GOP Attack on Obamacare Won’t Slow Calls for Dems to Back Single-Payer

May 5, 2017

Carol Paris, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, says the Republican vote to repeal Obamacare won't deter the movement pressuring Democrats to back Medicare-for-All

Carol Paris, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, says the Republican vote to repeal Obamacare won't deter the movement pressuring Democrats to back Medicare-for-All



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Story Transcript

Aaron Maté:                         It’s The Real News, I’m Aaron Mate. The Republican controlled House of Representatives has voted to repeal and replace key parts of the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.

Speaker 1:                              The ayes are 217, the nays are 213. The bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.

Aaron Maté:                         The American Healthcare Act cuts hundreds of billions of dollars in healthcare spending by repealing taxes on high income earners and the healthcare industry. It phases out Medicaid expansion and allows states to make even deeper cuts. It also undoes the protection of people with preexisting conditions. Several provisions target women’s health including defunding Planned Parenthood and making essential benefits like maternity coverage optional. After the vote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Republicans will pay a political price.

Nancy Pelosi:                       The Republicans have the majority, they won the vote but the American people now have to judge them by how they have acted. Not by how we’ve characterized what they stand for, now they are on record. As I said, this vote will be tattooed to them as I also said they will glow in the dark.

Aaron Maté:                         The vote comes weeks after House Republicans failed to pass their first attempt. It now goes to the Senate where it faces an uphill battle. Joining me is Dr. Carol Paris, President of Physicians for a national health program. Dr. Paris, welcome.

Carol Paris:                           Thank you for having me, Aaron.

Aaron Maté:                         When Republicans failed to pass their first go at this, Trumpcare 1.0, the Congressional Budget Office estimate was that 24 million people would lose their health insurance. Now this time, perhaps intentionally, the CBO was not given a chance to score this one so we don’t know how many people exactly will be affected. It appears that Trumpcare 2.0 is even more draconian because now it drops the requirement that insurers cover people regardless of their medical history. It also takes away the requirement that insurers offer essential health benefits. Tell us what the impact would be if this manages to become law?

Carol Paris:                           Well you’re right, the CBO has not scored it and so we can only guesstimate that it will be at least 24 million people who will be kicked off of their health insurance. The more interesting thing that happened when the bill failed to pass last time is that H.R. 676, the expanded and improved Medicare for all bill, gained 24 co-sp