For the budget to become more than a wish list it will have to pass both the House and Senate. The chances that a full repeal will get through the House and Senate are about zero, this means another Government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act could be in our near future.
It’s important to note that: According to the CBO the estimated cost of repealing the ACA is $353 billion. This means that to repeal the ACA the GOP had to come up with another $353 billion just to balance the cost of repealing the ACA.
What Does The Budget Say About ObamaCare and Healthcare?
Here is a juxtaposition of the bullet points of the house GOP version of what they want, versus the Budget Committee Democrats version of what this all means, versus what Bernie Sander’s wants:
|Republican Version||Democrat’s Explanation of What the Republican Version Means||Bernie Sanders Version of HealthCare Reform|
Repeals Obamacare in full – including all of its taxes, regulations and mandates
Promotes freedom of choice, affordability, and patient-centered health care solutions
Eliminates IPAB, an unelected, unaccountable board of bureaucrats charged with making coverage decisions on health care
Ends the Obamacare raid on Medicare
Strengthens Medicare by making structural improvements to save the program
|The Republican conference agreement on the budget repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA), block-grants Medicaid, voucherizes Medicare, and puts public health at risk – all in the name of deficit reduction while refusing to cut a single special-interest tax break to reduce the deficit.
Takes away insurance from more than 16 million Americans – The budget repeals the ACA, despite the law’s success in covering 16.4 million uninsured people and reducing the uninsured rate to the lowest level on record. The budget eliminates premium tax credits, reverses Medicaid expansions in 29 states and DC, kicks millions of young adults off their parents’ plans, and allows insurers to deny coverage or charge higher premiums due to pre-existing conditions.
Harms children, seniors, and people with disabilities – The budgetblock-grants Medicaid and slashes funding by about $0.5 trillion over ten years. Block-granting undermines the safety net for 70 million Americans, including more than one in three children. The plan endangers seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for long-term services like nursing home care. A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of this type of plan indicates that states may limit eligibility for Medicaid, scale back benefits, cut payment rates, or increase out-of-pocket costs.
Shifts health care costs onto current retirees – The budget increases seniors’ costs by repealing the ACA’s Medicare benefit improvements, such as a provision that reduces prescription drug costs for millions of seniors. If Republicans had succeeded at one of their several attempts to repeal the law, nearly 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities in Medicare would have paid an additional $4.8 billion – or an average of $941 per beneficiary – for their drugs in 2014.
Ends the Medicare guarantee for future retirees – The budget makes it the policy of the House to endorse a plan to shift the risks of growing health care costs onto seniors by converting Medicare into a program in which future enrollees receive a fixed premium-support payment (or voucher) toward the purchase of a private health plan or traditional Medicare. CBO analyses show that the only way these plans can ensure significant long-term federal Medicare savings is by markedly increasing costs to Medicare beneficiaries.
Disinvests in America’s health and safety – The budget maintains sequester-level funding caps for 2016, cutting non-defense discretionary funding by $37.3 billion below the comparable President’s request. If Republicans were to spread this cut proportionately based on their allocations for each appropriations bill, promising medical research and public health programs will be suspended. The Administration estimates that relative to the President’s request for 2016, the Republican budget could mean 1,400 fewer National Institutes of Health grants.
The healthcare section of this budget alone is is the equivalent to telling your parents you won’t clean your room if they don’t get you a pony… then vilifying your parents for not getting you a pony… then costing tax payers billions because you shut down the government and refuse to pay federal workers for a month… while Ted Cruz reads doctor Seuss.
Humor aside, the GOP budget proposal isn’t all non-sense (take a moment to actually read it, move through the rhetoric and get to the ideas about half-way through, see page 17 for full list of ObamaCare changes).
The GOP include some solid ideas on cleaning up the tax code and cutting spending in the budget. They also include some very real, albeit spun for Republican consumption, facts from the CBO about the deficit and debt.
Unfortunately they augment the smart budget ideas with childish demands of healthcare repeal, cuts to the safey-net, and deep tax cuts that increase spending, lower revenue, and lower the quality of life for many.
Truly we have a giant problem with debt and spending, but the GOP solution to this always involves cutting spending and less taxable revenue leaving us in a very similar position we started in.
It would be nice to see fiscally conservative ideas without the politically motivated ransom demands attached. Maybe if the parties worked together and stopped fighting over divisive issues they could actually help America get out of debt in a way that didn’t involve hanging our poorest out to dry.