Friday, March 24, 2017

Trump Demands Friday Healthcare Plan Vote

Trump Demands Friday Healthcare Plan Vote

by Stephen Lendman

Late Thursday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told GOP House members Trump is done negotiating.

He wants a Friday vote. If his American Health Care Act (AHCA) is defeated, he’ll move on to other issues, leaving Obamacare in place. Is he bluffing? We’ll see.

As far as publicly known, House GOP support is short of enough votes to pass the measure. Democrats unanimously oppose it.

Updated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scoring, reflecting amendments to the initial AHCA proposal, shows the federal deficit decreased by $150 billion over the next 10 years - compared to $337 billion under the original measure.

It still leaves 52 million Americans uninsured by 2026 compared to 28 million if Obamacare remains in place. The CBO said, at least initially, AHCA premiums will increase. 

So will onerous deductibles and co-pays, making a dysfunctional system worse than already - in terms of cost and lost mandated benefits.

GOP hardliners demanded and  got essential Obamacare benefits stripped from AHCA - including hospitalizations, ambulance services, maternity care, pediatric services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, rehab care and laboratory services.

What’s left is bare bones. Consumers wanting more have to pay higher premiums and greater out-of-pocket costs.

If House members pass AHCA Friday, the Senate is expected to demand significant changes, including larger tax credits for older Americans, hit with massive premium hikes under the measure.

Under whatever final form AHCA emerges, America’s most vulnerable and elderly will be harmed most.

The measure is Trump’s first major test. Failure could affect his overall domestic agenda, including tax cuts he wants enacted, largely for business and high-income households. 

He can only afford 22 GOP defections. It’s unclear if he’s got enough support for House passage. A tougher Senate fight looms.

Americans already pay double what consumers are charged in other developed countries. 

They can get whatever they want as long as they’re able to pay exorbitant prices. Most cannot. 

If AHCA becomes law, millions more will either be uninsured or way underinsured, assuring America’s mortality rate will rise.

The world’s richest country uses an inordinate amount of its resources for militarism, warmaking and corporate handouts at the expense of social justice, its most vulnerable citizens harmed most.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.