There are two groups of Americans that love the Republicans’ American Health Care Act:
- The Richest Americans
The richest Americans love the Republicans’ American Health Care Act because it repeals Obamacare (PPACA) taxes that impact their pocketbooks. The Republicans’ American Health Care Act would save the richest Americans $275 billion over 10 years by eliminating the additional 0.9% Medicare trust fund payroll tax and the 3.8% Unearned Income Medicare Contribution Tax (applied to those making over $200,000). While the first tax goes directly into the Medicare trust fund, the second one does not (despite its name, the 3.8% tax goes into the government’s general fund???)
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the 400 highest income taxpayers would get annual tax cuts averaging about $7 million each. Seven million dollars is a lot of reason to love the Republicans’ American Health Care Act.
2. Americans Who Care About No One But Themselves
Americans who care about no one but themselves love the Republicans’ American Health Care Act because it reverses the federal government’s financial commitment to Americans’ health care. This bill accomplishes this feat in two ways: (1) it defunds the expansion of Medicaid and subsidies to low-income Americans who buy health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace and (2) it takes additional money from the Medicaid program (which serves the poor, the elderly in nursing homes, and the disabled) now and in the future.
This agenda is loved by Americans who are happy with their particular health situation (physical and financial) and do not want to pay for anyone else’s healthcare needs. I call these selfish individuals “Americans on an Island with a Direct Line to Help”. Yes, they are selfish because they only care about themselves and no other Americans who might not be as lucky as themselves to have health and enough money to live comfortably. These individuals might already be getting a generous government health insurance handout, but from a more “deserving” program.
If and when these selfish individuals need costly health care, they will likely be the first in line for a government handout which they believe will be their “direct line to help”. They shirk their responsibility for shared risk of getting sick and expect others to carry them when they do get sick. This is like refusing to pay Medicare payroll taxes because a person is not old, but when they turn 64 suddenly decide they want to pay into the fund so they can benefit.
Americans who make more than 400% of the poverty level and buy insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace love the Republicans’ American Health Care Act because they are healthy (for now) and resent the fact that they have to buy (because of the individual mandate) and pay for “unsubsidized” health insurance. These Americans do not seem to connect their high premium costs with the source of them; namely, health costs that are twice as high as all other industrial nations in the world and a fragmented health insurance system that divides Americans into small risk pools. Because Americans are not under a single payer universal healthcare system, this group of Americans also must endure higher health insurance premiums than found in healthier health insurance group plans.
Americans who care about no one but themselves love the Republicans’ American Health Care Act because it calls for the elimination of practices that they hate within employer-sponsored health insurance plans. These healthy, employed individuals hate the fact that they have to subsidize sick people in their employer-sponsored health plans and would love to kick them into high risk pools outside their plans. They also hate the fact that older employees do not pay more than younger employees–five times as much would be great. Sick and older employees drive up health insurance premiums regardless of which health insurance group or plan an individual belongs to.
These Americans love the Republicans’ American Health Care Act because it calls for reducing the required health insurance coverage that all insurance plans must have (i.e.,Essential Health Benefits). These selfish Americans do not need maternity or mental health benefits and do not want to “subsidize” others who do. I would venture to say that these selfish Americans do not like subsidizing any societal benefits they do not benefit from like public education (if they do not have children or their children are grown), car insurance (if they have never had a car accident), and programs for less fortunate Americans. Perhaps the Republicans’ desire for small government will do something about each of these shared responsibility mandates also.
The only people who can possibly love the Republicans’ American Health Care Act over Obamacare (PPACA) are those who put personal financial interests over what is good for our nation and it people.