Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) has walked back on his utterly indefensible claims that his proposed Trumpcare bill (the American Health Care Act or AHCA) is a “reform” that will benefit Americans. Trumpcare would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a new system of subsidies and make changes to the health insurance market.
Obamacare is not perfect, but Trumpcare would make sweeping changes stripping 24 million Americans of their healthcare in just ten years. Trumpcare would cut healthcare subsidies for the poor and increase subsidies for the rich. It would allow seniors’ premiums to skyrocket, making healthcare totally unaffordable for people who need it most.
In just one year of Trumpcare, 14 million would lose insurance and premiums would rise 15-20%.
However, when the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) revealed the devastating effects of Trumpcare, Speaker of the House Ryan said that he was “pretty encouraged” by the report. He continued to say that it “actually exceeded my expectations.”
What the CBO report reveals is that although Trumpcare is billed as giving Americans more choice when it comes to choosing health insurance, it actually leaves many faced with the “choice” of healthcare or debt.
But some congressional Republicans are happy with this, because the government will spend less money under Trumpcare. Of course it will spend less, because it is no longer helping people afford healthcare.
Initially after the CBO report broke, the “encouraged” Ryan told Republicans that they had to either vote Trumpcare through as it is or reject it and stick with Obamacare. After meeting with fellow Republicans on Wednesday, Ryan, perhaps for the first time, is realizing that constituents don’t want laws that will inflict harm on them.
Swiftly changing course, Ryan said, “Now that we have our [CBO] score we can make some necessary improvements and refinements to the bill.”
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) admits, “Watching sausage being made is not the prettiest thing. What can we do on those final pieces that are being negotiated with President Trump and a number of our members in our conference that ultimately want to get to a yes vote and send this bill over to the Senate?”
At least Republicans are finally acknowledging that they plan to decimate healthcare for millions of Americans, and people actually don’t want that. But will they make adequate changes to protect working Americans? Honestly, we doubt it.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.