While the liberal establishment Media (MSM) is howling, screeching and basically throwing a massive temper tantrum and stomping their feet over the House passage of The American Health Care Act (HR 1628), and many in the Independent Media are jumping on the bandwagon because the bill isn't "perfect," (and it isn't!), and celebrities dramatically taking to Twitter to bitterly complain, what most are completely ignoring is that Trump just kept one of his main campaign promises, and no, it wasn't about healthcare or Obamacare...... but it was on tax cuts, across the board, to the tune of one trillion plus.
When I say across the board, that doesn't mean just the rich, but the poor, the middle class, those with chronic illnesses, retirees, those that have healthcare savings accounts, those taking prescription medicine, just to name a few of the millions of people that would see tax cuts if, (big IF) the Senate passes the bill.
Anyone remember after the first attempt at gutting Obamacare, call it repealing, replacing, whatever you want, but after it went down in flames, President Trump said there would be no tax cuts unless Obamacare was replaced. It appeared a strange stance to take at the time given the level of opposition to replacing Obamacare by not only Democrats but spineless establishment Republicans as well.
The president said that under Congress’ "crazy, arcane" rules, lawmakers cannot address his plans for "massive" tax cuts for individuals and businesses until the health-care legislation is approved.
"We want a very big tax cut, but cannot do that until we keep our promise to repeal and replace the disaster known as Obamacare," the president said. He called out praise to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Republican Reps. Andy Barr and James Comer.
Well, now we know why President Trump said that.
Keeping in mind the state of dysfunction throughout Congress between the aforementioned Democrats, spineless establishment Republicans, and hardcore conservatives that think "perfection" is attainable in Congress these days, getting "massive tax cuts" passed in an actual "tax" bill, where most would expect it, is almost an impossibility in the current political climate.
To use a visually unpleasant expression, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
AMERICAN HEALTHCARE ACT REDUCES TAXES BY $1 TRILLION
On Thursday, May 4, 2017, ATR published another list, this one consisting of Obamacare taxes that would be repealed by The American Health Care Act (HR 1628), which "reduces taxes on the American people by over $1 trillion."
-Abolishes the Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax which hits 8 million Americans each year.
-Abolishes the Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax. Together with repeal of the Individual Mandate Tax repeal this is a $270 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax which hits 20 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts and 30 million Americans with Flexible Spending Accounts. This is a $6 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Flexible Spending Account tax on 30 million Americans. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax on 10 million Americans with high out of pocket medical expenses. This is a $126 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s HSA withdrawal tax. This is a $100 million tax cut.
-Abolishes Obamacare’s 10% excise tax on small businesses with indoor tanning services. This is a $600 million tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare health insurance tax. This is a $145 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare 3.8% surtax on investment income. This is a $172 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare medical device tax. This is a $20 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on prescription medicine. This is a $28 billion tax cut.
-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on retiree prescription drug coverage. This is a $2 billion tax cut.
FUNDING FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD CUT BY 86%
When the temporary spending bill was passed (one week spending measure), we also saw a lot of criticism and headlines like "First Trump-Era Spending Law Funds Planned Parenthood, Not Border Wall," yet we see Planned Parenthood funding has also been addressed, perhaps not where the article above expected it to be, but as part of the Healthcare bill.
The American Health Care Act (HR 1628) has a stipulation in it, which says "the 1-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act," a "Prohibited Entity," its affiliates, subsidiaries and successors may not receive money from Medicaid and certain other mandatory federal funding streams, as reported by CNS News, the same outlet that headlined that Planned parenthood was funded as part of the one week temporary spending bill.
A "Prohibited Entity" is described as "a nonprofit that provides abortions and receives more than $350,000,00 per year from Medicaid."
Would anyone like to guess the only organization that matches that criteria? If you said Planned Parenthood, you are correct!
"Based on information from a variety of government and private sources, CBO estimates that Planned Parenthood receives approximately $450 million annually in federal funds," the CBO said.
"Of that amount, roughly $390 million is provided through the Medicaid program and less than $1 million is provided through the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Medicare program combined," said CBO. "The remaining amount, approximately $60 million, is provided through the National Family Planning Program, which operates under Title X of the Public Health Service Act (commonly referred to as Title X). Funding for that latter program is subject to appropriation."
LifeNews highlights other stipulations that haven't been widely disseminated, which includes "funding to community health centers which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1 and offer a wider array of health care services, but not abortion. AHCA also repeals Obamacare abortion subsidies, adds reforms to give states more flexibility and lower costs, and provides families more options."
"Today is a day that should and will be remembered. The House GOP today fulfilled its nearly decade old promise to pass a bill that replaces Obamacare with a law that is pro-life and reduces premium costs for the American people.
We are proud of the House Freedom Caucus for working diligently in coalition with conservative groups and others to make this day possible. After entrusting the GOP with authority to lead the country based upon their campaign promises, the House GOP has made good on turning promises into policy. Now it is time for the Senate to follow in the House’s footsteps and pass the AHCA, so that this vital legislation can be signed into law by President Trump who understands the value of every person, born and unborn.
"As a nation, we are without excuse in paying for abortion on demand in Obamacare and subsidizing Planned Parenthood's gruesome trafficking of baby body parts and its inhumane treatment of mothers and their unborn children. “I look forward to even more pro-life gains under the Trump administration, as we continue to move toward once again being a nation where all human life is welcomed into the world and protected under our laws," Perkins concluded.
National Right to Life praises the Republican leadership for putting this bill together and making sure the most vulnerable members of our society are protected," said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee, in a May 4 statement. "Over 2 million Americans are alive today because of the Hyde Amendment. This new health care bill ensures that we are one step closer to getting the federal government entirely out of the business of subsidizing abortion.
NOT A PERFECT BILL, BUT A START
As I highlighted at the top of this article, The American Health Care Act (HR 1628) is not a perfect bill, in fact it is far from perfect, but as Louis Brown, director of the Christ Medicus Foundation points out, "This is a hugely important step, but it is just the first step to improving health care for all Americans, especially the vulnerable."
The fact is there is no way a bill that is 126 pages, give or take a few for last minute changes, can completely fix, change or addresses everything that was in the 2,000 page Obamacare bill, but, unlike Obamacare, this bill has been online since March, so we didn't have to get it passed in order to know what was in it, either.
What many were either never aware of or simply forgot was that back in March we were told clearly that full process would be done in increments, or two to three different phases.
On behalf of the Trump Administration, I am writing in support of the reconciliation recommendations recently released for consideration by your Committees. Together, they align with the President’s goal of rescuing Americans from the failures of the Affordable Care Act. These proposals offer patient-centered solutions that will provide all Americans with access to affordable, quality healthcare, promote innovation, and offer peace of mind for those with pre-existing conditions.
Your legislative proposals are consistent with the President’s commitment to repeal the Affordable Care Act; provide advanceable, refundable tax credits for Americans who do not already receive such tax benefits through health insurance offered by their employers; put Medicaid on a sustainable path and remove burdensome requirements in the program to better target resources to those most in need; empower patients and put healthcare dollars and decisions back into their hands by expanding the use of health savings accounts; ensure a stable transition away from the Affordable Care Act; and protect people with pre-existing conditions.
Achieving all of the President’s goals to reform healthcare will require more than what is possible in a budget reconciliation bill, as procedural rules on this type of legislation prevent inclusion of key policies such as selling insurance across state lines, lowering drug costs for patients, providing additional flexibility in Medicaid for states to manage their programs in a way that best serves their most vulnerable citizens, or medical legal reforms. Your proposals represent a necessary and important first step toward fulfilling our promises to the American people. We look forward to working with you throughout the legislative process, making necessary technical and appropriate changes, and ensuring eventual arrival of this important bill on the President’s desk.
While Speaker of the house Paul Ryan has lost much support from conservatives, he did explain the process that was the plan as of March 2017, in an easily understandable and succinct manner, shown below.
While phase one of the repeal process has passed the House and is sent to the Senate, with no guarantee that Senate Republicans can get their act together long enough to get it passed, the fact is this bill is only phase one of the planned process, and until the other phases are completed, the criticisms that I have seen so far are all incorrectly implying The American Health Care Act (HR 1628) is the be all, end all of the process, which is either short-sighted, intellectually dishonest, or indicates that people either never knew of the three-phase plan or in the last two months have somehow forgotten all about it.
In the meantime, this bill does cut up to a trillion dollars in taxes and defunds Planned Parenthood by 86%.