The American Health Care Act, the health care bill on which the House intends to vote today, is not just bad policy and cynical political calculation. It’s immoral, plain and simple.
- The bill will cause millions to lose health insurance coverage;
- It will allow insurers to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, causing millions to lose coverage for their most pressing health care needs or face unconscionable premium hikes that will be impossible for them to pay.
- It will take Medicaid coverage away from millions, including hundreds of thousands of children.
- It will lower benefits even for those who do not have Obamacare plans by taking away catastrophic coverage benefits even if you’re covered through an employer plan.
The reason Republicans are trying to pass this bill? It slashes taxes on the wealthiest two percent of earners. That’s it. All of that damage done to give rich people a tax cut which they’ll hardly even notice. The new bill does nothing to help ordinary working Americans in any way and will, in fact, harm millions of them. By voting in favor of it they are sending a loud and clear signal that they value the wealth of the richest Americans over the health of millions.
The specific impact of these items are not fully known because Republicans in Congress are ramming the bill through without hearings, without getting a CBO score and, in some cases, without them even having seen the text of the bill. In some cases, such as in the case of my congressman, Pat Tiberi, they are simply lying about its contents. They are doing so because they know full well how terrible this bill is and unpopular this bill will be once more people are aware of what it does.
It is a shameful bill, being passed in a shameful fashion. While I am optimistic that the bill will die in the Senate, the mere act of passing it in the House is immoral. It is greedy. It is cynical. It is harmful. It is irresponsible. It is wrong.
Any member of Congress who votes for it today will have disqualified themselves from public service and shown themselves to care nothing for the men and women who voted for them to represent their interests. And they will pay heavily for doing so.