Bryan Caforio: Trumpcare Fails

For the past seven years, Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and their buddies in Congress have promised to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act as soon as they took power.

Americans are now seeing what that means for them: Trumpcare. Despite Trump’s lies, tens of millions will lose insurance, huge premium spikes will hit older and middle-class Americans hard, and low-income children and the disabled will have their health care taken away.

The Trump administration itself estimates that 26 million Americans will lose health care due to this bill. The independent Congressional Budget Office said that includes 7 million people who currently have private insurance through their employers.

While our own congressional representative, Steve Knight, avoids facing his constituents who are concerned about their health care, we now know that Trumpcare will cause at least 46,400 people right here in the 25th District to lose their health insurance. That’s unacceptable.

Trumpcare will also raise out-of-pocket costs that are already too high. Some of the CBO’s estimates are downright frightening: If you’re 64 years old, single, and make $26,500 per year, your annual premiums will skyrocket by almost $13,000 per year – an amount few Americans could possibly afford. That’s because Trumpcare specifically allows insurance companies to charge older customers five times as much as younger customers and adds out-of-pocket costs for working and middle-class families.

Trumpcare also completely defunds Planned Parenthood, something Knight has voted to do repeatedly. That would be a disaster for the thousands of women and men in our community who depend on Planned Parenthood for their health care and family planning needs, such as Pap smears, cancer screenings and birth control.

The AARP and America’s largest associations of nurses and doctors all oppose Trumpcare. You might be left wondering then who could possibly benefit from inflicting so much harm. Buried in the bill are tax breaks for the rich. Under Trumpcare, the middle class, older and poor Americans will pay to give people making more than $1 million per year a tax break worth $144 billion, and insurance executives will receive a tax break of $400 million (yes, you read that correctly).

The only bright spot is that we still have time before this disastrous bill becomes a law. So far, Knight has refused to stand up against Trump and stop the bill. We’ve got to change that. Please call him and tell him to vote against this bill and start working on legislation that will provide the high-quality, affordable health care all Americans deserve.

Bryan Caforio is an attorney who lives in Valencia. He was the Democratic candidate for the 25th Congressional District in 2016.

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