From Bad to Worse: Trumpcare 2.0 is a Prescription for Disaster

When it comes to attempts to deprive more people of access to affordable heath care, Trump and the Republicans are like a stubborn bacterial infection that just won’t go away. Now they’re at again with what everyone is calling Trumpcare 2.0.  And, it promises to be (shudder) even worse than the first. So get busy now signing petitions, calling your representatives and senators. Tell them Trumpcare 2.0 needs to be DOA (Dead On Arrival)!

What makes it so bad? In an effort to cater to the House Freedom Caucus, tea party fascists who would make Simon Legree look like a saint, Trump and the GOP are trying to incorporate more conservative, i.e. draconian, policies in this version of their health care plan. According to msn.com, the key part of this new plan would “allow states to choose whether to keep the ACA’s insurance protection for people with preexisting medical problems and its guarantee of specific health benefits.”

 

In the same msn.com story, it was noted that “public sentiment is particularlylopsided in favor of an aspect of the current health-care law that blocks insurers from charging more or denying coverage to customers with medical conditions. Roughly 8 in 10 Democrats, 7 in 10 independents and even a slight majority of Republicans say that should continue to be a national mandate, rather than an option for states to retain or drop.”

For Republicans, it’s an easy way to pass the buck and the blame down to the states, although they’re getting some resistance from even red state governors. And considering the numbers above, it’s not hard to see why.

 

But here’s an even bigger warning flag: Republicans in Congress want to exempt themselves from the new act’s provisions! According to a Vox.com article on msn.com, “House Republicans appear to have included a provision that exempts Members of Congress and their staff from their latest health care plan.”

 

“Republican legislators liked this policy well enough to offer it in a new amendment. They do not, however, seem to like it enough to have it apply to themselves and their staff. A spokesperson for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.) who authored this amendment confirmed this was the case: members of Congress and their staff would get the guarantee of keeping this Obamacare regulations.”

Just to emphasize, the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare) includes a provision which mandates that all members of Congress and their staffs must obtain their health coverage in the individual market the same as ACA enrollees. The idea behind it made a lot of sense — if it was good enough for the American people, it was good enough for their representatives.

So that should give you some insight into just how bad the proposed Trumpcare 2.0 will be, if Republicans want to exempt themselves from it. But we shouldn’t be shocked, right? Raise your hand if you’re were surprised by this revelation … hmmm … that’s what I thought! You had to see that coming.

Now, I can speak for myself in saying that if it wasn’t for the Affordable Care Act, I could not afford health insurance. And even then, the deductibles and co-pays have me postponing or skipping some things, even when my doctor has recommended them. That’s one of the reasons I’m in favor of a single-payer system such as medicare for all.

Now, just to cover a few particularly ire-inducing rationales behind the conservatives’ approach to gutting the ACA. First, they want to give tax breaks to the wealthy, which must be offset by cuts or elimination of subsidies for those who can’t otherwise afford insurance. Second, they want to give insurance companies the opportunity to charge older Americans almost twice what they’re allowed to charge under the ACA. And, third, they claim that his will encourage more efficient use of services and thus drive down the cost of health care. THESE RATIONALES ARE ALL BULLSH-T!!!!!

Forgive my outburst, but I have a very low tolerance for conservative crap and what they’re peddling now stinks worse than a manure pit in the middle of a July heat wave! And it just goes to show, that Trump and the GOP are looking after their fat cat supporters and not the voters. Besides, since they’re exempting themselves, why should they care how bad Trumpcare 2.0 is?

Health care is not a commodity that you really have a choice in. It’s not like putting off getting a broken leg fixed until there’s a special on orthopedic services or waiting to get a heart valve replacement until you have discount coupons. Plus, if people can’t get coverage or afford services, they’ll wait until they’re so sick that an ambulance winds up bringing them to an ER where it costs a lot more money to care for them. And we will end up footing the bill through higher taxes, higher costs for care ourselves and the spread of diseases that could have been prevented if treated early.

NOTE TO CONSERVATIVES: You will still end up paying for health care one way or the other. You can’t run from it and you can’t hide! You can fix the ACA while we work toward medicare for all or similar single-payer system or you can pay when what you’re doing now bites you in the wallet and the ballot box later.

Contact your representatives in both houses of Congress now and tell them to pull the plug on Trumpcare 2.0 before it wrecks the health of all Americans!

KEEP FIGHTING FOR EQUALITY, JUSTICE AND COMPASSION!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

 

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A Case of Malpractice: Republican American Health Care Act Will Cause Needless Pain And Suffering

After the Republicans announced their proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, it took me awhile to calm down, from a state of absolute burning rage at the arrogance of the GOP approach to a cold, controlled fury at their indifference toward the majority of Americans. And I am not alone in my opinion.

Not Good For Young or Old: AARP Opposes Republican Plan

Yesterday, according to an article on CNN.com, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) came out against the Republican American Health Care Act in a letter that said, “This bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64 and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long-term services and supports and other benefits.” (Read the full article here.)

The AARP stressed that the tax breaks for higher income workers would lead to the insolvency of Medicare, and that “the changes in age rating as well as reductions to subsidies would ‘dramatically increase health care costs for 50-64 year olds’ who purchase insurance through government exchanges.” (Read the full article here.)

AMA Diagnosis: American Health Care Act Will Make Things Worse For Millions

Today, The Hill.com reports that the American Medical Association (AMA) has joined with the American Hospital Association in opposing the Republican American Health Care Act. Dr. Andrew Gurman, president of the AMA, was quoted as saying,  “As drafted, the AHCA would result in millions of Americans losing coverage and benefits. (Read full story here.)

“By replacing income-based premium subsidies with age-based tax credits, the AHCA will also make coverage more expensive — if not out of reach — for poor and sick Americans. For these reasons, the AMA cannot support the AHCA as it is currently written.” (Read full story here.)

In addition, the AMA is opposed to defunding Planned Parenthood.

CDC Cuts: A Danger Of Epidemic Proportions

One of the potentially disastrous provisions of the proposed Republican American Health Care Act that has not gotten nearly enough attention is the elimination of the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which is used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) according to a report on MSN.com.

Set up under the original Affordable Care Act, the fund’s goal was to “lower health costs by preventing diseases before they happen. The CDC uses it to help states deliver vaccines, watch for infectious diseases, keep an eye out for lead in water, promote breastfeeding in hospitals, prevent suicide and watch out for hospital-associated infections. It totals $931 million for 2017.”  (Read full story here.)

This is in addition to further budget cuts expected in Trump’s 2018 budget proposal and that worries health officials at all levels because the results could be fatal. That’s because the funds are used to help prevent major killers like cancer and diabetes as well as prepare for bioterrorism and deadly infectious diseases like Ebola. Without them, we really could be facing multiple crises of epidemic proportions. (Read full story here.)

Blood Pressure Alert: Tax Breaks That Will Make You Sick

True to their irresponsible passion for giving tax cuts to the wealthy, Republicans have put health coverage for almost everyone at risk in order to give tax cuts to those who don’t need them. In addition to eliminating taxes on higher income Americans that helped pay for the Affordable Care Act and stressing Heath Savings Accounts (which you have to have enough money to pay into in the first place), The Republican plan will give a $400 million tax break for insurance executives.

According to a report on MSN.com, “The proposed tax break, buried in cryptic language in the Republican plan, would allow health insurers to more fully deduct the value of their executives’ compensation on their taxes. That compensation can be as high as tens of millions of dollars, in the case of CEOs of insurers. (Read full story here.)

“Those deductions currently are sharply limited by the Affordable Care Act, which caps at a maximum of $500,000 the amount of an individual executive’s compensation that an insurer could deduct as a business expense. The cap applies to any executive, not just to CEOs.” (Read full story here.)

By the expanding this cap, Republicans again look after the wealthy and leave the rest of us to suffer.

A Radical Treatment: Time To Rethink The Entire Approach

One of the big issues that needs to be addressed before we can seriously and effectively deal with health care in America is how do we approach it — is it a right or a choice? In all honesty, I find it very difficult to look at as a choice, as if we should just choose between seeing a doctor or buying food, having needed surgery or paying rent, or paying for health insurance or paying for electricity. That would be absurd.

In a country as rich as America, we need to stop thinking about health care as a nicety and treat it as a right we all deserve! We need to forget treating it as a free enterprise competition, because it’s not something we can defer if the price isn’t right or we don’t time to shop around for the lowest ER costs when a loved has had a heart attack or been injured in a car wreck.

There’s also the issue of people who choose not to buy insurance or can’t afford. If and when they get sick, there’s a good chance they’ll get treated in clinic or hospital, but can’t afford to pay the bill. Guess who pays, then? We all do through higher insurance costs, higher hospital fees, higher taxes, etc. So, everyone needs to covered, like it or not!

Plus, what happens when somebody gets infected with a potentially deadly and contagious disease. If they avoid treatment because they can’t afford it, the disease could spread a lot faster and further with catastrophic results!!!  Everyone needs immediate access to health care regardless of income, age, gender, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity (unless you want another AIDS epidemic)!

Now, while I’m at it, I will be the first to admit that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is far from perfect. It’s still expensive and the cutoffs for Advanced Premium Tax Credits need to be higher because of the high cost of insurance. (Republicans didn’t help by eliminating payments to insurers that were supposed to hold down premiums.) Co-pays and deductibles are also excessively high. (I have ACA coverage so I know this for a fact.)

WE NEED UNIVERSAL, SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE!!!!!!

There really is no alternative if we want to do right by everyone. And, seriously, I’m not alone. More and more people just like you and me are shifting their views  in favor of Universal Health Care. According to Pew Research (pew research.org), “60% of Americans say the government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans, compared with 38% who say this should not be the government’s responsibility. The share saying it is the government’s responsibility has increased from 51% last year and now stands at its highest point in nearly a decade.” (Read for report here.

That constitutes a majority in my book! And it covers a diverse spectrum of ages, incomes, political affiliations, etc. And, in an open letter to Congressional leaders, the AMA said, “The AMA has long advocated for health insurance coverage for all Americans, as well as pluralism, freedom of choice, freedom of practice, and universal access for patients.” (Read full letter here.)

Naturally, there are a lot of details to be worked out, but it can be done. You can’t tell me that a country that leads the world in so many accomplishments can’t figure out how to set up a workable single-payer Universal Health Care system that works for everyone!

Call and write your representatives at every level to demand that they push for single-payer Universal Health Care! It’s not about politics or wealth or business! It’s about people … all people!

Let’s do this today!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the divisions and help us grow healthier together!

The Divine Miss Bri

 

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