ACA Repeal “Strong Opposition” Letter
We have sent our letter, and Sarah Kliff is on it!
Sarah Kliff: 6 Nobel Prize–winning economists announce opposition to Senate health bill: “Forty economists, including six Nobel laureates, sent a letter Monday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) outlining their opposition to the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate bill to repeal and replace Obamacare… https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/26/15873980/economist-nobel-prize-oppose-senate-repeal
…“At a time when economic change is making life more difficult for all but the relatively well-to-do, denying people to access health insurance is a giant step in the wrong direction,” the letter reads. “The goal should be to hold down health costs and increase access to affordable, quality health coverage for all. Unfortunately, the Better Care Reconciliation Act threatens reduced coverage and higher costs for those who continue to have it.”
Nobel Prize-winning economists Peter Diamond, Oliver Hart, Daniel Kahneman, Eric Maskin, Daniel McFadden, and Al Roth signed on to the letter, alongside 34 other economists.
One of the notable dynamics of the Senate debate is there are plenty of experts and advocacy groups coming out against the bill, but quite few speaking in its favor (although a handful do exist). This is quite different from the Affordable Care Act debate, where Democrats were keen to line up outsider experts like those signed on to this letter to speak favorably of their policy proposals.
And here we are:
ACA Repeal “Strong Opposition” Letter https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3877474/Economist-Opposition-Letter-AHCA-6-22-2017.pdf
Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510
Senator Chuck Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer:
We write to express our strong opposition to the Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA has provided high quality, affordable health coverage for millions of previously uninsured Americans and helped to slow the growth of health care spending.
Clearly, the ACA is not perfect. Each of us has ways we would like to see the ACA reformed. But the Senate bill, crafted in secret and released without hearings, addresses none of these concerns. Rather, the Senate bill would narrow coverage, and by driving relatively healthy people from the market, raise premiums for those who remain.
Based on our reading of the bill, we believe that the Better Care Reconciliation Act would reduce coverage nearly as much as the House bill that the Congressional Budget Office estimated would take coverage away entirely from 23 million Americans and narrow coverage for millions more. At a time when economic change is making life more difficult for all but the relatively well-to- do, denying people to access health insurance is a giant step in the wrong direction.
The Senate bill will expose millions to increased out-of-pocket health care costs. It would base tax credits on a plan with greatly increased cost sharing and deductibles that could run to $12,000 per family or more. Far from improving Obamacare, the Senate bill would reduce assistance for the millions of people who buy coverage through the state and federal marketplaces. Many now eligible for tax credits would be denied them entirely. States would be allowed to opt out of regulations that allow less healthy people to buy insurance at reasonable rates.
The savings from slashing health subsidies and coverage would go largely to bestowing tax cuts on upper income tax filers. The richest 0.1 percent of tax filers would receive tax cuts averaging over $200,000 per return.
We call on Congress to work on legislation to improve the health delivery system, in general, and The Affordable Care Act, in particular. The goal should be to hold down health costs and increase access to affordable, quality health coverage for all. Unfortunately, the Better Care Reconciliation Act threatens reduced coverage and higher costs for those who continue to have it.
Henry J. Aaron, Stuart Altman, Susan Athey, Barry Bosworth, Karen Davis, Brad DeLong, Gary Burtless, Anne Case, Amitabh Chandra, Philip J. Cook, Janet Currie, David Cutler, Leemore Dafny, Peter Diamond, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, Martin Gaynor, Sherry Glied, Claudia Goldin, Richard G. Frank, Jonathan Gruber, Oliver Hart, Vivian Ho, Jill R. Horwitz, Daniel Kahneman, Lawrence Katz, Ilyana Kuziemko, Frank Levy, Peter H. Lindert, Eric S. Maskin, Daniel McFadden, Thomas G. McGuire, Ellen Meara, Alan Monheit, Daniel Polsky, James B. Rebitzer, Michael Reich, Meredith Rosenthal, Al Roth, Isabel Sawhill, Benjamin D. Sommers, Lawrence Summers, Katherine Swartz, Paul N. Van de Water, Justin Wolfers