Pretend you are that most improbable of combinations — a lovable billionaire. In other words, you’re Warren Buffett. The politicians who worship guys like you have another treat in store: They will cut your most recent tax bill by $679,999, making you even wealthier.
But it comes with a price. A fellow American of a certain age making $56,000 a year would have to pay three times more in annual health care premiums — $20,500 — to help finance your windfall. You don’t need the money. Cripes, you’re worth $76 billion! But that other citizen can’t live without health care.
Such is the bargain — your health care for my tax cut — that Republicans have proposed with their overhaul of the Affordable Care Act. The toxic Senate bill does nothing to fix a struggling system. But it is bold and quite daring: for this is the broadest attack on working Americans by a governing political party in our lifetime.
No surprise, the real Warren Buffett wants nothing to do with it. He calls it, the “Relief for the Rich Act.” Another eminently sensible Midwesterner, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, is equally perplexed. Why take away vital services for the struggling middle class, the mentally ill, the poor and the elderly to give more money to people who don’t need it?