Healthcare

The GOP’s Obamacare Repeal Bill is a Big Tax Cut for the Rich and Death for the Poor

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

House Republicans finally unveiled their Double Secret Obamacare "replacement" bill last night and it may be even worse than what you expected.

The bill does many terrible things, but chiefly among them is cutting Medicaid to finance several different tax cuts for the rich.

Their long-awaited proposal, unveiled Monday evening, would among other things kill a 3.8 percent investment tax on the well-to-do that Democrats had used to help finance the health care law, as well as a 0.9 percent surcharge on wages above $250,000. [...]

The move would save the top 0.1 percent of earners about $195,000 annually, according to the Tax Policy Center.

It also includes a tax break for healthcare CEOs.

WASHINGTON — The Republican plan to replace Obamacare includes a tax break for insurance company executives making over $500,000 per year.

Companies can generally deduct employee salaries as a business expense but in 2013 the Affordable Care Act capped the deductions on health insurance executive salaries at $500,000.

Under the GOP plan, Medicaid expansion will end. Healthcare plans will no longer be required to provide a minimum amount of benefits. Lifetime caps on spending will return. Subsidies will be replaced by significantly less generous tax credits based on age rather than income. Companies with more than 50 employees will no longer be required to provide healthcare. The plan also prohibits women from buying health insurance plans that cover abortion and defunds Planned Parenthood.

Under the GOP plan, insurance companies will be allowed to charge older people up to 5 times more than younger people, an amount that was capped at 3 times more under Obamacare.

The GOP plan will also eliminate the requirement that insurance covers mental health and substance abuse which, as you know, has become something of an epidemic in the white Midwest and rust belt.

To say that this is a recipe for massive amounts of death, bankruptcy and depression feels like an understatement. But, if I'm being frank, I'm pulled in different directions on this. I'm concerned about what this could mean for people who did not vote for this, but for everyone else I may have reached my limit for caring.

White voters and "real Americans" in places like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin voted for this. They voted to pollute their own streams. They voted to pollute their own air. They voted to eliminate coverage for substance abuse. They voted to kill themselves. White people, many of whom probably thought they were stickin' it to Obama and black voters and the Clintons, or whoever, really stuck it to themselves.

It's ironic that a portion of the country that's increasingly concerned about the rise of minorities have voted to debase and kill themselves in every way possible. White middle America is both metaphorically and literally going to die.

With all of that said, this bill will face major hurdles.

The conservative Freedomworks, Club for Growth, Heritage Foundation, and even the Koch Brothers' Americans for Prosperity group have all issued statements condemning the bill because it doesn't go far enough. Conservative representatives in the Freedom Caucus who believe it doesn't go far enough have also been joined by Senator Rand Paul, while several other Republican senators believe the bill goes too far.

Speaker Paul Ryan plans to begin actually moving this bill through committees within the next two days which is just as reckless and insane as you think it is. Ryan wants to move the bill quickly before everyone under the sun realizes how fucking terrible it is.

  • Christopher Foxx

    White people, many of whom probably thought they were stickin’ it to Obama and black voters and the Clintons, or whoever, really stuck it to themselves.

    To those people, the “stickin’ it to ’em” part was far, far more important than anything else. My limit of caring for these folks has, like yours, reached it’s limit.

  • In two years when my husband retires he will get insurance through the tribe and I will no longer have any…yet again. If the ACA still exists and if I can afford it, then that will be the only option I will have. Did they keep the provision that the insurance companies can’t reject you for pre-existing conditions? Not that it will matter because they will be able to charge whatever they want. So they’ll say, ‘Sure we’ll cover you….for $1,000 per month with a $10,000 deductible” The GOP plan is a nightmare.

    • JMAshby

      Under this bill, they can’t reject you for a pre-existing condition, but they can charge you more if you’ve had no insurance for at least 2 months. They can also charge you even more for being older, and what they offer will have no minimum benefits. It’ll be the wild west again.

      • That’s what I was afraid of. Well, at least my 6 yr old won’t have to pay as much as me. As if getting older doesn’t suck enough as it is!

  • Aynwrong

    Regarding Trump’s voters, to use a phrase Chez always favored:

    “I’m all out of fucks to give.”

    • Indeed, behold my field of fucks for it is barren

    • Scopedog

      Been out of fucks for months.

  • ninjaf

    I’m with you. I am just too damned tired to care about them anymore. You all wanted this and now we get to see what happens because you can’t “imagine” beyond the end of your fucking nose.

    • Aynwrong

      Ditto.

  • Username1016

    I attended the demonstration outside Pat Toomey’s office today, against ACA cuts/changes/destruction. I called both my senators (including the infamous Toomey) and asked them to vote against it. I very much doubt it will help, but hey, you do what you can :-}

    • Scopedog

      You have to do something, and contacting them actually helps. The demonstrations at the town halls will help.

      We have to keep the pressure on THEM. And yes, pressure works.

      Never give up.

  • Scopedog

    This bill is so fucking toxic that three major conservative groups are against it. GOP Senators are against it.

    The public is against this.

    Seriously, what the hell is Ryan thinking? Or is he that fucked in the head that he just doesn’t give a damn?

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/53ec2a9310993cff2866ed5dbc6c922ecd494ed9054398a0f5115ff5804ff0e2.gif

    • Christopher Foxx

      Seriously, what the hell is Ryan thinking?

      That he could get away with utter vileness without any real opposition because that’s been the way things have gone for Republicans often.

  • Badgerite

    Chaffetz was doing an impressive “two step” on this. He says that low and middle income people will have “more access” but “less coverage” with Ryancare. The simple truth is, you don’t have “access” to healthcare for whatever ails you if you cannot afford the bills. Insurance coverage is what pays the bills. So. No coverage equals no access. And no subsidies up front equals no coverage because people fail to have insurance when they cannot afford the premiums up front. A tax credit will simply price most lower and a lot of middle income people out of the market. Death by insurance company. There is your “death panel”. Healthcare and for many life itself rationed on the basis of wealth. And, frankly, the idea that the whopping tax cuts to people making over $200,000 dollars a year will result in “jobs” is utterly ridiculous. It will result in a transfer of wealth upward from the lower and middle income to those at the top at the expense of the health of said lower and middle income people. That is all it will do. And the GOP knows this.

    • Ken Kohl

      Chaffetz also felt lower income people were wasting their meager resources on iPhones rather than health care, so…

      • Badgerite

        I know. Isn’t that ridiculous. What does an iphone go for, a couple hundred dollars? Versus close to ten thousand for an individual yearly healthcare premium. I still feel sorry for those who voted for these people and actually believed that they weren’t talking about them when they refer to help with healthcare premiums as en “entitlement”. I’m with Bernie Sanders on this one. Access to healthcare should be a right. Not something that is rationed by virtue of wealth.

  • gescove

    The Republicans wailed for years that the ACA was rammed down our throats, crafted in secret with shadowy special interests, and given no time for consideration. Now this “plan” has been belched out of an actual undisclosed location as of yesterday and will be voted out of committee before the ink dries or the CBO has a chance to score it. The depraved depths of Republican hypocrisy has no bounds.

    • Yeah, that stupid conservative talking point drives me crazy. Over 150 hearings in both houses of Congress over an entire f*ing year and it was “crammed down our throats”. Assholes.