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Is Obamacare perfect? Absolutely not, and no one expected a law that affects 1/5th of the economy to be perfect. Every major piece of legislation in modern history has had unforeseen consequences. That’s why follow up pieces of legislation are introduced to fix or improve the existing law. In general, Obamacare achieved its goal of increased coverage and access to health care, but has had little effect on the underlying costs of healthcare. Action could be taken to address these challenges, but Republican Congressmen are more concerned with political wins and demagoguery than actually improving health care.
Lets be clear, this isn’t a healthcare reform bill, it is a tax cut. There is nothing in this bill that reforms or addresses the underlying costs of healthcare. It is a $700 billion tax cut for top earners that is paid for by cutting healthcare for the most vulnerable in our society. The Tax Policy Center concluded that 45% of this tax cut would go to the top 1% of earners. Do top earners really need a massive tax cut?
In the last 50 years, there has been growing wealth inequality due to a number of factors including global competition, consolidation and automation. The top 10% of our population has flourished during this period while the lower-middle class has struggled. Despite the rhetoric, we actually have some of the lowest effective federal income tax rates in modern history. There is absolutely no need to give a tax break to the top 10%.
This bill may not hurt you directly. In fact, a few of us will get a decent tax cut and potentially lower health insurance premiums. If you are doing well financially, young and healthy; you will likely do better under this plan. But if you have family or friends who are lower-middle income, have chronic health conditions or ages 55-64, this bill could be downright catastrophic for them, and I am not being hyperbolic.
The CBO analysis states that 22 million less people will be covered in 10 years and “most people purchasing it would have higher out of pocket expenses than under current law.” This law does not improve coverage/access or lower costs, so what the hell are we talking about here???
None of this really matters to Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell though. They clearly don’t give a shit about making healthcare more accessible and affordable. This is all about getting a legislative win and tearing down the legacy of Obama, regardless of how many people this will bankrupt and kill. Make no mistake, people will die as a result of this bill who otherwise would not of.