News & Politics

Even Paul Ryan's Own Anti-Poverty Adviser Worries 'Trumpcare' Will Shaft the Poor

Fourteen million Americans may lose their health insurance under the new plan next year alone.

Photo Credit: Christopher Halloran /

Anti-poverty activist Bob Woodson, who has forged a close relationship with House Speaker Paul Ryan, is worried that his friend’s health care bill is going to be bad for poor people.

In an interview with The Atlantic, Woodson admits that he’s “concerned that the people he’s spent his life serving could end up losing coverage under the GOP’s plan.”

Nonetheless, Woodson believes that Ryan will soon see the error of his ways and fix his health care plan so that it protects America’s most vulnerable citizens.

“I’m worried about it,” acknowledged Woodson. “But it’s not an issue that I know a lot about; I’m not very deep in understanding. All I can do is trust in Paul Ryan and what I know to be his central principle, and that is to protect the least of these.”

The Congressional Budget Office found this week that Ryan’s proposed health care plan would cause 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance, and several independent analyses have concluded that the plan would negatively impact older blue-collar voters by significantly raising their health care cost

Nonetheless, Woodson tells The Atlantic that the current plan is just a starting point, and that Ryan will likely move to make it less harsh against people who need the most help.

“I think what Paul is trying to do is some statecraft here,” he told me. “He’s got to keep his caucus together, and I think what he’s doing is … saying, ‘Let’s take your suggestions about what can be changed.'”

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston. His work has previously appeared in the American Prospect Online, and he blogs frequently at Sadly, No!.
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