Ezra Klein: “CBO Report The Most Singularly Devastating Documents I’ve Seen in American Politics”

Ezra Klein reacts to the Congressional Budget Office’s official analysis of the GOP’s American Health Care Act (or “Trumpcare”).

The Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the GOP’s American Health Care Act is one of the most singularly devastating documents I’ve seen in American politics. For a thorough explanation of the findings, read Sarah Kliff’s explainer. But here is the one-sentence summary: Under the GOP’s bill, the more help you need, the less you get.

Here’s how Klein, an incredibly valuable voice in America’s ongoing health care crisis, summarizes Trump’s hotly anticipated bill that promised to be infinitely better than the ACA:

The AHCA would increase the uninsured population by about 24 million people — which is more people than live in New York state. But the raw numbers obscure the cruelty of the choices. The policy is particularly bad for the old, the sick, and the poor. It is particularly good for the rich, the young, and the healthy.

Here, in short, is what the AHCA does. The bill guts Medicaid, halves the value of Obamacare’s insurance subsidies, and allows insurers to charge older Americans 500 percent more than they charge young Americans.

Then it takes the subsidies that are left and reworks them to be worth less to the poor and the old, takes the insurers that are left and lets them change their plans to cover fewer medical expenses for the sick, and rewrites the tax code to offer hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts to the rich.

Unfortunately for millions of people voted for Trump believing he would deliver them higher quality, more affordable health care, they’ll get hit the hardest by the proposed reforms. Although the bill hasn’t passed yet, should it get through Congress, American look set to face at least four years of extreme uncertainty when it comes to their health care. 

While everyone impacted by this ludicrous replacement package deserves sympathy, it is a little hard to muster empathy for those who not only railed against Obamacare while reaping its rewards, but then voted in a lunatic who is about to take away affordable health care for everyone not a millionaire. The only solace in all of this is that this is political suicide — you take people’s benefits away and they’ll almost certainly vote you out in the next election. Because while everyone loves to hate the government, they always miss it when the freebies disappear. 

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.