(TriceEdneyWire.com)—Donald Trump hosted a celebration in the White House Rose Garden for House Republicans after they passed their party’s health care plan by the thinnest of margins. They were celebrating what Trump called a “win,” without any thought about consequences.
None of them had read the bill, which was released only a couple of days before the vote and rushed to the floor. The vote took place before the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office could issue a revised assessment of its costs and effects.
House leaders and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney dismissed criticisms, saying that Senate Republicans planned to start all over anyway. This bill addresses one-sixth of our national economy, and an industry that has been a leading source of jobs growth. Don’t worry, say House Republicans, we just had to get the win; forget about the substance.
Americans shouldn’t just be worried; they should be furious. The Republican bill will throw literally millions off health care, put people with pre-existing conditions at risk and raise premiums particularly for workers aged 50 to 64—in order to give a massive tax break to the very wealthy.
At the annual shareholders meeting of Berkshire Hathaway, billionaire investor Warren Buffett called it for what it is: “a huge tax cut for guys like me.” The richest 400 people in America will get a tax break estimated at about $7 million a year. To pay for that, millions will lose their coverage, and millions more—the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions in various states—will see premiums soar and insurance become unaffordable.
You can’t sugarcoat this. It’s not enough to say the Senate will fix it (the 13 White men—no women, no people of color—on the Republican Senate Working Group certainly will not). It’s not acceptable to say, “We don’t mean it; we just had to pass it.”