Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rough Draft of a Letter

     Nice health insurance policy you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it. That sounds like the sort of protection racket the White House is running. “We’d offer them $1 of cost-sharing reductions for $1 of wall payments. Right now that’s the offer we’ve given to our Democratic colleagues.” That’s Mick Mulvaney from OMB. This is a tweet from President Trump. “ObamaCare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going – otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought.”
     Does that make it sound like low-income folks who depend on subsidies for their health insurance are represented by Democrats and not Republicans? “The Dems need big money to keep it going.” And the Republicans preference is to see ACA fail. That seems pretty clear. There’s a smell of desperation as the 100 day mark draws near. I suppose pushing hard for a healthcare bill, even if worse than the original AHCA, is some sort of accomplishment. Savings from repeal of ACA are still needed to give tax reform any chance of working. The wealthy still need their tax cuts. That’s more important than health insurance for the poor.
     This week Kaiser Family foundation came out with an analysis of the effect of ending the cost of the CSRs being held hostage. “The increased cost to the federal government of higher premium tax credits would actually be 23% more than the savings from eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments.” It’s worth losing money to eliminate every last vestige of President Obama and to build a beautiful wall, though.

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