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22 Million Lucky Duckies!


The Senate version of TrumpCare cynically phased in the massive Medicaid cuts to try to push some of the effects out of the CBO’s window. It didn’t really help. The Senate version would unleash death, suffering and financial ruin on an unconscionable number of people, all to pay for a massive upper-class tax cut:

And both are them are clearly, unequivocally, mean. The Senate bill will take insurance away from tens of millions of people, make low-income Americans pay more in premiums and deductibles, and institute the biggest cut to Medicaid in American history. People will suffer. Some people will die.

According to the CBO, 22 million fewer people will have health insurance as a result of the Senate bill, in its latest form. And 15 million fewer will have Medicaid coverage, as the program is dramatically shrunk to below even its pre-Obamacare funding levels. Spending on health insurance for low- and moderate-income people will fall by $1 trillion over 10 years, of which $772 billion are cuts to Medicaid alone.

The best evidence we have on the effect of health insurance on human mortality suggests that taking insurance away from 22 million people will lead to more than 26,500 excess deaths every year. That’s, as my colleague Julia Belluz notes, “more than the death tolls from firearm homicides, HIV, and skin cancer in the US each year.” Tens or hundreds of thousands more will face medical bankruptcies, a trend that plummeted in dramatic fashion after Obamacare’s passage.

Like the House bill, this is an uncommonly reprehensible piece of legislation. And I suspect the bill was so ineptly crafted and reduces the toll of uninsured so little that they won’t be able to get away with using the House as a baseline and suggesting that the Senate bill is much more generous, although I’ve been wrong before. I assume Republicans will just stick with a “shamelessly lie our asses off” approach, which may get them to 50 votes because the Republican conference consists almost entirely of amoral monsters or those willing to act as amoral monsters for political reasons (a distinction, needless to say, without a difference.)

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