Democrats and Republicans agree that we should do everything we can to reduce the prevalence of chronic illness. But beyond that, financing health care involves difficult choices. The problem with the AHCA is that by pretending everyone can have everything, it avoids the need to grapple with persistently high costs. As any therapist can attest, avoiding trade-offs does not make them go away.
In the end, that evasion is what the CBO exposed, estimating that 24 million people would lose coverage under the GOP replacement plan in the next 10 years and millions more would face higher costs. The failure to address the persistently ill — a moral and economic failure — is the reason no amount of tinkering, regulation or subsequent legislation will ever fix what is wrong with Ryan’s plan.