Determined to secure a healthcare “win” regardless of who it affects, conservatives are slipping language into the tax bill that restricts women’s rights and attacks the ACA.
Conservatives, led by a desperate Trump, buried a provision on page 93 of their 429-page proposal that would allow fetuses to be treated as individuals and named as beneficiaries of college savings accounts.
This is obviously a thinly-veiled back-door attempt to establish personhood from the moment of conception. The proposal states “Nothing shall prevent an unborn child from being treated as a designated beneficiary or an individual under this section.” It then goes on to define “an unborn child” as as “a human at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.”
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, said in a statement, “The tax code is no place to define what constitutes an ‘unborn child.’ What’s next, giving a Social Security number to a zygote?”
Conservatives have also snuck in language aimed at getting rid of the ACA’s individual mandate, which will ultimately lead to higher numbers of uninsured Americans.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and three other groups wrote a letter to Congress urging them not to sign the bill. The letter concluded, “There will be serious consequences if Congress simply repeals the mandate while leaving the insurance reforms in place: millions more will be uninsured or face higher premiums, challenging their ability to access the care they need.”
The entire ACA depends on requiring everyone, including healthy, young people, to buy coverage in order to setup balanced risk pools that benefit everyone — even the sickest patients.
Conservative lawmakers are marketing the repeal of the mandate as tax break for poor and middle-class Americans, saying that they are more likely to pay the penalty for being uninsured. However, without insurance, they’re less likely to be able to pay their medical bills at all.
As if giving tax breaks to corporations and the one percent isn’t bad enough, conservatives are determined to also use the tax plan as a vehicle for some of their most backwards priorities, creating a policy version of Frankenstein’s monster. If the Tax Cut and Job Act is approved, people all over the United States will suffer.