|Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan holding a copy of AHCA|
It is time for the weekly edition of Blogger Candidate Forum. Shall we talk about the spectacular failure that was round one of the American Health Care Act? The much touted "repeal and reform" of the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) could not even be brought to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote because its massive lack of support. After the fingers were pointed and tweets sent out into the digital universe, the House Republicans are going to try again. Ironically, the partisan and in-party squabbling may lead to an expansion of the federal Medicaid program. Meanwhile, let us take a look at house AHCA would affect American cities.
Laura Bliss, in her CityLab article "The Cities Trumpcare Would Hurt (and Help), asks "Which cities would hurt from the Trump-backed health care bill attracting withering criticism on both sides of Congress?" A new analysis published by WalletHub (http://www.wallethub.com; date acted mar. 29, 2017) 2017's Cities Most Affected by Trumpcare by Richie Bernardo, found that "urban places with large populations of poor, non-white policyholders would see the tax credits they receive under the Affordable Care Act more than halved under the GOP's proposed plan,..." Cities and towns in the suburbs, exurbs, and rural communities would also experience a reduction in tax credits and coverage.
|Downtown Yuma, Arizona|
|Downtown Anchorage, Alaska|
|Aerial view of Newport Beach, California|
Photography by D. Ramey Logan
Laura Bliss reports, "WalletHub divides the 457 cities into different population tiers for a more apples-to-apples comparison of different-sized cities. Still, it is advisable to look at this ranking as an sketch, rather than a completer analysis, of Trumpcare's urban impact, because it uses city limits as its geographic metric, rather than metro areas." A WalletHub analyst told Ms. Bliss, via email, that this approach, provided as few data limitations as possible, "but it gives a misleading impression of how the most economically powerful urban areas in the country would be affected."
|Downtown Washington D.C.|
Following this logic, Ms. Bliss writes, "Wallethub doesn't account for the share of city residents that are currently covered thanks to ACA, nor how many would be projected to drop out of the marketplace sure to the new plan's cost hikes." Further, the analysis makes no mention about how rolling back Medicaid expansion would impact these cities. In an aside Ms. Bliss notes, "Reliable Medicaid enrollment data is extremely hard to come by."
On Friday, Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) sounded a defeated note admitting that ACA is the law of the land for the foreseeable future. Never one to admit defeat, President Donald Trump said that perhaps with would be better to let the bill die and the Affordable Care Act explode (it is not) so that he can negotiate a better deal. The House Republicans are going to try again. Perhaps they, along with the President, will learn from their mistakes and do better. Blogger is hoping for a more bipartisan solution but is not holding her breath.