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Republican Senate health proposals go from bad to worse

By Masao Suzuki

Repeal of Affordable Care Act takes insurance from 32 million, double individual premiums

San José, CA – On July 19, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or ACA (also known as Obamacare), without a replacement would leave 32 million more Americans without health insurance. The Republican Senate leadership put forward this bill, officially known as the “Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act of 2017” after their “Repeal and Replace” bill could not muster 50 Republican votes.

The Republican Senate repeal and replace, named the Better Care Reconciliation Act, only had support of 12% of Americans according to public opinion polls after the CBO said that it would leave 22 million more Americans without health insurance. It was opposed by a broad swath of establishment groups such as the American Medical Association, the AARP, hospital associations, and after the Cruz amendment was added, even major health insurance companies.

In addition to taking health insurance from 32 million more Americans after ten years, the Republican Senate repeal only bill would double premiums for individual health insurance policies. In ten years, 75% of the American population would not have any health insurance companies offering individual plans where they lived.

The Republican Senate repeal of the ACA would cut taxes on high income people and health insurance companies by $613 billion over ten years. In addition, large businesses would save over $100 billion that they now have to pay under the ACA if they don’t provide health insurance for their workers. To pay for these tax cuts for the rich and corporations, more than $800 billion would be cut from Medicaid, cutting 19 million people from health insurance. In addition, more than $600 billion of subsidies to buy health insurance would be cut, causing 23 million more Americans to lose their health insurance.

Altogether the repeal would save the federal government almost $500 billion over the next ten years, which Senate Republicans hope to use to cut taxes even more for the rich and big business.

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