The AHCA: A Four-Dollar Savings

The CBO has estimated that the AHCA will save the government $337 billion over ten years, and that it will remove 24 million people from insurance rolls.

$337 billion divided by 24 million people is just a tad over $14,000 per person over ten years. That’s $1400 per person per year, or $3.85 per day. If you tip (as you should), this isn’t even the price of a frappuccino; it’s the price of a grande dark roast.

Regardless of what you think of the redistributive effects of the AHCA, consider whether you think a person’s potential death, OR lifelong suffering, is worth a $14,000 deficit reduction. (For some comparison, the EPA’s calculation in the past, which has generally (and in my mind, rightly) been criticized for being too economically focused, has valued a human life in the range of $6-7 million.)

Note that medical issues that may linger untreated for years due to expense/non-emergency status can often lead to chronic/degenerative problems that persist for decades. Even aside from the ACTUAL SUFFERING that one might endure as a result of these ailments, the cost to the government alone may be severely understated on the back end due to increased health care costs that end up billed to Medicare/SSDI. (Note that the CBO report is not considering macroeconomic effects or economic effects outside of ten years.)

If this bill saves us less than the price of a Subway footlong for every person that will lose insurance, what remaining reason could you have to be in favor of this bill?

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