The American Health Care Act
(AHCA) of 2017, a.k.a. "Trumpcare"
This topic is continued here from Part 1 at the previous page
Reactions to the Congressional Budget Office report:
In the past, the CBO has generally been view by senators and representatives in Congress as providing reliable information.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said:
"I think that throwing 24 million Americans off of health insurance, raising premiums for older low income Americans, while giving $285 billion in tax breaks to the top 2% is a disgusting and immoral proposal. Thousands of Americans will die if this legislation is passed and we have to do everything that we can to see that is defeated." 1
Nanci Pelosi (D-CA) summarized the CBO report on the AHCA as concluding that the bill would adversly affect 24 million people:
"... pushing them off their coverage. And as they do so, they’re implementing the biggest transfer for wealth in our history, $600 billion gone from working families to the richest people and corporations in our country. So in terms of insurance coverage, it’s immoral, in terms of giving money to the rich at the expense of working families, it is indecent and wrong." 2
The Blaze, a conservative news outlet, criticized many writers on "mainstream media" for also implying that the bill would hurt tens of millions of people and "push them off their coverage."
Carlos Garcia, writing for The Blaze, said:
"More accurately, many of those millions are people who simply would choose to not have coverage when given the choice, instead of being forced to have it under the current system." 2
Tom Price, the Health and Human Services Secretary, disagreed with the CBO report, saying:
"It's just not believeable. There are eight million people, eight [or] nine million people, who are on the exchange currently. I’m not sure how they are ... [going to] get to 14 million people uninsured, if that’s what they say with only 8 million people on the exchange.
They’re individuals, I guess, they assume that are on medicaid who aren’t paying anything into the medicaid system, who are not going to take the medicaid policy, just because the mandate ended, or something happened.
It’s just not believable is what we would suggest, and we’ll look at the numbers and see." 2
M.J. Lee and Tami Luhby, writing for CNN, clarifirf who would "lose" insurance coverage. They said:
"The CBO, along with the Joint Committee on Taxation, found that 5 million fewer people would be covered under Medicaid by 2018, and 14 million fewer people would enroll in the program by 2026. Meanwhile, 6 million fewer Americans would be covered in the individual market by 2018, but by 2026, only 2 million fewer people are expected to be covered. That's in part because fewer employers would offer insurance to their workers, driving more people to the individual market.
In total, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured by 2026 under the GOP plan, compared to 28 million who would lack insurance under the current law." 1
The AHCA's attack on the disabled community:
Sean Moran, writing for Breitbart, said:
"The Republican leadership’s plan to roll back Medicaid puts families with disabilities in a dire situation.
Many American families rely upon Medicaid to pay for the expensive care that comes with disabilities. Families with special needs rely upon Medicaid for specialized care for daily living and to pay caretakers so that parents can work.
However, the Ryan plan might jeopardize those who rely upon Medicaid for disabilities. Speaker Ryan’s plan places a per-person cap for all Americans, including people with disabilities, children, and the elderly. " 3
Alyssa Roberts, writing an op-ed piece in the Denver Post, said:
"Overlooked in the Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a drastic change to traditional Medicaid funding that threatens services for more than 10 million people with disabilities. For decades, Medicaid has been their lifeline — providing everything from specialized therapies to support for daily living. Medicaid keeps people with disabilities out of institutions. It pays for caretakers so their parents can go to work. And it’s more efficient than private insurance."
"... the bill moving quickly through Congress would place a per-person cap on pre-ACA Medicaid funding for people with disabilities, children and the elderly. Since the program’s creation in 1965, states and the federal government have split the bill. Capping Uncle Sam’s share leaves two options: either shift costs to already stretched state budgets or cut services drastically. ..."
"The Arc, an advocacy group for those with disabilities, says the GOP plan will leave Medicaid decimated, threatening beneficiaries’ 'basic human right to a life in the community'. ..."
"The disability community doesn’t have the top lobbyists on payroll or the loudest pundits making our case on cable news. My [disabled] brother is oblivious to the entire issue, despite its immeasurable impact on his future. But if Republicans in Congress push through sweeping cuts to care for the most vulnerable, they should reconsider why they entered public service." 4
The AHCA's attack on Planned Parenthood:
William Winters of the Courage Campaign noted in an email to its mailing list that one of the features of AHCA is the defunding of Planned Parenthood. 5
Unfortunately, most of Planned Parenthood's current activities involve sex education, contraception, detection of sexually transmitted infections, and other non-abortion related activities. Federal laws prevent the government from funding any abortion services. If they were to close down, then the unwanted and unexpected pregnancy rate will soar in the U.S., and the national abortion rate will go through the roof.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate has been declining for decades, from 29.3 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (15 to 44) in 1981 to 14.6 -- just under half of the earlier rate -- in 2014. This trend would be certain to reverse if Planned Parenthood clinics were shut down.
"Trumpcare is ugly, and Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are doing everything in their power to ram it down Americans’ throats. And while Obamacare was passed more than a year after it was introduced -- with hundreds of hours of hearings, dozens of expert witnesses, and numerous bipartisan amendments -- Republicans are trying to pass Trumpcare in just a few weeks, even passing it through major committees before the bill’s long term fiscal impact can be assessed. It's irresponsible and dangerous." 5 [Emphasis in the original]
This topic continues with Part 3 at the next page
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- M.J. Lee & Tami Luhby, "CBO report: 24 million fewer insured by 2026 under GOP health care bill," CNN, 2017-MAR-14, at: http://www.cnn.com/
- Carlos Garcia, "Nancy Pelosi slams 'immoral' and 'indecent GOP health care bill after CBO report drops," The Blaze, 2017-MAR-13. at http://www.theblaze.com/
- Sean Moran, "Ryancare Cuts Funding for People with Disabilities," Breitbart, 2017-MAR-14, at: http://www.breitbart.com/
- Alyssa Roberts, "Republicans’ plan for Medicaid would fail my disabled brother," The Denver Post, 2017-MAR-13, at: http://www.denverpost.com/
- Email sent by Courage Campaign to its mailing list, 2017-MAR-13. Their web site is at: https://couragecampaign.org/
Copyright © 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted on: 2017-MAR-14
Author: B.A. Robinson