The Atlantic

The Tax Bill Is a Health Bill

Implications for longevity and disease go beyond people losing insurance.
Source: Rebecca Cook / Reuters

For the first time in U.S. history, the leading association of psychiatrists has condemned a tax bill.

They are not alone among doctors. In a joint statement this month, the American Psychiatric Association, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Pediatrics—among others, you get the idea—voiced stern opposition to the Republican tax proposal.

Their main concern is insurance. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate—a provision rolled into the Republican tax bill—means millions more people will be uninsured by 2027, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Individual and small-group marketplaces will be destabilized, and rates of medical bankruptcy will return to pre-Obamacare levels.

This all sounds bleak. Typically people heed the warnings of their doctors. Americans now have warnings from groups that collectively represent more than 560,000 doctors. Still, I think these groups are missing the full breadth and depth of the bleakness.

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