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Tort Reform Might Finally Be Coming!

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Goody:

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services secretary, already has a plan for how to abolish Obamacare.

The Washington Post reported late Monday that Trump intends to announce Price, who currently serves as House Budget Chair, to lead the federal agency overseeing Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.

Price will arrive with at HHS with a clear blueprint for what comes next. He is the author of the Empowering Patients First Act, one of the most thorough and detailed proposals to repeal and replace Obamacare. He’s the HHS secretary you’d pick if you were dead serious about dismantling the law.

It would replace the law with a plan that does more to benefit the young, healthy, and rich — and disadvantages the sick, old, and poor. Price’s plan provides significantly less help to those with preexisting conditions than other Republican proposals, particularly the replacement plan offered by House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI).

The biggest cut to the poor in Price’s plan is the full repeal of the Medicaid expansion, a program that currently covers millions of low-income Americans, which Price replaces with, well, nothing.

I’m sure that the insurance and medical lobbies that are among his biggest funders will totally bail on him when they find out that wants to end Obama’s neoliberal BAILOUT of the insurance industry, though!

…Sargent:

Jonathan Cohn has a good piece explaining what the choice of Rep. Price means in policy terms. Unlike many Republicans, Price has at least given a lot of thought to how to replace the ACA. But Price’s own replacement proposal would roll back the Medicaid expansion, a substantial portion of financial assistance for others getting coverage, and a fair amount of regulation of the individual market. And so, the likely end result (again, at best) is that a lot of the 20 million people who would lose coverage due to repeal will remain without coverage, and protections for those with bad medical conditions will be eroded.

[…]

I have obtained new numbers from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that suggest that a lot of poor and working-class whites — who voted for Trump in disproportionate numbers — have benefited from Obamacare, meaning they likely stand to lose out from its repeal (and even its replacement with something that covers far fewer people). Gallup-Healthways numbers from earlier this fall showed that overall, the national uninsured rate has plummeted to a new low of 10 percent, a drop of over six percentage points since the law went into effect — which alone is a major achievement.

But that drop, it turns out, is even more pronounced among poor whites. Gallup-Healthways tells me that among whites without a college degree who have household incomes of under $36,000, the uninsured rate has dropped from 25 percent in 2013 to 15 percent now — a drop of 10 percentage points. It’s often noted that the law has disproportionately expanded coverage among African Americans and Latinos. That is correct, but it has also disproportionately expanded coverage among poor white people.

Of only editors and journalists had any discretion over what was worth covering, this might have gotten, say, half as much attention as Hillary Clinton’s email management practices.

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