Trump's 'victory' on health care. Look who's cheering. | Arkansas Blog

Friday, May 5, 2017

Trump's 'victory' on health care. Look who's cheering.

Posted By on Fri, May 5, 2017 at 7:43 AM

click to enlarge DAILY NEWS
  • Daily News
The reviews are brutal on the health coverage bill passed by the Republican House yesterday.

Here's a New York Times summary of winners and losers. In short, the rich and healthy win. The old, poor and sick lose. U.S. Rep. French Hill of Little Rock is among the House Republicans crowing about how this is an improvement on Obamacare. (Even Rep. Bruce Westerman isn't ready to say THIS bill is going to become law.)

The bill (which won't pass the Senate in this form) utterly wrecks the Obamacare Medicaid expansion/Private Option/Arkansas Works program that has brought so much money, so many jobs and so much health care to more than 300,000 Arkansans.

David Ramsey, who's been covering health issues for us extensively, says that Arkansas Works would be dead, because the House bill ends the Medicaid expansion. At best, it would be a phase-out. At worst, cold turkey. He writes:

Also, as a separate matter, it would issue a huge funding cut to the rest of Medicaid (elderly in nursing homes, blind, disabled, kids, poor parents, etc.) via a per-capita version of block grants, putting pressure on state budget and forcing cuts even beyond eliminating the Medicaid expansion.

Finally, on the exchange, starting in 2020, it would change the subsidies and regulations to give dramatically less help to lower-income people and older people (and people in areas with high premiums). People in the 100-138 group that Hutchinson wants to move to the exchange would have to pay massively more in premiums than they do under the ACA and many would simply not be able to afford it. The AHCA also completely eliminates the ACA's cost-sharing reductions so even if low-income people scraped together the money to pay higher premiums, they would be hit with much higher deductibles and co-pays than people in this income group could realistically afford.

But the AHCA eliminates Medicaid expansion anyways, so in the long run Hutchinson's tinkering would be moot. People 0-100 FPL would be in the same boat, with tax credits insufficient for the cost of insurance given their income and no help with cost-sharing.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson's promise that the 60,000 he's kicking off Medicaid coverage could seamlessly transition to the same coverage at the same cost on the federal marketplace was already dubious. Under the House bill, there will be no marketplace subsidies to speak of any longer. Not to mention higher rates and far worse coverage in the private insurance market in which poor people are supposedly going to be able to afford insurance thanks to tax credits. (Insurance with crummy coverage, huge deductibles and more co-pays.) Thanks, French.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017

Most Viewed

  • Correction Board heeds governor, fires Community Correction director for seeking to increase budget

    The state Board of Correction has voted to fire Sheila Sharp as Community Correction director. Gov. Asa Hutchinson wanted a change, apparently because Sharp didn't want to cut the budget enough. She said the cuts he wanted endanger public safety.
  • KATV report: A web of financial woes for hotel owner, political player

    KATV reports on financial troubles building for Gary Gibbs and his businesses, including a hotel in Hot Springs and a resort in Desha County. The article reports also on a complaint filed by a prosecutor against Gibbs, who's been a political player in the past.
  • Judge won't back effort to stop demolition of bridge at Clarendon

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported this morning that a deadline to work out a deal to save the abandoned U.S. 79 bridge at Clarendon had passed with no deal between preservationists and the state. It was no surprise.
  • Lawsuit seeks halt of Interstate 630 widening work

    A federal lawsuit was filed today to halt work on an expansion of Interstate 630 between Baptist Medical Center and University Avenue because the Arkansas Department of Transportation didn't perform an environmental assessment of the work. UPDATE: The state refused service of the lawsuit, an unusual happenstance that a federal judge might hear about Thursday.
  • Which Republican are you going to choose for Arkansas Supreme Court?

    Arkansas voters have a difficult choice in the race in November for Supreme Court justice — incumbent Courtney Goodson or David Sterling, who's using a state job at DHS (wouldn't you like to see his leave records) to run for the office by making the rounds of Republican gatherings. Goodson has her own Republican ties.

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation