Originally I was planning to post another cartoon here, but this morning I ran across the one above in an article about the retirement of Bob Mankoff from The New Yorker. Mankoff reportedly submitted over 500 cartoons to that magazine before the first one was published. You can see more of his work in that article cited above or here.
Unlike the cartoon I had planned to use, which was much more slashing and immediately topical, this classic is much more understated. But it pretty much captures everything you need to know about the GOP proposal to kill the Affordable Care Act and substitute their own bill. Cutting through all the rhetoric, here is what the Republican proposal will do.
Millions of people who currently have health insurance will lose it. How many millions? It’s hard to know for sure since the GOP is rushing ahead before the Congressional Budget Office can analyze the bill (while also trying to preemptively discredit the CBO analysis before it’s released). But the ratings and analytics firm S&P Global has ballparked the number of people who would lose their insurance at between 6 million and 10 million. Others have offered figures as high as 15 million and 20 million.
If you keep coverage, you’ll be paying more for whatever insurance you have. That’s because the Republican proposal will destabilize the health insurance marketplace for the vast majority of Americans, especially older Americans. As healthier people abandon insurance because of rising costs, sicker people will try to hang on forcing insurance companies to charge everyone else more.
Your taxes will likely go up as well eventually unless you’re among the very richest Americans. As GOP Governor John Kasich puts it: “It is unrealistic to think that cutting coverage saves any money, since we will only see uninsured people returning to the emergency room for their care — and walking away from unpaid bills.”
Hospitals will either go bankrupt or you’ll have to bail them out with your tax dollars. In addition, both the Medicare and Medicaid Trust Funds will be exhausted sooner as a result of the bill. They’ll have to replenished or benefits scaled back. Alternatively, we can just add it to the growing deficit the GOP loves to deplore.
None of this is my opinion alone. The American Medical Association, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, AARP, the American Nurses Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others have all come out against the GOP bill.
On the other hand, you have Trump’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Tom Price, who says that “nobody will be worse off financially” and that coverage is “going to go up” if the bill is enacted. If you believe that, I have a bridge for sale you may be interested in.
It is true there is good news for the rich and powerful in the GOP bill. They’re in line for some big tax cuts. How big you ask?
Based on what the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation has scored so far — and it has not analyzed every revenue loser in the bill — these tax cuts come to about $600 billion, including roughly $157 billion over the coming decade for those with incomes of $1 million or more and another $274 billion for people with incomes over $200,000 annually.
Congratulations if you’re in one of those categories. You no longer have to pay more so that people with far less can have health insurance.
Look, people, this isn’t rocket science. Either you believe everyone in America should be able to get decent health care or you don’t. The Donald, Paul Ryan and the Republicans don’t. It’s that simple.
In any event, if one cartoon on this subject doesn’t do it for you, here are a few more collected by the Washington Post.