Commentary

Veteran economist sums up Trumpcare bill in six scathing sentences

Jared Bernstein

Jared Bernstein

There are a lot of words and numbers flying across the Internet this morning in the aftermath of yesterday’s finding by the Congressional Budget Office that the GOP Trumpcare proposal will cost 24 million Americans their health insurance coverage over the next decade. Among the best summaries thus far, however, comes from veteran economist Jared Bernstein.

This is from a column Bernstein penned this morning for the Washington Post:

“I can think of no other explanation for this plan than this: Republicans looked out at the country and concluded that the wealthy had too little after-tax income and the poor had too much health care. So, they wrote a bill that transferred about a trillion dollars that would otherwise have paid for Medicaid benefits and subsidies for low-income older persons to the wealthy in tax cuts and the well-off young in lower premium costs, with a bit of deficit reduction thrown in to meet the requirements of the budget process. Poverty policy expert Bob Greenstein told Vox that ‘No legislation enacted in recent decades cut low-income programs this much — or even comes close.’”

For those of you who thought that punishing the poor and rewarding the rich was a caricature of conservative policy, the bill should disabuse you of that impression. Readers of this column know I’m rarely at a loss for words, but I just don’t know what else to say about this. In the pantheon of mean-spirited, greedy, self-serving, inequitable and unjust conservative policy, this bill stands alone.” (Emphasis supplied.)

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