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To be fair, their lips ARE moving...


As part of the traditional ritual of defending the indefensible, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Secretary of Dismantling Health and Human Services Tom Price took to The Shows Sunday to lie about the "American Health Care Act," one of those Republican bills as accurately named as the "Healthy Forests Initiative" or the "Clean Skies Act." For starters, here's Paul Ryan on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanpoulos," insisting that only a lying leftist would say Republicans rushed through the AHCA, no way! Oh, sure, maybe the AHCA was passed without a single hearing, no expert testimony, and no Congressional Budget Office score of the fun new amendment that allows states to opt out of minor matters like essential health benefits and protections for patients with preexisting conditions, but come on, says Ryan, that's just nitpicking:

Fine, Mr. Stephanopoulos, you can say there's no CBO score of this bill, but that's "kind of a bogus attack from the left," Ryan liesplained, since as any fool knows, there's already been a CBO score on the bill: the one from March, which found the House's plan would leave 24 million Americans uninsured and jack up rates for older, poorer, and sicker policyholders. See? We have a CBO score that called the first version of our bill a total crapsack.

And this new bill is exactly the same, with one tiny change: "The final version was an amendment that was three pages long. It takes you 30 seconds to read.” Obviously, if the changes fit in a small space, then obviously that can't change the CBO score much. Except, you know, for the bill allowing states to opt out of some piffling regulations, so insurers can sell policies that don't really cover much of anything, and which the CBO won't even count as actual "health insurance." And heavens, how could letting insurers jack up rates for preexisting conditions have any bad effects? Also, the ACA had many many pages, so it was bad.

When Stephanopoulos pointed out allowing insurers to raise premiums on people with preexisting conditions would price lots of people out of coverage, Ryan claimed hardly anyone would be affected, since their rates could only be raised if they had a lapse in their coverage:

"Under this bill, no matter what, you cannot be denied coverage if you have a preexisting condition," Ryan said. "And under this bill, you cannot only not be denied coverage."

"But you can charge people more," Stephanopoulos interjected.

"Let me finish my point," Ryan said. "You can't charge people more if they keep continuous coverage. The key of having a continuous coverage provision is to make sure that people stay covered and they move from one plan to the next if they want to.

See? That's so much fairer than Obamacare's making people pay a fine if they go without coverage, which is a tyrannical mandate. Making insurance unaffordable for poor sick people is a market incentive to stay covered, so that's just logical. Also, please do not talk about how this bill provides something like $900 billion in tax cuts for the richest Americans straight out of Medicaid funds: The important thing is that we can't afford the ACA and Medicaid. (Especially if you cut almost a trillion dollars in taxes.)

And then there's HHS Secretary Tom Price, who went on CNN's "State of the Union" to lie about how we can cut $880 billion in funding for Medicaid (and roll back the ACA's Medicaid expansion) without anyone losing coverage, because he says cutting the program's funding and changing it to a block grant simply won't affect anyone. In fact, Medicaid cuts will result in better coverage, because States' Rights Magic!

Jake Tapper, incredulous: Are you actually saying that $880 billion in cuts, according to CBO [...] that that is not going to result in millions of Americans not getting Medicaid?

Tom Price, Lying through his teeth: Absolutely not. And we believe the Medicaid population will be cared for in a better way under our program because it will be more responsive to them.

You see, states are closer to the people than the federal government, and so they can better slash benefits tailor coverage to the individual needs of the patient. That's just an indisputable fact, unless you consider the CBO's estimate that 14 million people would lose Medicaid coverage under the AHCA -- which remains a pretty solid estimate, since the amendments to the newest version passed last week only applied to the individual marketplace, and didn't change the AHCA's treatment of Medicaid.

Price later went on NBC's "Meet the Press" and lied some more, insisting the AHCA would do great things for people who need medical care most:

The fact of the matter is that if those individuals who are sicker, who are older, who are poorer, they will get larger subsidies so that they're able to gain the kind of coverage that they need and want for themselves and for their family.

In mere reality, the original AHCA's tax credits will cover far less of low-income people's premiums than the ACA's subsidies, and it allows much higher rates for older enrollees -- and that was even before the amendment's option to let insurers gouge those with preexisting conditions. The House did add $85 billion over ten years to help with premium subsidies, which will still not be anything close to Obamacare's level of funding.

But stop worrying! Surely Tom Price, the guy who called for even more draconian cuts to Medicaid than Paul Ryan did, can be trusted when he smiles and says cutting funding will give people better care.

Why are you liberals so damn skeptical all the time, huh?

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send money, because we haven't figured out how to pay people to write more with a funding cut.

[Brad Jaffy on Twitter / RawStory / AOL News / CNN on Twitter / Vox / Axios]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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