The tax bill congressional Republicans are jamming through both chambers today, if they can, is “a horrid bill” for the nation’s healthcare system, warn all the people who have anything to do with health care.
The legislation—which GOP leaders are rushing to pass this week—will eliminate beginning in 2019 the Affordable Care Act penalty on consumers without health coverage, a move many experts warn will weaken insurance markets in parts of the country. […]Most worrisome to many, the bill will open a $1.5-trillion hole in the federal deficit over the next decade. That will put substantial new pressure on government healthcare programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and has already ignited a renewed Republican campaign to cut them back.
“This is a horrid bill,” said John Baackes, chief executive of L.A. Care, a public insurance plan that covers more than 2 million mostly low-income residents of Los Angeles County. […]
But across the country, dozens of healthcare groups, including every major physician association and patient advocacy organization, have urged GOP lawmakers to slow down and at least preserve the insurance requirement.
“This bill leaves too many patients behind and saddles millions more with higher premiums,” said Harold P. Wimmer, chief executive of the American Lung Assn., which was among 16 patient organizations that sent a letter to congressional leaders this month warning that the tax bill could erode sick patients’ access to medical care.
Of course, none of those physician associations or patient advocacy groups had a chance to testify before Congress in the drafting of this bill, just like they were shut out of all the Trumpcare meetings. The American Academy of Actuaries didn’t get to testify either, but they did send a warning that if the mandate is eliminated, “premiums would increase as a result, reducing affordability and eroding preexisting condition protections.” But Republicans don’t want to hear any of that. They just don’t care. They’re cashing in in the short term, and in the long-term have a plan for getting rid of all the things they hate: help for regular people.
Baackes sums it up: “They haven’t been able to repeal and replace [the healthcare law], so they’ll attack it through the budget by looking for ways to knock down the money that’s needed to cover people.” That’s exactly what they’re doing.
Oh, and by the way Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME): you own this, more than any single other member, you own this.
The GOP Tax Scam added special provision to help real estate investors like Sen. Bob Corker, who “mysteriously” flipped his vote to a YES without even reading the bill. Call your members of the Senate & House at (202) 224-3121, and give them a very angry piece of your mind.