The good news is, the CBO scored Republicans Obamacare repeal and reported it would cut the deficit by $337 billion in ten years. And the good news is, it will do so while liberating tens of millions of America from buying insurance they don’t want.
But that’s a buried lede in Paul Ryan’s Twitter response to the findings.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) March 13, 2017
Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because Obamacare forced them to buy. Help us understand why forcing them not to do so is a bad thing. As things stand now, many pay the penalty rather than spend the last buck in their pocket on worthless insurance.
Paul Ryan is playing defense because the narrative being pushed is that 14 million may not have insurance in 2018 and 24 million by 2026. Let’s rephrase that. By 2018 14 million will not longer be forced by government to buy overpriced insurance with deductibles that are so high they will never get covered care. By 2028, 24 million Americans will be freed from buying an insurance product badly damaged by government intervention and fewer and fewer insurers will sell and fewer and fewer providers will accept.
You might blame that on the current GOP culture which says we have to “keep the parts of Obamacare Americans like.” That usually refers to coverage of preexisting conditions and dependent coverage through age 26. Republicans like to brag about getting rid of mandates, but those are as big as mandates come.
Donald Trump has committed that he will not enact a law that throws poor people into the street to fend for their own health care. He probably intends to keep his word, but for the moment it’s being drowned out by a badly mismanaged narrative, which should be, Republicans will not force you to buy insurance you don’t want.
The CBO spells out why most will drop insurance:
Most of that increase would stem from repealing the penalties associated with the individual mandate. Some of those people would choose not to have insurance because they chose to be covered by insurance under current law only to avoid paying the penalties, and some people would forgo insurance in response to higher premiums.
The other drop in coverage, the CBO surmises, would be states no longer offering coverage through their Medicaid programs. Problem is, you just can’t score those. States like California will subsidize insurance for anyone with a pulse. Wisconsin, on the other hand, refused Federal money for Medicaid expansion under Obamacare and its uninsured numbers are down.
The number of Wisconsin residents without health insurance fell from 518,000 in 2013 to 323,000 in 2015, according to the figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The uninsured rate in the state dropped from 9.1% to 5.7% over that two-year period while the national rate declined from 14.5% to 9.4% over the same two years, the federal agency found.
In other words, Wisconsin beat the national average for reducing the uninsured, despite not accepting Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.
Hey, GOP, the narrative is out there, if you want to own it. You’re headed in the right direction. Millions don’t need to buy health insurance that gives them no coverage and states don’t need to make poor people go without health insurance just because big daddy Medicaid doesn’t rule.