Sen. Al Franken On Why Trumpcare Is ‘Cruel’

It’s a tax cut for the rich that will kill thousands.

Over 74 million Americans receive health care through Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs. This includes 60% of disabled children, 50% of pregnant women, and 64% of nursing home residents. Among Medicaid recipients, 60% of non-disabled working-age adult work, and over 80% are part of working families. But now, over 50% of Medicaid funding is on the chopping block in the Republican-backed Better Care Reconciliation Act or, as it’s casually known, “Trumpcare.”

Should the bill pass in the Senate and be signed into law by President Trump, 22 million Americans would lose health coverage by 2026, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Thousands would likely lose their lives. But Americans who make over a million dollars annually will enjoy a tax cut of about $50,000 while the the richest 400 will receive $33 billion in cuts that would have kept 726,000 covered through Medicaid.

On Monday, Sen. Al Franken appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to explain Trumpcare’s cruelty. “The amount of money [the top 400 Americans will] get in tax cuts would pay for Medicaid for 750,000 people,” Franken claimed. “The New England Journal of Medicine just put out a thing, they did a survey of all the research on this. 1,000-2,000 people will die if you cut 750,000 people from Medicaid.”

via Twitter

Although Franken’s statistics are shocking, he may have underestimated the death toll that would happen if 750,000 people lose their Medicaid coverage. According to a study cited in The New England Journal of Medicine, Medicaid expansion has saved one life for every 239 to 319 people covered, so enrolling 750,000 would save 2,300 to 3,100 lives. Franken sums it up by saying Medicaid “saves lives, and this is cruel, this is mean. This is worse than mean — it is cruel.”

While Trump asked the Senate to craft legislation that was “generous, kind [and] with heart,” the health care bill that may bear his name will cause an untold number of deaths, will cause 22 million to lose their health care, and could put nursing homes and hospitals in serious financial straits. But on a positive note, if you’re among the top 1% of Americans, you may save enough in taxes to buy yourself a yacht.

via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

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