The Republican tax overhaul that just squeaked through the Senate last night will, excuse the bluntness, TOTALLY FUCK nation’s health-care system. It is a sharp knife that GUTS Affordable Care Act.
It abolishes the government’s enforcement of the ACA requirement that most Americans carry insurance coverage. It would not end the individual mandate itself, but it eliminates tax penalties for not meeting the requirement. 13 million will be uninsured and drive up insurance premiums in marketplaces created under the law.
Now that both chambers of Congress have passed versions of the biggest rewrite of tax law in decades, the differences will have to be negotiated.
According to the Washington Post, the cuts will decrease federal spending on Medicare by 4 percent — amounting to about $25 million next year, the Congressional Budget Office forecast. The funding loss would be spread among payments to doctors, hospitals and others that provide care to the program’s 56 million older and disabled Americans.
It would eliminate nearly $1 billion a year for a Prevention and Public Health Fund, created under the ACA, that now represents 12 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget.
If that fund disappears, people are going to be sicker with low-income Americans less-likely to get tested for breast or colon cancer and public health workers less able to control outbreaks of contagious infections.
Advocates for vulnerable groups of Americans fear that the sheer magnitude of the bill’s deficit increase — $1.5 trillion in the coming decade — would give conservatives in Congress reason to shrink social safety-programs that they have long hoped to target. David Certner, legislative counsel for AARP said.
“That is ultimately the most troubling part. We create these large deficits and that will put pressure for cuts to Medicare, Medicaid… Everything will be on the table.”
(Photo, AARP; via Washington Post)
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