By Jeff Kirkpatrick
“I don’t believe that you make major changes in an entitlement program on which millions of Americans depend without having a single hearing in the Senate to evaluate the impact.” – Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
The latest revision of the Senate Republican version of Trumpcare was released on July 13, 2017. A copy can be found here:
“Senate Healthcare Discussion Draft [July Revision]: H.R. 1628: The American Health Care Act (AHCA),” July 13, 2017 (172 pages)
This publication can also be found HERE.
Surprise! It still sucks! In fact, it’s even worse. Yet Republican leaders want to shove this piece of shit down the throat of America and gloat as people die from this legislation. These Republicans don’t care about the consequences that will happen if this bill passes, they are simply obsessed with demanding Americans submit to their sociopathic political ideologies, no matter how many people suffer, no matter how many people die. And Trump doesn’t give a shit: all he wants to do is be a “winner”, to be “the best” in the foggy eyes of his adoring cult followers. It doesn’t matter what this legislation actually does, he doesn’t care; he just wants to pass some kind of legislation, anything, and get attention away from … Russia.
This latest version is 27 pages longer than the most recent previous version. That version, Trumpcare 2.0, can be found here: “Senate Healthcare Discussion Draft [Revised], H.R. 1628”, June 26, 2017 (145 pages)
For more information, see the publications below.
Once again, it’s time to call your Senators:
Tell your Senators to vote No on Trumpcare. When you call, please refer to it as “The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” (or BCRA). Although it may be currently referred to as H.R. 1628, this may change as the bill reaches the Senate floor for a vote.
“Call your senator: Phone numbers for every office of every U.S. senator,” by David Nir, Daily Kos; February 2, 2017
“The Republican health care plan is utterly divorced from the public interest. Its only goal is to honor extremist promises and satisfy fanatical demands.”
“Trumpcare is a Savage Solution to a Problem that doesn’t Exist,” by Brian Beutler, New Republic; July 14, 2017
Excerpt: Trumpcare, of course, isn’t right for the moment. There is no clamor for millions to lose insurance, for Medicaid to be gutted, for enormous risks and costs to be placed back on sick individuals, to finance tax cuts for wealthy people. But beyond the current milieu, it is hard to think of any hypothetical pressing national need that Trumpcare would address….
The GOP health care bill doesn’t even have pretextual justifications. Republican leaders like to claim that Trumpcare is necessary because Obamacare is “collapsing” into a “death spiral,” but not only is Trumpcare non-responsive to a death spiral, the death spiral they posit as the basis for Trumpcare is wholly fabricated. [Emphasis added]
“Put Trumpcare Out of Its Misery,” by The Editors, Bloomberg; July 14, 2017
Excerpt: The new bill incorporates Senator Ted Cruz’s idea to let insurers sell cheap policies that fail to cover preventive care and other basic health needs as long as they also sell ACA-approved plans on the exchanges. This probably would, as intended, lower premiums for healthy people who buy the cheap policies. But where would these people turn when they get sick and discover their insurance covers little to none of their expenses?
Meanwhile, as the ACA-approved plans attract the less healthy, their premiums would rise to unaffordable levels….
As if all this weren’t bad enough, the new Trumpcare bill maintains the old one’s plan to gut Medicaid by 35 percent over two decades. The $45 billion that’s been thrown in to cover opioid-addiction treatment over the next 10 years would not undo the damage.
“McConnell’s Latest Health Care Bill Is Even Worse, Gutting Coverage and Raising Costs for Tens of Millions,” by Steven Rosenfeld, Truthout; July 14, 2017
Excerpt: The latest Trumpcare bill released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is a political dealmaker’s version of putting lipstick on a pig – taking a colossally destructive bill hurting tens of millions and dressing it up so it can win enough votes to pass.
A side-by-side comparison of the text reveals that the GOP hasn’t budged an inch in its intention to cut federal subsidies of state-run Medicaid by one-third, which will severely hit the poor, single mothers with children and seniors in nursing homes….
McConnell’s new bill still ends Obamacare’s provisions that stopped insurers from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions, which is almost everybody over age 50. It reinstitutes lifetime coverage caps for insurers, which will leave people exposed to medical bankruptcy. And it eliminates Obamacare’s requirement that commercial insurance policies cover essential benefits, like maternity care.
“Trumpcare 3.0 even worse than all the previous iterations, but McConnell undaunted,” by Joan McCarter, Daily Kos; July 14, 2017
“Republicans reneging on ‘we’ll keep pre-existing conditions protections’ promise,” by Joan McCarter, Daily Kos; July 14, 2017
“‘Total Garbage’: Senate GOP’s New Trumpcare Bill Even Worse than Original,” by Jake Johnson, Common Dreams; July 13, 2017
Excerpt: The newly released plan leaves massive and widely condemned Medicaid cuts intact while adding a new amendment – put forth by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) – that would allow insurers to offer cheap “bare-bones” plans which would wipe out a range of protections for all patients and specifically harm those with preexisting conditions.
CNN further noted that keeping the Medicaid cuts in place means “15 million fewer people could insured by the program by 2026” if Trumpcare becomes law.
“The Cruelty and Fraudulence of Mitch McConnell’s Health Bill,” by Paul Krugman, New York Times; July 13, 2017
Excerpt: A few days ago the tweeter in chief demanded that Congress enact “a beautiful new HealthCare bill” before it goes into recess. But now we’ve seen Mitch McConnell’s latest version of health “reform,” and “beautiful” is hardly the word for it. In fact, it’s surpassingly ugly, intellectually and morally. Previous iterations of Trumpcare were terrible, but this one is, incredibly, even worse.
Before I get to what makes it worse, let’s talk about the one piece of the new bill that may sound like a step in the right direction, and why it’s largely a scam.
The original Senate bill got a lot of justified bad press for slashing Medicaid while offering big tax cuts for the rich. So this version rolls back some though by no means all of those tax cuts, which sounds like a concession to moderates.
At the same time, however, the bill would allow people to use tax-favored health savings accounts to pay insurance premiums. This effectively creates a big new tax shelter that mostly helps people with high incomes who (a) can afford to put a lot of money into such accounts and (b) face high marginal tax rates, and hence get big tax savings.
So this is still a bill that takes from the poor to give to the rich; it just does so with extra stealth.
“The new Trumpcare bill keeps the single cruelest part of the old Trumpcare bill,” by Ian Millhiser, Think Progress; July 13, 2017
Excerpt: Though the new draft version of Trumpcare, which was released on Thursday, does make some tweaks to the previous bill’s approach to Medicaid, it largely leaves in place a plan that would eventually phase out Medicaid in its entirety.
Medicaid serves nearly 75 million individuals, most of them drawn from very vulnerable populations such as the poor, the aged, and the disabled.
The new Trumpcare bill, like the one McConnell released last month, imposes caps on Medicaid spending. And the caps effectively lose value with each passing year.
“A Scary New Senate Health Care Bill,” by The Editorial Board, New York Times; July 13, 2017
Excerpt: The biggest losers in the new bill are the sick. A provision by Mr. Cruz would let insurers discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. And they would be allowed to sell plans that do not cover essential services, which would be cheaper and attract healthier people. They would still have to offer comprehensive plans to everyone, but those policies would cost a lot more because they would attract sicker patients. That is why the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network said the bill “would significantly weaken the ability of millions of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease to find and afford adequate, meaningful health care coverage.”
“Senate Holdouts Refuse to fall in Line despite Trumpcare Revisions,” by Alice Ollstein, Talking Points Memo; July 13, 2017
“Republicans’ new revised healthcare bill fails to sway many key Senators,” by Sabrina Siddiqui, Ben Jacobs and Lois Beckett, The Guardian; July 13, 2017
“Senate GOP Releases Revised Obamacare Repeal Bill,” by Tierney Sneed, Talking Points Memo; July 13, 2017
“The More Trumpcare Changes, the More It Stays the Same,” by Eric Levitz, NY Magazine; July 13, 2017
Excerpt: Mitch McConnell’s latest hastily scribbled blueprint for restructuring one-sixth of the American economy retains most of Trumpcare’s greatest hits: the controlled demolition of Medicaid as we’ve known it; steep cuts to federal subsidies for insurance; deregulatory measures that effectively eliminate protections for those with preexisting conditions; and tax breaks for the rich.
“Senate Republicans exempt own health coverage from part of latest proposal,” by Sarah Kliff, Vox; July 13, 2017
Excerpt: The Senate draft, for example, would still allow insurers to charge higher prices to those with preexisting conditions – when selling to Congress as well as to the rest of the public. This could create an odd scenario where the plans that Congress is eligible for have to cover a wide array of benefits but can also deny coverage or charge more to those expected to have higher costs.
“Senate Health Bill Can’t Be Fixed: Latest Changes Do Not Affect Bill’s Core Features,” by Jacob Leibenluft & Aviva Aron-Dine, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; July 13, 2017
Excerpt: Taken individually, none of the changes to the Senate bill would meaningfully reduce the coverage losses CBO estimated for prior versions of the bill. And some would further eliminate or weaken consumer protections, especially for individuals for pre-existing conditions. Moreover, as discussed further below, even if – as expected – the Senate makes additional changes, the bill’s major flaws would remain. In particular, even with the savings from dropping two of the bill’s high-income tax cuts, there is still not enough money available to change the basic impact of the bill on Americans’ health insurance and health care.
“This is how Senate Republicans could push their health bill through without a CBO score,” by Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox; July 13, 2017
“From hospitals, doctors and patients, a last gasp of opposition to the Senate health-care bill,” by Juliet Eilperin and Paige Winfield Cunningham, The Washington Post; July 13, 2017
Excerpt: The plan to phase out Medicaid expansion programs that were added under the ACA in 31 states and the District of Columbia – and to restrict government spending for the program starting in 2025 — has prompted pushback not just from liberal activists but also from virtually every influential player in the health-care industry, along with several Republican governors including Doug Ducey of Arizona.
“We’re a Medicaid expansion state,” McCain told reporters Wednesday, adding that the bill would have to change to earn his vote. “I’m happy with the way it is in Arizona.”
“Trumpcare: The Culmination of All the GOP’s Health-Care Lies,” by Jonathan Chait, NY Magazine; March 7, 2017