The tax bill shell with an Obamacare repeal core would indeed attack American health: 13 million more uninsured over the next decade; health insurance premium increases by an additional 10 percent annually; and a $1.4 trillion addition to the national debt, a nidus for arguments to defund life-saving programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security (in addition to the bill’s automatic cuts to these programs.) It’s no surprise why many feared for their lives.
This is nonsense. Utter and complete nonsense.
First off, the 13M uninsured is one groups estimate, and it’s a silly one. The problem with the individual mandate has always been that the penalty for not having insurance is about a tenth the cost of the unsubsidized ACA premiums. Americans can do the math; if you’re cash-strapped and healthy, you turn a 90% profit by passing on insurance. This is why even some of the ACA architects (specifically, Dr. Gruber) have flat out said that the individual mandate did not incent people to sign up the way it was originally envisioned.
Secondly: That 1.4T increase to the debt, although regrettable, is only a 30% increase over what was already baked into the government baseline projections. I hope growth exceeds estimates and it doesn’t happen, but let’s not pretend that it was anything more than a 30% increase.
Thirdly: Tying this to fear regarding Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security is a lie that makes Shawn Hannity look like Honest Abe Lincoln. All those programs are funded NOT out of the general fund, but out of their OWN private trust funds. Never the twain shall meet; the deficit is therefore firewalled from those programs.
Like all bills, this one has its warts. But it’s passage does not destroy the world, the country, the ACA, or any other program. Implying that it does is fearmongering and demogogery.