My Thoughtful Critique of Trumpcare

Avik Roy has a request:

OK, here’s my Top 5 list:

  1. Medicaid: The Senate bill slashes spending on Medicaid in order to cut taxes on the rich. This is a cruel and unnecessary tradeoff for the richest country in the history of the world.
  2. Death Spiral: It eliminates the individual mandate; reduces subsidies for the poor; reduces benchmark plans to an actuarial value of 58 percent; and increases deductibles and copays. Whatever instability Obamacare currently has, this will make it far, far worse.
  3. Essential Health Benefits: Like the House bill, the Senate bill makes it easy for states to cut essential health benefits, which motivates insurers to offer low-end policies for the working poor that are worthless—but only if you read the fine print.
  4. More Uninsured: It will lead to tens of millions fewer people having health coverage. CBO will provide an exact number in a few days, but we already know it’s going to be big.
  5. Lifetime Caps: Guts protections against annual and lifetime caps, and because of the way the bill is written, it’s likely to do this even for employer insurance, not just for the individual market.

There’s more, like the substantial increase in premiums for older workers and the quiet kickback to insurance company CEOs. And what are the benefits? Unless you’re rich or you really, really want to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, it’s hard to see any.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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