Saturday, January 7, 2017

GOP Doesn't Want Public To Know How Much Obamacare Repeal Will Cost. Study Shows It Could Be Trillions.

Republican leaders racing to tear down as many as 20 million (pdf) individuals' healthcare without providing a replacement, it turns out, also don't want the American people to know how much the repeal will cost.
The very same rules package (pdf) in which the GOP had attempted to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics also contains a provision that exempts repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, from the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) 10-year cost analysis.
"In other words," reported Shareblue, the news site owned by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock that drew attention to the measure, "the new Republican rules package specifically instructs the CBO not to say how much it would cost to repeal Obamacare"—a provision that "distorts" federal budget analysis "for political gain."
As Shareblue pointed out, following a section of the bill (on page 25) that instructs the director of the CBO to conduct a 10-year cost analysis of each bill reported by the House, a subsection lists the areas to which the directive will not apply:
(4) LIMITATION.—This subsection shall not apply to any bill or joint resolution, or amendment thereto or conference report thereon—     
(A) repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and title I and subtitle B of title II of the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010;     
(B) reforming the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010; or     
(C) for which the chair of the Committee on the Budget has made an adjustment to the allocations, levels, or limits contained in the most recently adopted concurrent resolution on the budget.
Try as they may to conceal the cost of the repeal, an independent study published Thursday estimated that it could cost the states trillions in lost revenue and output.
The study, conducted by the Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health, argues that the repeal of both federal premium tax credits and Medicaid expansion without a viable alternative would result in a $140 billion cut in federal funding by 2019, which in turn would trigger "losses in employment, economic activity, and state and local revenues."
Most of the federal healthcare funding "flows to hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and other providers," which in turn hire and pay staff, as well as "purchase goods and services, like clinic space or medical equipment" from vendors who also "pay their employees and buy additional goods and services." Read full story here 

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