Word on the street is that Congress will vote on Donald Trump’s proposal to repeal ObamaCare on Thursday. The Republicans are claiming that they have enough votes for passage, which they’ve claimed, wrongly, before. But what makes this vote so extraordinary is that no one – not Congress, not Trump, no one – knows precisely what this bill will cost, or even what’s in it.
On Wednesday Press Secretary Sean Spicer took questions from reporters about the bill (video below). His confession that the bill’s costs and contents are unknowable make a mockery of the GOP’s legislative process. When asked whether the funding in the bill would be sufficient to cover people with preexisting conditions, Spicer said that:
“There are so many variables that are unknown that to make an analysis of that level of precision seems almost impossible … For someone to know how many people that is, what number of states are going to receive a waiver, ask for it and receive a waiver, is literally impossible at this point. So to do an analysis of any level of factual basis would be literally not possible.”
In one respect, it’s commendable that Spicer was honest enough to admit that he had no idea what the bill’s financial impact would be. However, the fact that neither he, nor the White House, nor Congress could do an analysis, but they still insisted on voting, is the height of political absurdity. Spicer actually “guaranteed” that everyone with preexisting conditions would “be fine.” But by his own admission he has no way of determining whether or not that’s true.
While the White House may be unable to analyze the financial impact of TrumpCare, other more reputable organizations seem capable of doing so. As reported by Talking Points Memo:
“The AARP’s Public Policy Institute wrote Thursday that ‘We project that if states return to pre-ACA high-risk pools in 2019, as proposed, high-risk pool premiums for people with pre-existing conditions could be as high as $25,700 annually.’
“An amendment to the American Health Care Act would allow states to eliminate Obamacare’s price protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, if the states establish high-risk pools for those individuals in their place. Critics say those pools make insurance unsustainably expensive for sick people.”
So it isn’t really impossible to analyze TrumpCare after all. It’s just inconvenient. That’s because most independent analyses confirm that it would raise premiums to record highs. The result would be that tens of millions of people who are currently insured would lose their coverage. That’s why the GOP-run Congress is rushing to vote before the Congressional Budget Office can issue a report. And they expect their members to comply and vote as instructed. Despite not knowing what the hell they’re voting on. That, America, is your Republican Congress at work.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
GOP steaming toward a vote on healthcare—and White House says it's "literally impossible" to predict bill's effects. pic.twitter.com/swaPkSArZg
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) May 3, 2017