Health

GOP Health Bill Gives Rich Tax Breaks, Cuts Care (Video)

| by Michael Allen
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The Republican Senate version of the American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare, gives tax cuts to wealthy Americans by cutting health care for the poor and middle class, according to a new report (video below).

Unable to overcome a likely filibuster by Senate Democrats, Republican leaders are hoping to pass their version through a budgetary maneuver called reconciliation, and have named their health care plan the Better Care Reconciliation Act, according to Democracy Now!.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington D.C. think tank, notes that the GOP plan would give the 400 highest-income taxpayers about $33 billion worth of tax cuts from 2019 through 2028. The center also says households that make more than $1 million a year would get yearly tax cuts of about $50,000.

The GOP Senate plan will cut millions of low-income and disabled Americans from Medicaid, slash Obamacare subsidies that middle class people use to buy insurance, allow states to get waivers to grant health insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions higher premiums and cut all federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year, Democracy Now! reports.

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Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky recently defended the GOP plan:

We agreed on the need to free Americans from Obamacare's mandates. And policies contained in the discussion draft will repeal the individual mandate, so Americans are no longer forced to buy insurance they don’t need or can’t afford; will repeal the employer mandate, so Americans no longer see their hours and take-home pay cut by employers because of it.

However, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York insisted the GOP plan is a tax break for the wealthy made possible by cutting Medicaid:

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This is a bill designed to strip away healthcare benefits and protections from Americans who need it most, in order to give a tax break to the folks who need it least. This is a bill that would end Medicaid as we know it, rolling back Medicaid expansion, cutting federal support for the program even more than the House bill, which cut Medicaid by $800 billion.

Harvard professor John McDonough, who helped plan Massachusetts' Romneycare and Obamacare, told Democracy Now! that the Republican plan would hurt people on Medicaid:

About a third of the Medicaid program consists of low-income senior citizens and disabled. They actually account for two-thirds of the spending on the program. And so, if you want to take a meat ax, which is what they’re doing, to the Medicaid program, it is really impossible to implement cuts at that level without having damaging impacts on low-income, disabled and elderly, as well as children, parents and families...

...Nursing homes is very much a part of the benefits that low-income seniors get. Very few families have had seniors, grandparents or parents, who have gone into long-term care and not at some point needed help from Medicaid to pay for the cost of long-term care, which is just so unaffordable for most Americans.

Sources: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Democracy Now! / Photo Credit: Images Money/Flickr (Taxrebate.org.uk), Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons, John J. Meola/Wikimedia Commons

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