The ACHA Isn’t Going to Kill Anyone

If you’ve been on Twitter, you’ve seen some version of the breathless, pearl clutching “make no mistake, the Republicans are trying to kill people by repealing Obamacare” tweet. SO, Will Repealing Obamacare Kill People?: Turns out, maybe probably not!

Because guess what, it’s unclear whether or not Medicaid actually increases mortality (one prominent study says no). Since Obamacare achieved expanded coverage through the expansion of Medicaid, and repealing it would conceivably roll back that expansion, Democrats are now saying that repealing Obamacare will kill people.

Never mind the fact that, as mentioned above, that might not be true, and that besides that Obamacare has driven up premium prices dramatically, pricing people out of the market and potentially forcing them to accept worse insurance than they had before or go on Medicaid, which many doctors don’t accept. Surely this situation could kill people as well. But that doesn’t fit with the comfortable narrative of Republicans as ruthless killers intent on genociding the poor unless the selfless, righteous, beneficent Democrats defeat them and install a single payer system and usher us into the age of socialist leftist utopia. Praise be to our lord and savior Bernie, for he is gracious and kind.

Give me a goddamn break.

And never mind that the CBO says fewer people will lose insurance if the GOP just repeals the whole damn thing.

And never mind that of the 24 million people the CBO predicts will fall off healthcare rolls if the ACHA is passed, some 14 million of them would fall off as a result of the repeal of the individual mandate, meaning they’d be actively CHOOSING to not have healthcare and that’s per the CBO (now, this could also mean that they can no longer afford healthcare, but it stands to reason that many people (particularly young, healthy ones) would rather not pay all the time and simply pay the new penalty if and when they need to have coverage. This is an obvious problem from a risk pool perspective).

Are there problems with Ryancare or Trumpcare or the ACHA or whatever we’re calling it? Sure there are, least among them the fact that it would force old people to pay higher premiums and that it would give tax cuts to people who don’t really need them while doing comparatively little for the middle class, and that it doesn’t really solve the problem that healthcare costs are too high which is why insurance premiums are high.

But it’s not going to literally murder anyone, so shut up about that. There’s a legitimate policy debate to be had without scaring people unnecessarily about the consequences of the outcome.

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