Across the Country, Editorial Boards Shred “Disaster” Trumpcare Bill

USA Today: Trumpcare — A Dog’s Breakfast Of A Bill Minneapolis Star-Tribune: U.S. House Health Care Bill Is A Big Step Backward For Those With Preexisting Conditions St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Gutting Health Care For 24 Million Americans Is No Cause For Celebration Philadelphia Inquirer: 'Trumpcare' Will Make Sick People Sicker

May 8, 2017

USA Today Editorial:  Trumpcare — A Dog’s Breakfast Of A Bill. “Although the plan would have life-and-death consequences and reshape a big chunk of the economy, it was slammed through after a mere three hours of debate. No effort at bipartisan compromise was attempted. The GOP measure is both bad policy and, despite Thursday's Rose Garden celebration, bad politics. If adopted by the Senate, it would end health coverage for millions of Americans. It would also force Republicans running in competitive districts to defend a plan that ends Americans’ right to buy health insurance regardless of a previous condition.” [USA Today, 5/4/17]

Washington Post Editorial:  Betrayal, Carelessness, Hypocrisy: The GOP Health-Care Bill Has It All

What a betrayal: Republicans promise to maintain access to health insurance for people with preexisting medical conditions, and then on Thursday press a bill through the House that would eliminate those guarantees. What a joke: Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) objects to the loss of protection, and then pretends that a paltry $8 billion over five years will fix the problem. And what hypocrisy: House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) claims to be restoring fair process to his chamber, and then orchestrates a vote on this hugely consequential bill before the Congressional Budget Office can tell lawmakers what it would cost or how many people would lose access to health care as it took effect.” [Washington Post, 5/4/17]

Bloomberg Editorial:  The Shame of the House

“The dereliction of duty is breathtaking. In pushing the American Health Care Act through the House of Representatives, Speaker Paul Ryan and his Republican conference have voted to remake almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy. They did so without public hearings, without input from outside experts, without analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and without, finally, much compunction or consideration of the tens of millions of Americans it will harm. ‘I don’t think we should pass bills that we haven’t read and don’t know what they cost,’ Ryan said in the summer of 2009, referring (unfairly) to Obamacare. This kind of hypocrisy might be overlooked if the new bill had any merit. It doesn’t. If anything, it’s more damaging than the original bill Republicans tabled in March. The CBO said that legislation would have taken away health insurance from some 24 million Americans. The new bill could push the number higher.” [Bloomberg, 5/4/17]


San Francisco Chronicle Editorial: GOP Pushes Reckless Rewrite Of Obamacare That Will Harm Millions

“Consumers are in danger of paying much more for far less health coverage, courtesy of a reckless Republican rewrite of the Affordable Care Act that brought medical insurance to millions of Americans. The product that won approval in the House of Representatives is a political trophy, not a serious health care plan. There’s no impartial study of its costs. There were few public hearings, and a tangle of loose ends remains over key issues for patients, employers and public agencies. It’s a contrived, irresponsible response to a serious issue. The latest version, with changes added at the last moment, guts the encompassing nature of the Affordable Care Act. That law, better known as Obamacare, used taxes, mandates and guarantees that provided coverage for some 24 million uninsured consumers.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 5/4/17]

Sacramento Bee Editorial:  Where To Send The California Republicans Who Backed That Awful Obamacare Repeal

“There’s a place we won’t name for the 217 House Republicans – including every one in the California delegation – who voted Thursday for the despicable scam replacement for Obamacare. Publicly, they may claim that they did Americans a favor. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Bakersfield, nattered cheerily after the vote – as crowds shouted, ‘Shame! Shame! Shame!’ – about ‘lower premiums’ and ‘more choice’ and how destroying the Affordable Care Act was the only way to save it. Privately, though, they know that their American Health Care Act is little more than a nearly $300 billion tax cut for the rich at the brutal expense of sick and vulnerable people. Just because they keep repeating the lie that Obamacare is a ‘catastrophe’ doesn’t erase the great swath of America that benefits from it.” [Sacramento Bee, 5/4/17]

Fresno Bee Editorial:  Under Trumpcare, You Better Never Get Sick

“If there was any doubt, it evaporated Thursday: President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in the House of Representatives want to make America sick again. Led by Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and whipped into line by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, House Republicans shredded the Affordable Care Act by passing a health-care bill that is bad for America – and the San Joaquin Valley, in particular. Though the American Health Care Act must go through the Senate – where Democrats might be able to modify some of the worst provisions – what Trump and Ryan have wrought will harm millions of people, drive millions back into emergency rooms for treatment and deprive children, the already-sick, the elderly and even veterans of affordable health insurance.” [Fresno Bee, 5/4/17]

Mercury News Editorial:  House Health Bill Has More Failings Than Trump Has Hotels

Far from ‘insurance for everybody,’ it will drive tens of thousands of Americans off the health care rolls. Far from a ‘lot less expensive’ for everyone — ‘the government, consumers, providers’  — it will cost older Americans far more as well as lower income Americans. (If you’re rich, no prob.) It will de-fund disease prevention programs that now save public hospitals billions of dollars. Republicans used to whine that Obamacare was passed without any Republican votes, but Obama and Democrats worked for a year trying to win GOP support before going it alone with a plan — based on one Republican Mitt Romney had devised for Massachusetts. This time, a GOP majority didn’t even pretend to reach out to Democrats. Nor did bring in insurers, health care economists or medical organizations to identify and resolve any problems.” [Mercury News, 5/4/17]


Aurora Sentinel Editorial:   Trumpcare 1.2 — The Political Cure For Obamacare Is Toxic Medicine For America

“Trumpcare, as Republicans passed it, would be economically catastrophic to businesses, states, the federal government and, most importantly, almost every person in America — except the rich ones. In an astonishing act of cruelty, House Republicans voted for a plan that not only threatens access to health care for hundreds of millions of older and sicker Americans, but it does so in part by providing massive tax breaks to the country’s richest citizens.” [Aurora Sentinel, 5/7/17]


News Journal Editorial:  House Plan Sickens Us

“Before the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies were allowed to deny coverage to those of us with chronic conditions. The ACA made that illegal. It also stipulated that insurance companies could not set prices based on a client’s health. The Republican plan tosses that aside, theoretically allowing insurers to make coverage unaffordable for the sickest of us… Perhaps nobody told the president that millions could lose coverage under this proposal. Perhaps he was told and couldn’t or refused to comprehend the consequence. Either way, he’s worth $3.5 billion and says he’s healthy. So why should he care about the rest of us? It’s clear he does not.” [News Journal, 5/5/17]


Tampa Bay Times Editorial:  U.S. House's Health Care Repeal Is Pyrrhic Victory

“They don't know how much it would increase the federal deficit. They don't know how many millions of Americans would lose their health coverage. Yet U.S. House Republicans on Thursday rammed through their latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, leaving the devastating consequences to be sorted out later. Then they celebrated with President Donald Trump, but it is a hollow and hopefully temporary victory. The first thing Tampa Bay voters should know is that these Republicans foolishly voted for this legislation that could cost millions of Floridians their health coverage: Reps. Gus Bilirakis of Palm Harbor, Dennis Ross of Lakeland, Vern Buchanan of Sarasota and Dan Webster of Clermont.” [Tampa Bay Times, 5/4/17]

Gainesville Sun Editorial:  Cheers For Clemons And Watson; Jeers For Yoho

“If U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho thought he received an angry reception at his last town hall meeting in Gainesville, during the congressional recess he might want to avoid anyone whose health-care coverage he just voted to take away. That will be a difficult task given that Yoho voted to pass legislation that would cause millions of Americans to lose their coverage, and many others to lose protections that made their coverage worth having… The legislation would repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and create a vastly inferior replacement.” [Gainesville Sun, 5/5/17]

Sun-Sentinel Editorial:  Marco Rubio Should Help Fix Or Block Obamacare Repeal

“The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed a health care bill it said would improve health care. No, it would decimate health care… The Senate should turn away this pay-more, get-less bill, no matter that Republicans have pushed to repeal Obamacare for seven years. This is a bad deal for Americans.” [Sun-Sentinel, 5/6/17]

Ocala Star-Banner Editorial:  A Bad Process Gets A Bad Bill

“Is it a better bill than the dog’s breakfast that the House GOP leadership abandoned six weeks ago? Nobody really knows. That’s because House members rushed the planning and execution of the legislation behind closed doors, without debate, and in an extraordinary move, without being analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office for its potential costs. It was a process that was even less transparent and deliberate than Obamacare — which Republicans at the time excoriated for being hurried and haphazard.” [Ocala Star-Banner, 5/8/17]


Chicago Sun-Times Editorial:  House Republicans leave America’s sick and old high and dry

“Should you catch a bad break, Republicans in Congress are prepared to leave you high and dry. Maybe you have a son or daughter who has developed a mental illness. Good luck, if House Republicans get their way, trying to find an affordable health insurance plan for your family. Maybe you are pregnant. Good luck finding an insurance plan at a price you can pay that covers maternity care. Maybe you had an accident and have to go to an emergency room. Your GOP-championed health insurance plan may not cover the bill, which can be enormous. Good luck there, too.” [Chicago Sun Times, 5/4/17]


Boston Globe Editorial:  The Catastrophe Of Trumpcare

“But even the conservative Wall Street Journal warned that this latest version puts millions at risk of losing health care benefits. One provision allows states to obtain waivers from certain insurance regulations mandated by Obamacare. With such a waiver, the Journal reported, ‘states could be freed from a regulation mandating that they cover 10 specific types of health services, including maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and hospitalization.’ […] Republicans, [Pelosi] warned, will have ‘every provision tattooed on your forehead… You will glow in the dark on this one.’ On Thursday, House Republicans wore that tattoo proudly. They glowed happily as they took selfies in the Rose Garden, and Ryan pledged ‘to see this work through.’ Now it’s up to Republicans in the Senate to be the responsible members of their party and stop this legislation in its tracks. If they don’t, they will wear the same tattoo, the one that says they took health care coverage away from millions of voters who have come to rely on it, all in the name of a preening president.” [Boston Globe, 5/4/17]

Springfield Republican Editorial:  New GOP Health-Care Bill Undercuts Law, Retreats From Pledge

“It won't provide subsidies to help those who need them afford health insurance. It will allow individual states to set important rules that will limit coverage. And it would repeal a number of taxes that have helped pay for the law. And that's just for starters. Remember when Trump said the plan Republicans would come up with would provide health care for everyone? Well, apparently he doesn't. And GOP lawmakers certainly aren't acting like they recall his pledge.” [Springfield Republican, 5/5/17]

Worcester Sun Editorial:  On Health Care, A Sickening Display

“Last week, the national sickness that is politics took a turn for the worse. The U.S. House barely passed its atrocious healthcare legislation, then gathered in all-Republican force at the White House Rose Garden as if in triumph. It’s not, first of all, a triumph in the furious quest to overturn Obamacare just yet. This dishearteningly flawed bill, the House’s second try at writing a healthcare measure since President Trump took office, must next face the Senate, where the knee-jerk “repeal” reflex is less pronounced.” [Worcester Sun, 5/7/17]


Minneapolis Star-Tribune Editorial:  U.S. House Health Care Bill Is A Big Step Backward For Those With Preexisting Conditions

“As congressional Republicans work to pass their plan to replace the ACA, it’s important to remember that families like Beatrix’s could be caught up in one of the legislation’s biggest and most objectionable changes. The bill, which regrettably passed the House on Thursday, allows for a return to a reprehensible era when insurers could reject coverage for an infant or anyone else with preexisting ailments. Assurances from GOP leadership that the newly revised bill would instead provide ‘multiple layers of protection’ for those with preexisting conditions are disingenuous at best.” [Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 5/4/17]


Kansas City Star Editorial:  The House Votes To Break Health Care. The Senate Must Fix It.

“We should use the House bill as a guidepost, because the GOP’s views about your health care are now crystal clear:  States should decide what your insurance policy covers. In a few years, politicians who think like Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will be able to decide if your policy must cover maternity care, emergency room visits or mental health care. We can guess what they’ll choose. You may be able get cheaper insurance but with far less coverage, wildly high deductibles and flat exclusions for some types of care. The GOP is fine with that.  The poor don’t deserve quality health care. The measure cuts nearly $900 billion from Medicaid over the next 10 years and turns it into a block grant for states to spend as they wish. Eventually, 24 million fewer Americans will have health insurance. The GOP is fine with that. Sick people will pay more for insurance. Republicans may claim patients with pre-existing conditions like diabetes and cancer can still get coverage, but premiums for those patients will rise dramatically.” [Kansas City Star, 5/4/17]

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial:  Gutting Health Care For 24 Million Americans Is No Cause For Celebration

“President Donald Trump and House Republican leaders gathered in the White House Rose Garden at mid-afternoon Thursday to celebrate House passage of the American Health Care Act a couple of hours earlier. The scene was bewildering. Here were people who had just voted to destroy health care coverage for up to 14 million Americans next year — and as many as 24 million in 10 years. It would do so by generating a $600 billion tax cut for wealthy Americans.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5/6/17]


Billings Gazette Editorial:  A Plan To Take Montana Care Backward

“Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives rushed to pass that health care ‘reform’ bill last week without crucial analysis of its costs and benefits. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office hasn’t had time to analyze the scheme that was narrowly approved to give GOP leaders and President Donald Trump a ‘win.’ […]Instead of destroying the good that the Affordable Care Act has done, (as the House has voted to do) U.S. senators should demand and create a replacement to fix the problems of premiums rising for middle income Americans.” [Billings Gazette, 5/8/17]


Concord Monitor Editorial:  A Cruel Approach To Health Care

“The act, passed in a rush with no analysis of its fiscal impact, would cut $880 billion from Medicaid, the health care program for people with low or no income. It allows insurers to charge older people five times the rates charged younger people, up from three times under Obamacare. It lets states apply for waivers that would permit them to drop the existing requirement that they insure people with pre-existing conditions. About one in every four Americans have one, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. It gets worse. The act drastically reduces the subsidies that make insurance affordable for millions. It allows states to choose whether insurers have to cover things like mental health treatment or maternity care.” [Concord Monitor, 5/7/17]


Bergen County Record Editorial:  House Republicans Gut Obamacare

“For starters, the Congressional Budget Office has not produced any estimate of what the House bill would cost. There was little debate. And some Republicans have admitted they do not know all the details of the bill they just approved. What is known is not good. For starters, the tax penalty that would have compelled younger, healthy individuals to purchase health insurance goes away. That pool of healthy people is what makes insuring extremely ill people possible. And while people with pre-existing health conditions will technically still be able to buy policies, insurance companies can charge what they want, and we are not convinced that the bill, as is, has a safety net for them.” [Bergen County Record, 5/4/17]

Courier News Editorial:  GOP Will Have Blood On Its Hands

“Let’s be brutally honest about what House Republicans ‘achieved’ on Thursday by passing the American Health Care Act. They killed people. Not yet, but that’s coming. More Americans will die because the GOP made it all but impossible for them to afford the medical care they needed, care to which they would have had access under Obamacare. Everyone who supported the American Health Care Act — all Republicans, of course — will have blood on their hands. That’s not hyperbole. The good news for them is that the dead will mostly come from those in need, the poor and the elderly about whom the Republicans who voted for this bill apparently care little. But the GOP made sure to secure a big fat tax cut for the wealthy that will help destroy health insurance for millions. That’s what really mattered.” [Courier News, 5/5/17]


New York Times Editorial:  The Trumpcare Disaster

“The House speaker, Paul Ryan, and other Republicans falsely accused Democrats of rushing the Affordable Care Act through Congress. On Thursday, in a display of breathtaking hypocrisy, House Republicans — without holding any hearings or giving the Congressional Budget Office time to do an analysis — passed a bill that would strip at least 24 million Americans of health insurance. Pushed by President Trump to repeal the A.C.A., or Obamacare, so he could claim a legislative win, Mr. Ryan and his lieutenants browbeat and cajoled members of their caucus to pass the bill. Groups representing doctors, hospitals, nurses, older people and people with illnesses like cancer opposed the bill. Just 17 percent of Americans supported an earlier version of the measure, and Republicans have made the legislation only worse since that poll was conducted. Neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Ryan seemed bothered by this overwhelming criticism of their Trumpcare bill, the American Health Care Act. They seemed concerned only about appeasing the House Freedom Caucus, the far-right flank of their party.” [NY Times, 5/4/17]

New York Daily News Editorial:  A Sickening Display: The GOP's Reckless Health-Care Vote

“The bill simultaneously cuts $800 billion over 10 years from Medicaid, the program offering health care for the poor that Trump promised not to cut, and another $200 billion in subsidies for private insurance. The $8 billion represents 1% of the overall bill’s cuts in premium supports. All to pave the way for huge tax cuts, mostly for the wealthy, coming down the pike. For New York, a bad bill gets worse: A bald-faced bribe to buy off upstate congressmen Chris Collins and John Faso would open a $2.3 billion hole in the state budget to cover Medicaid payments previously picked up by counties.” [New York Daily News, 5/4/17]

Newsday Editorial:  New American Health Care Act Is Snake Oil

“If the legislation becomes law, it would have terrible impacts. The big winners would be the wealthy. They would get huge tax cuts with the elimination both of a Medicare surcharge — hastening the bankruptcy of Medicare — and of a Medicaid tax on investment income in Obamacare. The most hurt would be 14 million people who would lose Medicaid over a decade, thanks to an $880 billion cut, and another 10 million who would lose coverage as subsidies change and insurers are allowed to increase rates for older customers and sicker ones.” [Newsday, 5/4/17]

Daily Gazette Editorial:  Why Did Faso, Stefanik Vote For Health Care Bill?

“But when our representatives are presented with a piece of legislation that clearly will be harmful to the health and financial well-being of a large number of constituents in their districts and the state, why would they vote for it? According to the state Department of Health analysis, more than 1 million New Yorkers would face significant loss of health care under the revised health care plan approved by the House of Representatives on Thursday. The act also has the potential to hit New York taxpayers in the wallet, where they’re used to feeling the pinch, as it could deprive the state of at least $6.9 billion by 2020, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office and others. Who will make up that loss in revenue come from? New York taxpayers.” [Daily Gazette, 5/7/17]


Raleigh News & Observer Editorial:  House Health Bill ‘Compromise’ Would Compromise Health Care

“Those who were breathing easier after the failure of Republicans to come up with a replacement for the Affordable Care Act are worrying again, and rightly so. House Speaker Paul Ryan — no fan of entitlement programs and one who has flirted with the privatization of Medicare and Social Security — agreed to an amendment to a GOP health care plan that would weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, cut Medicaid rolls and give a tax cut to the rich. Although money would be allotted to ‘help’ such people pay for high-priced care, it wouldn’t last long, and shamefully, Republicans know it. This ‘compromise’ — approved on a 217-213 vote Thursday — is little more than a deal that gives in to the GOP’s hard right flank, which would prefer to gut all aspects of the ACA in order to eliminate President Obama’s signature accomplishment. This is a shameful act that will hurt millions of Americans.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 5/4/17]

Raleigh News & Observer Editorial:  Senate Should Reject The House’s Callous Health Care Bill

“Perhaps most amazing in the celebration was the president’s ability, again, to simply ignore past promises and change realities. He vowed those with pre-existing conditions, for example, would be protected under health care changes — absolutely, positively. But that’s not what happened: Republicans included $8 billion to help those with such conditions pay their health premiums, but that money would be gone quickly. No guarantees, in other words. Another promise broken. And Trump talked about costs being less and premiums being lower, but he has utterly no proof of that.” [Raleigh News & Observer, 5/7/17]


Philadelphia Inquirer Editorial:  'Trumpcare' Will Make Sick People Sicker

“A four-vote victory in the House does not bode well for the future of ill-conceived, Republican-crafted legislation designed to kill ‘Obamacare’ when it reaches the Senate. But that doesn’t seem to matter to its proponents, who apparently care more about adding a check mark to President Trump’s skimpy list of accomplishments so far than helping sick people. Among its flaws is the Republican bill’s proposal to cut Medicaid funding by $880 billion over 10 years, which is about half the increase that President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act provides to expand Medicaid coverage. Someone should remind Trump he promised not to cut Medicaid when he ran for president. Cutting Medicaid could lead to up to 24 million fewer Americans having health coverage than if the Affordable Care Act is left in place.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/5/17]

Pennlive Editorial:  If You Weren't Sick Already, The New Trumpcare Bill Is Enough To Make You Ill

“In their haste to pad President Donald Trump's slender portfolio of achievements, and pass an Obamacare repeal, U.S. House Republicans did the seemingly unimaginable Thursday: They took an already bad healthcare reform bill and made it even worse. By a slender, four-vote margin of 217-213 (with 20 Republicans, including four from Pennsylvania defecting), Republicans kneecapped Trump's campaign promise to not cut Medicaid; basically drew a line through promises not to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and then funneled the savings gleaned from the bill into a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.” [PennLive, 5/5/17]


Salt Lake Tribune Editorial:  House Health Care Bill Enough To Make One Sick

“You may be among those who was sickened by the sight of a grinning Jason Chaffetz wheeling into the House Chamber on Thursday, where he gleefully voted to rip the kind of health insurance that paid for his recent foot surgery away from millions of other Americans. If so, whatever you do, don't tell anybody. Because if that understandable illness is recorded anywhere, it might be considered the kind of pre-existing condition that insurers will now be able to use to jack up your health insurance premiums astronomically or refuse to sell you a policy of any kind at any price.” [Salt Lake Tribune, 5/5/17]


Spokesman-Review Editorial:  AHCA ‘Victory’ Was Nothing To Celebrate

“The process to pass the American Health Care Act in the House was irresponsibly rushed and overtly political. We don’t ever recall representatives partying at the White House for a bill that had yet to be scored. White House chief of staff Reince Priebus compared Thursday’s vote to a punt into the end zone. Who celebrates a touchback? Changing sports, President Donald Trump told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that the ball was in his court now. This will not be a slam dunk, nor should it be. The president promised to protect Medicaid. This bill severely undermines it. The massive cuts to Medicaid alone would have a negative ripple effect in every community. The progress on mental health care would be lost. Instead of early treatment – made possible by expanded coverage – needy people would be neglected.” [Spokesman-Review, 5/7/17]