Don’t be fooled, folks. The “health care” legislation recently passed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives is not -- and was never intended to be -- health care policy. Millions of citizens will be dropped from health insurance coverage they now have under ‘Obamacare’.

In return, the wealthy will enjoy a huge tax cut, paid for by the working stiffs who will see little change in their premiums, no guarantee of greater provider choice, and far, far inferior insurance coverage. The Republicans claim more folks will be covered, but in reality, they mean “access” rather than actual coverage.

But the crime behind this charade is the reason Health Care legislation had to precede promised tax reform by Trump and the Republicans. Under Budget Reconciliation rules adopted by Congress decades ago, any reduction in revenues to the Treasury (tax cuts) must be offset by savings in Federal expenditures. So, to afford the promised tax cuts (39.6% to 15%), Congress has to cut expenditures by a like amount. So, to cover a TRILLION dollars in reduced revenue, the House Republicans passed legislation that will slash federal expenditures for health care by some 980 billion dollars.

So, it really is a double-win for the wealthiest in our society. And once again the average Joe will be left holding the bag.

I do not advocate endlessly taxing the wealthy. What I do feel passionately about is implementing a fair (everybody pays something) and progressive tax code. And comprehensive health care policy which protects all citizens against catastrophic health issues. It will require hard work and compromise on the part of all our government officials, but work and compromise worth starting immediately.

Jud Armstrong, Charleston

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