Thursday, July 13, 2017

Trumpcare Headed for Defeat

My guess is that McConnell's reveal today of Trumpcare 2.0 will be as stillborn as the first iteration. There are already two solid Republican nays, Maine's Susan Collins and McConnell's Kentucky colleague Rand Paul, which means Trumpcare is dancing on the edge already.

What's interesting about this new version is that it shows Republicans are more interested in butchering the poor than lining their own pockets. McConnell's new version keeps Obamacare's payroll tax on high earners, as well as its tax on investment income, but pares back Medicaid. According to Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear in yesterday's "G.O.P. Senators Vow to Unveil Health Bill Thursday, Despite Deep Divisions":
Senate Republicans are also likely to keep a pair of taxes imposed by the Affordable Care Act on people with high incomes. The law increased the payroll tax rate for many high-income taxpayers and imposed a tax on their investment income. Both taxes would be eliminated by the repeal bill passed by the House in May and by the original version of Mr. McConnell’s bill.
Keeping those taxes would undercut a major argument against the bill by Democrats, who have branded it as a tax cut for the rich disguised as a health bill.
But the largest changes to the health care system are likely to remain in the bill. About two-thirds of the increase in the projected number of uninsured Americans would result from deep cuts in expected Medicaid spending, the budget office said. The bill would impose caps on Medicaid spending and would roll back the expansion of the program under the Affordable Care Act.
The GOP plans to reveal its bill today, have 20 hours of debate and then vote next week. During the holiday recess numerous Republican senators publicly proclaimed their opposition to Trumpcare; those from rural states realized that a large portion of their medical system would basically grind to a halt with the proposed Medicaid cuts and restrictions.

What's tantalizing about the coming collapse of Trumpcare is that it creates a logjam for Republican tax overhaul, not to mention other dastardly legislative priorities.

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