Follow the Health Care Money

David Leonhardt, Op-Ed Columnist  – The New York Times

Many Americans over the age of 60 would have to pay more for health insurance under the Republican health care plan. Many low-income families would lose their insurance. Many disabled people, hepatitis patients and opioid addicts, among others, would no longer receive treatments that they do now.

Care to guess where the billions of dollars in savings from these cuts would go instead?

They would go largely to the richest 1 percent of households, those earning at least $700,000 a year, according to the Tax Policy Center. A disproportionate amount of the savings would go to the richest of the rich — those earning in the millions.

The Republican health care bill is, in no small measure, a tax cut for the wealthy.

If you’re wondering how Republican leaders can defend cutting benefits for older, sicker and poorer Americans to pay for a top-end tax cut, House Speaker Paul Ryan offered a revealing non-answer, as Jonathan Chait noted in New York Magazine.

At a news conference, a reporter asked Ryan why the bill cuts taxes for the rich. Ryan laughed, waved the question away, told the reporter to read the bill and then moved on to another question. Evidently, he can’t defend the tax cut.

In related news, the list of groups opposing the bill now includes AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States and the Children’s Hospital Association. MARCH 9, 2017

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