Sean Duffy’s Attitude On Healthcare Borders on the Criminal

Some of the fallout from the GOP’s American Health Care Act is starting to become apparent when the numbers start getting crunched. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an interesting article on Sunday March 19th and some of the effects of the bill on Wisconsin. Let’s start with this lead in:

No congressional district in Wisconsin delivered a bigger victory margin for Donald Trump last fall (20 points) than the rural northern one represented by Republican Sean Duffy.

But by one key measure, no district in Wisconsin would lose more health care aid under the GOP plan to replace Obamacare.

Wisconsin is part of a national pattern in which the Obamacare enrollees who appear to be hit the hardest by the Republican plan fit the demographic and geographic profile of Trump’s political base.

Here are some of the crunched numbers…and they hurt:

These enrollees are in their 50s and early 60s. Trump won that group by 15 points in Wisconsin, according to exit polling.

And they disproportionately live in rural areas that voted for Trump and are represented by Republicans in Congress.

Take the case of a fairly typical Obamacare enrollee — a 60-year-old with an income of $30,000.

Nationwide, this man or woman would lose an average of $4,150 per year in health care tax credits and subsidies under the GOP plan, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But those cuts would vary dramatically from county to county.

In Wisconsin, the cuts would be much smaller in the southwest and south central parts of the state. In Sauk County, for example, a 60-year-old with an income of $30,000 would lose $1,300 in tax credits and subsidies for his or her health care plan compared to current law.

But in some northern and western counties, that assistance would decrease by more than $7,000.

Man oh man…if I was making $30,000, I couldn’t afford to lose $4,150 in health insurance subsidies much less $7,000. In either case I would probably have to do without…just sayin’

Hmmmm…so the very people that candidate Trump promised to help and protect are the ones who will suffer the biggest losses under the AHCA. If President Trump weren’t totally behind the bill and like his predecessor was threatening to veto it if it hit his desk…there would be some hope that he meant his campaign promise to deliver a better health insurance plan than the Affordable Care Act. But that ain’t gonna happen.

But then it goes rather down hill from there…when Representative Sean Duffy enters the picture.

Duffy’s district has the highest number of Obamacare enrollees in the state (more than 35,000 last year)….

But Duffy said he did not favor the approach under Obamacare of offering bigger tax credits to people in higher-cost counties (though that has meant more generous subsidies in his rural district). And that view appears to be the prevailing one among House Republicans.

Duffy said that is the kind of government “micromanaging … we’re trying to get away from.”

More broadly, Duffy argued that Obamacare was unpopular in his district and was making health care more costly. He argued the GOP plan would create more competition, lower costs and, as a result, “my communities will get helped far more than what they have under Obamacare.”

There’s an awful lot of supposition there…and he’s playing with the health and well being…and the lives of his constituents to stick with his party and his ‘ideology’. It would be interesting if someone actually goes back to his constituents now that the GOP plan is on the table and see if they still think Obamacare is unpopular…and if they think anyone is micromanaging their access to healthcare. To me, the blatant disregard of the risk to people’s health is nearly criminal on the part of the GOP and Rep. Duffy in particular…given the facts on the ground in his district.

And we haven’t even started the head count on how many people might lose Medicaid coverage (note: Governor Walker did not accept the enhanced Medicaid program offered by the ACA…but Wisconsin’s Badgercare is different than the general Medicaid program in other states that also turned down expanded coverage).


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