the bill would allow people to use tax-favored health savings accounts to pay insurance premiums. This effectively creates a big new tax shelter that mostly helps people with high incomes
.. So this is still a bill that takes from the poor to give to the rich; it just does so with extra stealth.
.. So how does he address the two big problems with the original bill —
- savage cuts to Medicaid and
- soaring premiums for older, less affluent workers?
.. The most important change in the bill, however, is the way it would effectively gut protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions.
.. the new Senate bill gives in to demands by Ted Cruz that insurers be allowed to offer skimpy plans that cover very little, with very high deductibles that would make them useless to most people.
.. The main answer, I’d argue, is that what would happen if this bill passes — a big decline in the number of Americans with health insurance, a sharp reduction in the quality of coverage for those who keep it — is what Republicans have wanted all along.
.. the Republican elite considered and still considers people on Medicaid, in particular, “takers” who are effectively stealing from the deserving rich.
And the conservative view has always been that Americans have health insurance that is too good, that they should pay more in deductibles and co-pays, giving them “skin in the game,” and thus an incentive to control costs.
.. So what we’re seeing here is supposed to be the last act in a long con, the moment when the fraudsters cash in, and their victims discover how completely they’ve been fooled. The only question is whether they’ll really get away with it. We’ll find out very soon.