Friday's HOT MIC
Sorry, but I've got to beat this horse some more -- it might still be breathing.
This is coming from Avik Roy, whose ObamaCare criticisms have been right on the money since the law was just a gleam in Harry Reid's (now damaged) eye. Roy says that "Ryancare" got regulatory reform right, which is great. He also says that the bill does help to fix Medicare -- except for the parts it screws up. So that part is a mixed bag.
But then there's the big oops:
What Ryancare gets wrong: Health insurance tax credits
Unfortunately, the A-plus on the regulatory side is balanced out by a C-minus on the tax credit side. House Speaker Paul Ryan adamantly opposed a means-tested approach to providing financial assistance for premiums, instead insisting on a flat tax credit that remains the same if you’re at the poverty line or nearing six figures.
That approach means that million of low-income Americans in their fifties and sixties will be priced out of the insurance market, while millions of upper-income Americans who don’t need the help will get a big tax credit. Many of the people adversely affected by the AHCA are Trump voters whose favored candidate campaigned on “insurance for everybody.”
Furthermore, the Ryancare tax credit will trap millions in poverty, by slapping them with thousands of dollars in health insurance premiums should they make enough to no longer be eligible for Medicaid. That will discourage the poor from working and rejoining the economy.
On top of all that, Ryancare does nothing to reform the unlimited tax break for employer-based coverage that does so much to make insurance unaffordable for everyone. Indeed, the bill takes Obamacare’s “Cadillac Tax,” an imperfect reform in the right direction, and pushes it back to 2023.
I want you to reread one line: "That approach means that million of low-income Americans in their fifties and sixties will be priced out of the insurance market, while millions of upper-income Americans who don’t need the help will get a big tax credit."
Those older, low-income Americans are also a big part of the Trump coalition, and those "upper-income Americans who don’t need the help" consist of a lot of gentry liberals.
So Ryancare as-is hurts those who pegged their hopes on Trump last year, and helps those who think of those Trump voters as a bunch of mouth-breathing racists.
Maybe this can get fixed in the Senate or through reconciliation, but as of right now, Ryancare contains a pill that's just too big to swallow -- and a poison pill at that.