letter to the editor

Katherine Norris: “GOP Bill Trades Affordable Health Care for Millionaire Tax Breaks”

March 21, 2017

by Katherine Norris…….

Dear Editor:

The Republican healthcare repeal bill is exactly the kind of typical Reverse-Robin-Hood giveaway to the rich that we have come to expect from GOP lawmakers.

The bill shifts nearly a trillion dollars in federal funding from the middle class and working families to wealthy people and health care corporations through tax breaks.

In addition to the $465 billion in tax breaks to the insurance companies and drug manufacturers, the House Republicans want to scrap the 3.8 percent surtax on Wall Street investments and a .9 percent tax on income above $250,000 that help fund the ACA. Under the GOP repeal, the wealthiest 400 families in America will get a tax break of $7million every year!

At the same time, the Republican health care bill cuts premium tax credits for working Americans by an average of nearly $1,700, cuts the small business tax credit, and cuts cost-sharing provisions so that families have to pay more out of pocket, including higher premiums and deductibles.

The bottom line: the rich get more breaks, we get less health care.

Republican Repeal Bill Punishes Millennials

The Republican Repeal bill includes a “continuous coverage penalty” that punishes brief lapses in coverage with a 30 percent premium surcharge when they try to get insurance after going more than 63 days without coverage.  This provision will disproportionately impact younger adults more than people of other ages because young people are more likely to have disruptions in coverage.

In fact, young adults are about 70 percent more likely to have gaps in coverage than older generations. That’s because young people tend to move location more often to continue their education, transition from job to job or move out of their family living situation into their own households.

About one third of young adults experience a gap in health coverage over the course of a year that could force them to pay higher premiums under the Republican bill for the full year, making them less likely to enroll in coverage. That’s bad new for them and for the rest of us since young, healthier people’s participation in insurance pools helps lower premiums for everyone else. That’s why provisions that discourage the healthiest people from getting coverage like the millennial penalty in this bill hurt everyone.

Putting the Insurance Companies Back in Charge

It’s bad enough that the Republican health care bill cuts health care for families, seniors, people with disabilities and small business, but it’s even worse to hear politicians touting freedom at the very same time they are taking away our health care.

The ACA isn’t perfect, but it stopped insurance companies from charging people with pre-existing conditions more, charging women twice as much for the same policy as men, dropping coverage whenever they wanted, and putting annual and lifetime caps on care.

The Republican bill doesn’t just make healthcare more expensive. It restores the insurance company’s ability to charge people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure up to 30% more for premiums for any reason—even losing their job—if they have been uninsured for 63 days. That’s not freedom: it’s tyranny.

Under this bill, the insurance companies are free to charge sick people, older people, and people with disabilities more, raise our premiums and deductibles whenever they want and charge us more for less coverage. The rest of us are free to play by their unfair rules or go without healthcare.

The Florida Keys Indivisibles would like to invite all constituents of District 26 to join them to show Congressman Carlos Curbelo, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Bill Nelson that we are serious about protecting civil liberties, personal freedoms, and fundamental human rights . Join us Wednesday, March 22nd at The Blue Room, 1128 Simonton Street, Key West at 6p.m. where you can help plan Congressional office visits, coordinate phone calls, and more.


Kathryn Norris


Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP)

CBO: Millions Would Pay More for Less Under House GOP Health Plan

CBO: 24 Million People Would Lose Coverage Under House Republican Health Plan

Rural Residents Face Especially Big Cuts in Premium Help Under House Plan

House Republican Health Plan Would Weaken Medicare

President Trump’s Health Promises Don’t Match Facts, CBO Report Shows

Little-Noticed Medicaid Changes in House Plan Would Worsen Coverage for Children, Seniors, and People with Disabilities and Increase Uncompensated Care

Commentary: No, the House GOP Health Bill Won’t Protect Medicaid Beneficiaries

Impact on Young Adults (Millennials)


House Bill Slashes Coverage, Rewards Corporations and the Wealthy

Century Foundation // March 13, 2017


Repeal Bill Hurts Rural America Topline Fact Sheet


Consumer’s Union Gives GOP a Failing Grade


What’s at Stake for Women Social Media Memes



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