Friday, May 26, 2017
"Much like the original version of the AHCA, which was pulled in March after it failed to get enough support, the bill penalizes elderly, poor, and sick Americans in exchange for lower premiums for the young and healthy, and a large tax cut for the wealthy. Some 23 million fewer people would be insured over the next decade, more than half of those because of an $800 billion gouge to Medicaid. Some low-income elderly people could see their premiums go up by 800 percent. Treatment for substance abuse and maternity care could cost thousands of dollars more in out-of-pocket costs. An estimated one-sixth of the population would face increasingly unstable insurance markets.
The most significant impact of Trumpcare 2.0, when compared to the original version, is that it makes insurance markets even less predictable. The amended version of the AHCA allows states to do away with some of the consumer protections established by Obamacare—including the rule preventing insurers from charging more to people with preexisting conditions, and standards for “Essential Health Benefits” that all insurance plans must cover. As a result of these changes, the CBO predicts, “Premiums would vary significantly according to health status and the types of benefits provided, and less healthy people would face extremely high premiums, despite the additional funding that would be available…to help reduce premiums.” Millions of people would be priced out of the insurance market, while “a few million” more might end up with policies so skimpy that they “would not provide enough financial protection in the event of a serious and costly illness to be considered insurance.”
Republicans cannot feign surprise at this analysis, as it essentially conforms to previous projections. It suggests that when Paul Ryan claimed in April that “people will be better off with preexisting conditions under our plan,” he was, quite simply, lying. So was Trump when he said just weeks ago this month that the legislation “will be every bit as good on preexisting conditions as Obamacare.” It’s telling that even before the CBO score came out many of Ryan’s colleagues all but given up any idea of selling their bill to the public. Only a handful of House members who voted for the AHCA held town-hall meetings during the recess immediately following the vote. Senate Republicans have expressed ambivalence about the House legislation as they work on their own version.
Ryan tried to put a positive spin on the CBO’s figures, claiming they confirm that the AHCA will lower premiums and reduce the deficit. Technically, that’s true—but premiums will be lower because they’ll cover fewer services, and because older, sicker people will get priced out of the market, lowering costs for everyone who remains. And only about 10 percent of the savings go towards deficit reduction; the rest finances $874 billion in tax cuts. Ryan might still make a case for the AHCA on these dubious merits. He could even argue that pulling the rug out from sick and elderly people is really a worthwhile trade for letting the rich keep more of their tax dollars. But that’s not the health-care plan GOP leaders repeatedly promised to deliver."
More Proof Republicans Are Just Lying About Trumpcare | The Nation