October 31, 2013

Credit: The New Republic

We've heard so much sound and fury and angst from media and Republicans this week about the whole "If you like your plan you can keep it" promise, which is intended to play in the wild as Republican concern for constituents losing their health care plans. It almost makes you think they care, doesn't it?

They don't. Thanks to Jonathan Cohn, we know as fact they don't give a damn about people losing their health insurance. The New Republic:

It’s good politics, I’m sure. It’s also breathtakingly cynical. Republicans have repeatedly endorsed proposals that would take insurance away from many more Americans—and leave them much, much worse off.

Start with the federal budgets crafted by Paul Ryan. You remember those, right? Those proposals passed through the House with unanimous Republican support and were, in 2012, a basis of the Republican presidential platform. Those budgets called for dramatic funding cuts to Medicaid. If Republicans had swept into power and enacted such changes, according to projections prepared by Urban Institute scholars and published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, between 14 and 20 million Medicaid recipients would lose their insurance. And that doesn’t even include the people who are starting to get Medicaid coverage through Obamacare’s expansions of the program. That's another 10 to 17 million people.

And of course, those numbers don't include the millions getting the door slammed in their faces because they don't qualify for subsidies but do qualify for Medicaid, if Republican governors hadn't declined the Medicaid expansion.

Beyond that, the non-existent Republican plan to "repeal and replace" conspicuously lacks the "replace" part of the equation.

Under the Republican plan, by contrast, people losing employer insurance would end up in the dysfunctional, non-reformed individual market—the one full of confusing, junk policies that might not cover basic services like maternity or mental health or have huge gaps in coverage. And the people losing Medicaid? They would end up with … nothing at all.

Spare me all of the breast-beating over the website and the "if you like your plan" nonsense. This is the real story right here, and the one most people aren't hearing.

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