First, Let’s make something perfectly clear about the American Health Care Act, it is NOT a health care bill. It’s a tax cut. From Charlie Peirce:
1) This isn’t a healthcare bill. It’s really a tax cut. Anything else you hear from the White House, the Republicans and the media is a lie.
2) This bill is not concerned with providing affordable health insurance to the most people. It is a designed to give a massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans.
3) This bill has nothing to do with what people need when they get sick. They are a secondary consideration to the tax cut and, amazingly, to The Deficit, in direct contravention of the Blog’s First Law of Economics: Fck The Deficit. People Got No jobs. People Got No Money. As a result of this, Medicaid also will be led to the slaughter pen.
Now that we have that clear in our minds, let’s debunk some myths that are being touted by the Republicans and the media. MSNBC’s Ali Velshi destroys two: the cross state lines insurance sales and free market reducing premiums.
“I can’t say this enough times, there are no federally imposed restrictions to selling insurance across state borders.” Just for emphasis, he repeated it again, before he really went off.
“This is just dishonest for people who say that such a thing exists,” he added. “This is something that is either not done because states don’t let it get done, or, chiefly, because insurance companies have reasons for not selling it.”
He continued, “The Republicans have created this impression that insurance companies are dying to get across state borders. And that will solve all of our problems because they will insure people across the land and premiums will drop. It is one of those fallacies that keeps on coming up.” [..]
“Along with the fallacy that if you reduce all restrictions on insurance companies a free market system will work. There are no free market insurance systems on earth that work. There is not a single one. Nor in any adjoining planets, it doesn’t work because it is something we consider a market failure.” [..]
“Insurance companies will not willingly insure people sick people, end of story. They operate for a profit and sick people are about the worst thing you can have on an insurance policy.” [..]
What you can’t do is make up facts to support the argument.”
Selling across state lines and deregulating markets will not reduce premiums. [..]
“Free markets do not reduce premiums. In fact, in an absolutely free market, there would be higher premiums because sick people cost a lot to insure.“
H/t to Karoli Kuns at Crooks and Liars for the transcription.
Then Rachel Maddow sums up in less than two minutes what would happen if this bill passes and the ACA is reprealed.
“24 million people is the entire population of Vermont, Alabama, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, Rhode Island, Nebraska, New Mexico, Kansas and Wyoming combined — and then some.”
“That’s the number of Americans who would get thrown off their health insurance if this Republican thing passes to get rid of Obamacare.”
There are a lot of myths and misinformation flying around. House Speaker Paul Ryan and the White house desperately wants to get this passed because their wealthy donors want it.
The ACA is far from perfect. It needs fixing not repeal and replace with something far worse that is nothing more than a tax break.