Hard-core libertarians, for example, don’t believe making health care available to those who need it is a legitimate role of government; letting some citizens go bankrupt and/or die if they get sick is the price of freedom as they define it.
But Republicans have never made that case. Instead, at every stage of this political fight they have claimed to be doing exactly the opposite of what they’re actually doing: covering more people, making health care cheaper, protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions.
We’re not talking about run-of-the-mill spin here; we’re talking about black is white, up is down, dishonesty so raw it’s practically surreal. This isn’t just an assault on health care, it’s an assault on truth itself.
Will this vileness prevail? Your guess is as good as mine about whether Mitch McConnell will hold on to the 50 senators he needs. But the mere possibility that this much cruelty, wrapped in this much fraudulence, might pass is a horrifying indictment of his party.
Republican Politicians and Trump are masters at using words to deceive the actual implications of policy actions. No so much with numbers. The house healthcare bill is a good example. In an earlier post I attempted to put in context the pittance of money they were throwing at the problem to justify taking away healthcare for millions of Americans that depend on the ACA – $8 Billion over five years for “High Risk Pools.”
I learned many years ago, while working in the Office of Secretary of Defense for Systems Analysis, that quantifying consequences is critical for laying bare the implications of misleading / self-serving political statements.
Beware of what the Senate Republicans are saying and trying to get through. The Republicans and Trump are attempting to drastically cut Medicaid and make other changes that will take away healthcare for millions of Americans and increase costs for the rest of us. All of this to justify giving a tax break to wealthy people.
Look at the facts and consequences:
- Roughly 70 million Americans depend on Medicaid.
- Medicaid’s costs per beneficiary are substantially lower than if covered by private insurance. Specifically, a Kaiser Family Foundation issue brief sited research results that total healthcare estimated spending would increase nearly 26 percent, from $5,671 per person per year to $7,126, if a typical low-income Medicaid adult were covered by private health insurance for a full year. In addition, total health care spending would increase 37 percent, from $909 per child per year to $1,247, if a low-income Medicaid or CHIP-enrolled child were covered instead by private health insurance for a full year.
- The Center For Budget And Policy Priorities, in Frequently Asked Questions About Medicaid, reported that “Medicaid’s costs per beneficiary are substantially lower than for private insurance and have been growing more slowly than per-beneficiary costs under private employer coverage.”
- We are waiting to hear from the CBO on the latest assessment of the Senate bill, but it is almost certain to report that (1) 20 plus million people will lose healthcare coverage provided through Medicaid and other ACA provisions, (2) The insurance industry will get a pass on providing coverage for people with pre-exsiting conditions, (3) the state insurance markets will fail, (4) insurance rates will increase for everyone except perhaps for young adults, and (5) we will continue to have the most inefficient healthcare system in the western world — one that consumes over 20 percent of our 10 trillion dollar economy.
These are the facts but they will not be in the Republican or Presidential statements and press releases.
This post is not about Trump. He understands how to garner the White Working Class vote, Make America Great Again.
This post is about the clueless Democrats. Their focus is on throwing rocks at Trump rather than addressing the real problem of why the WWC have abandoned them for someone like Trump. The motivation for this post is a thoughtful article that goes a long way to explaining the reasons why.
The article appears in the Harvard Business Review and was written by Joan C. Williams. She is Distinguished Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Center of WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Her newest book is the forthcoming White Working Class.
One of my early posts on healthcare was motivated by Ryan’s Power Point presentation – I took notes, Paul Ryan’s Healthcare Bill. At the time I was shocked. Then the house passed version 2 that was equally bad. This was verified by the Congressional Budget Office Report today and reported on by the Huffington Post.
If passed 23 million Americans will lose their health insurance. In addition the bill discriminates against those who are sick and/or old. An estimate of increased average annual cost for those in their 60’s goes from about $1,700 to about 13,600, and increase of 800 percent! Justification – take from the poor to give to the rich
I learned tonight, via an interview on public television (thank you Sen. Dianne Feinstein) that the house bill, version 2, was passed without any hearings. Even worse the Senate has a select committee of republican senators, all male, charged with coming up with an alternative. They also plan no hearings. So much for public input to crafting of a very important piece of legislation.
The Republicans and especially Trump and Ryan are not fit to govern.
If you buy the premise that we all have a right to healthcare then it is either done through insurance or a single payer. If the government pays the bill we all pay into the system through our taxes. If through insurance those who are sick must be subsidized by the healthy or the sick cannot afford insurance – the risk of getting sick is handled by spreading the risk. The Republican plan is neither of these.
I finally realized that the Republicans and especially the Freedom Caucus (tea party) do not buy the premise that we all have a right to healthcare . From the house bill pulled yesterday, it is clear that the Republican’ objective is to take healthcare away from a large segment of the population and use the saved money to reduce taxes on the rich.
They have no intention of working with Democrats to improve the Affordable Care Act. To use Donald Trump’s word, Sad.
Here is more from my favorite Keynesian, Paul Krugman:
It goes without saying that Donald Trump is the least qualified individual, temperamentally or intellectually, ever installed in the White House…
But the broader Republican quagmire — the party’s failure so far to make significant progress toward any of its policy promises — isn’t just about Mr. Trump’s inadequacies. The whole party, it turns out, has been faking it for years. Its leaders’ rhetoric was empty; they have no idea how to turn their slogans into actual legislation, because they’ve never bothered to understand how anything important works.
Take the two lead items in the congressional G.O.P.’s agenda: undoing the Affordable Care Act and reforming corporate taxes. In each case Republicans seem utterly shocked to find themselves facing reality.
Why do we give Trump so much press. He asserts that Obama wire-tapped his offices in New York without giving any evidence (the limits of twitter). He then states that this is McCarthyism – he should know. His mentor and lawyer was council to Joe McCarthy. This is from a man whose political career is based on lies about Obama’s birthplace.
Trump did not check or choose to ignore the fact that the President does not have the authority to wire-tape private citizens. This looks like another attempt to create a diversion from the Russia-Trump Connection / Scandal.
A recent Facebook post by Dan Rather on the links between Russia and the Trump Administration:
Every once in a while in Washington, the fuse is lit for what seems to be a big scandal. Much more rarely does that fuse lead to an explosion of the magnitude we are seeing with Russia and the new Administration, and frankly the Republicans in Congress. How can anybody say, with all this billowing smoke and sights of actual flames, that there is no need to at least independently investigate whether a fire is burning down the very pillars of our democracy?
Long on rhetoric short on specifics. The speech was clearly scripted. Looking more “presidential” but just a few hours earlier signing an executive order to gut clean water rules.
I watched this on public television. The talking heads there, sans one, gave Trump a thumbs up for it being a good speech. They must have had a special hearing filter. It is revealing to watch the speech with the sound turned off. The body language is revealing. Another source of straight information is tweets by Nicholas Kristof, My Take on Trump’s Address to Congress.
The Trump agenda is a disaster. He is going to kill people with heath care changes, the economy is going to suffer with his trade war and anti-immigration policies, the budget deficit is going to explode, and his national security and diplomacy actions are truly scary.
The Republicans support of Trump shows just how little Republicans care about the economy and our democracy. Their statesmanship is nonexistent.