Last week, Republicans finally unveiled their proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare. After their 7-year tantrum, they wrote the bill in secret and then forced the House to vote on it before anyone had any idea what it would cost or what it would do to coverage. This *unconventional* approach isn’t just quirky, it’s undemocratic—but that’s neither here nor there.
I’m not going to go into details of the plan today. Instead, I’m going to talk about its effects. The Congressional Budget Office, a universally respected agency tasked with calculating the fiscal impact of legislation, released their “score” today and I’m not going to lie to you guys–it wasn’t good.
CBO projects that the plan will increase the number of uninsured by 14 million in 2018 and TWENTY-FOUR MILLION by 2026. It would more than reverse the progress Obamacare has made in covering Americans. In large parts, that reduction in coverage would come from Medicaid enrollees—AKA our nation’s poorest.
So can we all finally agree that this bill was never intended to improve access to, or quality of health care coverage?
The good news is that it would save the government $337 billion over ten years; So while we’re all walking around with crippling pain because we don’t have the money to buy insurance, or suffocating under the weight of medical debt, at least we can rest easy knowing the government is saving a little money.
If you’re more concerned about leaving your children with debt than living long enough to have children, then by all means this replacement plan is perfect for you (I’m being dramatic, I know).
But, if you’re like me and you like having access to affordable health care and prescription medication, then this plan poses some slight problems.
The health care plan is bad, but it’s not the worst part.
President Trump and the House Republicans have been undermining this CBO report all week, before they even knew what it was going to say.
We knew Trump had a nasty habit of discrediting entire institutions that served to check his power (think: the courts and the media), but we didn’t know House Republicans would show the same disdain for facts.
The head of CBO is a selected by the Republican leadership and doesn’t have the same independence that federal judges do. The office has a long history of standing above the political fray, but no administration has gone to such lengths to destroy its credibility.
Politics aside, we can all at least agree that math exists and truth is a thing. So this is a gentle reminder that when you’re reading the news coverage, Trump’s promises don’t add up.