The Republican-authored Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is out, and its received even more backlash than the original. As wheelchair-bound protestors were removed from outside Mitch McConnells office, Democrats, a large swath of the public, and the countrys top medical professionals made their protestations clear.
Already, before any detailed analysis of the Senates Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) has been done, its clear that its more severe than the Houses original, and millions of people will lose their health insurance. Consequently, people will die its now a grim question of how many.
According to a brand-new assessment by the Center for American Progress (CAP), a progressive public policy research organization, it is 216,900. These fatalities will be a direct result of 23 million people losing their health coverage by 2026.
Two caveats: firstly, this value is based off an independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the AHCA, not the BCRA; secondly, these values may be a slight overestimate the CAP is a fact-driven but left-leaning agency. Nevertheless, the BCRA is looking to be even harsher than the AHCA, and previous estimates of AHCA-linked mortality seem to back up this truly disgraceful statistic.
Back in 2009 when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) better known as Obamacare was proposed, a powerful lie was spread by some of its most high-profile Republican opponents: that it would result in the formation of death panels, where bureaucrats would decide whether people who were sick or disabled should be worthy of healthcare.
Theres no truth to it whatsoever, as was made clear by the hundreds of hearings and debates about the ACA, along with the hundreds of independent assessments of the bill. Politifact deemed the death panel notion the Lie of the Year 2009.
Fast-forward to 2017, where the BCRA has emerged all of a sudden without a single public hearing or debate about it. There has been no consultation, no reaching across the aisle. Its due to be voted on at the start of July, meaning that theres no chance it will get a proper reading beforehand.
However, even just a quick read through reveals that its nothing short of cruel. Our summary of the bill can be read here, but in short, it gives billions to the wealthy, and robs the poor, sick, disabled, young, and elderly of their healthcare. These people all rely on the ACA not just to keep healthy, but to literally stay alive.
So if the CAPs estimates are correct, or even close to being correct, then it seems that there are death panels after all. In this instance, theyre the GOP Senators that are signing off on the BCRA.