You might think that a CBO report showing that you plan to kill thousands of people a year and inflict physical and financial misery on countless more in order to pay for a massive upper-class tax cut would faze the leader who proposed it. At least, you could lie and say the report is wrong. Not Serious Policy Wonk who demonstrates his Deep Commitment to the Poor by doing photo-ops in closed soup kitchens, though, he can see an upside to it!
This report confirms that the American Health Care Act will lower premiums and improve access to quality, affordable care. [Ed note: that sound you just heard was Paul Ryan’s nose slamming into a tree in Minnesota.] CBO also finds that this legislation will provide massive tax relief, dramatically reduce the deficit, and make the most fundamental entitlement reform in more than a generation. These are things we are achieving in just the first of a three-pronged approach. It’s important to note that this report does not take into consideration additional steps Congress and the Trump administration are taking that will further lower costs and increase choices.
TrumpCare is “the most fundamental entitlement reform in more than a generation” in the sense that the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was the most fundamental human rights legislation in a generation. Ed Kilgore:
This is, to put it mildly, a disingenuous take. According to CBO, the AHCA will actually boost premiums in the short term, and will boost them even more for poorer and older Americans. It does not, in fact, improve “access to quality, affordable care” — the insufficiency of its tax credits are a big reason for the coverage losses CBO anticipates. Ryan’s argument that this is just part of a “three-pronged approach” is specious for the reason I mentioned above: The idea that any iteration of this deeply broken Republican health-care plan will conceivably command 60 votes in the Senate is pure fantasy.
The one thing Ryan got right is that the CBO estimates the $935 billion in spending reductions via smaller tax credits and Medicaid cuts — all mostly affecting the working poor — will exceed the $599 billion in tax cuts, mostly targeted to the wealthy. That’s not an argument that will fare very well once it is understood.
And it’s even worse than this. Leaving aside the monstrosity of creating untold human suffering for deficit reductions, TrumpCare wouldn’t even result in net deficit reduction, since its passage is designed to facilitate the passage of further, permanent upper-class tax cuts.
If this barbarism actually passes, the book on how the media helped it happen needs several chapters on the creation of “Paul Ryan, Serious Policy Wonk” alongside chapters on “Hillary Clinton’s email server, the most consequential issue of the 2016 campaign.”