‘Written by the insurance industry’: Steve Bannon privately trying to sabotage Trumpcare vote

An explosive leak from the White House’s inner circle alleges that chief strategist Steve Bannon is pushing for the defeat of Trumpcare.

The former Breitbart publisher and current top White House advisor has been remarkably quiet in terms of public statements about President Trump’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replace it with the American Health Care Act — a plan that allows insurance providers to get away with charging more and covering less.

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported that “a source close to the White House” confided that Bannon secretly loathes his boss’s healthcare reform plan, saying it “doesn’t drive down costs” and was chiefly “written by the insurance industry.” It’s also worth noting that while Bannon was running Breitbart, the site spared no words attacking House Speaker Paul Ryan, particularly after the Republican leader hesitated on initially endorsing Donald Trump’s candidacy.

Bannon is right, however, in that Trumpcare doesn’t drive down costs. An analysis of the proposal by the Kaiser Family Foundation determined that the average deductible for a health insurance plan under Trumpcare would cost approximately $4,100, as opposed to roughly $2,500 for Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office crunched the numbers on Paul Ryan’s revisions to Trumpcare, and concluded that while the new bill would leave roughly the same number of people uninsured, it would result in even less cost savings than its predecessor.

The American Health Care Act is also extremely favorable to the insurance industry, in that it ends requirements imposed by Obamacare that insurers provide essential benefits to enrollees, like prescription drugs, hospital visits, emergency room treatment, prenatal and maternity care, and pediatric healthcare services for children.

However, the bill is unlikely to pass this afternoon’s vote in the House of Representatives. Matt Fuller of the Huffington Post tweeted a whip list suggesting that House Republican leaders will fall short of the 215 votes needed to send the bill to the U.S. Senate.

 

Tom Cahill is a writer for the Resistance Report based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic, and environmental news. You can contact him via email at [email protected], or follow him on Facebook