Today, the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan group within the government that scores all bills, released its numbers on the GOP Healthcare Repeal and Replace bill, and the numbers are not good.
Note: The head of the CBO is Economist Keith Hall, who has served in Government since the George W. Bush years, and became the Director of the CBO in 2015.
According the the CBO, over the next decade 24 million people will lose their insurance, primarily through the changes to Medicare, which was expanded through the ACA. Throughout the bloodbath of a report, the CBO does state that the Government would stand to save 337 billion dollars, which will be latched on by many as a means to pass the bill. Also included was the price for Defunding Planned Parenthood, which will come to an additional 21 million dollars spent on Medicaid this year, and 77 million in subsequent years
Predictably, the Trump Administration has slammed the CBO for being “way off the mark” claiming that they were off their predictions for the ACA, despite being only organisation closest with their estimates. The Trump Administration began their offensive earlier in the week claiming that the CBO shouldn’t even bother scoring because it would not be accurate.
Further reaction is pretty much in line with what you expect. the Democrats are leaping at the opportunity to use the numbers against the Administration and the GOP in the House. The GOP is downplaying the usefulness of the CBO, starting with Speaker Ryan on Friday calling it a “Pretty piece of paper” and the GOP purist are explaining away how 14 million people losing insurance is good for the nation.
It feels that regardless of the CBO, the GOP is going to try and push the first vote in the House this week. Come hell or high water, this bill is going to pass the House. The question remains how will the moderates in the Senate react to this latest news. Senator Paul has already shown his opposition to the bill, this will only make it worse. Collins and others will take the CBO more seriously than their GOP counterparts, and it will determine if this thing can even pass through reconciliation.
I just feel like we are being rushed through this thing before people are able to fully know what is happening. Hate the ACA or otherwise, we had 18 months of discussion on the topic, and while much of it was infuriating people learned (or had the opportunity to learn) what the ACA was about. Now we have a repeal and replace bill that is being flashed past us so quickly, it feels literally like the bait and switch. Oh, by the way, we are changing Medicare too, oh by the way, Planned Parenthood funding goes too. The sleight of hand is pretty blatant, and while we have a lot of people looking out for us trying to slow this down, this thing is being forced on the population with almost no debate whatsoever.
And I will end with this.
There is a mix of anger and frustration in this news. I know many people who voted for Trump. This mess of legislation is going to hurt a lot of them, and while I could sit here and go “Ha Ha!” and cheer at their mistake, it pisses me off that they are getting screwed over along with many people who didn’t vote for Trump. I am frustrated that a bill has to “hurt” people. That is not what laws are about. I hate that “to save money” it requires that 14 million people be one hospital visit away from destitution and ruin. Repealing tax cuts for people who barely notice the money gone and push it onto the elderly, or the poor who can’t afford medications. Meanwhile, we want to increase military spending because spending 37% of the world total Military expenditures is not enough. This is what the Gilded Age 2.0 looks like folks. Your health doesn’t matter, your opinion doesn’t matter, only profits matter, only security matters. Ugh.