On Monday, the White House Office of the Press Secretary distributed an email blast aimed at persuading people that Obamacare is broken. The email reprints an Associated Press report about how the number of American adults without health insurance has grown by about 2 million this year.
But conveniently deleted from the email are a number of key paragraphs outlining the disastrous impact Trumpcare would have compared to current law. The report stated:
While “Obamacare” has remained politically divisive, it had helped drive the uninsured rate to historic lows as some 20 million people gained coverage.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., plans to check vital signs on his GOP bill as senators trickle back to Washington from a July 4 break that many spent listening to constituents vent about health care.
McConnell is seen as a master legislative strategist, but there’s no sign he’s secured enough votes to pass a bill. He can only afford to lose two out of 52 Republican senators.
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that at least 22 million more people would become uninsured under Republican legislation.
McConnell has been considering easing some of the bill’s Medicaid cuts, beefing up health care tax credits to help people buy private insurance and adding billions of dollars to counter the opioid epidemic. That might comfort GOP moderates. To placate conservatives, McConnell is weighing demands to make it easier for insurers to offer skimpier policies.
Here’s the side-by-side comparison:
White House sends out AP story about uninsured increasing, cuts out references to how Trumpcare&Trump sabotage of Obamacare have contributed pic.twitter.com/kze28n5x5R
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) July 10, 2017
While President Trump has repeatedly claimed that Obamacare is “dead,” “broken, “will explode,” and is “a complete and total disaster,” the Congressional Budget Office recently concluded it’s more stable than the president and his press office would have you believe. In a report released in March, the CBO wrote that Obamacare exchanges are likely to “be stable in most areas.”
“The subsidies to purchase coverage combined with the penalties paid by uninsured people stemming from the individual mandate are anticipated to cause sufficient demand for insurance by people with low health care expenditures for the market to be stable,” the CBO wrote, debunking notions that Obamacare is in the sort of “death spiral” that the Senate Republican plan would likely produce.
The CBO’s analysis was buttressed by a new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation released Monday that concludes Obamacare is “stabilizing.”
“Early results from 2017 suggest the individual market is stabilizing and insurers in this market are regaining profitability,” the study finds. “Insurer financial results show no sign of a market collapse.”
Monday’s email blast isn’t the first time the Trump White House has pretended to care about Americans who don’t have health insurance.
Last last month, Press Secretary Sean Spicer tweeted that the roughly 28 million Americans without coverage “need relief,” and suggested Trumpcare was the solution.
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) June 28, 2017
What Spicer and other White House officials who have recited that talking point aren’t telling people is that the House and Senate versions of Trumpcare would result in somewhere between 22 and 23 million Americans losing their health insurance over the next decade, or nearly double the number of people without insurance under Obamacare.
What they also aren’t telling you is the White House is making life more difficult for people who rely on Obamacare to buy coverage by actively trying to sabotage the law. During an off-camera press briefing late last month, Spicer made clear that the White House is willing to use low-income Americans’ health insurance as a bargaining chip by not committing to making cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments low-income people used to purchase health insurance on Obamacare exchanges.
“If the president were to hypothetically say he’s going to make the payments in perpetuity or for a year, I think that continues to prop up a failed system and continues to do wrong by the American taxpayer and it also doesn’t lend itself to the expediency that I think we want to help get a new health care system in place,” Spicer said.
More than 7 million Americans use the CSR subsidies to buy health insurance.
Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price posted a tweet intended to persuade people that the same Trumpcare bill that would strip Medicaid coverage from 15 million Americans by 2026 somehow isn’t a cut to Medicaid.
Price’s tweet embodies a talking point White House officials have been using for weeks now. In addition to Price, Kellyanne Conway and Trump have made the same flawed argument.