You can’t argue anymore that this is just incidental, the GOP is following a deliberate and intentional strategy to enrich the wealthy by purposefully damaging the livelihoods of the poor. The AHCA, an absolute travesty of a healthcare bill, was passed through the House this week and is much worse than its previous incarnation.
The popular provision preventing insurance companies from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions will be completely removed by the AHCA, and those with pre-existing conditions, ranging from rape to child birth, could see premiums as high as $142,650 annually. Republicans claim they’ll fix this by shifting those with pre-existing conditions into high risk insurance pools funded by the government, but these risk pools have been implemented in the past and have been chronically underfunded. High-risk pools were tried by 35 states and so far they’ve failed in almost every single one, a national high-risk pool program would require government funding of $18 billion annually but the bill only provides $13 billion and those are for various state healthcare initiatives including high risk-pools– meaning the vast majority of the money that isn’t even enough to fund high-risk pools won’t be going to the high-risk pools.
The AHCA’s assault on the unfortunate doesn’t end there- Republicans have proposed massive cuts to Medicaid, which provides health care for over 10 million low-income Americans, and a complete halt to Medicaid expansion. Medicaid would be converted into a block-grant program, cutting more than $800 billion from the program over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The bill doesn’t only increase premiums and cut funding for the poor, it also has the added ‘benefit’ of being a very poorly disguised tax cut for the rich. Repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s tax provisions would provide America’s wealthiest taxpayers with an immediate tax cut totaling $346 billion over 10 years. Every cent of that would go to taxpayers earning more than $200,000 a year ($250,000 for couples).
Summarized, the AHCA is sending cutting hundreds of billions in funding going towards disadvantaged Americans and instead diverting the money towards the wealthiest of Americans. Trump’s tax plan also follows a similar strategy of cutting taxes on the rich and reducing funding for poor Americans, showcasing the full-fledged Republican assault on poor and middle class Americans. There’s no way to argue otherwise, Republicans are intentionally redistributing money from the poor to the rich, and Americans have to step up and say something about it.