When President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, also knows as Obamacare, into law, it changed the American healthcare system as we know it. In the states that chose to fully implement the law, the lifesaving program created by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Medicaid, was expanded, and millions more people got healthcare for the first time in their lives. The same was true of the free market exchanges, where those who did not have insurance provided by their employers could purchase their own at affordable prices.
Now, however, we are living in a new, and frightening era. Healthcare is no longer something the people controlling our federal government want the most vulnerable among us to have at affordable prices. Donald Trump is in the White House and the cruelest incarnation of the Republican Party that we’ve ever seen in power in Congress. All of those people who gained desperately needed coverage during the Obama years are at risk of losing their coverage due to a craven, draconian
tax cut for the rich healthcare bill that was just passed through the GOP-controlled House of Representatives.
But, to Republicans, it matters not what the bill actually does to vulnerable populations; that was clear when Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price went on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning and insisted that cutting billions from Medicaid won’t take coverage from anyone at all. Host Jake Tapper asked Price:
Are you actually saying that $880 billion in cuts, according to the CBO – however you want to talk about that not being a cut – that that’s actually not going to result in millions of Americans not getting Medicaid?”
Price responded with a lie that anyone with a brain could tell was a lie:
Absolutely not! And we believe strongly that the Medicaid population will be cared for in a better way under our program, because it will be more responsive to them. These decisions will be made closer to them. Right now, we have Washington D.C. dictating to the states and dictating to patients what must occur. That’s not how a healthy health system works. A healthy health system works by allowing those individuals closest to the patients themselves to be making those decisions. And from the president’s perspective and from our perspective, that means patients and families and doctors making medical decisions, not Washington D.C.”
Well, that’s the spin, isn’t it? Get Washington out of our healthcare! There’s just one problem with that. This plan gives states that don’t care about people, only money, to offer subpar healthcare – or even no healthcare at all – on their own whims. They don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions, or they can price people with those conditions out. They can declare that literally anything is a pre-existing condition and jack prices that would effectively deny people coverage. Premiums would go up. Millions would get kicked off of Medicaid and Medicare. All of this is happening so that the richest Americans can get richer on the backs of the poor.
Don’t believe this GOP spin. What they are doing is dangerous and craven, and people will die. Worst of all, they are lying through their teeth all over national television in order to sell this deadly bill of goods to the American people without a second thought.
Watch Tom Price lie through his teeth below:
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) May 7, 2017
Featured image via Zach Gibson/Getty Images