This past May 4, US House or Representative Republicans passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The bill, defined by Republicans as a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is now under debate among Senate Republicans. (Neither any House Democrat voted for the AHCA nor are there any Senate Democrats expected to vote for related Senate bill should it make the Senate floor.) Per the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) estimate of the AHCA's spending and revenue effects, published May 24, the AHCA would cause 14 million Americans to lose their health insurance in 2018 and 23 million by 2026, 14 million of this latter total would be Medicaid recipients. This is because the AHCA would cut $834 billion from the Medicaid program over the ten year budget window, or by 2026. The cuts in Medicaid spending, along with substantial reductions in tax credits, would allow for ACA taxes, approximately $600 billion, to be rescinded. For example, the ACA's 3.8% tax applied to capital gains for family incomes over $250,000 and a 0.9% Medicare surtax on wage income in excess of $250,000 per year, i.e., tax cuts that would benefit the comparatively wealthy.
During this 25 minute conversation Dr. Silverstein provides, among other things, his assessment of the AHCA, i.e., legislation moreover as tax relief for the wealthy, the likely effect it would have one women's health and on disparities in care and alternatively how the ACA could be improved.
Dr. Jason Silverstein is a Lecturer and Writer-in-Residence at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. He is also currently an Instructor at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He is also a faculty affiliate of the Science, Religion and Culture Program at the Harvard Divinity School. He is a regular contributor to VICE's health channel, Tonic. He has written for The New York Times, the Atlantic, The Guardian, Slate, The Nation and others and has provided commentary for, among others, MSNBC, NPR, HuffPost Live and BET. His previous experience includes conducting research at Children's Hospital Boston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Law School's Program on Disability, and Stony Brook's HIV Treatment Development Center. Dr. Silverstein holds a Ph.D. and Master's in Anthropology from Harvard, a Master's in Religion, Ethics and Politics from Harvard Divinity and an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Penn. State.
Dr. Silverstein's Tonic writings are at: https://tonic.vice.com/en_us/contributor/jason-silverstein.