John McCain, guarantor of the Obamacare poverty tax

Does John McCain have any shame at all?  In his grandstanding declaration of opposition the Graham-Cassidy bill to scrap Obamacare, which must be passed by the end of the month, he's sticking more than 100,000 low-income taxpayers with huge fines associated with being unable to afford Obamacare's larded up insurance policies.

According to Americans for Tax Reform:

  • If Sen. John McCain votes YES on Graham-Cassidy 153,700 Arizona households will no longer be stuck paying Obamacare’s individual mandate tax.
  • In 2015, these households had to pay the IRS $69,770,000 for choosing not to purchase Obamacare, an average tax of $454 per household.
  • 82% of Arizona households paying this tax make less than $50,000 per year.
  • If Sen. McCain votes NO, Arizonans will be forced to pay Obamacare’s individual mandate tax simply for choosing not to purchase Obamacare.

The details from the link to GOP senator Steve Daines of Montana's chart on the Obamacare Poverty Tax are even worse.

They show that 61,380 Arizonans with incomes below $25,000 are being socked with the Obamacare fine for not purchasing the overpriced, underperforming Obamacare policies with gigantic deductibles, and 125,290 Arizonans with incomes below $50,000 are being forced to pay the fine.  These low- and lower-middle-income voters amount to 81.52% of all fine-payers in the individual health care insurance market.  The fact that the average fine is $454 and that fines are calibrated by income suggests that the poorer are being hit harder in Arizona.  A poverty tax, or tax for being poor, is the right way to put it, as Daines has done.

Because what's going on here is that Obamacare policies, the few that are out there, are very expensive and loaded up with costly coverage in certain areas such as drug addiction treatment and pregnancy care.  You can't get a policy without those mandates.  Those mandates drive up the costs of the entire policies, even as only a few consumers ever use them, and most consumers already know they will never need them.  They also have sky-high deductibles, which makes it cheaper to pay the Obamacare tax than buy policies, given that huge amounts of money would have to be shelled out in the deductible before a drop of care would be delivered anyway.  The insurance payments are basically just subsidies to drug addicts in treatment, not down payments on health care for the actual consumer.  

So the real reason people aren't "choosing to purchase Obamacare," as the ATR daintily puts it, is that they are too poor to buy Obamacare.  They can't afford it on $25,000 a year or even $50,000 a year.  For all the sob stories in the media about the very few people who claim that Obamacare has helped them, there are millions of victims shut out of the health insurance market simply because they cannot afford it.

McCain, who has quite a few mansions and no health care financing worries to speak of for himself, ran for office on an explicit promise to get rid of Obamacare.  Now, for the second time, at least, he's loudly broken it, this time disingenuously saying he wants a bipartisan bill.  His claim is appalling in light of the fact that Obamacare itself was monopartisan and should be thrown out for that alone.  ATR points out that Obama explicitly made a "firm pledge" not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 a year in his Obamacare pledge, and the Supreme Court has ruled that the "fine" is really a tax.

On being poor.

Why is he doing it?  To satisfy his ego.  To get back at Trump for his insults during the campaign.  To salve his bitterness over losing the election in 2008 to Obama while Trump won.  To show he still matters.  He's making Arizona's poor pay to get his rocks off on all these things.

Arizonans, and all poor people who can't afford Obamacare, deserve better.