The CBO has scored the Senate Republicans’ proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. According to the CBO analysis, the Senate bill would leave 22 million people without health care coverage over the next decade. By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured.
Trump cheerleaders took to the airwaves last Sunday in an effort to mischaracterize the contours of the BCRA to hide its flaws. Our Congressman, Lee Zeldin, was one of them. His task – to make believe the BCRA does not cut Medicaid benefits. Taking a page from the Kellyanne Conway playbook, his attempt was nothing but “alternative facts.”
Under the Senate’s bill – the Better Care Reconciliation Act — federal spending on Medicaid would drop by 26 percent over current spending projections, or $772 billion, over the next decade, according to the CBO analysis. This drop in spending occurs mainly because the Senate bill phases out federal funds for states to expand Medicaid and puts annual caps on federal Medicaid dollars to states. The social impact is drastic; by 2026, the CBO estimates that 15 million fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid than projected under the ACA. Currently, more than 74 million low-income and disabled people are Medicaid beneficiaries.
Further, Zeldin said that eventually, everyone who wants health insurance will have access to it, but it will take some time. Some time? Mr. Zeldin is out of touch in his attempt to fabricate a favorable view of healthcare access under the BCRA.
Here is just one example. According to the CBO, under the ACA, a 64 year-old making $56,800 would pay a premium of some $6,800, before any tax subsidy. In stark contrast, under the BCRA, that person’s premium would rise to $20,500. Previously, Mr. Zeldin pointed to allegedly skyrocketing premiums as one of the factors that created a “crisis” requiring the repeal of the ACA. Now he stands before us trying to justify a “replacement” that would saddle that 64 year-old with a 400% higher premium that would be nearly half his income!
It is time for this hypocrisy to end.
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