thanks, Don: helping Alaskans die preventable deaths edition

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Last week, Rep. Don Young and his Republican colleagues voted for the American Health Care Act, which will free many of us from the terrible burden of finally being able to afford health insurance. They had a party, and I hear that they’re planning to sell this as a tax cut.

Of course, you only get the tax cut if you’re rich:

The lion’s share of the tax savings would go to the wealthy and very wealthy. According to the Tax Policy Center, the top 20 percent of earners would receive 64 percent of the savings and the top 1 percent of earners (those making more than $772,000 in 2022) would receive 40 percent of the savings. (source)

What Don voted to do to us
Charles Pierce – the man who invented the nickname “zombie-eyed granny starver” for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan – summed things up pretty well:

This was a bill constructed to be as cruel as possible to as many people as possible for the benefit of the wealthiest Americans and to give a “win” to an incompetent and vulgar talking yam that flukes and circumstance have placed at the head of a once-great republic.

Somehow, Don forgot to insist that the Congressional Budget Office review Trumpcare before it was voted on. Why, one could almost think that Rep. Young was unconcerned with the effects of this piece of legislation on his constituents! From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

“While the bill would cut premium tax credits by about 40 percent nationwide, it would cut them by nearly 80 percent in Alaska, leading to a nine-fold increase in the premiums for marketplace consumers, on average. Many consumers would see even larger increases.”

Here are some of the other things that Don voted for in Trumpcare (official version of the act here):

  • From The New York Times, Haeyoun Park provides an article about Don Young’s Medicaid cap (he voted for it, he gets to own it!): “The Republican bill calls for capping how much the federal government gives each state per Medicaid enrollee, based on how much the state was spending on the program in 2016.”
  • Don’s vote for Trumpcare also took a whack at people who get insurance at work; from the editorial board of The New York Times: “This provision could also hurt people who get insurance through work, because federal regulations allow employers to opt into the rules of any state for the purposes of determining annual and lifetime limits on coverage, according to an analysis by the Brookings Institution.”
  • Do you remember “pre-existing conditions”? Don Young does, and he loves them – especially for ladies! At least, that is the only conclusion I can come to after reading this little tidbit from “In addition to rape, postpartum depression, cesarean sections, and surviving domestic violence are all considered preexisting conditions. Companies can also deny coverage for gynecological services and mammograms.” [The article this previously linked to no longer seems to exist. Here’s another one on the subject. – Mary]
  • By voting for Trumpcare, Don Young also hurt kids with special needs: “Under a little-noticed provision of the health care bill, states would no longer have to consider schools eligible Medicaid providers, meaning they would not be entitled to reimbursements.”

But, don’t worry, Don Young’s personal health insurance is unlikely to face the death spiral Trumpcare will encourage in Alaska, because he gets his insurance from a small-group plan in D.C., not the individual market in Alaska:

“If the D.C. government continues to enforce the ACA’s protections, which most experts believe it will, lawmakers and staff could end up with more robust and less expensive coverage than constituents in states that are not as friendly to Obamacare.” [Emphasis mine, because I know you were worried that Don might have a real problem finding a company in Alaska that would insure his 83-year-old self. – Mary]

And so much more!

So, thanks, Don: I for one was definitely hoping to die a preventable death because I couldn’t afford health care!

– Mary

Opinions in this article are those of the author and do not represent official positions of, the Tongass Democrats, or anyone other than the author. 

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