Republicans have been teasing supporters with a replacement to the Affordable Care Act for years. Now that they may finally have their chance, they are knowingly and purposely sticking it to their constituents one paycheck at a time.
By all accounts, the plan itself – known regularly as the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and defiantly as “TrumpCare” – is a misnomer; it effectively does little to positively impact the availability of affordable and dependable healthcare to Americans over that of the current ACA. In fact, early reports indicate it will actually profoundly rob millions of Americans of their health coverage straight out of the gate.
But health coverage specifics aside, let’s take a wide-angle view of the plan’s more nefarious indications: the ever growing class divide in America that is only going to get worse under Trump.
In essence, the AHCA is much less of a health plan as it is a damnation on the working class; wherein its true benefits reside solely in the pockets of the already wealthy. As it currently stands, those who stand to benefit most are the 400 highest earning households in the country – also known as the “Forbes 400” – will receive an average annual tax break of $7 million while those under the bar pay the lion’s share.
Let’s put a little context around all of this. Within the Forbes 400 reside also the nation’s 4 richest families, who together possess as much wealth as 40% of the entire country. The infamously conservative Koch Brothers – who have historically spearheaded major efforts to repeal the ACA since its inception – make up two out of the four. It is not difficult to surmise where their interests lie.
By the numbers, the truth looks even more dour. The AHCA would only cut taxes for those making upwards of $200k annually ($250k for couples) and would remove a 0.9% surcharge for the very same wage earners. It also would remove a 3.8% tax on investment profits – a tremendous savings for the nation’s wealthiest. According to recent reports, this “trickle down” model would allocate an estimated $346 billion over ten years to the nation’s richest people.
There are more detailed benefits for the uber-rich, of course, but on the surface the inadequacies and inequalities inherent in the proposed Republican bill are both disastrous and dangerous. Its implications for the future persistence of American inequality and economic instability are reminiscent of the exact financial ruin from which the Obama administration saved the country.
The Trump administration and its Republican-majority cohorts in Congress as well as special interest lobbyists are having a proverbial field day while attempting to wrong all the rights.Click here for reuse options!
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