The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Trump and Rethuglicans: AHCA

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As Trump and Rethuglicans celebrate their narrow vote in the House today to gut the ACA’s funding and patient protections, let’s not lose sight of what their plan is really all about. Bernie Sanders nailed it when he indicted the GOP’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) as not really a health plan, but rather a tax cut for the wealthy plan. In short, WealthCare not HealthCare.

The GOP rushed their vote through today before the Congressional Budget Office could score their additional cruelty — namely, gutting of pre-existing condition protections and other essential benefits. Based on the CBO’s March report, however, this chart shows the major spending cuts to programs that help low- and middle-income families afford healthcare versus the tax cuts that disproportionately benefit higher incomes and very profitable corporations — to the tune of $465 Billion in tax cuts over 10 years. 

While at least 24 million will likely lose health insurance and costs will skyrocket for older, lower-income families under the GOP scheme, the Top 1% (avg income of $1.3 million) will see an average tax cut of $50,000/year, with the Top 0.1% (avg income of $3.75 million/yr) getting an average tax cut of $197,000. Even more obscene, the wealthiest 400 households (avg income of $300 million/yr) will see an average tax break of $7 million/year.

And the recent paltry sweetner of $8 Billion more (over 5 years) for their magical high-risk pools, which are probably underfunded by at least $20 Billion PER YEAR, is not going to change the horrifying math of GOP/TrumpCare.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “The $8 billion falls far short of what’s needed to make high-risk pools sustainable. The $8 billion represents just a 6 percent increase in the $130 billion that the bill already includes for grants over the coming decade that states could potentially use for high-risk pools. But experts have concluded that $130 billion would leave these pools underfunded by at least $200 billion (and that estimate assumes that people would still have to pay premiums of roughly $10,000 a year)… not all of the $130 billion would likely go for high-risk pools, as states can use these funds for a variety of purposes unrelated to people with pre-existing conditions — and the House bill provides no such funding whatsoever after 2026… Historically, state high-risk pools have featured very high premiums, benefit exclusions, annual and lifetime limits, and other problems — even when the pools had enough funding to avoid waiting lists (which they often did not).”

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