low-middle income person earning too much to be eligible for Medicaid and too young for Medicare, would be stuck with a huge bill that he could not afford.   All commentators assume that such people will opt out of the system which will leave them uninsured.  If the Republicans create a high-risk pool, which in the past was typically very expensive and provided bad coverage, that would not be a practical option. 

For the Republicans to do this to 60-year-olds in order to keep premiums down for the young, encouraging them to buy insurance, is evidence, if that were needed, that Republicans lack a social conscience.  It is unconscionable.

For the Republicans to also gut Medicaid expansion resulting in millions of the poor losing their insurance while at the same time providing for a $600 billion tax cut over 10 years for wealthy Americans, as they would no longer be subject to the taxes that had been assessed to pay for Obamacare subsidies, so that the net effect of the act is still a significant budget saving for the government, is more proof of their lack of social conscience and is unconscionable.

In their press conferences, they of course do not mention these details.  Instead, they emphasize the CBO finding that overall rates will go down, after initially rising for a few years.  And that the Act would result in savings of $337 billion over 10 years.  This is deceitfulness at its worst.

All middle-aged and older Americans, and the poor, should bombard their Congressmen with calls and emails telling them to vote No on the American Health Care Act.