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Tonight’s Reading Material For Republican Legislators.

Posted on | March 23, 2017 | No Comments

Mike Magee

Since the Republicans have stalled today in their eight year pursuit to repeal Obamacare, perhaps they should take the night off, and relax by reading UNC professor Jonathan Oberlander’s NEJM advice on next steps.

Here are a few selections to whet your appetite:

Romney Care Origins: “The ACA is a conservative reform model embodying ideas previously supported by Republicans: consumer choice, private insurer competition, regulated marketplaces, tax credits to aid the uninsured, and individual responsibility to obtain insurance. If they repealed the entire ACA, Republicans would essentially be renouncing their own health care ideas.”

Regressive Redistribution: “The bill distinguishes itself from the ACA largely by its commitment to regressive redistribution: it would give wealthier Americans more money (mainly through sizable tax cuts) while reducing government support to help low-income Americans afford insurance.”

Low-Income Take A Hit: “Relative to the ACA, premium subsidies for the uninsured would decrease substantially, on average by 40% in 2020 and reaching 50% by 2026…The ACA’s subsidies to assist low-income persons with deductibles and copayments would be eliminated altogether.”

Seniors Suffer: “Because insurers could charge older persons higher premiums, they, too, would face much higher costs, with premiums for a lower-income 64-year-old expected to rise by about $13,000 in 2026.”

Medicaid -Forgetaboutit!: “Medicaid spending would fall by a staggering $880 billion during the next decade, resulting in a 25% cut by 2026.”

Morally Reprehensible: “Health policies represent more than the product of technical analysis, economic evaluation, and fiscal calculations — they also embody moral judgments and social priorities… Given this belief in self-reliance, faith in markets, and disregard for the poor, the GOP’s health bill is understandable — even if its moral logic is reprehensible.”

Politically Shaky: “The bill’s political logic is also shaky… In addition to unified Democratic and significant Republican opposition in Congress and among governors, key stakeholders — including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the seniors advocacy group AARP — oppose the bill.”

Making It Worse: “The ACA’s insurance marketplaces have encountered significant challenges enrolling persons with modest incomes for whom, even with subsidies, insurance premiums and deductibles remain unaffordable. Instead of fixing these problems, the GOP bill, with its reduced subsidies, Medicaid funding cuts, and lower benefit standards, would substantially worsen them.”

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