House Republicans were scrambling Sunday to secure enough commitments before Monday to push through proposed legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and with good reason. On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office will issue an analysis of the cost of the GOP plan, and once that happens, it’s likely the true intent of the Republicans’ bait-and-switch game on health care will become clear to the majority of the American public.
The American Health Care Act, as the GOP’s bill is titled, is really just a plan to transfer more wealth to the country’s richest citizens at the expense of the poor and elderly, according to the bill’s critics. The New York Times and CNN, based on a review of the bill by the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, published evidence of this over the weekend.
According to The New York Times, two of the biggest tax cuts included in the American Health Care Act would save an estimated $157 billion over the next 10 years to people with incomes of $1 million or more:
The provisions would repeal two tax increases on high earners enacted in 2010 to help pay for the Affordable Care Act: an increase in capital gains taxes and other investment-related income, and a surcharge on Medicare taxes.
People making $200,000 to $999,999 a year would also get sizable tax cuts. In total, the two provisions would cut taxes by about $274 billion during the coming decade, virtually all of it for people making at least $200,000, according to a separate assessment by the committee.
The committee also estimated that repealing the Medicare payroll tax surcharge would cost the federal government an estimated $117 billion over the next decade, CNN reported. The bill also would cut taxes on insurers, medical device makers and prescription drug makers. In other words, none of the people who actually believed Donald Trump and the Republicans would “make America great again” will benefit from a repeal of Obamacare, and in fact, they will be among those who suffer the most.
Speaking Sunday on MSNBC Live, Michigan Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee said that if the GOP plan is passed, health care costs “are going to go way up for people who can least afford it.”
“It’s a “huge transfer of wealth with big tax breaks going to the richest people in this country,” Kildee said. “We’re going to go back to the time…where health care is for the privileged few who have access to the means, and everybody else is going to be on their own.”
In The New York Times story, the former chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation, Edward D. Kleinbard, and a former senior staff economist for President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, Joel Slemrod, agreed with that assessment.
Said Kleinbard: “Repeal-and-replace is a gigantic transfer of wealth from the lowest-income Americans to the highest-income Americans.”
So much for draining the swamp.
Trump, who was uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter over the weekend, nevertheless signaled on Saturday that he’s 100% behind the Republican con job being perpetrated on the very people who put him in the White House: