The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has issued a dire warning against Republican lawmakers’ proposed Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill — a hellish Obamacare replacement that could strip millions of Americans of their right to affordable coverage.
Let’s get real: this bill is a train wreck, and Republican legislators know it.
In fact, it’s so horrible, the GOP is desperately attempting to push it through the Senate before the Congressional Budget Office has a chance to score it.
The proposal was brutally dismantled earlier this week by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who highlighted Republicans’ reliance on public ignorance to pass the legislation.
“Health care is complicated,” said Kimmel. “It’s boring. I don’t want to talk about it. And that’s what these guys are relying on. They’re counting on you to be so overwhelmed with information you just trust them to take care of you. But they’re not taking care of you. They’re taking care of the people who give them money.”
Unfortunately for Republicans, their latest bill wasn’t sneaky enough to thwart the minds of the American populace. The public prefers the existing healthcare legislation over the Graham-Cassidy bill by a 20-point margin, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll published Friday.
My personal disdain for this bill doesn’t stem from its GOP authorship, however. It stems from its foreboding implications.
Thanks to the AARP and the tireless work of investigative journalists, we now wield the ability to knowledgeably fight this disastrous legislation.
What’s Happening Now:
The Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill could send healthcare premiums and out-of-pocket expenses skyrocketing, according to recent analysis by the AARP Public Policy Institute.
“For a 60-year-old earning $25,000 a year, premiums and out-of-pocket costs could increase by as much as $16,174 a year if they wanted to keep their current coverage,” the report reads.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) currently caps premiums at $1,608 in all 48 contiguous states. If the Graham-Cassidy bill passes, it will eliminate ACA tax credits, potentially increasing premiums upwards of $10,572 nationwide, on average.
It does so by rescinding healthcare subsidies and Medicaid expansion — measures imposed by the ACA — and redirecting those funds into a massive (nearly $1.2 trillion) state block grant.
Here’s the catch: states aren’t required to use those funds on consumer assistance. Low-income earners could end up waving premium assistance and cost-sharing reductions goodbye.
Healthcare analysts have resoundingly condemned the bill. Larry Levitt, a senior vice president with the Kaiser Family Foundation — a non-profit health policy organization — called the proposal “the most radical of any of the Republican health care bills that have been debated this year.”
“Graham-Cassidy would likely be the biggest devolution of federal money and responsibility to the states, ever, for anything,” Levitt said on Twitter. “It’s hard to think of any other bill that commits so much federal money with so few details as Graham-Cassidy.”
Bottom line: Graham-Cassidy likely means more people uninsured and less protection for pre-existing conditions. But that will vary by state.
— Larry Levitt (@larry_levitt) September 19, 2017
Fortunately, several renowned GOP martyrs readily faced GOP legislators’ most-avoided topic: reality. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) have said they will not back the proposal, and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said she’s “leaning against the bill.”
If at least 3 Republicans vote “no,” the bill won’t pass. Instead, it will join the party’s many failed efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare — a seven-year promise which seemingly remains dead.