Trump on Health: Not Americans First
The steep cuts to the National Institute of Health, and the hordes of Americans that will lose their healthcare by the Republican’s American Health Care Act, show that President Trump is really attacking American’s health, in favor of increasing military spending, and providing tax cuts to the wealthy.
Apparently, the slogan “America First” meant being first in winning in both trade deals and military deployment around the world, as well as winning wars again. It certainly didn’t mean being First in healthcare for Americans. First, the proposed and already hated American Health Care Act (AHCA) will in the first year make health care unaffordable to 14 million Americans, but also eventually drop 24 million Americans from healthcare. The White House had even a larger estimate of 26 million when they endorsed the Ryan proposal, even before the CBO presented their better number. Unfortunately, the drops fall most heavily on the poor elderly, by raising their cost differential from 3:1, to 5:1.
While Trump promised us utopian, universal health care at less cost, it is not even clear that the White House proposed anything to the AHCA, or asked to make changes to it before completely and totally endorsing it, and insisting that all Republicans accede to this unvetted plan. Certainly, most Republican Congressmen, Democratic Congressmen, Medical Associations, Patient Organizations, and the public were not consulted before the plan was 100% endorsed by House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, President Trump, and the White House. Now that there are objections to the plan by the public, the White House has declined the label “Trumpcare”. Whatever happened to “Extreme Vetting” to protect the American public?
The AHCA also includes tax breaks for the very wealthy by eliminating the present Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA) tax on the wealthy to subsidize the extended Medicaid program. It also gives wealthier Americans twice the tax deduction than poorer people get. The AHCA will save $337 billion over ten years, or rather, deny Americans that much in needed healthcare, for no apparent reason. The savings are presented as applicable to reducing the debt, again, not something needed as much as health care is. The argument has been that preventative health care saves money in the long run, increases productivity, and saves States from picking up the costs for those without health care. It is also humanitarian in keeping people healthy, free of painful and debilitating problems, and giving them longer life spans.
In the carefully balanced and not increased skinny budget proposal, there is no room for Trump’s promised tax cuts. Obviously, the $337 billion savings from dropping health care coverage will be hungrily eyed for tax breaks for the wealthy, and not for deficit reduction, which in practice, Republicans never hew to anyway.