In a Health Affairs report published Tuesday, writers Kathleen Sebelius and Ron Pollack described recent Republican health care proposals as a ‘very cruel war on the poor.’
“By far, no demographic group would be hurt more by these legislative proposals than low-income people,” the authors write. “They are the bulls-eye!”
Sebelius and Pollack say the “war” had roots in a conflict over payments for cost-sharing reductions which assist low-income consumers with health insurance deductibles and co-payments. President Donald Trump has said he’s opposed to those payments, and Republicans in the House have pursued litigation in an effort to stop them.
The Senate’s proposal, they write, is “much worse after 2025” compared to the House’s proposal.
The article cites a report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which said the most pronounced cutback in both bills entailed trimming the Medicaid program. Another setback, according to the article, are cuts to subsidies designed to help low- and middle-income people with health care costs.
“These decreases, which would cause enormous harm to low-income families, are obviously not part of an overall scheme to promote fiscal prudence since both the Senate and House bills lavish huge tax benefits to the rich and special interest groups,” the authors write. “The Senate provides $541 billion in such tax benefits, and the House provides $664 billion.”