Morning Joe Charts: The Trojan Horse of Health Care Reform

On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Steven Rattner presented three charts assessing the Graham-Cassidy health care bill and made the points in the notes below:

The Graham-Cassidy health care bill is on life support – and for good reason. Contrary to what its supporters say, it would eviscerate the Affordable Care Act and leave millions without health insurance. While the Congressional Budget Office has not yet scored the proposal, a number of private think tanks have provided estimates.

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Graham-Cassidy is the Trojan horse of health care reform. It starts out with no budget cuts at all for the next two years, then imposes relatively small cuts of 10% or so a year (compared to current policy) and ultimately goes off a cliff in 2027 by eliminating all funding for the two principal programs in Obamacare, the expansion of Medicaid and the subsidies for lower income Americans who buy their insurance on the exchanges.

When the official CBO score comes, it may be relatively positive on the fiscal side because what the proposed legislation does, in effect, is reduce and then eliminate the spending while keeping all the Obamacare taxes.

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Not surprisingly, therefore, the new Republican proposal would result in tens of millions of Americans losing their insurance. Indeed, the number of uninsured rises even faster over the next decade than the budget cuts would suggest because other key provisions – the individual mandate, the employer mandate, the requirement that those with preexisting conditions be covered at no additional cost – kick in immediately. By 2027, when the full effects of Graham-Cassidy will be felt, an estimated 32 million Americans would be without their insurance, essentially the same number as if the ACA were just fully repealed.

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What has not gotten as much attention as the overall figures is the way that the new proposal punishes mostly Democratic leaning states that expanded their Medicaid programs under Obamacare and rewards more rural states that didn’t. So for example, New York would lose almost $1,000 per person per year and California would lose more than $700 per person per year. On the other hand, Texas, which didn’t expand its Medicaid program, would gain $300 and Alabama would gain $350.