On Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver took a deep dive into the American Health Care Act, also already known as Trumpcare, because even though the early reaction from many pundits and politicians is that it’s “dead on arrival,” that might not be the case.
And that’s why people need to know what’s in the bill.
A big difference from Obamacare is that the AHCA will have an annual flat tax credit based on age — for those under 30 years old, $US2,000; 60 or older, $US4,000 — so the older you get the more money you get. But do those credits sufficiently cover the actual cost of health insurance?
With the use of a tax chart created by the Kaiser Family, Oliver points out that those with lower incomes would be particularly hurt. For example, if you live in Woodward County, Oklahoma, are 60 years old, and earn $US50,000 a year, with Obamacare you would get $US13,350 toward insurance but under the new bill that drops to just $US4,000.
And if you’re on Medicaid, it’s worse. Oliver showed reports stating that the plan would cut $US370 billion in federal funding to Medicaid over the next 10 years, meaning states would have to make that up, which would be impossible for most. Projections estimate that at least 15 million people will lose their health care.
“People are going to be hurt by this bill,” Oliver said.
By contrast, Trump previously promised no cuts to Medicaid and said, “Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”
Who isn’t going to get hurt by the bill? The wealthy, Oliver concluded.
Incomes at the top 1% get a tax break of $US33,000, and those in the top 0.1% will get a $US197,000 break on average.
“This plan is literally taking money from the poor and giving it to the very rich,” Oliver said.
That doesn’t include recently rich lottery winners, though. Six pages of Trumpcare is dedicated to letting states dis-enroll high-dollar lottery winners. Or as Oliver puts it, “the urgent matter of what if one poor person suddenly becomes less poor.”
Trumpcare will have real consequences for Americans, including Trump’s voters. But as Oliver points out, its legislative path has been a tricky one. To get the bill passed, the GOP came up with something that can’t get filibustered.
“The bottom line is a lot of the things Trump promised on the campaign trail are not in the bill because the AHCA is being presented as a budget bill,” Oliver said, “which can simply be passed by a Senate majority. Anything that’s a non-budget policy change needs 60 votes to beat a filibuster.
“This bill is in all likelihood all Trump can get passed to replace Obamacare,” Oliver continued, “so it is f—ing important everyone understands what is in it.”
Watch the entire “Last Week Tonight” segment below:
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