Without a doubt, Donald Trump is the dominant figure in today’s political world. Unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. That’s bound to happen when a completely incompetent, emotionally unstable buffoon who’s not remotely qualified to be “president” actually gets “elected.”
Trump’s awfulness aside, I try to remind people that we can’t ignore the significance of the role most of the Republican Party, in particular Congressional leadership (or lack thereof), has played in empowering this unhinged lunatic to get away with so many things these hypocrites would never ignore if a Democrat had done them.
As I’ve said plenty of times before, Trump’s terrible, but the people defending and supporting him are even worse. They’re the ones who are allowing him to rip apart, divide, and embarrass this country on a daily basis. Without his defenders and supporters, Trump’s mostly powerless.
One of those defenders is our gutless Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. He’s a special breed of reprehensible human being who’s the poster child for a utopian Ayn Rand society of sociopaths.
For example, the disgusting answer he gave when asked about the CBO’s latest report showing that the latest “health care plan” from Republicans, this time from the Senate, would result in 22 million fewer Americans having health insurance by 2026.
“What they are basically saying at the Congressional Budget Office, if you’re not going to force people to buy Obamacare, if you’re not going to force people to buy something they don’t want, then they won’t buy it,” Ryan stated. “So, it’s not that people are getting pushed off a plan, it’s that people will choose not to buy something that they don’t like or want.”
“And that’s the difference here,” he continued. “By repealing the individual and employer mandate, which mandates people buy this health insurance that they can’t afford, that they don’t like, if you don’t mandate that they’re going to do this then that many people won’t do it.”
Just — wow.
What Ryan fails to mention is that quite a few of those 22 million people won’t have health insurance specifically because the GOP’s bill:
- Guts Medicaid, which will drastically reduce the number of people on the program.
- Ends Medicaid expansion, again, drastically reducing the number of people who qualify for the program.
- Drastically reduces subsidies for Americans, which will increase premiums, making it more unlikely people will be able to afford health insurance.
- Allows people with pre-existing conditions to, as they were prior to Obamacare, be discriminated against by health insurance companies.
- Removes essential health benefits, which means people would have to pay more out-of-pocket, increasing their costs and making it less likely that they’d be able to afford insurance.
- Drastically increases premiums for Americans 50 and older, resulting in far fewer being able to afford insurance.
- Will drastically increase premiums for many Americans, in general, making it much more likely that people who want insurance won’t be able to afford it.
- Doesn’t do anything to make health care coverage better or cheaper — it just allows insurers to offer less coverage, creating the illusion that costs are going down.
Will some of the 22 million the CBO estimates won’t have health care by 2026 choose not to purchase health insurance? Of course. But how many of those “choices” will be because the insurance they can afford is mostly worthless, or because the coverage they desperately need isn’t affordable?
Think about what Ryan’s saying here. He’s not even denying that the GOP’s plan will result in 22 million fewer people having insurance within the next decade. He’s selling that pathetic reality as a “choice” as if it’s a positive thing that 22 million more Americans won’t have insurance if the GOP gets their way.
Democrats brag about how their health care law gave millions of Americans insurance, while wanting to expand the law to cover even more people. Meanwhile, Republicans are essentially bragging about how their “plan” will take it away from millions.
They know this bill is a disaster. That’s why Senate Republicans kept it secret for as long as possible, why they’re trying to rush it through Congress as quickly as they can, and why most of the worst impacts of their bill won’t go into effect for a few years. Republicans know if these changes were implemented immediately, the backlash the party would experience during the 2018 and 2020 elections would be swift, harsh, and extremely negative for the GOP.
The bottom line is this, the GOP’s plan does absolutely nothing to provide better, cheaper coverage for more Americans. There’s nothing in it that addresses the skyrocketing costs of health care in this country (which was a problem long before Obamacare). It doesn’t even pretend to care about giving more Americans access to coverage, or improving the quality of care, overall.
This bill is really nothing more than a huge tax break for the rich and a massive gutting of Medicaid for the poor. The GOP’s “plan” doesn’t do a damn thing to address any of the issues that have plagued health care for decades. In fact, all it does is take us backwards to the time before Obamacare, when premiums were actually increasing at a higher rate than they are now.
The only way it’s “lowering premiums” is by allowing health insurance companies to offer plans that provide less benefits. Sure, some people might be playing less, but they’re also going to be getting less. Meanwhile, for most of the people who do desperately need health insurance — their premiums are going to increase.
What more proof do we need of how awful this bill is? The biggest “selling point” Republicans like Paul Ryan are pushing isn’t that it’s going to provide better, cheaper coverage for more Americans — but that they’ll have a “choice” to decide, for many people, whether or not they want to live or die.