Tags: Healthcare Reform | Trump Administration | Trump Tax Reform | treasury | secretary | lawrence summers | individual mandate

Ex-Sec. Summers: 'People Will Die' If Health Mandate Repealed

Image: Ex-Sec. Summers: 'People Will Die' If Health Mandate Repealed
Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers (Michel Euler/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 29 Nov 2017 03:34 PM

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers had a dire warning for Senate Republicans poised to pass their version of landmark tax reform: If it goes through without Obamacare mandates and guts the nation's healthcare system, "people will die."

"People will die because of the healthcare reforms, and our country will be living on a shoestring for decades because of the increases in the deficit that will result," Summers, who served under former President Bill Clinton, told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.

The tax cuts also threaten the nation's security, Summers said, because of what they will mean over time for the nation's ability to fund its defense.

"[This] obviously is becoming a more and more urgent priority, with what's happening in North Korea and other parts of the world," he added.

Summers also insisted the claims the tax reform measure will spur economic growth "are fundamentally dishonest."

"I think this has been the lowest-quality debate on a major public policy that I've seen in 25 years of watching things in Washington," he said.

If the mandate remains as part of the bill, it will mark a devastating blow as well, Summers told Ruhle.

"You can debate whether it's six million people who will lose health insurance or 12 million people who will lose health insurance, but there's no question that it will be millions and millions of people," Summers said. "That will inevitably cause them to get care later, defer preventive care, get lower quality care at a later date, and health economists have documented that that, as you'd expect, has health consequences."

The bill will also mean less money to care for an aging society, to repair infrastructure, and much more, Summers said.

"Conservatives are right when they say there's a lot wrong with how the government operates," Summers said. "The government needs to operate much more efficiently and in much more business-like ways. But to somehow suggest that we can just starve the government and have a healthy economy, I think that's very wrong."

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If the GOP tax reform bill goes through without Obamacare mandates, "people will die," former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers told MSNBC.
treasury, secretary, lawrence summers, individual mandate, repeal
Wednesday, 29 Nov 2017 03:34 PM
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