WASHINGTON – Declaring an end to the era of reliable health insurance and in an effort to combat historically low levels of uninsured Americans, House Speaker Paul Ryan yesterday unveiled the GOP’s long awaited “repeal and replace” legislation.
“It’s time we end the scourge of the sick seeing doctors,” the Speaker told reporters who gathered to get a glimpse of the bill, which has purportedly been in the works for seven years, but struck many as a barely legible mishmash that would destroy the individual health insurance markets in the states.
“It’s time that self-employed people who have pre-existing conditions close up shop and get a fucking job,” he continued. “You’re not special, you’re not a snowflake, and you belong in a cubicle, answering to someone else until you retire or die. By which I mean die, because after we pass this shitstorm of a bill, we’re ending Social Security and Medicare.”
Among the proposals contained in the American Health Care Act is a transfer of some $600B in wealth from ordinary Americans to households earning more than $250,000 a year. ACA’s subsidies, carefully calculated based on insurance rates in a person’s county, would be replaced by a one-size-fits-all program of tax credits whose value would increase as the person ages. A 20-year-old would be eligible for $2,000 in tax credits, while a 60-year-old would be eligible for $4,000 a year.
While doubling the tax credit available to a 60-year-old may look generous, the downside is that under Ryan’s proposal, insurers are able to charge the 60-year-old five times the amount that the 20-year-old pays.
Reached for comment, it was difficult to find anyone who liked the proposal, from the GOP megadonor Koch Brothers, to the conservative healthcare policy expert Avik Roy, who wrote in Forbes that AHCA will “make health insurance unaffordable for millions of Americans, and trap millions more in poverty.”
“We are finally prepared to get rid of the disaster of Obamacare once and for all,” the Speaker concluded, “by replacing it with an utter catastrophe. Buckle up, America. The Republicans are running this thing now!”