Letters to the Editor

The Great American Health Care Act

After nearly 10 years of opposition, the Republicans in Congress finally offered their health care plan (AHCA), which is, of course, great. As President Donald Trump promised during the campaign, “insurance for everybody,” better coverage and lower consumer costs

Not only will the AHCA increase the number of uninsured Americans by 14 million in 2018 and 21 million in 2020 but it will also increase by 52 million in 2026, which is 24 million more than if Obamacare were still in force. Now that’s progress from a truly compassionate conservative Congress and President!

A 64-year-old’s health insurance net premium (after tax credits) would increase from $1,700/year under Obamacare to $14,600/year. That’s what HHS Secretary Tom Price calls better access to health care. The AHCA also removes the requirement that large employers provide health insurance for their employees, so half of Americans will also possibly lose access to health care. Ah, progress.

Quoting an excellent article in The Atlantic, “This bill seems exquisitely designed to please nobody -- except for rich people who want a tax break.” This so-called “Health Care Act” is no more than a $600 billion tax break for the top 1-2 percent of Americans -- the only group to thrive since the Great Recession.

In any normal political environment, in a true democracy, in a functional government “for the people,” this kind of legislative fraud would be unthinkable. In the Trump administration, with this Congress, I fear it’s the new normal. God help us.

Clint McSherry