Thursday, March 16, 2017

Ryan: Covering more people just a "beauty contest"

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 02:  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) answers questions at the U.S. Capitol during a press conference March 2, 2017 in Washington, DC.  Ryan said U.S. Attorny General Jeff Sessions, following reports of Sessions meeting with the Russian ambassador during the U.S. presidential campaign,  should recuse himself from any investigation into alleged Russian ties to the Trump campaign if Sessions is a target of that investigation.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) admitted Friday that the Congressional Budget Office will likely estimate that millions of people would lose health insurance under the GOP's proposed health care bill.
But he said that the the bill wasn’t meant to address the “beauty contest” of increasing coverage.
“We always know, you’re never going to win a coverage beauty contest when it’s free market versus government mandates,” Ryan told radio host Hugh Hewitt, after Hewitt floated the possibility that the CBO would estimate 15 million people will lose health insurance because of the American Health Care Act.…
Of course, he’s right in the sense that the Unaffordable No Care Act’s goal is not to cover people, but to cut spending.  Why?  To pay for tax cuts for the wealthy.  As OMB Director Mulvaney also admitted:
The director of the Office of Management said Wednesday that “insurance is not really the end goal here.”
“So we’re choosing instead to look at what we think is more important to ordinary people: Can they afford to go to the doctor?” he added later.
As you can see, there is a ridiculous contradiction between the two sentences.  But the point here is cutting federal government spending.
But the real meat in the coconut is this:
In his interview with Hewitt, Ryan also agreed that the ACHA’s eventual capping of Medicaid was the largest change to federal entitlements in his lifetime.
“We’re talking about hundreds of billions of dollars a year,” he said. “This is so much bigger, by orders of magnitude, than [the] welfare reform [of 1996].”
This is a twofold win for Randians like Ryan:  the spending cuts, which will pay for tax cuts, and the elimination of Medicaid as a “guaranteed” program.  What he calls an “entitlement.”  Not everyone who should and would qualify for coverage under Medicaid will be guaranteed coverage by the federal government.  Instead, there will be a game of “musical chairs" to see who will be left out.  Forget private coverage under the ACA.  The real goal of this legislation is to target Medicaid.  From there they hope to target Medicare and then, the ultimate prize, Social Security.  Unless they are stopped.  Starting with this bill.

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