The winners and losers of Obamacare repeal

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities has released a report that shows why the Republicans are so eager to repeal the Affordable Care Act even if there is nothing to replace it with. The reason is not surprising: it would result in a huge tax cut for the wealthy, which is the only thing that matters these days.

First, it would eliminate two Medicare taxes — the additional Hospital Insurance tax and the Medicare tax on unearned income — that both fall only on high-income filers, thereby cutting taxes substantially for those at the top.

  • The top 400 highest-income taxpayers — whose annual incomes average more than $300 million apiece — each would receive an average annual tax cut of about $7 million, we estimate from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) data.
  • This group’s tax cut would total about $2.8 billion a year.
  • The roughly 160 million households with incomes below $200,000 would get nothing from the repeal of these two taxes.

Finally, beyond eliminating these two Medicare taxes, the Republican plan to repeal ACA is expected to include other tax cuts that will benefit the top 400. Republicans also plan to move a broader tax package this year, and the tax proposals from both the House GOP (in its “Better Way” plan issued last June) and President-elect Trump include large, additional net tax cuts heavily focused on the most well-off. These include such proposals as sharply reducing the top business and individual income tax rates and repealing the estate tax.

Of course, low-income people would see an increase in their taxes because they would lose the tax credits that made the premiums affordable.

As always, this raises the question of how much more money do wealthy people want? They clearly have far more than they need. Is there no limit to their greed?

Silly me for asking such absurd questions. No amount of wealth accumulation will be sufficient for them.


  1. says

    No amount of wealth accumulation will be sufficient for them.

    As Epicurus says: some people confuse wealth and the comfort and safety that wealth can buy, and want infinite wealth -- when really what they should be wanting is the baseline level of comfort and safety (there’s only so much pleasure you can have) It’s a simple mistake but one of tremendous consequence.

    What fascinates me is the propagandized dupes that don’t realize they’re being played against their own interests. I hope that when they wake up, it’s pitchforks and torches all around.

  2. Kwt says

    I’m surprised. The repeal of the ACA is an action that is so easily connected to its consequences. Thus far, the kleptomania of the ultrarich has been somewhat cloaked in obscuring layers of causality. No such smokescreen exists in this case. People are literally going to die as a direct result of losing their insurance coverage. People who are deeply loved by several other people. The hatred is going to get very very personal. In the best case scenario, there’ll be non-violent change, but that possibility is getting more and more remote by the day.

  3. DonDueed says

    I’m wondering what strategy the Republicans will use to kill the ACA. An outright repeal would satisfy their rabid hatred of all things Obama, but it would mean that the repercussions would fall directly on the Trump/Republican regime.

    A more subtle approach would be to simply repeal the individual mandate. That would mean many younger, healthier people would drop out of the pool, and the insurance companies would simply withdraw from the markets. That would deflect the blame onto the insurers.

    I don’t know if the Republicans are smart or patient enough to take that approach.

  4. Jessie Harban says

    @Kwt, 2:

    I’m surprised. The repeal of the ACA is an action that is so easily connected to its consequences.

    I’m not surprised. In 2008, the various lefty organizations that send me emails were all saying: “Take action to push for single payer!” But as soon as the ACA was passed, I heard nothing from them but “Take action to defend the ACA!”

    As soon as the ACA was passed, the mainstream left abandoned all effort to pass single payer (or even a public option). This, in turn, shifted the Overton window massively to the right— it made the ACA the most liberal approach to health care within mainstream politics. And the minute the ACA became the “most liberal” option, it all but guaranteed the law would be repealed as soon as the Republicans took control of government.

  5. says

    So…unfortunately, I suspect the plan is to keep dangling that carrot!!! As everyone here should know, the Republicans have been saying for the longest time that they are going to “replace” the ACA. I would hope we all realize that they are never going to actually do that, but that is the carrot I think they’re going to dangle. The Orange Menace will keep telling the people about how they are working on the greatest plan ever and I suspect they may buy it. As I say, they’ve been saying they’re going to replace it for a long time already and, despite not actually having any sort of replacement plan, people voted them in anyway!

    Also, there is this myth of hard work paying off in conservative culture. People dying isn’t necessarily going to get people angry. No, it will be those people’s own fault for not being harder workers! I know what you may be thinking — how are they supposed to work if they have serious illnesses? You’d think that should matter, but it really does not seem to register. It’s probably that they are supposed to have a hard working relative that is supposed to take care of them. And, once again, you may be noticing that our system doesn’t necessarily work that way and, once again, that doesn’t seem to register with conservatives.

    I’m sorry, but I grew up in southwestern North Dakota, which is very conservative, and I find a lot of conservatives to be very, very selfish. They like to think of themselves as rugged individualists and expect the same of everyone else, despite not actually being the rugged individualists they think they are. (As one example that will often be pointed out, a lot of outside money is used for building roads in those rural areas because the population in those areas is too small to cover those costs through their own taxes.)

    OK…that became a longer rant than I expected…this whole situation angers me greatly, so I had to get this off my chest.

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