Week in Review: Terrible Republican #PayMoreForeLess Rollout

Speaker Ryan and Congressional Republicans’ #PayMoreForLess bill, which exposes seniors to skyrocketing costs and forces hard-working Americans to pay more for less care, has been met with the most scorching reviews.  But don’t take it from us:

New York Times Op-Ed: The Republican Health Care Crackup by David Brooks:

The Republican health plan would make America’s economic chasm worse. It would cut health subsidies that go to the poor while eliminating the net investment income tax, which benefits only the top 1 percent.

The Republican plan would further destabilize the social fabric for those at the bottom. Throwing perhaps 10 million people off the insurance rolls will increase fear, isolation, social tension, chronic illness, suicide and bankruptcy.

The Republican plan will fuel cynicism. It’s being pushed through in an elitist, anti-democratic, middle of the night rush. It seems purposely designed to fail. The penalties for those who don’t purchase insurance are so low they seem sure to guarantee Republican-caused death spirals in the weaker markets.

Washington Post Op-Ed: The Republican health-care plan isn’t about health care at all by Catherine Rampell:

Republicans’ “health care” bill is not really about health care. It’s not about improving access to health insurance, or reducing premiums, or making sure you get to keep your doctor if you like your doctor. And it’s certainly not about preventing people from dying in the streets.

Instead, it’s about hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts — tax cuts that will quietly pave the way for more, and far larger, tax cuts.

New York Times Op-Ed: A Bill So Bad It’s Awesome by Paul Krugman:

How could House Republicans under the leadership of Paul Ryan, who the media keeps assuring us is a smart, serious policy wonk, have produced such a monstrosity?

Given the sick joke of a health plan, you might ask what happened to all those proclamations that Obamacare was a terrible, no good system that Republicans would immediately replace with something far better — not to mention Donald Trump’s promises of “insurance for everybody” and “great health care.”

But the answer, of course, is that they were all lying, all along — and they still are.

CNN: HHS doctor publicly comes out against GOP’s health care bill:

The chief medical officer of the federal government’s Medicaid program publicly rebuked the Republican health care plan backed by his boss, President Donald Trump.

Health and Human Services Department official Andrey Ostrovsky, a career official, said Wednesday evening on Twitter that he opposes the American Health Care Act crafted by Republicans in Congress and supported by Trump and HHS Secretary Tom Price.

NPR: Medical, Hospital Groups Oppose GOP Health Care Plan:

The Republican health care overhaul working its way through the House is opposed by Democrats and by many Republican conservatives. It’s none too popular with the people on the front lines of health care, either — including doctors, nurses and hospitals.

Talking Points Memo: Bonus! GOP Obamacare Repeal Bill Depletes Medicare Trust Fund Faster:

The long-awaited GOP health care bill finally unveiled this week strikes an immediate blow to Medicare funding, accelerating a solvency crisis that health policy experts say could open the door to even more devastating cuts down the road.

By repealing a payroll tax on high earners that provided a critical additional revenue stream for the Medicare trust fund, the GOP’s proposed American Health Care Act would speed up the fund’s exhaustion by as many as three to four years, according to estimates from health care policy experts.

POLITICO: Conservative demands threaten to derail Obamacare repeal:

The discord on the far-right is becoming a real problem for Republicans. Allies of GOP leadership say Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and his team can’t assemble a bill that can pass the House if conservatives keep moving the goal posts on what exactly it will take to secure their votes.

In the end, they might end up getting nothing at all because of the disunity, some GOP lawmakers speculated.

Washington Post: GOP health-care bill would drop addiction treatment mandate covering 1.3 million Americans:

The Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would strip away what advocates say is essential coverage for drug addiction treatment as the number of people dying from opiate overdoses is skyrocketing nationwide. Beginning in 2020, the plan would eliminate an Affordable Care Act requirement that Medicaid cover basic mental-health and addiction services in states that expanded it, allowing them to decide whether to include those benefits in Medicaid plans.

POLITICO: Brookings Says CBO will predict 15 million to lose coverage under GOP reform bill:

A new Brookings analysis predicts that Republicans’ health proposal would erase about two-thirds of the coverage gains of the Affordable Care Act ahead of the Congressional Budget Office score to be released next week.

According to Brookings, which extrapolates from previous CBO scores, the budget office will conclude that Republican plans to repeal the individual mandate would reduce coverage by 15 million and their proposed changes to the Medicaid program would lead to “significant” coverage losses, likely several million.

Commonwealth Fund: Millions of Americans Could Face a Premium Surcharge Through the ACA Repeal Bill’s “Continuous Coverage” Provision:

This week, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced “The American Health Care Act” (AHCA), a bill aimed at repealing and replacing certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Data from the 2016 Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey indicate that if such a policy had been in effect in 2016, an estimated 30 million working-age adults would have faced a premium surcharge had they tried to buy coverage in the individual or small-group markets.

ABC News: Experts: ‘Trumpcare’ places autism, disability coverage in jeopardy

Of particular concern is how a proposed restructuring of Medicaid could affect Americans with autism and the people who care for them. Medicaid is the largest health care payer for patients being treated for autism and other developmental disorders and could face an overhaul under proposals currently being debated in Congress. In 2013, Medicaid served approximately 250,000 children with autism. Since 2014 states have been able to opt into expanded Medicaid coverage, which has allowed people with incomes below 138 percent of the poverty line to enroll in the program.”

Press Democrat Op-Ed: GOP health plan fails its basic test: Do no harm

…Any such proposal should be judged by its effect on the 20 million Americans who gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act. By that standard, the legislation unveiled this week by Speaker Paul Ryan and quickly pushed through two House committees is a dismal failure.

Among other things, the Republican plan would replace premium subsidies for people buying policies on insurance exchanges with tax credits based on age, with older people getting the greatest benefits. However, insurers would be allowed to charge older policyholders five times as much as younger policyholders. And tax credits would be denied for anyone whose insurance policy covers abortion, eliminating virtually all plans offered in California.

Richmond Times Dispatch Editorial: The Republican faceplant on Obamacare:

The House proposal is being derided as “Obamacare lite.” Liberals don’t like it because it undermines the current system, and conservatives don’t like it because it leaves too much of the current system in place. One possible solution would involve scrapping the proposal and starting fresh. But congressional Republicans already have had seven years to come up with a better idea. This might be the best they can do.

Missourian Editorial: By any name, the Republican health care plan is a mess:

There are so many things wrong with this plan that it’s hard to know where to begin.

This is the opposite of responsible governance. This bill is a slapdash measure designed to fulfill the GOP’s “repeal-and-replace” promise. If it passes — and that’s far from certain given hostility on the right and left — Republicans will regret it.

Speaker Ryan: no amount of explaining or deceiving PowerPoint presentations can justify the disgraceful damage Republicans’ #PayMoreForLess bill will do to millions of vulnerable Americans.  This is not an ‘act of mercy.’

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