How is this better?

I have no idea if, or in what form, the new healthcare bill will pass, or if whatever passes will make it through the Senate.

But whatever ultimately gets passed I think the fair question to ask is this:

How is this better?

While the current political climate does not seem conducive to any fact based discussion a change in policy should be subject to objective measurements.

Recall Republicans have been hammering  Obamacare for years and want to repeal it and replace it with a “pretty picture” as Donald Trump has called it. Fair enough. If you don’t like something, and you are politically in charge, then go ahead, improve on existing policy. I will not go into the merits of any of this, but whatever the merits, Republicans are now on the hook to deliver. You don’t like Obamacare? Fine. Then produce something better. I’m all for it.

Is what is currently proposed better?

Well, according to not only the CBO, but also the Brookings institution, 24 million people will lose health care coverage. And whether you like it or not premiums will go up. Big time for those that can’t afford it in the first place. Here’s an example from Kaiser and it basically says most people will see huge increases in their premiums, especially the old with lower incomes, i.e. the most vulnerable in society (click on the image and you can play with numbers yourself):

And the top 1% will get tax breaks as part of the new proposal.

How is this a “pretty picture”? What has this to do with improving actual healthcare? How does is not widen wealth inequality even further?

How is this better?

Apparently questions are asked across the political spectrum as Americans do not appear to be in favor of the proposed new healthcare system no matter their political allegiance:

“American voters disapprove 56 – 17 percent, with 26 percent undecided, of the Republican health care plan to replace Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Support among Republicans is a lackluster 41 – 24 percent.”

Healthcare is a hugely important issue for all of us and medical costs are rising everywhere and with aging populations this will not change until someone invents a magic health pill. That’s the reality. It’s also a reality that child poverty rates in the US are amongst the highest in the developed world. 20%. Frankly embarrassing for the richest country on the planet. And it also poses a huge moral dilemma.

Wealth inequality keeps sky rocketing and Donald Trump was elected in large part because he promised his base to not forget them, to make America great again and to drain the swamp.

How does this healthcare bill work to achieve any of this? I can’t say as we need to see the final product that comes out. But when it does, it’s not the rhetoric that matters, but the answer to the following questions that every American should demand a measurable answer to:

Who benefits from this?

How is this better?

I ask these questions because, at the end of the day, it is the substantiative result versus the rhetoric that was offered during the campaign that matters and if there is a gap it will go straight to the issue of confidence and the associated credibility of any such promises.

And perhaps there’s another question worth pondering:

Categories: Opinion

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