Opinion: GOP health plan an act of malice

(AP)

“I firmly believe that nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Sunday, referring to the GOP plan to replace Obamacare. He also claimed that “in fact I believe, again, that we’ll have more individuals covered.”

I’m going to put this bluntly: If Price really does believe that, it makes him a fool. If he doesn’t, it makes him a liar. And the truth is that he’s probably some of both, having convinced himself that up really is down and black is really white and 2+2 can indeed add up to 5.53 as long as he keeps insisting it does.

For the rest of us, there’s not much mystery here. The undeniable truth is that if the Republican plan becomes law, millions of lower and middle-income Americans will see their out-of-pocket expense for health insurance soar to several times their current levels. That’s especially true for older Americans, and for those in rural areas and small towns. When you’re making $25,000 or $30,000, an increase of $6,000 in your insurance premiums essentially prices you right out of the market, forcing you to go without coverage.

Our leaders also cannot slash Medicaid by trillions of dollars, as House Speaker Paul Ryan proudly bragged they are doing last week, and then plausibly pretend that nobody will be hurt by it and that in fact things will be better. Not when three-fourths of senior citizens in nursing homes here in Georgia depend on Medicaid to pay their medical bills. Not when Medicaid also covers 30 million low-income children nationwide and some 900,000 here in Georgia. Those are living, breathing and vulnerable human beings, our fellow Americans, and no matter how hard Price and Ryan pretend otherwise, those people are absolutely going to be hurt by this.

We’re also hearing a lot of nonsense that this is what President Trump and his fellow Republicans were elected to do, that they are merely carrying out the mandate that voters have given them. Yes, they campaigned against Obamacare, or at least their cartoon version of it. Yes, they promised to “repeal and replace,” although the debate became instantly nebulous once you sought the details of that replacement plan. At that point, Republicans retreated behind a rhetorical smokescreen involving phrases such as “cheaper” and “better” and “patient-centered” and my favorite of all, “more freedom.”

Basically, voters were asked to take it on faith that the Republicans would be able to do much the same thing as Obamacare did, yet somehow better. Many believed it.¹ As recently as January, then President-elect Trump was still promising that “we’re going to have insurance for everybody.”

“There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it,”  he told the Washington Post. “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.”

But of course, there never was such a plan, and there could never be such a plan. In fact, here’s the Republicans’ dirty little secret: The predicted loss of insurance for as many as 15 million Americans does not represent a failure to them; it is not a regrettable side effect of the reforms that they hope to enact.

It IS the reform that they hope to enact.

All along, their real replacement plan for Obamacare has been to have no replacement at all, and the current bill comes as close to that goal as is politically plausible. It allows them to offer the illusion of continued coverage, without actually doing so. It allows them to cut all those Americans loose, creating room in the budget to offer major tax cuts for wealthier Americans. And because they don’t like to think of themselves as cruel, they have convinced themselves, against all available evidence, that pushing millions of  Americans into the ranks of the uninsured will somehow make their lives better.

Ryan calls it “an act of mercy,” but an act of malice is more accurate.


¹ According to an analysis by the New York Times’ Upshot column, “The voters hit the hardest — eligible for at least $5,000 less in tax credits under the Republican plan — supported Mr. Trump by a margin of 59 percent to 36 percent.”

 

 

Reader Comments 1

740 comments
omark
omark

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-s-backing-healthcare-plan-breaks-his-promises-n733031

Donald knew all the smartest people. Went to the best schools. Knew all the best words.

Words, now that’s the problem. What exactly does Donald mean when he’s talking?

As we learned yesterday, wiretap doesn’t mean “wiretap.” As Kellyanne explained, by placing wiretap in quotes, it changes its meaning. Obama never had Donald’s phone tapped. He was only suggesting that he used microwave ovens to take his picture. Just a big mix-up. Clearly he didn’t mean to accuse our former president of committing a felony.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we were all promised wonderful healthcare. More coverage, cheaper rates, lower deductibles. Most of us were confused. That’s because we were too lazy to learn Donald Speak.

Better health care means tax cuts for billionaires. Then again, if it’s placed in quotes, it means deregulations for billionaires.

Keep a close eye on the quotes. The hand is quicker than the eye.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

You yellow bellies say that selling insurance across state lines will not reduce costs. But then you will not vote to give it to us. If it will not work, as you say, you should be happy to vote in favor of it, in the spirit of compromise, so that you can make campaign messages out of it's failure. You are either lying or you are chicken-, well, insert a breckenridge quote here.


You give us 60 votes on free market principles, we own all of it. Every bit of it.


Deal?



Fl0ydLiberal
Fl0ydLiberal

I am very sorry to inform you but mental
 health costs will not be covered under the new Republican plan.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

2018 Senate Campaign Message: We tried to help y'all but did you read the bookman blog while this was going on? How are we supposed to overcome that? We are truly sorry that Anthem raised your rates 100% last year but, apparently, that is what the democrats wanted. 


What should we do with the democrats so that we can help you out?

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Pull it off the table.


Let Anthem ream all the blue state losers and when they come a cryin, give them chuck u schumers phone number.


Fact

YouLibs
YouLibs

I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger lately and not able to keep up with the news much. Has l'enfant terrible-in-chief tired of playing president yet and resigned?

hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

" if Price really does believe that, it makes him a fool. If he doesn’t, it makes him a liar"

I'm going with "Liar"

Watched the so-called intellectual conservative Stephen Moore tie himself into a knot trying to explain away the CBO estimates.

NativeAtlantan57
NativeAtlantan57

The bull s*** emanating from the White House is starting to clog the Potomac River. 

Trumpcare is a pending disaster for the poor fools who looked to him as their savior.

Nor did Trump mean wiretapping in his childish unsubstantiated finger pointing.

What's next?

Did Trump not mean to say push the nuclear launch button; he acutally meant to say turn up the speaker volume.

I say every American should be provided a shovel so we can keep from getting buried in the ceaseless manure. Sean Spicer must either laugh or cry himself to sleep at night.

I keep thinking the Trump administration cannot become more bizarre, but they prove me wrong every single day.

Surelyyoujest
Surelyyoujest

..."A report from the Congressional Budget Office on a new GOP plan to overhaul the Obama health law gave fresh ammunition to both political parties, as number crunchers found the plan would cut the federal deficit by $337 billion over ten years (repub talking point), but also swell the ranks of the uninsured by 24 million people over the current system (dem talking point).

The reviews broke right along partisan lines...." Gee, who'd a thunk the CBO would make both sides partially happy?

Ychromosome
Ychromosome

It's really pretty smart. If you make it a lot more expensive for older people to get insurance, they'll die sooner. Bam! Ryan has solved the Social Security shortfall without taxing the high income voters. Now that's some real death panel stuff right there.

JayBook
JayBook moderator

Philo, cease your name-calling.


And CBO sheets.

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

Stupid hour late getting started? 


Hey, who am I kidddddddingggg.

gotalife
gotalife

They disrespect their voters with lies because their voters love to get disrespected with blatant lies. Not one man among them.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Looks like Golden Corral just stopped serving the early-bird special

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Paulie?

So you're the NE one or the 47 one?

Can't keep it straight.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

"If Price really does believe that, it makes him a fool. If he doesn’t, it makes him a liar."

My oh my.

Nothing, and mean nothing in his past has EVER suggested either.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

So are you the doofus Paulie, or the stoopid Paulie?

Can't keep track...

Paul42
Paul42

@Philo_Farnsworth

Taking a page from Mary's playbook?  Can't produce a cogent response so that's all you come up with?

Are you really that desperate to keep posting?  

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

There's like like this randroid guy and rantrave.

So confusing.

Paul42
Paul42

@Mary

"Cogent" assumes a modicum of ability to understand.

Mary
Mary

U looking for me genius? If your previous post is the standard for congent, the baseline is pretty low. Whine on!!!

Mary
Mary

The message should contain something understandable.

Paul42
Paul42

@Mary

If you can't understand basic math don't complain when you attend an algebra class.

Mary
Mary

You comparing your erratic post to alegbra is laughable. You fancy yourself bright because you a blog whiner?

gotalife
gotalife

Media should ask them when they will stop lying to their voters.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Guten nacht alles.  Bis morgen.

JeffreyEav
JeffreyEav

Ok. Let's talk about this vast amount of people that would choose to not have healthcare insurance now that ACA is being messed with.

I'm almost 45. I've dealt with folks, socially and prossionally on all levels. I've only met one person, that had money, that chose not to have health insurance. I'm not talking about Bruno.

One person. Everyone else I know, knew wanted health insurance.

KUTGF
KUTGF

Another reality about the CBO ACA estimate that the RWers will never mention:

Much of the criticism centered on the fact that CBO previously overestimated the number of people who would enroll on the marketplaces. That is true: Earlier CBO reports estimated that the Obamacare marketplaces would have 26 million enrollees this year. Last year, CBO revised that estimate to 15 million.

What critics don't mention is that CBO also underestimatedhow many people Medicaid expansion would cover. The two have essentially offset each other. Obamacare is covering just about as many people as CBO expected back in 2013, before the expansion started.  http://www.vox.com/2017/3/13/14912520/cbo-ahca-gop-plan



PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@KUTGF  The reason that the CBO overestimated how many people would enroll is because they erroneously assumed that many people would lose their company provided healthcare and go Obamacare.  The good behavior of many small companies (and a tightening, more competitive, job market) prevented that.

OldJacketFan
OldJacketFan

Seems like our alt right folks just can't believe their party and their leader lied yet again. Too bad.

Paul42
Paul42

@OldJacketFan Aren't these the same ones who said, during the election, "yeah, we know he lies.  Who cares?"

TBS
TBS

As I said earlier when Trump says something he can backup its "Trump says what he means. We need that in DC"

When he does what he is prone to do and pull some thing out of his backside that he can't backup then it's " you people don't take him seriously do you?"

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@OldJacketFan  No - they KNOW that their leader and their party lied - they WANT them to stick it to the poors but at the same time they are trying to persuade themselves that it is all for the "better good".

justaniceguy
justaniceguy

@Paul42 @OldJacketFan Well... about that...

They went from loving him because he "means what he says" to "he didn't mean that" and back again. 

Who can possibly keep up?

Citizen-of-the-World
Citizen-of-the-World

I am "forced" through taxes to pay for the killing and bombing that TD loves, and TD is "forced" to pay to help the poor people he hates -- so why don't we call it even, TD?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Citizen-of-the-World  I am forced through taxes to pay for reconstruction if a hurricane wipes out the infrastructure along the Gulf Coast.  Why should I pay for the poor choices of condo owners?

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  1. […] this evening in response to the CBO analysis. If he’s being honest, that pretty much confirms my thesis from earlier in the day, when I argued that the GOP goal has never really been to replace Obamacare, but instead to use […]