Friday, March 10, 2017

Reactions to the Trumpcare "Healthcare Plan" = Tax Cut for the Super-Rich: "How About Everyone Gets the Same Healthcare Coverage Congress Gets. Easy!"

Matt Shuham at Talking Points Memo

David Dayen, "The Republican Health-Care Bill Is the Worst of So Many Worlds":

Fundamentally, the ACHA is a tax cut bill, which just happens to make millions of Americans sicker and more vulnerable in the process.

New York Times, "No Wonder the Republicans Hid the Health Bill":

Republican House leaders have spent months dodging questions about how they would replace the Affordable Care Act with a better law, and went so far as to hide the draft of their plan from other lawmakers. No wonder. The bill they released on Monday would kick millions of people off the coverage they currently have. So much for President Trump’s big campaign promise: "We're going to have insurance for everybody" — with coverage that would be "much less expensive and much better." 
More than 20 million Americans gained health care coverage under the A.C.A., or Obamacare. Health experts say most would lose that coverage under the proposal.

Charles Pierce, "Paul Ryan Doesn't Know How Insurance Works":

Paul Ryan said that insurance cannot work if healthy people have to pay more to subsidize the sick. 
This is literally how all insurance works. If someone's house burns down, some of your fire insurance money goes to help that person rebuild. If someone gets sick, some of your premium, healthy person, goes toward that person's coverage. Increasingly, I have come to believe that Paul Ryan is a not particularly bright creature from another world. Let us see if we can explain this to the lad. 
Let's say that, in 1986, a 16-year-old lad loses his father to a sudden heart attack. Despite the fact that the family's construction firm is relatively prosperous due to its generous share of government contracts, the family's finances are considerably straitened. For the next two years, the young man and his mother receive Social Security survivor's benefits. Of course, these came from millions of people who had Social Security withheld from their paychecks and whose fathers did not die young due to a sudden heart attack. One of them was, say, a 32-year-old sportswriter for the Boston Herald, who had Social Security withheld from what he was paid to watch the Red Sox blow the '86 World Series, and whose father was still alive, but slipping fast into Alzheimer's. Some of his money went to make sure Paul Ryan could complete high school and go on the college and get the BA in economics that made him the smartest man in the world.

Mary Papenfuss, "Insurance 101 for Paul Ryan: The Healthy Are Supposed to Help Pay for the Sick": 

Paul Ryan is aghast that healthy individuals are paying into an insurance pot that’s used when people are sick. But ... that’s exactly the way insurance works
Ryan has perhaps been on taxpayer-paid health insurance for so long that he has forgotten how the concept works. He believes that’s only the way it works for Obamacare. 'The conceit of Obamacare,' he said at his press conference on Trumpcare, is that "young and healthy people are going to go into the market and pay for the older, sicker people." That’s why Obamacare is in a "death spiral," he noted.

Dan Savage, "Would Someone Please Explain to Paul Ryan How This 'Insurance' Stuff Works?":

Dear Paul, 
Car insurance premiums paid by drivers who don't get in crashes subsidize the care and/or legal liabilities of drivers who do get in crashes. Lucky, un-crashed people pay for unlucky, crashed people. That's not a "fatal conceit." That's literally how car insurance works. I pay home owners insurance. My home didn't burn down last year. My neighbor's home did. My premiums helped pay to rebuild her home. Again, not a "fatal conceit." Literally how homeowners insurance works. And health insurance works the same way. You aren't being cheated if you pay insurance premiums—auto, home, or health—without getting into a car wreck, losing your house in a fire, or coming down with cancer. 
Since you can't be this stupid, Paul, I can only assume you think voters are this stupid. And while there's ample evidence for that, I don't think you're going to get away with it this time.

Joy-Ann Reid, "Donald Trump Signs On to Paul Ryan's Let-Them-Die 'Health-Care' Crusade":

[W]hat Trumpism revealed is that the GOP base believes the government should absolutely help those who are down on their luck; it's just that they want the feds to limit that assistance to those the Trumpists deem "worthy"—to "real" Americans, like them. They wholeheartedly believe in what we errantly call "entitlements"—they just want them withheld from immigrants and others (read: minorities) they consider to be stealing from them. 

As Abby Goodnough and Reed Abelson report, Martha Brawley of Monroe, North Carolina, voted for the Donald because "I thought he would make it better." She has just been diagnosed with an autoimmune liver disease and cannot afford insurance if her Obamacare is abolished — and thinks doctors won't see her if she's not insured. The article quotes her, noting she had gotten much-needed healthcare coverage under President Obama, but chose to endanger this coverage by voting for Trump:

"This is my second year with the Obama insurance," she continued, "but before then, I didn't have any and didnt go to the doctor."

She and her husband voted for Mr. Trump — the first time she had voted in her life — she said, because (to repeat) "I thought he would make it better."

Mike Konczal, "The Truth About the GOP Health-Care Plan":

Conservatives talk compassion, but they really believe that the problem with health care is too much coverage, too little risk for individuals, and too much taxation. Commentators—including some conservatives—have flagged this contradiction as the central problem that will derail the GOP’s plan to dismantle the ACA: Washington Examiner reporter Philip Klein writes that if Republicans refuse to admit that they 'don’t believe that it is the job of the federal government to guarantee that everybody has health insurance,' they will fail to make a case to repeal Obamacare. But voters won’t get to hear that, because Republicans already know that they won’t win if they articulate this belief. People like having health care.

Roseanne DeMoro, "The Republican House of Horrors Offers a Terrifying Health Care Vision":

The architects of the new bill have exploited the repeal and replace meme with paybacks to some of their wealthiest friends and donors. 
The draft bill includes a roll back of most corporate and high income taxes used to pay for the ACA, and, "as Rep. Keith Ellison has noted, a tax cut for wealthy people’s investment income and tax deduction for health care CEOs making more than $500,000 a year."
If you follow the rhetoric of the repeal-and-replace crowd, they pay a lot of lip service to restoring "freedom' and 'liberty." But their approach to health care restricts freedom in the most personal aspect of our lives: health care. 
Freedom to choose junk insurance has nothing to do with getting the care we need. In fact, it is the false choice of a faux freedom. This bill lets insurance shape what procedures doctors do, what drugs we take, and even which doctors we can see.

Daniel Gross, "Why Huge Chunks of the Health Care Industry Hate Ryancare":

Simply put, the U.S. economy is more leveraged to health care than it ever has been. Health care accounts for greater absolute and relative levels of economic activity. That's in part because the baby boomers are getting older and because there’s inflation in health care. But it's also because the Affordable Care Act vastly increased the number of people who have health insurance coverage, boosting the number of people accessing in-patient services, prescription drugs, and medical devices.

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