At this point in his party's quest to jettison Obamacare - under which, by the way, over 20 million Americans have gained health insurance coverage - Republicare architect Paul Ryan seems pretty happy with yesterday's report by The Congressional Budget Office that under his plan 14 million people will lose their health insurance by next year. He considers this great drop in coverage good news because, as he said in an interview on Fox News yesterday, from now on "the government's not going to force people to buy something they don't want to buy." Ryan added that the report "actually exceeded my expectations." He never dreamed there'd be that many people who'd end up with freedom from health insurance. Break out the champagne!
But that 14 million is only the number of people who'll lose their health care coverage next year. Over time the news gets better: within 10 years that number will be up to 24 million Americans without health insurance! How happy does that make you, Congressman Ryan ?
Of course, factored into that 24 million are the many millions of people who will lose their coverage due to all the employers and companies who will drop health care coverage for their employees because, hey, under Republicare there will be no more employer mandate to provide employee health insurance. Yippee!
Says Paul Ryan about Republicare: "Our plan is about not forcing people to buy expensive, one-size-fits-all coverage. It's about giving people more choices and better access to a plan they want and can afford."
The key words here being can afford. Congressman Ryan adds: "When people have more choices the cost goes down."
Except that's not exactly what the Congressional Budget Office said. What the CBO actually said is that under the Republican plan premiums will increase by 15 to 20 percent.
Oh happy day for all the people who will now have the option - nay, the necessity - to replace their decent Obamacare with some cheap, crummy Republicare plan because that's what they now can afford.
But what about all the people who would like to choose to buy health insurance but won't be able to afford it at all under Republicare? People with families who are barely struggling above the poverty line? The working poor? A 64-year-old making $26,000 who pays a $1,700 premium under Obamacare whose premium would go up to $14,000 under Republicare? Or a 28-year-old who was laid off from her good-paying, health-care-covered job and is now making $20,000 as a barista and under Republicare will receive only $2,000 towards health insurance? Or a single mother making $47,000 with a child who has cerebral palsy and who will no longer be eligible for medicaid?
Who among those people, what person anywhere would not choose good health insurance for themselves and their children?
Mayhaps, considering that Republicare will give a terrific tax break to the wealthy, who will also have the opportunity to save more money tax-free with a health savings account.
But here's the upside: Republicare will also cut $337 billion dollars from the national deficit over ten years. Doesn't that make you happy? That 10 years from now our nation will have an extra $337 billion to put towards the mind-boggling, gargantuan, over-the-moon $603 billion defense budget proposed by Donald Trump?
Who'll even need health care when we'll have all those nuclear warheads to make us feel good?