The CBO numbers for the shiny new Trump-Ryan Health Care Act are shocking. And immediate loss of 14,000,000 people from health care in the next year would be followed by an increase to 24,000,000 uninsured people by 2026.
And the White House’s own calculations are even steeper – 26,000,000 will be uninsured by 2026, according to a document leaked to Politico.
A detail is given by the CBO: that, for people aged 64, one year away from Medicare, their health insurance costs will surge to 14,000 dollars for that year. Just think: if they are making, say, $25,000 that year, they will have to pay $14,000 for health insurance. Or go without. Their free choice, says House Majority Leader Ryan, and echoing him, Secretary Price of HHS.
In fact, that’s the news being trumpeted by the White House, that 327 billion dollars will be saved, largely because of the freedom given to American s to choose to be uninsured.
But is it fine to save money by reducing the number of people cared for, and by throwing their care, now forced into Emergency Rooms, onto the already strained budgets of the states?
The explanation given is that this is a free country and Americans deserve the right to choose not to buy health care insurance.
But the GOP health care bill is not really about choice. It defunds Planned Parenthood, and specifically withholds funds from abortions. What kind of choice option is that? And it offers Americans tax credits instead of insurance programs. And what working class person is paying $14,000 a year in taxes?
For that matter, what poor woman with kids, who is on Medicaid, will be able, through her tax rebate, to insure her family? What senior in a nursing home will be able to pay for that care? What opioid addict? All of these, and so many more, such a vets discharged from the armed services because of persistent PTSD, are insured through Medicaid. And the GOP wants to close down Medicaid.Yet, the officials who are so proud of free choices to choose your own suffering, or your mom’s, your vet dad’s, your addicted child’s, are happy to raise , by billions, the amount we spend as a nation on defense.
Why is national health not as essential to the country as national defense? Why can we be one nation when it comes to war, but not when it comes to the essentials of peace: health care, schools, and climate change?
Why is everything the GOP wants to do a huge benefit for wealthy business owners – manufacturers of weapons, owners of insurance companies, stock holders in oil companies, business CEOs who don’t like regulations — and a financial burden, and also a deprivation, to ordinary people? Why does the GOP want to celebrate people who would choose not to have health insurance because they cannot afford it? THIS is freedom?
Jesus placed a high value on healing. And he never charged anyone a penny for it.
If that isn’t an argument for a single payer national health system, then the Trump-Ryan Health Care Program certainly should be.
I spent a day last week taking a woman to Boston, to Mass General Hospital, for a check-up on her progress in healing a broken jaw, sustained in an accident. She is healing in a new kind of prosthetic device, inserted into her mouth by oral surgeons, a great improvement over surgery plus an external metal brace.
She’s on Medicare, after a lifetime of teaching high school and raising four children. She could never afford this care, so new it is only available in two hospitals in the country so far. She knows she is lucky to live near one of them. Without government insurance, though, she could not have gotten this care at all.
If the Trump-Ryan Health Care Program is passed by Congress, all those millions who find themselves without insurance should make some pretty serious choices at the polls, come November 2018.
Image: Trump speaks to Congress. en wikipedia.org