Good evening, suckers.
Obviously, we'll have more to say about the political effects of the "scoring" of the Republican proposal to change the way that Americans obtain the peace of mind that comes with actually having health insurance. But the Congressional Budget Office-about which the president* is of two minds, and both of them ignorant-report that came out late Monday made a few things eminently clear.
1) This isn't a healthcare bill. It's really a tax cut.
2) This bill is not concerned with providing affordable health insurance to the most people. It is a designed to give a massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.
3) This bill has nothing to do with what people need when they get sick. They are a secondary consideration to the tax cut and, amazingly, to The Deficit, in direct contravention of the Blog's First Law of Economics: Fck The Deficit. People Got No jobs. People Got No Money. As a result of this, Medicaid also will be led to the slaughter pen.
You heard the drums beating all weekend. The Republicans do not care that fewer people will be covered than are covered now. Speaker Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin, was quite plain that he's going to hang his vestigial humanity on the concept of "access," which is a bogus metric on many levels. (Right now, as I sit here, I have "access" to a Cabriolet. Don't have the money to buy it, though.) I just heard a conservative pundit on MSNBC say that coverage is "not a Republican priority" in the healthcare debate, which at least is honest.
And now that the numbers are out, it seems they have been very true to their words. There will be 14 million more uninsured Americans in 2018 and 24 million a decade from now. That's a lot of preventable illness and death right there. The "savings" in the CBO report rely on the notion that the government will save $30 million a year by throwing people off Medicaid. A lot of people are going to lose health insurance, and a lot of people are going to get sick and die who would have done neither if we'd just left everything passed in 2009 alone.
But that's not the point of this bill. This bill is a tax cut in sheep's clothing, and the sheep's clothing doesn't even fit very well over the fangs.
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