Editorial: Taking health insurance from 22 million for tax cuts is too high a price

Posted June 27

One of the biggest winners, if GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare are successful would be the wealthy.

A CBC Editorial: Tuesday, June 27, 2017; Editorial # 8178
​The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Much of the talk about how Republicans will repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – has been about numbers. Specifically, about 51 and how to get that number of votes in the U.S. Senate.

Like too many important issues and choices these days, it focuses on the horse race -- what it will take to win or lose, pass or defeat, the health plan that Senate Republicans concocted in secret and released late last week.

It is the wrong question.

The most basic questions in this debate should be: Which children will be able to see a doctor to diagnose their dangerously high fever? How will patients on fixed incomes get wellness check-ups and low cost prescriptions for high blood pressure treatment? Is a big tax cut worth taking health insurance away from 22 to 23 million Americans?

Before any members of Congress, but particularly those from North Carolina, vote on any plans to repeal and replace Obamacare they should publically answer these questions:

  • How many Americans, and how many North Carolinians, will lose health coverage under this bill?
  • What is an acceptable number of Americans, and North Carolinians, to be denied health care coverage because they cannot afford it?
  • Who will provide health services to those who are denied coverage and how will it be paid for?

More than 22 million Americans would lose health care coverage under the plans before the U.S. Senate, according to a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office released Monday. The plan passed by the House of Representatives would end health coverage to some 23 million Americans – about 1 million who live in North Carolina.

All of this flies in the face of a promise President Donald Trump made just days before he was inaugurated. “We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump pledged in a Jan. 14 interview with The Washington Post. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.”

The latest estimates don’t include the half-million additional North Carolina residents who now don’t have coverage because the state legislature banned participation in a federally funded program to extend health coverage to poor people.

There is still much to be learned about the Senate’s proposal.

Like the bill passed by the U.S. House, that even President Donald Trump has labeled as “mean,” both the House and Senate plans seem to place a priority on cutting taxes and expenses over providing health care to millions of Americans.

North Carolina’s members of Congress who support such a plan – both the nine Republicans in the House who voted for repeal and the state’s two senators – should answer the three questions above, before casting another vote on the issue.

We look forward to passing their answers along.


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  • William Sherman Jun 27, 12:37 p.m.
    user avatar

    Illegal aliens don't receive federal welfare, medicade, food stamps etc? The fed. Government would beg to differ. Illegal alien adults are not eligible--but all their children born in the US are citizens of the US" and as minors are eligible for nearly all available social welfare programs. As minors their parents are given authority to control those benefits. Want to try again that illegal aliens don't receive federal welfare benefitss?

  • Teddy Fowler Jun 27, 11:07 a.m.
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    It's funny math... I recently read that only about 20 million either have Obamacare (only 11.5 million in the Marketplace), or increased numbers in Medicare, or young adults on their parents plan..... So these numbers are projecting 52 million insured in 2026 vs 28 million by the Republican plan... so it's all conjecture.... serious doubt 52 million would be insured as Obamacare was failing miserably and insurance companies were opting out in droves... anyway... that 22 million is pretty much a fake number based on current conditions which of course are bogus...

  • David Smoak Jun 27, 10:28 a.m.
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    CBC, your bias is showing up again. Please don't parrot the CBO when they claim that people voluntarily exercising their right to drop from the individual mandate are "losing healthcare". Those people are actually gaining a small portion of their freedom back and they should be respected for making their own adult decisions.

  • Sean Creasy Jun 27, 10:27 a.m.
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I disagree. They (illegal aliens) use fake ID's and bogus SS numbers to get these benefits all the time just like the ones they use to get jobs..

  • Henry Cooper Jun 27, 10:25 a.m.
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    For many people affordable health care has become unusable due to deductibles and co pays.

    Has anyone without a subsidy not seen in increase in premiums or a decrease in coverage?

  • Henry Cooper Jun 27, 10:21 a.m.
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    All I know for fact is my insurance went up well over 300% (just me no kids). It is now more than my house payment now. I bought 7 years ago before any of this. How was anyone to anticipate a 300%+ increase. Couple that with what was mentioned previously with huge deductibles and high co pays.

    ACA has cost me 2 years of retirement as my plan went to garbage due to an impossible to foresee health care tax that has made healthcare my number 1 expense...

    See I fit into the middle that ACA counted on to pay for everyone else.

  • Johnny Priest Jun 27, 10:21 a.m.
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    Of the supposed 22 million (this is the CBO who were woefully wrong when they said what the impact of ACA would be) how many wouldn't "lose" coverage but chose not to be covered? The best answer to health care insurance is to get gov't as far away as possible. Allow tax free HSAs for families that can be used by any member. Allow insurance companies to cross State lines. Have States set up high risk pools for those with pre-existing conditions, like they do for auto insurance.
    The recent bill in California shows that single payer is not a viable option. The cost just for them was $400Billion dollars, more than their current budget for the entire State. Get the Feds involved and we go broke very quick.

  • Chris Grimes Jun 27, 9:48 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Undocumented immigrants receive NO welfare, food stamps, health insurance subsidies, or Medicaid. In fact, even legal immigrants aren't eligible until they've been here at least five years. And undocumented immigrants pay taxes just like you and me -- for benefits that they'll never receive. According to Stephen Goss, chief actuary of the SSA, illegal immigrants contribute $12-15 BILLION to Social Security every year, but they're ineligible for any of its benefits. Not making this up -- Google it or check out http://econofact.org/do-undocumented-immigrants-overuse-government-benefits . I can understand that some people are upset about illegal immigration, I really can, but please don't believe the myths that politicians and alt-right 'news' sites with their own agenda are putting out there to stir resentment and hate.

  • William Sherman Jun 27, 9:47 a.m.
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    Lets take a look at reality--divested of the liberal screed of gloom and doom. How many people were left uninsured after 7 years of Obamacare? How many millions of people either chose not to purchase government approved insurance and paid the fine? As Obamacare collapses, how many people who have an insurance card, but due to skyhigh premiums and unbelieveable co-pays cannot begin to use that insurance? What is the response from the liberal Obamacare devotees? Soak the tax payers to pay more of the government subsidies? Thats really realistic.

  • Sean Creasy Jun 27, 7:38 a.m.
    user avatar

    Here's a thought.. Cut ALL forms of government assistance to "undocumented immigrants" AKA illegal aliens and foreign nationals. Make these programs strictly for US citizens alone and quit supporting the others that are just here to get what they can...