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House Passes Health Care Bill

Discussion in 'Politics Forum (Local/National/World)' started by searcher, May 4, 2017.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Health Chief Says No Decision on Continuing Obamacare Subsidies
    [​IMG]
    Bloomberg

    Saleha Mohsin
    58 mins ago


    (Bloomberg) -- Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said Sunday that “no decision’s been made” on whether to continue key Affordable Care Act subsidies to health-insurance companies, but that the administration’s job is “to follow the law of the land.” A top White House aide said President Donald Trump will decide soon.

    Smarting from the failure of Senate Republicans to pass an Obamacare repeal and replace bill, Trump on Saturday threatened in a tweet to the subsidy payments, which help make insurance accessible to poorer Americans, a move that could critically destabilize health exchanges if it went ahead.

    The administration has previously floated the idea to stop paying the subsidies that help insurers offset health-care costs for low-income Americans, called a cost-sharing reduction, or CSR. The next payment is due on Aug. 21.

    “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” the president said in Saturday’s tweet. It followed a Twitter message on Friday in which he vowed to “let ObamaCare implode.”

    Asked on ABC’s “This Week” how soon the Trump administration could stop the cost-sharing payments, Price said no decision has been made and he can’t comment further because of a pending court case. He also declined to clarify what Trump meant by “implode,” saying the president’s comment “punctuates the concern” he has about changing he direction of the health-care system and getting Congress to act.

    ‘Law of the Land’

    Price said in a separate interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the administration’s “job is to follow the law of the land” and that “we take that responsibility very seriously and we will continue to do so.”

    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump will soon decide the fate of the subsidy payments. “He’s going to make that decision this week, and that’s a decision that only he can make,” Conway said.

    Trump’s tweet on Saturday also implied that he may target subsidies made available to members of Congress and their staff, who as part of the Affordable Care Act are enrolled in plans on the Washington, D.C., health insurance exchange. Subsidies are similar to those made by employers to pay for their workers’ health insurance premiums.

    Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the president is weighing such a move, which was urged this month by a coalition of right-wing groups.

    Weeks of Brinkmanship

    A months-long effort by Senate Republicans to pass health-care legislation collapsed early Friday after Republican John McCain of Arizona joined two of his colleagues to block a stripped-down Obamacare repeal bill. McCain’s “no” vote came after weeks of brinkmanship and after his dramatic return from cancer treatment to cast the 50th vote to start debate on the bill earlier in the week. The “skinny” repeal bill was defeated 49-51, falling just short of the 50 votes needed to advance it. Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska also voted against it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he’ll move on to other legislative business. But in a later tweet on Saturday, Trump suggested he isn’t giving up. “Unless the Republican Senators are total quitters, Repeal & Replace is not dead! Demand another vote before voting on any other bill!”

    The president said earlier that Senate Republicans “look like fools” after the repeal bill went down, and made a renewed call for the Senate to abolish a rule requiring 60 votes for some bills -- although the health-care measure needed only a 51-vote majority to pass, and fell short.

    Trump reiterated that position in a Twitter posting on Sunday, saying, “Don’t give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace...and go to 51 votes.”

    Graham’s Plan

    Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Dean Heller of Nevada met with Trump Friday on a re-jiggered proposal. Graham said in a statement that Trump had been “optimistic” about the trio’s plan. “I had a great meeting with the president and know he remains fully committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Graham said.

    For more on the efforts to repeal the ACA, click here.

    Ending the CSR subsidies, paid monthly to insurers, is one way that Trump could hasten Obamacare’s demise without legislation, by prompting more companies to raise premiums in the individual market or stop offering coverage. The administration last made a payment about a week ago for the previous 30 days, but hasn’t made a long-term commitment.

    Middle-Class Risk

    Responding to Trump’s earlier tweet on Saturday, Andrew Slavitt, acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in the Obama administration, said the impact of cutting off subsidy payments “will be felt by the middle class who will pay more to subsidize low income.”

    On Friday, health-care analyst Spencer Perlman at Veda Partners LLC said in a research note that there’s a 30 percent chance Trump will end CSR payments, which may “immediately destabilize the exchanges, perhaps fatally.”

    America’s Health Insurance Plans, a lobbying group for the industry, has estimated that premiums would rise by about 20 percent if the CSR payments aren’t made. Many insurers have already dropped out of Obamacare markets in the face of mounting losses, and blamed the uncertainty over the future of the cost-sharing subsidies and the individual mandate as one of the reasons behind this year’s premium increases.

    Moments after the Senate voted down the Republican bill on Friday morning, McConnell called on Democrats to offer their ideas for moving forward with health care. But he warned: “Bailing out insurance companies, with no thought of any kind of reform, is not something I want to be a part of.”

    A survey in April by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation showed that 61 percent Americans believe Trump and Republicans are responsible for future problems with the ACA, while 31 percent said President Barack Obama and Democrats would be at fault.

    “If the President refuses to make the cost sharing reduction payments, every expert agrees that premiums will go up and health care will be more expensive for millions of Americans, The president ought to stop playing politics with people’s lives and health care,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

    --With assistance from Sahil Kapur Toluse Olorunnipa Ben Bain and Mark Niquette

    To contact the reporter on this story: Saleha Mohsin in Washington at smohsin2@bloomberg.net.

    To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Ros Krasny, Kenneth Pringle

    ©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...are-subsidies/ar-AAp1pUJ?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  3. Buck

    Buck Fabian Society Gold Chaser

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    Trump can kill the subsidies for Congress only as this was an EO signed by the Obummer
    That shouldn't affect anyone else but Congress

    Actually kind of simple
     
  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump right about Australian healthcare: It's better
    • By GLENN BEASLEY
    • 7 hrs ago


    Was Trump right?

    Our president has touted the Australian health care system, calling it better than ours. Intrigued by his comment and a bit skeptical as well, I decided to check out his claim.

    Here is what I found. Everyone in Australia has health coverage. Everyone! The cost is approximately half that of the United States. Half! Essentially all indicators of health show that Australians are healthier than U.S. citizens, including life span, infant mortality rates and rate of obesity.

    Data published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on June 30, 2017 provides the following comparisons:

    • Average life span: U.S.-81.2 years, Australia-84.5 years

    • Infant mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 births): U.S.-5.8, Australia-3.2

    • Adult obesity (measured, percentage): U.S.-38.2, Australia-27.9

    • Cost per person in dollars: U.S.-9,892, Australia-4,708

    • Cost as a percent of GDP: U.S.-17.2, Australia-9.6

    • Number of people uninsured: U.S.-approximately 30 million, Australia-none

    The numbers are compelling. President Trump was right. Australia provides better health care for all of its people at about half the cost per person vs. the United States.

    What are some of the key characteristics of the Australian plan? First, all people are covered by Medicare, with higher income individuals also buying private health insurance (with incentives for the higher income people to purchase private insurance and penalties if they do not). Secondly, the government is authorized to negotiate prices for services and drugs, driving down costs. Third, health insurance is a consumer product. There are dozens of private health plans that compete on service, price and value. Fourth, the average Australian is a savvy consumer who understands what they are getting and the cost so he/she can make an informed decision about a treatment. (source: What Trump Got right about Australian Healthcare, “The Hill”, Deborah Gordon, May 15, 2017).

    The other key aspect of the Australian system is that it has been in place since 1984. That is over 30 years of experience. It is proven! No need to invent the wheel.

    There are over 30 countries in the OECD, including the U.K., France, Canada. All have similar plans to Australia’s plan so it is possible to look at them and decide what variation would work best for the United States.

    There are many aspects of the U.S. that are great despite our president’s rhetoric. It is true, however, that our country is not great when it comes to the health of our citizens. We are only as strong as we are healthy. As a national security issue, the federal government needs to play an important role in health care as it does in other national security issues as the military, the national road system, and education.

    So, the question for Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, Sen. Pat Toomey, and President Trump: Why not repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with what the Australians have? Why aren’t Republicans stampeding to endorse the Australian system instead of trying to pass plans that leave more Americans without health coverage. Why? Why? Why?

    The other question for our representative is why are you reluctant to have an open discussion about this critical issue? This would be a perfect topic for a real town hall meeting or a smaller setting such as the one I requested and was ignored.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Glenn Beasley, Newtown Borough, is a long-term resident of Bucks County with a deep commitment to good government.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_11622381-b558-5e68-a94c-4973c784e9bc.html
     
  5. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  6. andial

    andial Sir Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    nickndfl and searcher like this.
  7. goldielox1

    goldielox1 Silver Miner Seeker

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    This is the reason for all of the other statistics you cited. Don't worry though, once the petrodollar collapses, the US obesity rate will drop drastically.
     
  8. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  10. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Laws that subvert the rule of law
    • By GEORGE F. WILL
    • 8 hrs ago

    When John Adams wrote into Massachusetts' Constitution a commitment to a "government of laws and not of men," he probably assumed that the rule of law meant the rule of laws, no matter how many laws there might be. He could not have imagined the modern proliferation and complexity of laws, or how subversive this is of the rule of law.

    Such a subversion will confront Congress when it reconvenes. Congress is nimble at evading responsibilities but cannot avoid deciding either to repudiate or to tolerate a residue of President Obama's lawlessness, one that most, perhaps all, congressional Democrats and many, perhaps most, Republicans want Obama's successor to continue.

    The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires insurance companies to insure people with "pre-existing conditions," a locution minted to avoid the awkward candor of saying, in most cases, "people who are already sick." The individual mandate, requiring people to purchase insurance, is one way the ACA subsidizes insurance companies that are mandated to engage in money-losing undertakings.

    The subsidy that Congress must confront in September is the ACA requirement that the secretary of health and human services devise a program to compensate insurers for the cost of selling discounted plans to some low-income purchasers. Obama's HHS secretary created a program to disperse billions of dollars to insurers to defray the costs of the low-income purchasers who are more than half the ACA enrollees.

    But -- speaking of awkwardness -- although the ACA authorizes a permanent expenditure for this, an authorization is not an appropriation, and Congress has never provided an appropriation. Come September, these payments may dramatize the increasing difficulty of discerning Republican and Democratic differences commensurate with their heated rhetoric. Democrats are untroubled by the payments because progressives believe that unfettered presidents are necessary to surmount the inefficiencies, as progressives see them, inherent in the Framers' great mistake, as progressives see it -- the separation of powers. Republicans, however, have a dilemma: Halting the payments might unleash chaos; continuing them seals Republican complicity in perpetuating the ACA.

    The Constitution says: "No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law." Nevertheless, the Obama administration spent the money for the insurance subsidies, breezily arguing that it was being faithful to something higher than the Constitution -- the ACA's text. Or its logic. Or something. Republican members of the House (including Georgia's Tom Price, who now is secretary of HHS) sued to stop the payments. In May 2016, a federal judge said they were right on the merits but stayed the decision to allow the Obama administration to appeal.

    Donald Trump has exceeded Obama's executive willfulness, which at least strove for a patina of implausible legality. Last month, Trump said that, absent Republican success in replacing the ACA, he might end the payments "very soon." Clearly, he thinks either spending or not spending unappropriated billions is a presidential prerogative.

    The Constitution -- yes, that again -- says that presidents "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed." The framers, who were parsimonious with words, perhaps included the adverb for the reason Noah Feldman of Harvard Law School suggests: "The Constitution recognizes that the president can't necessarily enforce every law. But it requires a good faith effort." So, the intent of any non-enforcement matters: Is it to husband scarce enforcement resources? Or is it to vitiate a law?

    Trump's unparsimonious dispensing of words has included threats to intentionally cause the ACA to "implode" by halting the unconstitutional disbursement of unappropriated money. Feldman evidently thinks this would be "non-enforcement" in bad faith because the law could no longer function. It is, however, strange to say that dispensing unappropriated funds is faithful "enforcement" of a law just because without the funds the law would collapse.

    Were Trump constitutionally punctilious -- entertain the thought -- he would embrace the judge's ruling on behalf of the House members, and, obedient to his oath of office, stop the unconstitutional payments. But chaos might envelop the ACA exchanges and then the wider individual insurance market, causing many millions of Americans severe mental and financial stress. Republicans can say "let the rule of law prevail though the heavens fall," or they can say ...

    Enter Sen. Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the pertinent committee. He wants Trump to "temporarily" continue the payments "through September," pending "a short-term solution" for stabilizing insurance markets "in 2018." Watch carefully as Alexander copes with a pathology of modern -- meaning, presidential -- government unanticipated by John Adams: laws that subvert the rule of law.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    George Will writes this column for The Washington Post. Email: georgewill@washpost.com.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_f6337504-91bc-5394-99cf-144818107525.html
     
  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump's healthcare uncertainty has sent prices rocketing: Insurance firms are pushing up costs to cut their losses as the president delays his highly-anticipated reforms
    • President Donald Trump has yet to make any definitive decisions on Obamacare
    • During the 2016 campaign he promised to repeal and replace the law
    • He has issued threats to pull funding from the program which would cut subsidies
    • This gives companies the option of either raising prices or pulling out of the ACA


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-4830882/Insurance-companies-profiting-Trump-s-threats.html#ixzz4r8Rs8jQD
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  13. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump slashes funds to promote Obamacare enrollment by 90 per cent as Democrats accuse him of trying to torpedo medical insurance law
    • The Trump administration has announced sharp cuts in programs promoting health care enrollment under the Affordable Care Act for next year
    • Advertising will be cut from $100 million spent on 2017 sign-ups to $10 million
    • Funding for consumer helpers called 'navigators' will also be cut about 40 percent, from $62.5 million for 2017, to $36.8 million for next year
    • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the administration is waging a 'cynical effort to lower enrollment' that would 'create chaos' and increase premiums


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4843306/HHS-cutting-way-funds-Obamacare-promotion.html#ixzz4rR1hV1pv
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Is this the kind of America you want?
    Liberty, justice and healthcare for all
    • By the Rev. Bill Bloom
    • 11 hrs ago
    For people of faith, healthcare is a moral issue. All our faith traditions call us to care for the sick and the vulnerable -- to value human life as sacred. Jesus, a healer of the sick, taught his followers that when they cared for the sick, they cared for him.

    In Jewish tradition, the obligation to preserve life surpasses most every other religious commandment. The prophet Mohammed’s commitment to health care led to the world’s first public hospitals started in Muslim countries. As Pope Francis teaches us: “Health is not a consumer good but a universal right.”

    Every proposal in Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and restructure Medicaid so far has violated our obligation to care for the vulnerable. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office analysis of each bill shows the same frightening data: tens of millions of people would lose coverage, millions more pay higher out of pocket costs, and important protections for people with pre-existing conditions could disappear, leaving thousands at the mercy of insurance companies.

    Many of the more than 426,000 Pennsylvanians who gained healthcare through ACA marketplaces and the 700,000 who received coverage through the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid faced losing coverage under these proposals and for that reason, we are grateful that these proposals have been soundly rejected for the time being.

    But even as we appreciate salvation from these reckless bills that would have devastated millions, we recognize that ACA repeal isn’t the only danger facing our health care. As senators voted against repeal, lawmakers in the House continue to advance even more legislation which would do as much or more harm to our care including huge and permanent cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

    On July 30, Medicaid and Medicare celebrated 52 years of providing healthcare to seniors, people with disabilities, children and low wage workers. Yet rather than celebrate this legacy by protecting these critical pillars of the healthcare system, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is pushing a budget that would dismantle them. Pennsylvania would feel the impact locally and statewide. More than 2.5 million people in our state depend on Medicaid, including almost 250,000 seniors, more than 1 million children, 640,800 people with disabilities and 82,000 veterans.

    Like all Republican proposals to take healthcare away from working people, the bill would also give huge tax breaks to the rich and massive corporations. Speaker Ryan’s House Budget Resolution cuts trillions from healthcare, education, housing, and many other programs while giving the 1 percent richest households an average annual tax break of $213,000 a year.

    As a person of faith, I cannot condone sacrificing the health of our communities to greed. We know that without coverage, more people will die preventable deaths. We ask our representatives, “Is this the kind of America you want to see?”

    We must embrace our moral and spiritual teachings which call us to care for the vulnerable and to respect the sanctity of life. Let us build an America where we care for one another in times of illness and pain.

    I thank Congressman Fitzpatrick and Sen. Casey for standing up for what is morally right. I urge Sen. Toomey and the other lawmakers who voted to support repeal and replace to re-think their actions and work instead of improving Affordable Care Act, not repealing it in the future. Let us be one nation, under God, with liberty, justice and healthcare for all!

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Rev. Bill Bloom is minister of music at the United Christian Church in Levittown. He also produces and writes hip-hop and pop music, including “Double Dutch Bus” by Frankie Smith.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_1fb238de-7abc-5731-97c6-441dd9354b0a.html
     
  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Booker signs on to Sanders's 'Medicare-for-all' bill
    [​IMG]
    The Hill

    Jordain Carney
    4 hrs ago


    Sen. Cory Booker is throwing his support behind a "Medicare for all" bill being introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), becoming the latest Democrat floated as a 2020 contender to back the legislation.

    The New Jersey senator told NJTV News that he would sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill, which is scheduled to be rolled out on Wednesday.


    "This is something that's got to happen. ObamaCare was a first step in advancing this country, but I won't rest until every American has a basic security that comes with having access to affordable health care," Booker told the New Jersey outlet.

    He added that "you should not be punished because you are working-class or poor and be denied health care. I think health care should be a right to all."

    Booker's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about his decision.

    Sanders put his push for a single-payer healthcare system at the center of his 2016 presidential bid, and he has pledged for months that he would introduce legislation.

    The idea is also gaining traction within the Democratic Party and is emerging as a litmus test for potential 2020 presidential candidates.

    In addition to Booker, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) are supporting Sanders's legislation.

    Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also announced his support on Monday.

    Booker had previously voiced some support for single-payer.

    Asked on Twitter if he would support the government-run healthcare system, he said "there is great value if not justice In opening up Medicare to all" but Democrats should be focused on stopping the GOP effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

    Despite growing support from the party's 2020 presidential crowd, Sanders's push for a single-payer system doesn't have unanimous support from the Senate Democratic caucus.

    Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said earlier this year that it should be one of the options on the table.

    And four Democrats up for reelection in states won by President Trump, as well as Independent Sen. Angus King (Maine), voted against a recent single-payer amendment offered by GOP Sen. Steve Daines (Mont.).

    Daines's amendment, which was expected to fail, was largely viewed as an attempt by Republicans to get Democrats to go on the record on the issue.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...-for-all-bill/ar-AArIceg?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  16. michael59

    michael59 heads up-butts down Site Supporter ++ Platinum Bling

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    What IF I just want to die? DO I NEED YOUR PERMISION booker and sanders? F off stupid-s and ur single payer crap.

    One day when I was a child I inadvertently cut myself, my health care at the time was to rub dirt in the cut. Not much has changed.
     
  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Medicare for all the right thing to do
    • By EUGENE ROBINSON
    • 7 hrs ago

    The smartest, savviest people in Washington will tell you Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" idea is dead on arrival, a waste of time and energy. But since those same smart, savvy people told you Donald Trump didn't have a prayer of becoming president, I'd advise keeping an open mind.

    What the Vermont senator's bill has going for it is simple: It's the right thing to do.

    The issue is not whether we should have socialized medicine in this country. We already do -- Medicare for everyone over 65; Medicaid for the indigent, the working poor and the disabled; the Children's Health Insurance Program for minors in modest-income families. That's a total of around 133 million Americans who already enjoy most of the benefits of a single-payer health system similar to those in other wealthy countries.

    The philosophical debate about whether government should play a major role in medical care is over, as evidenced by the GOP's "repeal and replace" fiasco. In trying vainly to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, Republicans argued about how to subsidize health insurance, not whether to do so. The most conservative approach -- working through the existing free-market, fee-for-service health care system mediated by private insurance companies -- had already been tried. It is called Obamacare.

    In the end, Republicans couldn't pull the trigger. The question now is whether Democrats will continue to settle for half-measures or finally demand what the party has claimed to want for decades: fully universal health care as a right, not as a privilege.

    Sixteen Democratic senators have announced support for Sanders' bill, introduced Wednesday, "to establish a Medicare-for-all national health insurance program." It is no accident that among them are such potential 2020 presidential hopefuls as Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Al Franken of Minnesota. They probably believe, as I do, that the party's activist base is ready to go big on health care, even if the congressional leadership remains guarded and skeptical. Both Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are studiedly noncommittal.

    There is, of course, the not-insignificant fact that Republicans control both the Senate and the House. Even though Trump has to be considered a wild card -- he has, over time, taken every conceivable position on health care -- it is hard to imagine this Congress jumping on the universal-care bandwagon.

    But what Sanders did with his insurgent campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination was to bring "Medicare for all" in from the fringe and make it an acceptable topic for public debate. Medicare is enormously popular among seniors because it works. Why wouldn't it work for the rest of us?


    Critics reply that it would be ruinously expensive. They point to a 2016 Urban Institute study projecting that "Medicare for all" would cost a staggering $32 trillion over the next decade. However, this assumes the federal government would take over all current health care spending by state and local governments, employers and individuals, which would add up to $26 trillion over that same period. Even if this money were paid to the government rather than to health providers and insurance companies, according to this analysis, there would still be a sizable gap to somehow fill.

    During last year's presidential campaign, Sanders estimated that offering Medicare to all would cost $14 trillion over a decade and be offset by tax increases. He has not yet placed a price tag on the bill introduced this week.

    There is another way to look at costs, however. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, in 2015 the United States spent $9,507 per capita on health care. That's more than twice the amount spent per capita in Britain ($4,125), France ($4,530) or Canada ($4,533), all of which have universal health care. In rankings based on factors such as life expectancy and infant mortality, the United States lags behind countries that spend much less on health.

    As Trump and the Republicans in Congress discovered, health care is difficult. The details are devilish, but the big picture is clear: Our system is too byzantine, too expensive, too unfair. Other advanced nations produce better outcomes with single-payer systems that their populations would never trade for ours.

    The ACA was a giant step on the road that leads logically to something very much like what Sanders is proposing. Progressives should take the next step by loudly and proudly proclaiming the destination.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Eugene Robinson writes this column for The Washington Post. Email: eugenerobinson@washpost.com.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_d2b88de6-a7db-5fa4-8712-51793b8ace25.html
     
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    New health-care plan stumbles under opposition from governors

    [​IMG]
    The Washington Post
    Sean Sullivan, Kelsey Snell, Juliet Eilperin
    55 mins ago


    The suddenly resurgent Republican effort to undo the Affordable Care Act was dealt a major blow Tuesday when a bipartisan group of governors came out against a proposal gaining steam in the Senate.

    But it was unclear whether the opposition would ultimately derail the attempt, as key Republican senators including Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said they had yet to make up their minds.

    The collective criticism from 10 governors arrived as Vice President Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to rally support for the bill, which is sponsored by GOP Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Dean Heller (Nev.) and Ron Johnson (Wis.).

    “We ask you not to consider the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson amendment and renew support for bipartisan efforts to make health care more available and affordable for all Americans,” the governors said in their letter.

    They added that they prefer a bipartisan push to stabilize the insurance marketplaces that Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have been negotiating.

    The governors who signed the bill are particularly notable, since some are from states represented by Republican senators who are weighing whether to back the bill. Among them: Alaska Gov. Bill Walker (I), who holds some sway over Murkowski, a potentially decisive vote who opposed a previous Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

    “If it can be shown that Alaska is not going to be disadvantaged, you gain additional flexibility. Then I can go back to Alaskans, and I can say, ‘Okay, let’s walk through this together.’ That’s where it could be different,” she said.

    But Murkowski, who has been in close touch with Walker, said she did not yet have the data to make such a determination.

    Alaska’s other Republican senator, Dan Sullivan, said he was still mulling whether to support the bill.

    On Tuesday, Pence traveled from New York, where he was attending the annual U.N. General Assembly, to Washington with Graham in a sign of the White House’s support for the proposal.

    “My message today is I want to make sure that members of the Senate know the president and our entire administration supports Graham-Cassidy,” Pence told reporters on the flight down. “We think the American people need this.”

    Graham added that President Trump called him at 10:30 p.m. Monday.

    “He says, ‘If we can pull this off, it’ll be a real accomplishment for the country,’ ” he recalled.

    Pence attended the weekly Senate Republican policy luncheon, where he said the current health-care system is collapsing and the bill fulfills key GOP promises to return control to states and rein in federal entitlement programs, according to several GOP senators.

    Afterward, McConnell declined to ensure a vote on the bill but said his team is working to secure sufficient support.

    “We’re in the process of discussing all of this. Everybody knows that the opportunity expires at the end of the month,” said McConnell, referring to the limited window Republicans have to take advantage of a procedural tactic to pass a broad health-care bill without any Democratic support.

    The current bill would give states control over billions in federal health-care spending and enact deep cuts to Medicaid. The Medicaid cuts are a major source of concern to the governors, both in terms of imposing a per capita cap on what states would receive as well as putting restrictions on how they could spend any federal aid on their expanded Medicaid populations.

    The fact that the bill also would bar states from taxing health-care providers to fund their Medicaid programs posed a problem for several governors, as well.

    The governors who have been most outspoken in their criticism of the bill have been negotiating behind the scenes to bring as many state executives on board as possible, according to aides, tweaking the letter’s language over the past couple of days to get maximum support.

    Also among the governors signing the letter: John Kasich (R-Ohio) and Brian Sandoval (R-Nev.). Sandoval’s positioning puts him at odds with Heller, who has been touting the bill as a co-sponsor.

    Pence said Trump told him to reach out to some Democrats. He spoke to Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) over the weekend. But after reviewing the bill, Manchin said, the senator told Pence’s aides he could not support the legislation.

    Schumer said he’s confident no Democrat will vote for the legislation because “it hurts people in every state.”

    Democrats have been working furiously in the past 24 hours to advance talks between Alexander and Murray on a deal to immediately stabilize insurance marketplaces with federal subsidies. The negotiations rapidly escalated after weeks of slow but consistent talks after it became clear that Senate GOP leaders were serious about holding a health-care vote before the end of the month, according to several Senate aides.

    Alexander said Tuesday that the pair was working toward a compromise that would extend federal cost-sharing payments for subsidies in exchange for some revisions to the way states are able to implement the ACA. But those talks were stymied last week after a group of 15 Democrats led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced a “Medicare for all” plan to extend federal benefits to all Americans.

    Graham said the decision for his colleagues on health care is stark: “Socialism or federalism.”

    “If you’re a Republican, chances are you believe in federalism. . . . I believe that most Republicans like the idea of state-controlled health care as opposed to Washington-controlled health care,” Graham said.

    Ed O’Keefe and Ashley Parker contributed to this report.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...rom-governors/ar-AAse3UW?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  23. searcher

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    Want a better health care system? Check out Japan
    • By Noah Smith
    • 7 hrs ago


    Sen. Bernie Sanders' new health care plan, called "Medicare for All," would eliminate private health insurance and have the government pay for 100 percent of all health services. It's not going to happen, but it does point the way toward a system that could work better: A public-private hybrid akin to what Japan has.

    So far, the Sanders plan has encountered considerable skepticism, in both Congress and the media. Though it garnered the endorsement of a number of Democratic senators, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has withheld her support. Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post writes:

    "What about the 178 million people who currently have employer-sponsored health insurance and overwhelmingly like it? What about the sticker shock awaiting individuals and employers over the tax increases necessary to pay for such a program? What happens if hospitals go bankrupt because Medicare reimburses at much lower rates than private insurance?...And most important, how do you actually pay for this enormous, multi-trillion-dollar overhaul? (Is Mexico paying?)"

    It seems to me that Sanders' radical plan is mainly a political negotiating tactic. There is a widespread belief among Democrats that when former President Barack Obama crafted his health reform plan back in 2009, he tried too hard to find a compromise that was acceptable to Republicans, and ended up unilaterally watering down the plan without winning any GOP support for his efforts.

    Sanders, by opening with an extreme proposal that has no chance of passing while Republicans control Congress, clearly hopes to shift the terms of debate onto ground more favorable to advocates of universal health insurance.

    Thus, it falls to us pundits to think about what the eventual compromise plan should look like. This is a devilishly difficult task, because health care is such a complicated, multifaceted issue. But one fruitful approach is to look at other countries and find a system that seems to work well, and think about how to copy it.

    So how about Japan? The country's health care system is one of the cheapest on the planet. It costs less as a percentage of the economy than almost any of its rich-world peers.

    Japan achieves this low level of spending even though it has one of the oldest populations in the world. Despite having to take care of far more old people, and having a very high standard of medical treatment, Japan spends very little on health care. And few would dispute that the system gets results -- people live longer in Japan than anywhere else.

    A lot of that is due to diet, of course, but it's hard to argue that the country's health system is failing in any way. And though better diet would lower U.S. health costs somewhat, it wouldn't bring costs anywhere near what Japan spends.

    So how is Japan doing it? What's the secret of their success?


    Japan has a hybrid system. The government pays 70 percent of the cost of all health procedures, unless you're a low-income elderly resident, in which case it pays as much as 90 percent. The remaining 30 percent is covered by private health insurance -- either employer-sponsored or privately purchased -- which citizens are required by law to have. Spending on private health insurance to cover the 30 percent co-pay is partially tax-deductible. Benefits are the same for everyone, and -- unlike many U.S. health plans -- include dental and mental-health care. For catastrophic care, poor people, and people with disabilities or certain chronic conditions, the government pays more.

    This is not that different from what Medicare already does. It has deductibles (unlike Japan) and fixed co-pays, for which many patients purchase supplemental "Medigap" insurance. Simply extending this policy to cover all Americans would leave the U.S. with a system not too different from what Japan has. The private insurance industry would continue to exist, and would supplement rather than compete with the government.

    A single-payer system with substantial co-pays has several advantages. Most importantly, the government's dominant position would allow it to push down the country's anomalously high prices. In Japan, fees for health services are capped by a government committee, but this isn't necessary -- simply having the Medicare system use its bargaining power to negotiate cheaper services could solve a lot of the country's cost problem. The government can also use its bargaining power judiciously, allowing high prices for innovative treatments in order to encourage their development.

    The high co-pays of a Japan-style system provide the government with a fiscal escape route. If high taxes prove to be too much of a burden on the economy, the co-pays could be increased, preserving the government's negotiating power while reducing the amount of taxation required. Also, high co-pays would ensure a role for private insurance, preserving the knowledge and expertise of some fraction of the millions who currently work in that industry.

    So instead of a fully government-paid system like Sanders is suggesting, the U.S. should consider a Japan-style hybrid. With government to do the bargaining and provide the safety net, and private insurance to do the rest, the U.S. would be able to preserve the best parts of its current system while addressing the areas where that system falls short.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Noah Smith is a Bloomberg View columnist.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_ee5ba746-8518-50e3-af3f-0d570356bc9b.html
     
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    Pennsylvania loses billions under GOP bill, analysts say
    • By MARC LEVY Associated Press
    • 17 min ago


    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Independent analysts say Pennsylvania would be one of the hardest-hit states under Senate legislation that would take federal health care subsidies provided under President Barack Obama's 2010 law and redistribute it among states.

    On Friday, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf urged Pennsylvania's U.S. Sens. Bob Casey and Pat Toomey to reject the bill that's scheduled for a vote next week. Analysts including the Kaiser Family Foundation and Avalere Health say Pennsylvania would lose billions of federal health care dollars, while some other states would get billions in new federal dollars.

    Toomey, a Republican, hasn't said yet whether he supports it. Casey, a Democrat, opposes it.

    Pennsylvania is one of 31 states that expanded Medicaid's income guidelines under Obama's 2010 law and received a more generous federal subsidy to help pay for the new coverage.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....9fa-a926-0ad739c6b019.html?hp=top-fourstories
     
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  29. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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  30. Irons

    Irons Deep Sixed Site Supporter Mother Lode

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    Senator John McCain Opposes Any Attempt at Obamacare Repeal…
    Posted on September 22, 2017 by sundance

    Will Rogers never met Senator John McCain. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has paid millions to the GOPe to retain Obamacare on behalf of multinational corporations who exploit and erode the U.S. economy. The largest beneficiaries of those payments has long been the decepticons within the senate. McCain’s position is not a surprise.

    [​IMG]

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator John McCain said on Friday he opposes the latest Republican bill to dismantle Obamacare, dealing the measure what could be a fatal blow given the party’s slim Senate majority.

    With several other Republicans still undecided on the measure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this week he intended to bring it to the Senate floor for a vote next week, though he did not promise to do so.



    [​IMG]

    https://theconservativetreehouse.co...-any-attempt-at-obamacare-repeal/#more-138814
     
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  32. nickndfl

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    Put McCain in hospice already.
     
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    Trump slams John McCain in early morning Twitter rant, accusing him of breaking promises and betraying Republican colleagues after maverick Senator said he would oppose Obamacare repeal bill AGAIN
    • Trump blasts Senator John McCain in a series of tweets posted Saturday
    • The President accused the Arizona lawmaker of breaking his promises
    • He also took McCain to task for not supporting a bill proposed by a colleague
    • McCain said Thursday he could not 'in good conscience' support a new Obamacare repeal proposal
    • Later that evening, Trump went after McCain saying the decision was 'terrible'
    • Republicans have until September 30 to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4912692/Trump-continues-slam-Senator-John-McCain.html#ixzz4tVkkgqjT
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  34. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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  35. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Graham is ‘pressing on’ with the health-care bill. Other GOP senators signal they’re moving on.

    [​IMG]
    The Washington Post
    David Weigel, Sean Sullivan
    9 hrs ago


    IOWA CITY — Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) looked out at hundreds of Democrats crowded into a tense town hall meeting Friday afternoon and told them that they’d won. Just an hour earlier, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had come out against the GOP’s latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act on partisan terms.

    “I hope that Lamar and Patty can come back again together, hopefully next week,” said Ernst, referring to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who had been working on a bipartisan bill to stabilize the ACA. “We can pick back up and try again.”

    But Republican leaders have not yet declared defeat on their repeal effort. On Saturday, President Trump applied a new round of pressure on Republican senators to back the bill authored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.). And Graham’s spokesman said he was “pressing on.”

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    Republican Senate aides have hinted in recent days at the possibility that new language in the bill might be released at some point. On Saturday, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said in an interview on Fox News that Republicans were “refining” the legislation. Still, there are no clear resolutions to the problems facing Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): Time and diminishing support.

    Senate leaders only have until the end of the month to take advantage of a procedural rule that allows them to pass their bill without Democratic support. And if one more Republican senator comes out against their plan, it will lack the votes to succeed.

    Compounding their challenge: Even senators who intended to vote for the bill, such as Ernst, sound ready for another option.

    Democrats on Saturday encouraged their supporters not to let up their resistance to the repeal and brace for a final GOP push when Senate Republicans gather for a pivotal weekly policy lunch at the Capitol on Tuesday.

    “Healthcare bill has 2 no votes. We need 3. With 4 or more we might be done for a while. Tues GOP meet, decide. We have momentum. Let’s win,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) wrote on Twitter.

    The White House is asking for one more try. In a series of tweets Saturday, Trump wrote that McCain had “let Arizona down” and that other skeptical senators needed to give the GOP, and their constituents, some kind of win. He later tweeted that Democrats are laughing that McCain had a “moment of courage.”

    “I know Rand Paul and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the Party,” Trump wrote about the senator from Kentucky, who has also come out against the bill. A Paul spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday on his latest position. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also said that she is leaning toward voting “no.”

    In a tweet aimed at Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), a key swing voter who remained uncommitted on Saturday, Trump shared a misleading statistic about premium increases — the largely rural state has tamed them with subsidies — and insisted: “deductibles high, people angry!”

    On Saturday, Price rejected the notion that the health bill was doomed.

    “The reason it’s not dead is because it’s not finished,” Price said on Fox News. “The bill hasn’t been completed. We continue to work with the authors on it through this weekend, and the bill will be likely rolled out early next week.”

    Holdout senators are concerned that the latest repeal bill won’t solve the problem of high premiums that had made the ACA politically toxic.

    It is clear that the bill, which would cap Medicaid spending and send it to states as block grants, is unpopular. In a new Washington Post/ABC poll, just 33 percent of voters said they supported the Cassidy-Graham plan.

    “We need to be clear to them that they’re courting electoral disaster if they support this bill,” said Ben Wikler, the Washington director of MoveOn, which has organized scores of rallies ahead of the Sept. 30 repeal deadline. “There will be a 30-ring circus of protests if they go and do this again.”

    For most Republicans, the political costs are theoretical. In the Senate, the Democrats’ battle to save the ACA has focused on a half-dozen Republicans who might switch their votes. Forty-three Republicans, however, voted for every repeal version, and 49 seemed ready to pass any bill that could be routed back to the House.

    The ACA battle, ending and restarting every few weeks with a dizzy rhythm, has created a network of protesters and citizen lobbyists who have pressured Ernst and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa)— and before that, the state’s three Republican congressmen — with phone calls, sit-ins and bracing town halls.

    In Iowa, where Trump’s 2016 coattails swept Democrats out of power, Republicans had partially privatized Medicaid and rallied behind repeal. Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who took office in May after her predecessor became the U.S. ambassador to China, was one of just 16 Republican governors to endorse the Cassidy-Graham repeal bill. In Iowa City, and at a Thursday town hall in more conservative Charles City, Ernst pushed back at some Democratic protesters by pointing out that their candidates had lost the last elections.

    “The president ran on repeal, and he won Iowa by nine points,” Ernst said in Iowa City, keeping a steely demeanor as the audience — more than 750 people in the most liberal part of the state — erupted with boos.

    Elected in 2014, Ernst was one of nine Republicans who won control of formerly Democratic seats during the backlash over the ACA’s implementation. Nearly three years later, with a Republican administration managing the law and deciding whether to grant waivers to states, it was harder to make a black-and-white case for repeal.

    Grassley had discovered that days before McCain’s decision. “I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” Grassley told Iowa reporters Wednesday. “But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign.”

    Grassley’s quote resonated with the protesters who flooded Ernst’s three town halls. In Charles City, two different constituents asked Ernst if she agreed with Grassley; the senior senator, Ernst said, had to speak for himself.

    In Charles City on Thursday, nearly two dozen protesters, organized by the Indivisible group, dominated the hour-long Q&A. Ellen Doll, 70, arrived with a large photo of her 44-year-old son, whose full-time care at a rural hospital had been cut back since 2016, and asked Ernst to explain why Medicaid caps and privatization would not put him on the street.

    “The money, the dollars, will still increase,” Ernst said. “You won’t see cuts from the current year.”

    “It’s a slower rate!” Doll said.

    “Well, I’d have to see the numbers,” Ernst said.

    In Iowa City, there were more boisterous questions. Ernst ignored or talked over hecklers, and noted it when they seemed to be screaming over the answers.

    “Really, if I said anything — if I said the sky was blue with regard to this health-care bill — you would disagree,” she said.

    When the talk turned away from Cassidy-Graham, however, Ernst found a receptive audience. On Thursday, she had accused Democrats of walking away from the bipartisan talks, emphasizing that she had been part of them. On Friday, with the repeal push fading, she repeatedly said that she wanted the talks to succeed.

    “We have to work together to figure out a solution,” she said. “Right now, Iowa’s health insurance system is imploding. We’ve got families that can’t afford insurance. I can’t give up on this.”

    At a news conference after the town hall, Ernst described her goals for health care.

    “Making sure that Medicaid remains available,” she said. “Making sure that we are protecting, in whatever manner, those who have preexisting conditions.”

    But her pitch sounded more like what Republicans ran on in 2014 — and not what had been packed into the latest GOP plan.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...’re-moving-on/ar-AAsolo4?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=iehp
     
  36. andial

    andial Sir Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Republicans are chumps for putting their name on any health care bill no surprise i see Graham's name on it. If it passes then expect more abuse, higher costs and shittier services and in 4 years the public will be blaming republicans for the mess and Obama will be getting a free pass. Republicans, the chump party.
     
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  37. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    The devolution of repeal-and-replace
    • By EUGENE ROBINSON
    • 6 hrs ago

    Motivated by the cynical aims of fulfilling a bumper-sticker campaign promise and lavishing tax cuts on the wealthy, Republicans are threatening to pass a health care bill they know will make millions of Americans sicker and poorer. Do they think we don't see what they're doing?

    Does Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, think we didn't hear what he said Wednesday? "You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn't be considered," he told reporters. "But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That's pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill."

    There you have it: Who cares what this legislation would do? Vote for it anyway.

    The GOP's efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act have undergone a process of devolution, with each new bill worse than the last. The measure that the Senate plans to vote on next week essentially takes away most of the protections, benefits and funding of the ACA, but leaves in place most of the taxes.

    That's supposed to be good politics? Seriously?

    In his desperate haste, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has decided not to wait for the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to analyze the bill before bringing it to the Senate floor. The CBO estimated that July's Better Care Reconciliation Act, which would have repealed the ACA with a vague promise to replace it later, would have caused 32 million people to lose health insurance coverage. Some outside experts fear the impact of this new bill could be even worse.

    I should acknowledge that the measure -- sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wisc. -- would do one popular thing: Eliminate the requirement that individuals purchase health insurance or pay a fine. But the list of things that people surely won't like is staggering.

    Perhaps chief among them is that the bill eliminates the ACA's guarantee of affordable health insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or cancer. State officials would be able to let insurers charge whatever they wanted to the infirm and the elderly -- and also could let insurers reinstitute lifetime caps on coverage.

    In practice, this means that the old and the sick could be priced out of the insurance market. And it means that those who are insured but have expensive ailments could see their coverage expire after a certain dollar amount had been paid in benefits.

    At first glance, this looks like a gigantic gift to the insurance industry. But the powerful lobbying group America's Health Insurance Plans came out strongly against the bill Wednesday, saying it "would have real consequences on consumers and patients by further destabilizing the individual market." The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association opposes the measure as well, saying it would "increase uncertainty in the marketplace, making coverage more expensive and jeopardizing Americans' choice of health plans."

    The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and AARP adamantly oppose the new Senate bill as well. In fact, it is hard to find anyone who knows anything about health insurance who likes this monstrous creation.

    And I haven't even mentioned the worst thing about the bill: It revokes the ACA's expansion of the Medicaid program, which provided health coverage for millions of the working poor, and turns Medicaid into an underfunded block-grant program to be administered by the states. GOP rhetoric about federalism and local control is smoke designed to obscure the real goal, which is to dramatically slash the federal contribution toward Medicaid.

    In the short term, billions of health care dollars would effectively be transferred from states that participated in Medicaid expansion, such as California, to states that did not, such as Texas. In the long term, however, all states would suffer from inadequate federal funding of Medicaid, which is the primary payer for about two-thirds of nursing-home residents nationwide.

    There is a rational motive for all of this, although it's a nefarious one that the GOP doesn't like to talk about: Slashing Medicaid spending would make room for huge tax cuts that primarily benefit the rich. Yes, senators, we see that, too.

    It is tempting to let the Republican Party drive itself, Thelma-and-Louise style, off this cliff. But the human impact of the latest repeal-and-replace measure would be too tragic. Call your senator. Make a deafening noise. We must do everything we can to kill this bill.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Eugene Robinson can be reached by email at eugenerobinson@washpost.com.

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_f21313ad-0070-599e-8dea-11dec54824a8.html
     
  38. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    'America(n Billionaires) First' or what’s in the bill matters
    • By Mardi Harrison
    • 2 hrs ago

    A conservative family is worried about their 17-year-old party girl daughter. To assuage them, the girl says, “Don’t worry. I promise that I’ll settle down, and I’ll be married by my 25th birthday.” She then forgets all about her promise and just parties for the next seven years, until she realizes that her 25th birthday is looming in a week.

    Knowing that she can never find a good, quality husband in a week, she searches around for any man who will marry her, so she can keep her promise to her parents and not risk being disinherited. She finds one. He has three children by different women, who all have protection from abuse orders against him, and, yes, he’s an alcoholic. But he looks good enough from a distance. Just don’t let the parents get close enough to see his many, many flaws. However, her parents aren’t stupid. They can see what a degenerate this guy is, even from a distance, and they start screaming, “Don’t do it! Don’t ruin all our lives by marrying this guy, just to keep your promise! Who you marry matters!”

    The girl is learning several important lessons: that she should have spent that seven years seriously looking for a good quality husband, and you shouldn’t put an ill-conceived promise ahead of doing what’s right for everyone.

    Absurd? That, in a nutshell, is the Republican’s horrible, terrible, no good, very bad, rushed and tragic excuse for an Obamacare replacement. Sen. Chuck Grassly has lamely admitted that sometimes fulfilling a promise is “pretty much as much of a reason (to do it) as the substance of the bill.” No, Chuck. It's really not. The people who were promised a new plan were also promised a better plan. (It won’t be). They were promised that pre-existing conditions would be protected. (They won’t.) They were promised their premiums would go down. (They won’t).

    In what world do the Republicans think they will not be punished at the polls for ramming through their totally horrid bill, which will throw -- what, 30 million people off their health insurance? You know this is a dog of a bill by the way that McConnell is trying to ram it through the Senate at breakneck speed. Don’t let people have time to read it or debate it! Don’t let the CBO have time to score it. If he thinks people will like it from a distance -- people already hate what they do know about it. If they could really take a good, close up look, even the Republicans’ staunchest supporters would be screaming, “Don’t do it! We know you promised, but don’t ruin all our lives by passing this bill, just to keep your promise! What’s in the bill matters!”

    This is a bill passionately rejected by every medically related organization (the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, etc.); by the AARP, by major insurance companies (including Blue Cross), who tell us that this bill will increase costs substantially and destabilize insurance markets. It's hated by a growing number of governors, including Republicans, by all 50 state Medicaid directors, and most important, by 60-83% of the public the new law will affect (depending on which poll you use).

    With all of this surprising unanimity among such disparate groups, who does want this bill to pass? Donald Trump. We all know he has no taste for policy -- and no patience for reading, studying, or briefings. He simply has no idea what’s in this bill, and he doesn’t care. He wants a “win.” He wants to have a big ceremony so he can brandish his signing pen. He wants to brag that he accomplished the Republicans' number one goal -- to destroy Obamacare.

    And -- most important -- someone must have told him that the Republicans need to repeal Obamacare in order to give obscene huge tax breaks to billionaires. So, never mind the havoc that repeal will wreak on millions and millions of Americans, and the damage it will do to the economy.

    Trump’s reasons are clear. But, what is motivating 47 Republican senators’ (at this writing) to vote for this atrocity? Maybe the sound of mega-donor billionaires’ wallets snapping shut? Major donors are threatening no donations until they get their tax cuts. They don’t care about the consequences -- they paid good money to buy those politicians, and they want what they paid for. So, now it’s “America(n Billionaires) First.”

    The vote is expected this week. Call your senators.

    Enjoying our content? Become a Bucks County Courier Times subscriber to support stories like these. Get full access to our signature journalism for just 44 cents a day.

    Mardi Harrison is an attorney in Doylestown, local activist, passionate defender of equality, animal rescuer, and former political blog writer for the Intelligencer

    http://www.buckscountycouriertimes....cle_a5ac6934-9fd7-11e7-921c-537095b915aa.html
     
  39. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  40. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Trump and Ryan shame 'so-called' Republican senators who derailed Obamacare repeal effort - as leadership discusses whether to even schedule a vote
    • President Trump called the trio of GOP senators who planned to vote no on the Graham-Cassidy health care bill 'so-called Republicans'
    • 'We were very disappointed by a couple of senators, Republican senators, I must say,' Trump told reporters Tuesday at the White House
    • House Speaker Paul Ryan vented similar frustrations, pointing out that the House had done its part by passing an Obamacare repeal bill in May
    • Last night, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said she would not support the Graham-Cassidy bill, basically killing it as two other GOP senators had already defected
    • Now, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has to decide whether to still hold a vote for a piece of legislation that won't likely pass


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4921940/Trump-Ryan-shame-GOP-senators-health-care-failure.html#ixzz4toKx9M2Q
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