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The Fitzsimon File: Monday Numbers: Summing up the Senate healthcare debate

By Chris Fitzsimon

July 3, 2017

22 million—number of people the Congressional Budget Office says would lose health insurance coverage under the health care plan currently being considered by the U.S. Senate (“CBO: Senate Bill Would Raise Premiums, Deductibles, or Both for Most Marketplace Consumers, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, July 26, 2017)

1,300—amount in dollars more that a 40-year-old with an income of $26,000 would pay in premiums for a silver level health care plan under the Senate health care plan (Ibid)

2,800—amount in dollars the deductible would also increase for a 40-year-old with an income of $26,000 under the Senate health care plan (Ibid)

1,500—-amount in dollars more that a 60-year-old with an income of $40,000 would have to pay for health care premiums under the Senate health care plan, even if she switched to a bronze plan with a far higher deductible. (“Middle-Class Families Would Face Higher Costs, Worse Coverage Under Senate Health Bill, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, June 27. 2017)

13,700—amount in dollars more that a 64-year-old with income of $56,800 would to pay under the Senate health care plan for the same coverage she has today. (Ibid)

772 billion—amount in dollars the Senate health care plan would cut from Medicaid in the next 10 years (Ibid)

15 million—number of fewer people who would be covered by Medicaid in ten years under Senate health care plan according to the Congressional Budget Office (Ibid)

65—percentage of people in nursing homes who are served by Medicaid (Ibid)

5—number of times that Donald Trump tweeted that he would never cut Medicaid if elected president (“5 times Trump tweeted that he would never cut Medicaid, VOX, June 23, 2017)

12—percent of Americans who support the Senate health care plan according a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll (“Poll: Only 12% of Americans support the Senate health care plan, USA Today, June 28, 2017)

26—percent of Republicans who support the Senate health care plan (“Senate Health Bill in Peril as C.B.O. Predicts 22 Million More Uninsured,” New York Times. June 26, 2017)

11—number of days since North Carolina Senator Richard Burr released a statement supportive of the Senate health care plan (“Burr praises Senate health care bill. Outside groups worry about deep Medicaid cuts.” News & Observer, June 22, 2017)

4—number of days since North Carolina Thom Tillis said he would be “supportive of anything right now to get to 51 votes.” (“Sen. Thom Tillis on health care: ‘I’m supportive of anything right now to get to 51 votes,” News & Observer, June 30, 2017)

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June 2017

Legislative leaders are scrambling for their political lives after the conservative U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the legislative districts they drew to lock in the power they gained in the 2010 election were unconstitutional because they were racially gerrymandered.

They are desperately trying to avoid two things that could put their supermajority control of the House and Senate in jeopardy, holding a special election in 2017 and/or having the federal courts draw the districts themselves instead of letting lawmakers try again to manipulate the maps to extend their hold on power.

There is not much doubt about what would happen if voters went to the polls this year. President Trump is historically unpopular at this point in his presidency with only 36 percent of Americans approving of the job he is doing while 60 percent disapprove.

The news is not much better for Republicans in North Carolina. Trump’s well underwater in the state too and Democrats lead the generic ballot in legislative races by 15 percent in the latest survey by the right-wing Civitas Institute.

That’s creeping up to landslide territory and some private polls show that might be understating things.

Republicans know they are doomed if voters get the chance they deserve as soon as possible to elect their representatives from legal and constitutional districts. There have already been three elections held since 2010 in which voters were denied that opportunity.

Legislative leaders are pulling out all the stops, refusing to convene a special session called by Gov. Cooper to draw new districts, brazenly asking the federal courts to give them more time, and cranking up the spin machine to distract attention from the devastating decision by the Supreme Court.

Delaying the election to correct the unconstitutional districts until 2018 is their first priority—but they also do not want the courts to step in and drawn the districts either. [Read more…]

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