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The Lying Liars Hired By Lying Liars

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Tom-Price“So you’re here to sell me some land.”

Tom Price can lie* almost like the boos himself:

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made a bold promise during a Sunday morning interview with Meet the Press. “Nobody will be worse off financially” under the Republicans’ new health care plan, he boasted.

Let’s be clear: This is a lie. Price is making an impossible promise. Low-income Americans would receive significantly less help to purchase private coverage on the individual market, under the Republican plan in Congress right now. The plan would also end Medicaid expansion in two years, forcing many even lower-income Americans to lose health coverage.

There is nothing in the plan to suggest those low-income Americans would suddenly gain cheaper — or even comparable — coverage to make up for what they lose.

The Trump administration is falling into a trap that bedeviled Obama administration. Officials are pretending that health policy doesn’t have trade-offs, that they have finally written a plan that is great for everyone.

They are wrong.

Every health bill has people who do better because of its changes, and also, people who do worse. Change the system so one group pays less and another group, inevitably, has to pay more — either through higher premiums, or higher taxes (now or in the future), or higher out-of-pocket medical spending. Policies that benefit the sick can disadvantage the healthy; plans that give more help to middle-income Americans reduce the help that the poorest Americans get.

*Obligatory note that I cannot prove to an absolute certainty that Price’s false statements are knowingly dishonest, as opposed to falsehoods he has convinced himself are true. My apologies for my role in destroying civil discourse in America.

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