The Republican tax scheme is now officially also a health care scheme.
Despite the fact that Obamacare is more popular than ever, with record numbers of signups this year, Senate Republicans are adding provisions into their tax bill that would gut the individual mandate and Medicaid expansions — basically stripping health care from people to pay for tax cuts for corporations and billionaires.
They did this because it was the only way, per the Congressional Budget Office report, that they could save enough money to pass their massive tax breaks for the super wealthy and not increase the deficit.
At a Senate Finance Committee hearing, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri laid into GOP Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch for trying to balance their math with health care cuts for working families:
MCCASKILL: So, in order to save these poor people $43 billion, you’re cutting $364 billion from the same people—
HATCH: Senator, if you would just yield for a second — there are no cuts to Medicaid in this bill.
MCCASKILL: I beg your pardon, this is the CBO score, Mr. Chairman, I’m reading right off the CBO score. $179 billion in reduced Medicaid subsidies.
HATCH: Well, there are no cuts—
MCCASKILL: Beg your pardon? That’s where the money’s coming from! Where do you think the $300 billion is coming from? Is there a fairy that’s dropping it on the Senate? The money you’re spending is coming out of Medicaid and subsidies to people who make less than $50,000. So you’re trying to shop this baby like you’re giving a $43 billion saving to people who make less than $50,000 a year?
With that speech, McCaskill masterfully humiliated Hatch and shut down his lies about the GOP tax scam.
McCaskill speaks for the overwhelming majority of Americans who, according to polls, are fed up with Republicans trying to please their donors with tax giveaways and ignoring real issues that impact the middle class.
Republicans were hoping to slip this latest scam through without anyone noticing.
Unfortunately for them, McCaskill wasn’t going to let them get away with it — and nor are the millions of Americans who are watching closely as the GOP scurries around in the dark, offering to trade health care coverage for millions in exchange for tax cuts for the wealthiest.