Opinion: CBO says 27 million Americans to lose health care; GOP shrugs

In the TV ad above, sponsored by a House leadership PAC called American Action Network, we are promised “health insurance that provides more choices and better care at lower costs,” a system that “provides peace of mind to people with pre-existing conditions.”

It sounds great. Even better, we are promised that “House Republicans have a plan to get there, without disrupting existing coverage, giving your family the health care it deserves.” At the end, as the music swells to a crescendo, we are offered the chance to “Learn more at abetterhealthcareplan.com.”

So, wanting to learn more about this seemingly magical House Republican plan, I did as requested. I went to abetterhealthcareplan.com, as instructed by House leadership, and what did I find?

Nothing.

Well, not quite nothing. I found that same 30-second  ad, but that is literally all I found. The plan that they claim to have is nowhere to be found. There is no description, outline, hint, draft, whiff, scent or suggestion of a plan, and there is certainly not a bill crafted into legislative language.

After almost seven years of “repeal and replace, repeal and replace,” an empty ad is all they have. That’s the sum total of governing competence that they have managed to demonstrate.

President-elect Trump also claims to have a plan, a plan that he claims will “provide insurance for everybody.”

“There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it,” Trump said last week, apparently referring to his fellow Republicans. “That’s not going to happen with us.  [They] can expect to have great health care. It will be in a much simplified form. Much less expensive and much better.”

Again, that really sounds wonderful. But again, nobody in Washington seems to know what that plan might look like, who might be drafting it or how a plan providing “insurance for everybody” is ever going to pass a Republican Congress determined to slash federal spending on health care so it can finance tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans. Even Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, is reportedly being kept in the dark about the plan that he will be expected to champion and implement.

Meanwhile, the repeal effort marches forward, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has released its analysis of what will happen next:

Its findings:

cbo

This is the nightmare that congressional Republicans wanted the Supreme Court to inflict on the country by declaring Obamacare unconstitutional. They wanted Chief Justice John Roberts and his colleagues to do the dirty work and take the blame for stripping millions of their health insurance, but wily lawyer that he is, Roberts found a way to push the issue back into the political sphere. And Republicans simply have no answer for it.

Admittedly, the CBO analysis does not account for the offsetting impact of a GOP plan to replace Obamacare. But again, the CBO did not and could not assess the impact of a GOP plan to replace Obamacare because no such plan exists. It’s just a total complete mess.