Anyone who follows me knows I have a strong disdain for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI). He’s nothing but a hypocrite who used government money to help pay for his college education at a publicly-funded university on his way to a career funded by the taxpayers — yet has the gall to champion himself a proponent of the “free market,” while doing everything he can to gut government programs whenever he gets the chance.
There are many members of the GOP who clearly hate the poor, but few seem as eager to prove their disdain for some of the most vulnerable among us as Paul Ryan. Case in point, Trumpcare, a “health care” proposal that’s really a massive tax cut for the rich and a gutting of Medicaid, disguised as a “solution to Obamacare.” This was a bill that, almost immediately, was loathed by practically everyone. The far-right wasn’t happy that it didn’t strip health care away from enough people, while moderate Republicans and Democrats realized that this law was a complete disaster for tens of millions of Americans.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office didn’t help matters when their report exposed exactly how terrible the Trumpcare bill is. Millions of people losing coverage, massive premium increases for the Americans over 50, and huge tax cuts for the wealthiest among us. It was a law that pretty much everyone besides Ryan and Trump declared “dead on arrival.”
Well, on Monday, Ryan offered his “fix” for Trumpcare. True to form, the House Speaker managed to “fix” the already terrible bill — by making it worse.
To be fair, on the surface, Ryan’s new proposal does make the bill appear more palatable for older Americans by providing more money for subsidies. Though it’s unclear how the $75 billion will be distributed or how much of an impact it will have on lowering costs for older Americans. However, without specifics on how this money would be used, it could very well be nothing more than a talking point to use to ease the concerns of moderate Republicans, but ultimately not have that much of an impact on lowering premiums.
But that’s the only “positive,” if you want to call it that.
This new proposal would gut Medicaid by allowing states to block-grant spending. This will almost certainly lead to even steeper cuts than the original, kicking more people off the program than previous estimates.
This new proposal also adds a work requirement to Medicaid. One of the main issues with that is if someone, for whatever reason, doesn’t happen to meet that requirement, then they could lose their medical coverage — which could literally be life or death for some. Besides, there’s really no reason to even add this provision other than Ryan hoping that it will drive more poor people off Medicaid.
However, for the wealthiest Americans, Ryan’s new proposal does provide a nice little benefit by way of removing the delay in the taxes mostly paid by high-income individuals. Instead of those tax breaks beginning in 2019, they would take effect immediately.
Moving these up would also increase our deficits as that tax revenue would be cut off now as opposed to 2019.
In other words, the original version of Trumpcare was, as many on the far-right called it, “Obamacare Lite.” They took an already flawed law and made it worse by reducing subsidies, gutting Medicaid, removing protections for older Americans, and removing the mandate which will almost certainly cause premiums to skyrocket for nearly everyone.
The first public release of Trumpcare was almost universally hated by everyone.
So the way Ryan “fixes” the bill is to offer a vague amount of money to try to appease concerns about a drastic increase in premium costs for older Americans, gut Medicaid even more than the original version — but expedite the massive tax breaks Trumpcare provides for the rich.
Leave it to Paul Ryan and the Republican Party to offer a “fix” for a terrible “health care bill” that really does nothing but punish poor people more, while giving wealthier Americans an even bigger break.
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