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Rep. Barbrara Comstock sent out an 11-point message exulting the benefits of the Republican health care bill known as American Health Care Act or Trump Care. More aptly, it should be referred to as the “Make America Sick Again” Bill. The numbers issued by the (Congressional Budget Office) bear this out as more than 34 million Americans are projected to be uninsured by 2026. Even more disturbing, is that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Representative Comstock are “excited” about the CBO report.

Republicans have always viewed the very existence of Medicare and Medicaid as signs of weakness, and resolutely pursue spending and tax policies that exacerbate the gap between rich and poor. Of the 24 million losing health coverage noted above, about 14 million of them would lose Medicaid coverage. Premiums in the individual market would be 15 to 20% higher than the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during 2018 and 2019. After that, the CBO projects, premium growth would slow, but largely because the Republican plan would drive younger people into the plan and older people out.

Indeed, the overall effect of the Republican plan is to make health insurance coverage less accessible for older and poorer Americans while making it more affordable for younger and higher-income Americans. Essentially, the Republican bill will almost double the number of Americans who would have been uninsured in 2026 if the ACA stayed in place.

So why is Representative Comstock “excited” about the Republican plan? The CBO projects that the Republican plan would reduce the deficit by $336.5 billion over the next ten years. This change is mostly due to $880 billion in reductions in federal Medicaid spending and to reductions in the ACA’s subsidies for insurance coverage for lower-income Americans, which are cut by $673 billion. And the fact that millions of Americans will be without health insurance.
But the best news for Representative Comstock and the highest earning Americans is giving them $361 billion in new tax credits.

Rep. Comstock claims that the Republican plan will drive down costs by making healthcare more competitive and affordable. Maybe, but at what cost? Driving the people that need it the most off insurance roles? The Republican “Making America Sick Again” bill not only reduces or eliminates coverage for the most vulnerable - poorest, sickest, oldest – it is just plain unn-American. While Rep. Comstock refuses to hold town halls, it is imperative for her to listen to the thousands of phone calls, letters, and e-mails from her constituents and take a position with her colleagues to develop a Health Insurance Plan that works for all Americans.

Al DiMatteo

Ashburn

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