During President Trump’s inaugural address, he spoke of a government that benefits working people—not wealthy insiders. He said: “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. Everyone is listening to you now.” But if President Trump meant it, he would not be working with Republicans in Congress to rob working families of health care in order to give a big tax cut to the rich.
In January, both the House and Senate passed a budget resolution that starts the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act. For millions of American workers, the reality of an Affordable Care Act repeal would make the rich fabulously richer, while the middle class suffers through rising costs and greater uncertainty.
Who stands to benefit while millions of Americans lose their lifeline? I say follow the money. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the 400 wealthiest families in the country would gain an average tax cut of $7 million a year from a repeal. Further, over the next ten years, it gives $345 billion in tax cuts to individuals with incomes over $200,000 and nearly $250 billion in tax cuts for health insurance companies and drug manufacturers.
Yet the roughly 160 million households with incomes below $200,000 would get nothing from the repeal of these taxes. In fact, the repeal would actually raise taxes on 7 million low and middle-income families due to the loss of the premium tax credits they use to purchase life-saving insurance for their families. While working Americans struggle with rising costs and greater uncertainty, the Trump Administration is throwing money at the wealthiest Americans.
Does that sound like the right priorities? Though the Trump Administration promises tax policies that would benefit everyone equitably, its actions speak volumes.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act will harm working people, low wage workers, children, and rural Americans. And every family is threatened by Republicans’ casualness about disrupting their healthcare. White Americans in rural areas and small cities—Trump’s own voters—will be especially hit hard by a repeal.
The Affordable Care Act was paid for in part by taxes on the wealthiest individuals, insurance corporations, and pharmaceutical companies. Yet the Republican plan to repeal would benefit those very same people. This is not right. We need a strategy for working Americans—and an economy that works for the middle class. Repealing the Affordable Care Act would fail both of these critical goals.