But Trump Loves the Senate Republicans’ Healthcare Proposal
With the exception of an enthusiastic tweet from Trump, there were few untempered raves for the Senate Obamacare repeal bill introduced on Thursday. It’s officially the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, but it’s better known as Trumpcare. Here’s a good, quick rundown showing how it changes current law. Here’s a rundown of where various Republican senators currently stand on the legislation. And below are some reactions and comments….
Former President Barack Obama. “Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”
Sen. Paul Rand (R-Ky.). “Conservatives have always been for repealing Obamacare, and my concern is that this doesn’t repeal Obamacare. What I’m seeing so far is it keeps 10 out of 12 regulations, it continues the Obamacare subsidies, and I think ultimately will not bring down premiums because instead of trying to fix the death spiral of Obamacare, it simply subsidizes it with taxpayer money to insurance companies.”
Jordan Weissmann, Slate. The defining feature of the Senate Republican health care bill is that, over the long term, it would absolutely decimate Medicaid—moreso even than the House legislation passed last month.
David Cay Johnston, editor-in-chief of DCReport.org. “McConnell’s ACA repeal includes a retroactive capital gains tax cut, even though past behavior cannot be changed with a subsequent tax cut. This provision shows that no matter the version, Trumpcare is really Wealthcare designed to punish the working poor.”
Avik Roy of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity, and a conservative health care analyst. If it passes, it’ll be the greatest policy achievement by a G.O.P. Congress in my lifetime.
Henry Olsen, author of “The Working Class Republican: Ronald Reagan and the Return of Blue-Collar Conservatism.” The newly released Senate bill does a much better job of fulfilling his ideals than does the House bill. It slows the phaseout of federal support for the Medicaid expansion and retains Obamacare’s income-based subsidies for people on the federal exchange, while the House bill’s age-based subsidies would probably have led to many people dropping coverage. In each case, the Senate approach places life over cost. Senators who came out against the plan Friday on grounds that it doesn’t fully repeal Obamacare may think of themselves as conservative, but on this issue, they aren’t acting as Reagan conservatives.
The New York Times. It would be a big mistake to call the legislation Senate Republicans released on Thursday a health care bill. It is, plain and simple, a plan to cut taxes for the wealthy by destroying critical federal programs that help provide health care to tens of millions of people.
The Wall Street Journal. The Senate bill is imperfect, but it includes many conservative policy victories that have long been Republican goals. It’s not too much to say this is a defining moment for whether the GOP can ever reform runaway entitlements. If Republicans fail, the next stop is single payer.
Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president. The Senate bill would hit millions of Americans with higher costs and result in less coverage for them. AARP is adamantly opposed to the Age Tax, which would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more for coverage than everyone else while reducing tax credits that help make insurance more affordable.
Featured photo: Video grab of CNN coverage of guards removing bill protesters outside the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)