March 11, 2017

GOP war on healthcare update

Talking Point Memo - By repealing a payroll tax on high earners that provided a critical additional revenue stream for the Medicare trust fund, the GOP's proposed American Health Care Act would speed up the fund’s exhaustion by as many as three to four years, according to estimates from health care policy experts.

“It’s clear, simple and undeniable that this bill would aversely affect the solvency of Medicare,” Paul Van De Water, a Medicare expert at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities told TPM.
Critics say this provision is a prime example of the GOP bill granting tax breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the country’s neediest citizens, and that it paves the way for Medicare privatization. One former Obama administration official argued that by endangering the program’s funding, so-called “entitlement hawks” like House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) will have cover to argue that Medicare as we know it is financially unsustainable—then realize their long-held dream of turning it into a voucher program.

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