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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Trump’s Address to Congress: Style And Smiles, But No Substance

I admit to missing part of Trump’s address to Congress Tuesday night. However, what I did see left me totally unimpressed, especially watching Pence and Ryan pop up and applaud so often they acted like trained monkeys. (That may be petty, but it was really overdone!)

In an effort to avoid any further sniping, let’s get to the crux of what Trump was saying and what it actually meant. Seriously, there weren’t a lot of surprises aside from his attempt to project a more positive message. Unfortunately, style is not nearly as important as substance. And as far as substance is concerned, he ducked, bobbed and weaved or just outright ignored it. Probably for good reason, because the substance is not going to be particularly palatable for most Americans.

It’s important to understand the realities that affect how things work in our government, at all levels, especially these days. The 1% who have the most wealth (and consequently the most power) pour millions of dollars directly and through Political Action Committees into electing mostly conservative Republicans representatives, senators and presidents. They don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts. They have an agenda that works for them and only them. It’s easy for them to extoll free enterprise and rolling back government regulations, and talk about affordable healthcare in terms of competition and ending entitlements, because it puts more money in their pockets and takes it out of ours.

According to an article in The Nation, The 400 richest Americans now have more wealth than the bottom 61 percent of the population, in a [December 2015] report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) …

“The concentration of wealth at the top isn’t the result of some sort of organic process. The top one-10th of 1 percent of American households controlled about 7 percent of the nation’s wealth in the mid-1970s. By 2000, their share had grown to about 15 percent, and today it’s well over 20 percent. Those at the very top didn’t become three times as smart or lucky or good-looking in the intervening years. They’ve benefited from changes in things like trade policy, the tax code, and collective-bargaining rules—all policy changes they’ve used their wealth to champion.”

Even worse, Trump has served to distract us from the economic issues by attacking immigrants, rescinding Federal support of equality for transgender students in schools, and fostering a mean-spirited rise in racial and ethnic  prejudice as part of a nationalistic policy.

So the challenge for Democrats is to not become just the party of “NO” like the Republicans during President’s Obama’s administration. It is time, however, for the Democratic party to come up with realistic options that do not compromise our values while addressing the needs and concerns of all Americans.

First and foremost, we need to address the wealth and income inequality situation by making sure that those who make the most pay their FAIR share to support the country that allowed them to make so much money. Much has been made about tax cuts for the wealthy spurring investments in companies which in turn produces more higher paying jobs as the money trickles down. Sorry, but that has not worked worth a damn so far. It’s better to put that money in consumers’ hands first, because demand stimulates production rather than the other way around.

Supporting unions, raising the minimum wage, and some form of universal, affordable healthcare, along with lower taxes, factor into increasing disposable income among the middle and lower classes. Plus, making improvements in the quality of public education and lowering the cost of post-high school college and vocational education are critical elements in creating the skilled workforce of the future. And, we must assure equality for all in employment, housing and public accommodation regardless of religion, race, sex/gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s simple … we must be a nation of equals and respect those who not exactly like us. Our differences are what make us a stronger nation.

In the same vein, we need to change how we treat the 1% with stricter campaign finance laws, no income cutoffs for social security and medicare taxes, and fewer overall tax breaks. Now, I do suggest, for those who invest in start-up companies and select other business opportunities, that we offer them targeted tax breaks that reward them for contributing to specific growth. We should also maintain strict regulation of the financial industry, because 2008 taught us that they cannot be trusted to act wisely without oversight.

Finally, as far as environmental and safety regulations are concerned, we should establish a bipartisan commission of experts in various fields to examine regulations with an eye to making them more efficient in achieving their purpose in protecting people and the environment. that should also help make them most cost-effective, although that is not the primary focus.

This is hardly a comprehensive list of things we need to do, but it should be a good start for conversation. Now is the time to get engaged and participate in shaping our future by determining party platforms and encouraging people to run for office who support those platforms.

The revolution rests with each of us. Get involved!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the old ways and help new ideas grow!

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