Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Chicago Tribune: The GOP's Obamacare repeal plan is out — and it's even worse than anyone expected

“After weeks of expectations — actually, nearly seven years of expectations — House Republicans on Monday released their proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Elements of the proposal, which was kept under lock and key last week — have been dribbling out for a few days. The text of the bill encompassing the GOP plan validates much of that reporting. On the whole, however, it’s a nastier, more consumer-unfriendly proposal than even close followers could have expected.”

There’s no way the new House bill to “replace” the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will achieve that goal, because it eliminates the two major sources of funding of the Affordable Care Act: (1) taxes on higher-income earners, and (2) the requirement that younger and healthier people buy insurance or face a penalty.

So everything you’ll hear from Republicans is a ruse. The real result of the Republican bill:

1. Millions of lower-income people will lose their coverage because the refundable tax credits won’t go far enough.

2. People with pre-existing conditions won’t be covered because insurance companies will demand extraordinarily high premiums, co-payments, and deductibles.

3. Medicaid will no longer be available for millions, because it’s turned into a block grant to states that’s phased out over time.

4. The barring of funds for Planned Parenthood or any insurer that offers abortions is nuts. Federal funds are already barred from funding abortions, so the only consequence will be to deprive millions of women the routine medical care they now get through Planned Parenthood.

5. The richest 1 percent will get a tax cut of $33,000 a year; the richest 0.1 percent get $197,000; and the richest 400 get $7 million.

This isn’t just a bad bill. It’s a deeply deceitful bill. Call it another big lie.