Here’s an Honest Argument In Favor of Trumpcare

Avik Roy finally explains in plain language why he’s really so enthusiastic about the Senate version of Trumpcare:

Repealing and replacing Obamacare does very little to address the fundamental trajectory of the growth of federal involvement in our health care system. To do that, you have to tackle the two big Great Society entitlements: Medicare and Medicaid.

Unfortunately, the Senate is barred from using the reconciliation process to change Medicare. And even if it wasn’t, President Trump has made clear his opposition to Medicare reform. But the Senate bill does historic work to rein in the Medicaid program, putting it on a fiscally sustainable path and reducing its future spending by trillions of dollars.

Most of us think that slashing Medicaid is a bad thing that will devastate the poor, but to Roy it’s the main reason to support the Republican bill.

In fairness, Roy has been sounding the alarm about Medicaid and Medicare pretty much forever, so this is nothing new. But there’s still an odd thing here. The reason to favor Medicaid cuts in the first place is to improve the country’s finances, which the Republican bill doesn’t do. It just hands the money over to the rich. But Roy is enthusiastic anyway. Conversely, he never seemed all that thrilled with Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare, even though they were actually done right: they reined in spending growth by cutting payment levels to doctors and hospitals rather than reducing benefits or tossing people out of the program. The result was a significant boost to the solvency of the Medicare trust fund according to both the CBO and the Medicare trustees.

In any case, even if the rest of the bill is disappointing, kicking 15 million people off Medicaid and saving $772 billion apparently makes the whole thing worth it. Hooray.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Give a Year of the Truth

at our special holiday rate

just $12

Order Now

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.