Monday, March 20, 2017

GOP ignores CBO; votes on Trumpcare nears


ONE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA's mistakes was that he underestimated the animus the radical right had against him. He assumed that he could negotiate with the ultra-conservative members in Congress and they would move from their extreme position and meet him somewhere in the middle. 

The rest is history. Obama compromised so much he moved to the right on his health care plan and eventually adopted the Republican plan that was in effect in Massachusetts.

That is why the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare, is so flawed and needs to be fixed. Paul Ryan's health care plan, the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare, is not the answer. The House is set to vote on this proposal this Thursday after rushing it through committees.

“The Republican proposal will make healthcare more expensive, ration care for seniors and working families, and penalize those most in need, including millions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander," said Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif. and chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC). 

"This bill also makes drastic cuts to our safety net by raiding the Medicare trust fund and forcing states to ration Medicaid. It is shameful that Republicans have chosen to give millions in tax breaks to insurance companies at the expense of the American people, and I will continue to push back against these partisan efforts that will have dangerous consequences for our communities.”

After the Congressional Budget Office came out with its report last Monday, some Republicans have spoke out against the Ryan plan, giving Democrats the hope they might have enough votes to block the proposal. 

But, I wouldn't hold my breath. Giving lip is not the same as casting your vote. When it comes down to to the actual vote this Thursday, we'll see where their loyalties are -- with their party or with the American people.

Trumpcare "would penalize unemployed workers, block funding for Planned Parenthood and make big cuts to our safety net by turning Medicaid into a voucher program," said Rep. Ami Bera, D-Calif. 

The Congressional Budget Office Report highlights the real cost of Trumpcare:
  • By 2018, 14 million Americans would lose health insurance coverage under the Republican's effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Up to 24 million Americans would lose health insurance coverage by 2026.
  • By 2020, 52 million people would be uninsured. Under the ACA, that number would be 28 million.
  • Over the next two years, premiums for people who have health insurance not covered by their employer would increase by up to 20 percent.
  • Between 2017 and 2026, CBO estimates there will be $880 billion of cuts to Medicaid, adversely impacting middle to lower income families and seniors who rely upon government funding to afford health coverage.
  • Medicaid spending by the federal government would decrease by 25 percent by 2026.
  • Enrollment in Medicaid will be reduced by 14 million people by 2026.
  • Included in this plan are $592 billion of tax credits for the wealthy, as opposed to $361 billion in tax credits to help middle class and working class families afford health care.
  • The Republican plan would cut $170 billion from the Medicare Trust Fund, shortening the life of Medicare by 3 years.
The complete report issued by the CBO can be found here

“Our families are already under threat in so many ways: the gutting of health care security, the increased profiling of and attacks on black and brown bodies, the assaults on women’s and LGBTQ rights," stated Johanna Puno Hester, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance National President and Assistant Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930.

“Repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean cuts to Medicaid and higher costs and less care for millions of families including nearly 40 percent of children nationwide,” said Luisa Blue, APALA National Executive Board Member and Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) who helped found the SEIU Nurse Alliance.

“As a former nurse, I have witnessed how critical it was for patients to have access to affordable care and preventative care. We cannot allow the Republican Congressional leadership to take away healthcare from millions of Americans. This directly impacts so many Asia/ American Pacific Islanders, who like the rest of us are just trying to work hard to build a better life for their families.”“I am particularly offended by the priorities expressed in this legislation. The Republican plan asks some of the most vulnerable communities to pay more while giving wealthy Americans a massive tax cut they don’t need. For example, under the GOP plan Medicaid expansion would be phased out, but the richest 400 families in the country would get a $28 billion tax cut.

“Are there challenges to the current health care system that need to be addressed? Absolutely. But this Republican proposal fixes none of them and creates several more that will leave millions of Americans without the access to care they desperately need.”