On Thursday, the US House Budget Committee voted 19-17 in favor of moving the American Health Care Act, the GOP replacement to the Affordable Care Act, to another final committee before it goes up for a vote in the House of Representatives with some modifications. Yet still, the bill continues to suck.
On the latest episode of Big Time Dicks, Prachi and I talk about the specific ways the AHCA is like the Affordable Care Act, only terrible. For instance, the proposed subsidies program would do an okay job of helping younger people living in urban areas (Trump opponents) get health insurance, but severely limit the kind of care older people living in rural areas (Trump supporters) could access.
Dr. Kavita Patel, a primary care doctor at Johns Hopkins and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who worked on the Affordable Care Act, spoke with us about the dire realities of the bill as is.
“Planned Parenthood will go away, Medicaid paying for contraception will probably go away,” she explained. “Here’s the truth as a woman—go get your birth control now because, honestly, nobody knows if all of this passes if you’ll be able to get this in three months.”
We also discuss the major, obvious question: Who was this bill for? Surely it wasn’t for the vast majority of Americans, who will be discouraged from seeking costly care; It wasn’t for women, who will lose vital services if Planned Parenthood is defunded; It wasn’t even for Republicans, many of whom are coming out in opposition to the poorly considered proposal. Was it to give something Donald Trump to gnaw on when he gets colicky? To quiet the screaming hole in the back of Paul Ryan’s head?
“We need to demand better out of our system and we need to demand better from our government,” Patel told us. “We shouldn’t release the pressure on our elected officials until they answer: why does it have to be this way? It should be better.”
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