The Big Picture on Trumpcare 3.0

Reps. Billy Long, R-Mo., second from right, speaks to reporters at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, following a meeting with President Donald Trump on health care reform. He is joined by, from left, Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, and Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Susan Walsh/AP

It now seems likely that there will be a House vote on Trumpcare Third Try some time this week. It might well not happen. It’s impossible to know for sure. But it does appear much more likely than people thought as recently as this morning.

Here’s the big thing to keep in mind, front and center. Trumpcare 1.0 went down in flames in part because of the CBO score showing that 24 million people would lose their health care coverage and that most of the protections provided by Obamacare would be scrapped.

You’re not hearing it a lot – or perhaps I’m just missing hearing it as clearly as I thought I would or should. But the new version of Trumpcare is actually worse than the old one. There’s every reason to think the number of people who lose coverage will be at least 24 million people and perhaps more.

Critically, this version, in a bow to the House Freedom Caucus, guts the so-called essential benefits requirement under Obamacare. That’s the part that makes ‘coverage’ more than a word.

This version isn’t a bit more generous, as some of the coverage might seem to suggest. It’s considerably worse. The same 24 more million Americans are on the chopping block. Indeed, according to a Brookings study, the change in essential benefits could remove protections from people who get employer based coverage.

If you were worried about the fate of those 24 millions, worry more about this. If you’re worried about your own coverage, now would be the time to speak up. If you were going to town halls to ask your representatives or senators what they were thinking, they have more to answer for now.

There’s a lot of song and dance about various nostrums included in this bill. But by basically every measure it’s worse than what got rejected before.

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