Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) held a televised ‘Town Hall’ on CNN hosted by Jake Tapper on January 12, 2016. After an ex-Republican cancer survivor stood up and asked Ryan to thank President Obama for him, because the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) saved his life, the Wisconsin Republican reiterated that House Republicans would repeal the law that saved his life because it’s not working. He exclaimed that "The law is collapsing, and so we've got to rescue people."
The law isn’t collapsing and the repeal would be catastrophic for millions of Americans. If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, more Americans will get sick with a preventable illness, more Americans will die from a preventable death, more Americans will become bankrupt by medical bills that were previously covered by the law, and emergency rooms all over the country will be overwhelmed by millions of people as they will be the primary care provider for the uninsured. Hospitals will be providing services that the patients can’t pay for, which causes prices to rise.
The Kaiser Family Foundation project that if the pre-existing conditions provision is repealed, 52 million Americans could be at risk of being denied coverage in the future.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report that 4.3 million Americans will lose their coverage immediately in 2017 when the law is repealed, and an additional 30 million Americans will be uninsured .
Moreover, the impact of that collapse would be immediate, with 4.3 million people dropping coverage and becoming uninsured in 2017 due to the individual mandate’s repeal.
The report’s other key findings include:
- The vast majority (82 percent) of people becoming uninsured in 2019 would be in working families and would not have college degrees (80 percent).
- More than half (56 percent) of those losing coverage would be non-Hispanic whites.
- The doubling of the number of uninsured would cause demands for uncompensated health care to skyrocket by $1.1 trillion over 2019-2028, placing heavy new burdens on state and local governments and health care providers.
The real winners in the Obamacare repeal sweepstakes are the wealthiest Americans who will enjoy a huge windfall due to a reduction in taxes. If Obamacare is repealed, the top 400 highest-income taxpayers, with annual incomes of more than $300 million, would receive a estimated annual tax cut of $7 million dollars a year. Brandon Debot, Chye-Ching Huang, and Chuck Marr, of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities describe the tax implications for high wealth taxpayers, and middle and low-income taxpayers.
Republicans’ planned bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is expected to be similar to the repeal bill that President Obama vetoed in January 2016, would provide an immediate windfall tax cut to the highest-income Americans while raising taxes significantly on about 7 million low- and moderate-income families.
First, it would eliminate two Medicare taxes — the additional Hospital Insurance tax and the Medicare tax on unearned income — that both fall only on high-income filers, thereby cutting taxes substantially for those at the top.
- The top 400 highest-income taxpayers — whose annual incomes average more than $300 million apiece — each would receive an average annual tax cut of about $7 million, we estimate from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data.
- This group’s tax cut would total about $2.8 billion a year.
- The roughly 160 million households with incomes below $200,000 would get nothing from the repeal of these two taxes.
Second, ACA repeal would significantly raise taxes on about 7 million low- and moderate-income families due to the loss of their premium tax credits — worth an average of $4,800 in 2017 — that help them buy health coverage through the health insurance marketplaces and afford to go to the doctor when needed.
If you currently have a salary or income in excess of $300 million dollars a year, and the ACA is repealed, you are going to get a huge tax cut. If you’re currently receiving a tax credit to subsidize your health insurance coverage, your taxes could go up significantly.
Donald Trump complained during his campaign that the system was rigged. I must admit that I agree with him, as the deck is stacked in his favor, and in favor of the millionaires and billionaires in his cabinet, and there’s nothing fair, equitable or just about that.
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