Same Poison Different Bottle

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Every time Republicans regroup in an attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the proposed legislation gets worse.  That in itself should tell you something about the nature of the politics at play here.

The proposed Cassidy-Graham bill is the same poison in a different bottle.  It shifts health care costs including Medicaid to the states.  At the same time, it perversely cuts funding to support Medicaid and subsidize insurance premiums.  Worse yet, all federal funding disappears in 10 years.

It hard to fathom how Republicans could come up with a plan that would be worse than repealing Obamacare without a replacement, but they succeeded.

What is even harder to understand is that even though the bill is widely opposed by healthcare experts, industry groups, AND 85% of the population, it almost became law.  At this point it appears that the bill will fall a few votes short of passing in the Senate.  It would almost certainly have passed in the House, and President Trump would have signed it.

We can no longer afford to trust the Republican Party with healthcare.  It’s too important to be the subject of this sort of politics.  Healthcare accounts for 20% of our economy.  12.5% of Americans work in the healthcare industry.  More than 32M people would lose coverage under Cassidy-Graham.

Republicans were willing to vote on this without a CBO score, committee hearings, or testimony from experts and those affected.  They were willing to vote without any input from Democratic Senators even though Senate Democrats represent a majority of voters.

Instead they were willing to pass this bill, as bad as it was, because they thought they could.  They were more concerned about their base, their ideology, and the next election; than what was best for the rest of the country.

Please hold Republicans accountable in the upcoming elections for this cowardly act.

 

 

16 Responses to “Same Poison Different Bottle”

  1. Keith says:

    Democrats passed the ACA as bad as it IS because they could!!!

    Single payer Jeff, that’s what replaces it. Then 20% of the economy will be turned over to the federal government.160 million people, such as me, will lose their private insurance and let the games begin.

    Republican politicians are pathetic and Dems are morally bankrupt and could care less about Senator McCains “bipartisanship.”

    Sending this to the states is a good thing. If the republicans don’t act then in a few years Dems will have control again and they will bring us single payer. So like in other countries I will pay for that and the. Purchase my own coverage which affords better care and not standing in line. Unless of course Dems send me and my doctor to jail for doing that …

    At the same time I will be taxed more and get less. I will be then taxes on my wealth, read MR Sanders comments, SS will be bankrupt, who’s gonna pay for that, or. Or get theirs?

    Time for a party that reflects the I tests of all of us not just groups of minorities.

  2. Keith says:

    And tell me again where you get “32 million people will lose coverage?”

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Democrats passed the ACA as bad as it IS because they could!!!

    The ACA accomplished it’s goals. The percentage of uninsured went down to historic lows. The rate of increase in healthcare costs slowed. It ended up costing significantly less than originally forecast. NONE of the catastrophic effects predicted by Republicans occurred.

    If you believe the CBO and other independent analytic organizations, NONE of the bills proposed by Republicans would accomplish ANY of these goals, or any of the other goals that they claimed. They would INCREASE the number of uninsured. They would increase the costs for private insurance. They would increase the cost of healthcare by driving uninsured back into the emergency rooms. Individuals with pre-existing conditions would no be able to obtain insurance.

    The ACA isn’t perfect, but the tweaks that would be required to resolve some of the problems that have occurred are WAY less disruptive to the whole system by an order of magnitude than what Republicans have proposed.

    BTW, the ACA was debated for a year. All of the major healthcare organizations SUPPORTED IT. It passed the Senate with 60 votes. It passed the house with a simple majority. At the time that it was passed a majority of the voters in the country approved it.

    Single payer Jeff, that’s what replaces it. Then 20% of the economy will be turned over to the federal government.160 million people, such as me, will lose their private insurance and let the games begin.

    This certainly opens the door for a single payer discussion, but not for the reasons that you suggest. We need a healthcare system that is beyond the reach of politics, much like social security. We can’t continue to have these battles. It isn’t good for the economy and certainly isn’t good for the healthcare system.

    As far as single payer is concerned, we aren’t going to get there in one step. My suspicion is that the first steps are going to be to fix some of the simple problems in the ACA. The next step will be to provide people a way to “buy into” medicare. That will allow Medicare to be one of the options that is available in EVERY insurance exchange. That provides a guarantee that every person will have the opportunity to purchase insurance from at least one provider, even if that provider is the government. In those markets where private insurance chooses to compete, you will have a choice and the marketplace can decide who offers the best deal.

    Republican politicians are pathetic and Dems are morally bankrupt and could care less about Senator McCains “bipartisanship.”

    Not sure that this means at all. You are welcome to your opinion, but please preface it with and IMHO unless you have some data to back up your claim.

    Sending this to the states is a good thing. If the republicans don’t act then in a few years Dems will have control again and they will bring us single payer. So like in other countries I will pay for that and the. Purchase my own coverage which affords better care and not standing in line. Unless of course Dems send me and my doctor to jail for doing that …

    MORE hyperbole. Please post some expert data to support your claim. For example, here is a link to an article that lists why block grants don’t work. The bottom line is that states can’t be trusted to use the block grants in the ways that they were originally intended.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/block-grants-would-be-a-disaster-heres-how-we-know/2017/09/22/7bcdc678-9f17-11e7-9c8d-cf053ff30921_story.html?utm_term=.7b58f1ceb32b

    At the same time I will be taxed more and get less. I will be then taxes on my wealth, read MR Sanders comments, SS will be bankrupt, who’s gonna pay for that, or. Or get theirs?

    More hyperbole. Single payer is expensive, but so is our defense budget. The way other countries figure this out is to spend WAY less money on defense. As far as Bernie is concerned, he is leading a movement. He is NOT going to be a candidate for President again. But he HAS successfully created the debate about single payer. So far his call for a debate about single payer has been supported by most all of the potential democratic candidates for President in 2020. I’ll say it again, Republicans can’t be trusted with healthcare. We need a system that will not be under attack every four years by whomever happens to control the government. I predict that THIS will be the rallying cry in the next election for a robust debate about alternatives. BTW, block grants to the state are probably the worst idea for a stable system because of this point. It takes a national debate about healthcare priorities and turns it into 50 separate debates about how much money any particular state wants to spend on their citizens.

    Time for a party that reflects the I tests of all of us not just groups of minorities.

    When you can tell me how that party would deal with the issue of abortion, I’ll be happy to talk with you more about it.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And tell me again where you get “32 million people will lose coverage?”

    CBO said that was how many people would lose coverage if the ACA was repealed without replacement.

    Cassidy-Graham not only repeals the ACA without an effective replacement, but also eliminates Medicaid.

    If the CBO is eventually able to score this beast, I’m pretty confident that the numbers that will lose coverage will be significantly in excess of 32M.

  5. Keith says:

    This from a very good friend….

    In an effort to donate services I approached my county health department. I told the man who runs the dental clinic that I would do whatever he needed. I was told that they don’t really have an effective vehicle that would allow me to do root canals for people in need. Once all the federal paperwork gets filled out … well poor folks don’t usually get root canals because they can’t get a crown after, they miss appointments, they have trouble with transportation, and those patients have other greater needs. Hmmm. So the county will be happy to let me donate services 24/7 in a forest preserve but my professional services have almost no value for them. Government of the people, by the people, but not really for the people.

  6. Keith says:

    32 million is the number of people in ACA today correct?

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    This from a very good friend….

    It is unfortunate that he was unable to provide the help he was capable of providing. More a reflection on our litigious culture than the current healthcare system though. I know plenty of physicians and nurses who regularly volunteer their services.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    32 million is the number of people in ACA today correct?

    No. The ACA is covering roughly 11.4M at last count. An additional 10.7M were covered based on new Medicare rules. There were another 3.4M that also enrolled in Medicare since the ACA was passed, but those were eligible based on Medicaid rules that were in effect before the ACA. So the number of new folks who were eligible and signed up as a result of changes is around 22M.

    Here is some detail on the CBO’s score of 32M losing coverage as a result of a complete repeal of ACA.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbo-score-on-latest-senate-gop-health-care-bill/

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Looks like the season of the witch, at least as far as healthcare is concerned, has passed.

    The only remaining question is whether cooler heads (e.g. Lamar Alexander) will be able to craft a bi-partisan bill that can pass the senate to strengthen the Affordable Care Act. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

    It will also be interesting to see if Trump tries to use executive orders to accomplish what Republicans could not accomplish legislatively.

    In the meantime, the marketplace appears to be resolving some of the concerns about coverage that ACA opponents said were fatal structural weaknesses.

    http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/eyes-on-centene-to-fill-void-after-obamacare-insurer-bails/article_60f5ed24-b32c-5088-b179-8b7210e09e4e.html

    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/09/tennessee-health-insurers-willing-to-fill-knoxville-obamacare-void.html

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2017/09/19/insurers-launch-new-obamacare-ads-after-trump-roils-sign-up-effort/#7da245117683

  10. Keith says:

    Below is a brief note from my pastor. Love this man and his message.

    I’ve enjoyed our conversation over the past 11 or 12 years. I’ve done it out of curiosity of which you have met mine and exceeded it. You are the only one I’ve ever carried out conversations of this nature. More than wanting to share my thoughts, I’ve always been far more interested in yours. I’ve trusted your insights as representative of a thoughtful Christian progressive. I’ve believed for awhile now that the two shall never meet.

    Pastor Evans position always was mine and always will be mine.

    https://www.facebook.com/OCBFChurch/videos/1811942915487217/

    Thoughts?

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Pastor Evans position always was mine and always will be mine.

    https://www.facebook.com/OCBFChurch/videos/1811942915487217/

    Thoughts?

    Pastor Evans didn’t say anything that I disagreed with, but it was a very general discussion.

    Our country is based on pluralism. There is purposely no state sponsored religion. There is no religious test to hold a political office. As long as Pastor Evans is OK voting for non-Christians or even atheists, then I don’t have a problem with him. If he is OK with people in his congregation voting for whomever they choose, I don’t have a problem with him. If his focus is on providing spiritual guidance to his congregation and leaving politics out of his guidance, I also don’t have a problem with him.

    I share his opinion that the country would be a better place if all of its citizens were more humble, loving, and forgiving. If he suggests that the only way that this country will heal its current divisions is to follow the teachings in the Bible, I’ve got a BIG problem with him.

    If he is suggesting that the Bible, rather than the constitution and our body of law, should be used to resolve conflicts over things like abortion, LBGTQ rights, and racial inequality – I’ve got a problem too.

    I believe that that we do best as a country when we feel as though we have a shared set of values. Those basic values are reflected in the tenants of most religions and summarized in the second great commandment – Love thy neighbor as thyself. IMHO our greatest shortcoming as a country has been our intolerance of difference. This is something that is also core to the message of the New Testament, but is something that is not preached very often from the pulpit. If Pastor Evans preaches tolerance of the other including non-believers and sinners, then I’m with him.

  12. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW, just another comment on intolerance.

    Here’s an interesting question. If someone believes that the world is flat, is it intolerant to question that belief?

    Here’s how we have dealt with that question in the past.

    It’s OK to have whatever set of personal beliefs you choose to have as long as those beliefs don’t restrict the ability for anyone else to live lives based on a different set of beliefs. In public policy, however, we are NOT going to respect beliefs that are clearly at odds with science and are also clearly in the minority. So our defense against flatlander beliefs influencing policy (for example prohibiting our navy from sailing out of sight of land) is that democracy is ultimately self-correcting. If flatlanders gain some political power – the consequences of their actions will ultimately cause them to lose their majority. We won’t require them to change their beliefs, but the majority of voters will no longer trust them. The problem, of course, is that the flatlanders will likely interpret their loses to politics rather than a fatal flaw in their belief system. They will continue to argue that those who oppose the theory of a flat earth are simply afraid of dealing with the truth and instead support a vast conspiracy in order to preserve their own political power.

    The bottom line is that, in today’s culture, the power of tribe is so strong that people have lost the ability for rational thinking. Instead it is all relative and at least for them, the only absolute truths are those that align with their belief system.

    I’ll post some more about this in the next week or so.

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:

    In the ongoing saga of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, Trump’s approval ratings are again plummeting. He enjoyed a brief spike as the result of making a deal with the Democrats on the debt ceiling and hurricane relief for Texas and Florida. His approval ratings are heading back down again because of the fight that he chose to pick with the NFL while people were dying in PR, the attempt to pass a healthcare bill that was even worse than the past two that also failed, his tax plan that is yet another subsidy for the wealthy, and another senseless mass murder with no real motive other than the fact that one person (with no military experience) can legally purchase sufficient firepower to carry this out. When Timothy McVeigh blew up the Federal Building in Ok City killing 168 and injuring another almost 700, we made it more difficult to buy the simple ingredients to make a fertilizer bomb. If you did attempt to buy these ingredients in bulk, even from different suppliers, you were going to get a call from the FBI. Why is it such an invasion of privacy to place similar controls on the weapons that would enable one person to kill 68 people and wound over 500 in a few minutes? Even if this killer were forced to manually load a bullet into the chamber of his rifle for every shot, many fewer people would have died. Charles Whitman was only able to kill 17 during the tower shooting in Texas in 1966 even though he was a marine sharpshooter and it took authorities 96 minutes to subdue him.

    The United States is unique among industrialized countries. No other country has as many of these mass killings as we do. There are certainly terrorist attacks in other countries. There are also countries where there is some sort of insurgency or armed revolt. But in the mostly peaceful industrialized countries where the governments are stable, we are the only country with these sorts of mass killings by generally lone wolf-type attackers. Most every other country controls personal ownership of firearms. Please tell me again why we don’t.

    Nevada has some of the most lenient gun laws in the country. Anybody can purchase any weapon including automatic weapons and carry it around either in full view or hidden on their person. Why didn’t these gun laws and the “good” people who purchased guns to defend themselves prevent this shooting?

  14. Jeff Beamsley says:

    BTW BTW – This guy was a well educated white middle class person. A wall would not have prevented this. An immigration ban on Muslims would not have prevented this. This wasn’t the result of Black Lives Matter of the NFL Anthem Protest movement.

    So what is Trump’s plan to keep us safe from these sorts of attacks in the future? Trump’s proposed budget cuts $300B from the Department of Homeland Security – specifically from the budget for domestic terrorism and extremism prevention.

    I guess that he figures that a big tax cut for the wealthy will resolve whatever issues led this guy to kill all of those innocent people. At least make an effort to ban country music concerts, because that makes just as much sense as what is happening right now. (by the way you are witnessing one of the rare instances of sarcasm in this blog) 🙂

  15. Keith says:

    And Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws.

    I have no problem with strict background checks none whatsoever.
    But I don’t think that helps. It’s. It the hi. Just like it’s not the van
    Which is one of the weapons of choice in Europe. What do we do when the next guy flys a small plane loaded with explosives into Yankee stadium, or UM Stadium on a football Saturday?

    Remember this is Satan distroying loves. It’s not the guy or the gun. It’s the evil one ….

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    And Chicago has some of the strictest gun laws.

    Just because Sarah Huckabee Sanders says that it’s true, doesn’t make it true.

    Here’e the politifact article with the details, but no Chicago does not have the strictest gun laws. They rate that claim “pants on fire”. Also Chicago happens to be very close to two states who have some of the weakest gun laws in the country. So even if guns were practically banned in Chicago, which is not the case, anyone over 18 could drive for a hour or so either north to Kenosha or southeast to Gary and be home by lunch time with pretty much whatever gun they had the money to buy.

    I have no problem with strict background checks none whatsoever.
    But I don’t think that helps. It’s. It the hi. Just like it’s not the van
    Which is one of the weapons of choice in Europe. What do we do when the next guy flys a small plane loaded with explosives into Yankee stadium, or UM Stadium on a football Saturday?

    This is also a false equivalence because, in fact, when people have weaponized other things, law enforcement HAS responded.

    When terrorists started blowing up airplanes, we created a $7.6B agency to prevent explosives from getting on planes. The FBI is still keeping track of people who buy ingredients to make fertilizer bombs and many other kinds of bombs too. Fans at marathons now have to go through metal detectors before they can get close to runners. If you look-up instructions on how to make a bomb, you might get a call from the FBI particularly if that search happened around the same time that you purchased a pressure cooker. As far as trucks being used as weapons, Hobby Lobbies around the country now have barriers in front of their stores to prevent a truck from crashing into it. Concrete barriers to protect crowds from vehicle attack will soon become standard practice if we see continued use of them as a weapon.

    BTW, you can’t fly a small plane over Yankee Stadium, the big house, or any other stadium when it is filled up. Don’t know whether a local national guard jet will shoot you down, or if there are shoulder mounted rockets that are deployed. But air traffic control monitors the airspace over large public gatherings like that.

    But we do nothing to prevent people from creating automatic weapons. Let’s just start there. Let’s just make it as difficult to create automatic weapons as we do to make bombs.

    Remember this is Satan distroying loves. It’s not the guy or the gun. It’s the evil one ….

    I’m sorry but this is a terrible excuse for inaction. While I believe in the power of prayer, I don’t for a minute suggest that my beliefs should in any way limit the practical solutions that are available to law enforcement. I could just was easily say that it’s not the guy with the bomb, it’s the evil one. So why are we working so hard to keep bombs off airplanes?

    This is a render unto Caesar situation where law enforcement needs the legislative support to reduce the extreme lethal power of some weapons that are currently legal.

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