25 May, 2017
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher,
101 Main Street #380
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Re: CBO score of the American Health Care Act
So… weeks after that distasteful scene on the White House grounds, when House Republicans celebrated the “victory” of the AHCA with the president*, the CBO score of the bill was made public yesterday. The bill was passed, of course, by a narrow margin, without the benefit of that CBO report, so those who voted for it, including yourself, had really no idea what they were voting for. Most admitted that had not even read it. And yet… you celebrated, gleefully.
Now, even to a layman like myself, the report makes clear what a disaster this purported “health care” bill would be—depriving 14 million Americans of their insurance within the next year, and 23 million in the next 10 years, and providing less coverage for higher premiums. According to the report on the CBO score in the New York Times, losers would include poorer and older people—the usual target—and the winners, the young, the healthy, and those with higher incomes. Oh, and let’s not forget those huge tax cuts for the very wealthy.
In short, this bill makes a mockery of the whole idea of the universal health care that Trump promised in the course of his campaign. The familiar complaint about Obamacare that we hear from Republicans—that it is “collapsing under its own weight”—is in good part the result of consistent efforts to sabotage the ACA ever since it became law. The op-ed article in today’s NYT by Abbe R. Gluck in both instructive and persuasive in its detailed history and analysis. I wonder if you read it?
One of these days, when you hold a Town Hall meeting—we should be so lucky!—I’d like to hear from you just exactly how the Republican agenda seeks to benefit the American middle- and working class. Unless I sorely misunderstand its premises, the only ones it seeks to benefit are the very rich. And, for what it’s worth, before you even raise it, I don’t buy the “trickle-down” theory you have been promoting now for decades, despite all evidence that it doesn’t work. It has all been “trickle-up.” And not such a trickle, at that. More like a torrent.
Peter Clothier, Ph.D.