A Tough Week for the Trump, the GOP, and Americans

By EGP Editorial

It’s been a strange week as far as President Trump’s administration is concerned.

He and Republican House leadership have been busy trying to explain why the GOP’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – is better for the country.

Of course, some in the GOP are giddy that the CBO – non-partisan Congressional Budget Office – estimates their plan will reduce the budget deficit by $337 million over the next decade.

While they are thrilled by the CBO’s estimated cost savings, they don’t buy into the report’s other estimates, namely that the savings from enacting “The American Health Care Act” are for the most part the result of 14 million people losing their health care insurance by next year and an estimated 24 million more people being added to the ranks of the uninsured by 2026. Whatever reductions in premiums are realized, will be the result of less coverage and higher deductibles, according to the CBO.

House Leader Paul Ryan and his cronies dispute those numbers. They claim the CBO has not taken into account two other parts of the plan that would reduce insurance premiums in the long run. The problem is those pieces of legislation have yet to be made public, so there’s no point speculating, or trusting they can fix the problems in the plan now under debate.

Hardest hit under Trumpcare, as many are now calling the GOP plan, will be those who depend on Medicaid – called Medi-Cal in California —which includes the country’s lowest income residents, usually the very young and the elderly nearing retirement. who will see the government subsidies that help pay for their coverage go away.

Obamacare has added millions of previously uninsured people to the ranks of the insured, primarily through the expansion of Medicaid. For a high percentage of those now covered, both in the low- and moderate-income brackets, paying for insurance coverage would have been impossible without the Obama subsidies.

The CBO estimates the GOP’s bill will cut $1 trillion in assistance to low- and moderate-income Americans.

Add in the fact that the GOP wants to provide assistance through income tax credits rather than the direct subsidies that currently start when a family signs up for coverage, and it’s not hard to understand why so many people are afraid they will lose their health care insurance.

In our view, if you can’t afford to put out the cash for coverage now, what good is a tax credit down the road?

Estimates that premiums will increase by $2,400 a year for moderate-income earners, and as much as $4,000 a year for low-income families, are good reasons to be worried. The fact that insurance marketplaces would be able to charge older consumers five times what they charge younger consumers. All this while members of Congress wallow in their low-cost, gold plated health insurance and other benefits.

Would members of Congress settle for the same plans for their families? We think not.

So much for cheaper and better.

The GOP health plan is not the only issue causing a ruckus this week in the Trump White House.

The House Select Committee on Intelligence, headed by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, and minority ranking member, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, also from California, announced Tuesday they have found no evidence to support Pres. Trump’s claim that former president Barack Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump campaign headquarters while he was still in office.

The allegation was just one of the many early morning tweets the president has come to be known for, which are more often than not unsubstantiated or flat out wrong.

Claims by an administration spokesperson that the president may have been referring to a recent report that electronic devices in American homes have the capability to “spy on” their owners, only added further to the controversy.

Add in the facts that a judge has again halted the president’s ban on certain groups entering the country, and two pages of his 2005 tax returns were leaked to the press “without his permission, and there’s no doubt this has been a tough week for the president.

 

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March 16, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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