House Republicans passed an atrocious piece of legislation on Thursday, one that would cause health care premiums to skyrocket, kick tens of millions of Americans off their insurance plans and, according to many studies, lead thousands of people to an untimely death. I'm speaking, of course, about American Health Care Act, which just barely squeaked by in the House and now heads to the Senate. In response to the legislation, there's now a website that will ship your ashes to a GOP representative of your choice in case Trumpcare ends up killing you.
"Millions of Americans rely on protections and coverage from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare," reads the homepage at MailMeToTheGOP.com "The Republicans new bill will gut these protections and many will die. They deserve to know it. Fill out our form and we’ll help you get papers in order to send your ashes to a GOP member of Congress if you pass."
It's not hyperbole to say that the Republican health care plan, if put into law, will literally kill people. By cutting Medicaid, defunding Planned Parenthood and reducing federal assistance for low-income Americans purchasing health care, the AHCA will cause the uninsured rate to skyrocket — and more people without health insurance means more people dying, as many, many different studies have found over the decades. A meta-analysis of earlier research, published in the American Journal of Public Health in May, it found that for every 300 to 1,239 people who have health insurance, one death is prevented.
Republicans passed Trumpcare before the Congressional Budget Office could grade its effects, so it's still unclear exactly how many more people will be uninsured if it's signed into law. However, an earlier and largely similar version of the bill would have kicked around 24 million people off of their insurance plans, according to the CBO. Extrapolating from this, researchers estimated that the Republican health care plan will cause between 22,000 and 93,000 people to die in the U.S. by 2019.
The 217 House Republicans who voted for the AHCA may have more to worry about that receiving the ashes of their dead constituents, however. The day after the bill passed, forecasters at the Cook Political Report upgraded Democrats' chances of winning in 20 separate House races in the 2018 midterms. Nate Silver wrote that passage of the bill makes a Democratic takeover of the House "substantially more likely." And that makes sense: The last public poll of the AHCA found that just 17 percent of voters support the bill.
If President Trump signs Trumpcare into law, a handful of Republican lawmakers could lose their jobs — while tens of thousands of Americans lose their lives.