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The GOP’s Health Care Plan Is Here And It’s Way Worse Than We Could Have Imagined

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Following the reaction the House received after passing their version of the AHCA (American Health Care Act of 2017), the hope was that Senate Republicans would moderate their colleagues’ health care bill. President Trump told reporters that the House version was “mean, mean, mean,” and said that the Senate should spend more on the bill to make it “generous, kind (and) with heart.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) finally unveiled the Senate’s long-awaited version of the GOP health plan, which even John McCain complained two days ago that he hadn’t even seen.

Senator McConnell’s bill looks a lot like the House’s American Health Care Act, except that its funding cuts to coverage — particularly Medicaid — are even harsher.

Key market reforms in the Senate draft released Thursday include elimination of both the individual and employer mandates. Premium taxes based on age, income, and geography but the with the ACA (Affordable Care Act) thresholds adjusted in a way that will hurt older and poorer Americans. The bill includes tax cuts for the wealthy by repealing Obamacare tax increases and would give the Trump administration ability to cut cost-sharing subsidies prior to the 2020 expiration date. Quite possibly the cruelest aspect of the Senate’s AHCA draft is that it starts to cut the Medicaid program expansion in 2021, with a three-year phase out.

That the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” is a shit sandwich shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It was drafted and tweaked by so many legislators for whom repealing Obamacare was a cornerstone campaign promise. What does surprise me is that the Senate would revise the bill in such a way that it’s a blatant money-grab. This bill reads as though written by Opposite Day Robin Hood.

How will Trump react? Will he throw the Senate under the bus as he did the House?


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