Russia? Don't let it obscure health care | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Russia? Don't let it obscure health care

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 6:45 AM

Bad as it is that the presidency is held by an ally of Russia, a bigger immediate concern to millions of Americans is whether Republicans in the Senate can succeed in passing a bill to wreck health insurance expansion provided by the Affordable Care Act.

The New York Times indicates the latest version will be unveiled Thursday and isn't likely to dramatically alter the huge impact on millions of Americans. But it will carry some cosmetic touches intended to make it appear more acceptable.

Chief among the ideas, apparently, is that old warhorse — health savings accounts. This is the crazy notion that a tax deduction for money contributed to health insurance will somehow enable a low-wage workers to put enough savings aside to buy an expensive health insurance policy when they already struggle to pay for a roof and food for the kids.

Resistance isn't futile, as the wavering Republicans illustrate. Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman aren't likely to oppose whatever the GOP leadership comes up with. Cotton particularly has little concern for human costs. But lurking for them is the damage that will be done to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's budget (and, incidentally, several hundred thousand Arkansas human beings) if the desire to repeal Obamacare and its expansion of Medicaid is realized.

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