Those are two words I’m going to need to keep ready to use. No other major party in a western democracy would consider taking health care away from 24 million people to give a tax break to the wealthiest fraction of a percent, but that is what the Republican Party stands for.
The American Health Care Act is projected to take health care coverage from tens of millions of Americans, gut protections for those with pre-existing conditions, slash Medicaid and insurance subsidies, all while handing the rich a massive tax cut.
The process through which the legislation passed is equally obscene. Republicans didn’t bother to wait for a score from the Congressional Budget Office, so in an ostentatious display of willful ignorance, GOP lawmakers voted without having any idea how much their bill cost or its expected impact. Republicans didn’t even have a chance to read the bill they voted to advance.
Never mind all that talk of being the party of fiscal responsibility, they never meant any of it. And never mind all that talk about keeping their promises to the American people.
1. Donald Trump vowed, “We’re going to have insurance for everybody…. Everybody’s going to be taken care of.” The Congressional Budget Office, scrutinizing an earlier version of the GOP legislation, projected that the ranks of the uninsured would grow by 14 million by next year, and that number would expand to 24 million by 2026. There’s no new CBO score, but by most estimates, the new total is expected to be even higher.
2. Trump promised, “I’m not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid.” The Republican slashes Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars.
3. Trump insisted the Republican plan would cover consumers with “much lower deductibles.” While the CBO report points to a range of cost changes, based largely on age, it also found millions of Americans would pay higher deductibles.
4. Trump vowed the GOP policy would offer “lower premiums” for consumers. The Republican plan would actually raise premiums considerably.
5. The House Republican leadership assured the public, in writing, “Americans should never be denied coverage or charged more because of a pre-existing condition.” The version of the GOP bill that passed today would gut protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.
6. Trump “guaranteed” that pre-existing-conditions protections “are in the bill,” because he personally “mandated” it. The protections aren’t in the bill.
7. Paul Ryan vowed the Republican approach will make sure that “no one is left out in the cold” and “no one is worse off.” Tens of millions of Americans will be worse off if the GOP plan becomes law.
8. HHS Secretary Tom Price vowed that “nobody will be worse off financially” as a result of the Republican plan. That might be funnier now if it weren’t so sad.
9. Price said the GOP plan “will, in fact, cover more individuals than are currently covered.” This is, of course, the opposite of the truth, and even most Republicans have backed away from this kind of rhetoric.
10. Trump said his approach to health care would “end [the] opioid epidemic in America” and “dramatically expand access to treatment slots.”The opposite appears to be true.
I don’t feel betrayed, of course, because I never supported the Republicans on the basis of those promises. If you voted Republican, though, you should be realizing right about now that you’ve been had.