Monday, May 08, 2017

Ryan Was On TV Yesterday With His Litany Of Lies-- And It Was A Total Disaster


Bruce Poliquin represents the "other" Maine congressional district, almost the whole state minus Portland, Augusta and the southwest coastal strip. He's got Lewiston-Auburn, Bangor and everything up to the Canadian borders on the west, north and east. Politically, it's a swing district. Obama beat McCain by 10 points and beat Romney by 9 points, Last year, though, although Maine went for Hillary, ME-02 went for Trump 51.4% to 41.1%. The Democrats nominated the same worthless EMILY's List-type mushy stooge who had lost in 2014, Emily Cain, and she lost badly-- 192,878 (54.8%) to 159,081 (45.2%). Poliquin is the last Republican in the House from New England-- and he made the mistake of voting for Ryan's TrumpCare bill last week. If you watched The Week yesterday-- or on the clip above-- you get the idea that the only New England Republican senator left-- Susan Collins-- wishes Poliquin had voted NO. As Pelosi said in closing the debate Thursday, the vote will be tattooed on the foreheads of every Republican who voted for it and "you will glow in the dark with it."

What's important to remember about this plan is that Trump and the House Republicans are willing to take health care away from 24 million Americans, slash Medicaid by $880 billion while drastically lowering health standards, hiking premiums and putting people at the mercy of the predatory, greed-driven health insurance corporations-- and why?-- to give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and to their big donors in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries.

David Gill, the Blue America-endorsed congressional candidate in Illinois' 13th district, an emergency room doctor who has been pushing for Medicare-For-All for two decades. He saw right through Ryan's lies Sunday. "Speaker Ryan," he told us, "spewed a great deal verbiage in attempting to defend his party's passage of TrumpCare on This Week. But no matter how many times the Republicans provide us with their talking points, they can't escape these basic facts: their 'health care' bill will provide nearly $1 trillion in tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans; it will further enrich insurance companies which have fed like gluttons off American consumers for the past several decades; and it will strip care and/or reduce access to care for large numbers of Americans. Ryan states that we ought not have a 'one size fits all' health care system. As an Emergency Department physician who has practiced medicine for nearly 30 years, I reply 'Why not?' Why not stop picking and choosing who gets the care they need? Why not stop having providers cherry-pick their patients, selecting the well-insured over the most impoverished? Such a statement is not intended to cast aspersions on my fellow doctors-- it is not a moral failing, when given the choice between receiving $6 or receiving $100 for doing the exact same work, to select the $100 figure. But when we finally have Single-Payer health care here in America, such choices will be things of the past.  When EVERYONE has a U.S. Health Care card, we'll all be better off, both medically and economically. The presence or absence of pre-existing conditions will at last be a moot point. And we'll save nearly $1 trillion each year, the money the insurance companies currently suck out of the system WHILE PROVIDING NO HEALTH CARE. I look forward to leading the charge to Single-Payer when I get to Congress in January, 2019."

Watch Paul Ryan look into the camera and repeat all the focus-group-tested lies the Republicans are all running around repeating over and over again. The premise-- "Obamacare is collapsing"-- is false, although Trump and the GOP are doing their best to sabotage it, bringing misery to millions for their own political ends. And then his claims about what his TrumpCare bills is overwhelmingly false. Deceitfully, he claimed that "Under this bill, no matter what, you cannot be denied coverage for preexisting conditions." That sounds good, right? Not really. Ryan;s talking about access, not about affordability. And as Susna Collins explained, "If the coverage is unaffordable, that doesn't do any good."

Ryan insists "we're proud of this." But Joy Reid contacted the offices of all 217 Republicans who voted for it to invited one to come on her MSNBC show this weekend and not a single one would come on and share their "pride." Justin Amash (R-MI) voted for the bill-- reluctantly. He explained his "pride" on his Facebook page.
This is not the bill we promised the American people. For the past seven years, Republicans have run for Congress on a commitment to repeal Obamacare. But it is increasingly clear that a bill to repeal Obamacare will not come to the floor in this Congress or in the foreseeable future.

When Republican leaders first unveiled the American Health Care Act, a Democratic friend and colleague joked to me that the bill wasn’t a new health care proposal; it was plagiarism. He was right.

The AHCA repeals fewer than 10 percent of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act. It is an amendment to the ACA that deliberately maintains Obamacare’s framework. It reformulates but keeps tax credits to subsidize premiums. Instead of an individual mandate to purchase insurance, it mandates a premium surcharge of 30 percent for one year following a lapse of coverage. And the bill continues to preserve coverage for dependents up to age 26 and people with pre-existing conditions.

I want to emphasize that last point. The bill does not change the ACA’s federal requirements on guaranteed issue (prohibition on policy denial), essential health benefits (minimum coverage), or community rating (prohibition on pricing based on health status). In short, Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions provisions are retained.

The latest version of the AHCA does allow any state to seek a waiver from certain insurance mandates, but such waivers are limited in scope. Guaranteed issue cannot be waived. Nobody can be treated differently based on gender. And any person who has continuous coverage-- no lapse for more than 62 days-- cannot be charged more regardless of health status.

Consider what this means: Even in a state that waives as much as possible, a person with a pre-existing condition cannot be prevented from purchasing insurance at the same rate as a healthy person. The only requirement is that the person with the pre-existing condition get coverage-- any insurer, any plan-- within 62 days of losing any prior coverage.

If a person chooses not to get coverage within 62 days, then that person can be charged more (or less) based on health status for up to one year, but only (1) in lieu of the 30 percent penalty (see above), (2) if the person lives in a state that has established a program to assist individuals with pre-existing conditions, and (3) if that state has sought and obtained the relevant waiver. Here in Michigan, our Republican governor has already stated he won’t seek such a waiver, according to reports.
In an interview with IFLScience, Dr. Jason Westin, an award-winning cancer research expert and a candidate for Congress in a swingy Houston-based seat held by TrumpCare supporter John Culberson, he got right to the heart of what Ryan's plan really is: "The TrumpCare bill is not designed to make Americans healthier. It is designed to cuts costs to give a massive tax cut for the richest Americans. As a doctor, I took an oath to first do no harm. This bill will do a lot of harm to a lot of people, and will make America sicker. I've seen first-hand the pain that is inflicted on good people with insurance problems. This bill will multiply those problems, not make them better. My patients all have pre-existing conditions, and they and millions more are very worried about what happens next to their healthcare."

The IFLScience piece goes on to point out that "before the ACA became law, insurance companies could charge people a lot more for their insurance, or deny it to them outright, if they had a long-running medical issue of some kind. Now, it’s illegal to do so, but the AHCA wants to insidiously reverse that. Here’s a selection of just a few pre-existing conditions, at least one of which almost a third of adults under the age of 65 have:
Breast Cancer
Coronary Heart Disease
A form of paralysis
A transplanted organ
Psychological disorders
Sexual assault
A cesarean section
Victim of domestic violence
Being pregnant
"As has been rightly pointed out by many," they add, "many of these pre-existing conditions are those experienced by women, so the bill is inherently and ludicrously misogynistic. It’s extremely difficult to argue against the fact that this bill is a vicious assault on the less well-off, the elderly, and women. The AHCA, just as an example, essentially states that, if you report being sexually assaulted, or you are pregnant, you will be asked to pay more for your health insurance if you are allowed to keep it--a lot more, in fact. 'The present proposal would still increase costs, reduce coverage, and cut benefits, putting health, independence, and quality of life at risk for all of us as we age,' Nancy Lundebjerg, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Geriatric Society, said in a statement. One recent costing suggests that a 40-year-old with an average type of health insurance will end up having to pay $4,000 more per year if they have asthma, $5,500 extra for diabetes, $17,000 if they are pregnant, and up to $143,000 if they have an advanced form of cancer."

As our old pal Marianne Williamson explained in her essay for HuffPo over the weekend-- without even mentioning Paul Ryan (or Trump)-- "Political propaganda seeks to affect the way people perceive the world in order to affect the way they behave. Political propaganda is the biggest tool in the extremist’s arsenal. It’s at an all-time high today in terms of sophistication and effectiveness, as Madison Avenue public relations acumen has been insidiously and nefariously applied to the political sphere. Our problem is not just that some politicians flat out lie; our bigger problem is the power of their propaganda to dismantle the ability within many people’s minds to even realize they’re being lied to. People are vulnerable to extremism not because they like extremism, but because in too many cases today extremism is hugely successful at posing as something else... Whether or not a Big Lie has been proven to be false seems to have minimal bearing on whether or not it is believed. It is the conviction and consistency with which the Big Lie is stated, not the proven accuracy or inaccuracy of its claim, that determines its effect on voters’ minds and thus the way that they vote."

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At 12:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if there was a Single Payer bill about to pass, the media would be flooded with propaganda distorting commercials portraying it as impending doom and disaster. But criticisms of a trillion dollar giveaway to the wealthy is confined toa segment of Sunday talk shows and a blog here and there. Free speech is a foundation, but amplified speech is a privilege afforded only to the wealthy. If someone put a gun to every US voters head and asked them to choose health or wealth would we become a more fit society?

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Thomas Ten Bears said...

What's important to remember about this plan is that Oregon Congressional District Two "Representative" Greg Walden (R - Racist), Oregon's own Donald T Rump, a trust-funder punk who's never done a day's work in its life and doesn't even live in Oregon, chaired the committee that wrote the bill to take health care away from 24 million Americans, slash Medicaid by $880 billion while drastically lowering health standards, hiking premiums and putting people at the mercy of the predatory, greed-driven health insurance corporations, to deny health care to more than half of his constituents, most of whom having voted for him repeatedly down through the years, for one purpose and one purpose only: to give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and to their big donors in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. The bill Greg Walden and the Congressional Retards (look it up) voted unanimously for Thursday afternoon as they were slipping out the back door to go on vacation, again.

Where's Walden? On vacation, again. Nowhere to be found.

I "borrowed" a paragraph


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