Friday, June 30, 2017

The Harder The GOP Pushes For TrumpCare, The Closer We Get To Medicare-For-All


So now Trump is agreeing with far right extremists, like Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ben Sasse (R-NE), that the way forward is to just repeal the Affordable Care Act with no replacement, which the CBO says will mean 32 million Americans will lose their healthcare immediately. These are really horrible, horrible people. A wealth of polls this week all showed the same thing: no one likes the Senate's TrumpCare bill. The PBS/Marist poll shows approval for McConnell's tax-cut bill disguised as healthcare at 18%. Quinnipiac's poll shows a 16% level of support. But what about that USA Today/Suffolk poll? 12% approval for TrumpCare. 12%.

And the American Medical Association hired 2 Republican polling firms to measure public opinion on the bill in 5 key states with fence-sitting Republican senators-- Alaska (18% support), Colorado (17% support), Nevada (18% support), Ohio (15% support) and West Virginia (19% support).

There aren't many senators who want vote for it-- less than half a dozen are committed-- and more than that are opposed. McConnell and Ryan are getting nervous now because what's starting to catch on is scrapping the Frankenstein's monster of a bill and going back to the table-- with the Democrats-- and hammering out a bipartisan bill that will be oriented towards fixing some flaws in Obamacare. Conservatives worry that this is the only way to stop the rapidly building momentum for single-payer or Medicare-for-All, an idea whose time finally seems to have come.

Ryan and McConnell and their circle haven't given up though-- they're offering bribes and sweeteners to lure more senators to vote for TrumpCare, the latest being a $45 billion fund to fight the primarily red state opioid crisis. This is the "big wonderful surprise in the healthcare" the moron Trumpanzee was babbling about earlier in the week.

Did you watch the Robbert Reich video up top? If not, now's the time. Reich's Medicare-For-All column Tuesday explains McConnell's immediate problem with the ridiculously dead-on-arrival insupportable TrumpCare bill, but skips to the next step: when will Congress get serious about single payer? "Over the next weeks or months," he insists, "Democrats must continue to defend the Affordable Care Act. It’s not perfect, but it’s a major step in the right direction. Over 20 million Americans have gained coverage because of it. But..."
Democrats also need to go further and offer Americans a positive vision of where the nation should be headed over the long term. That’s toward Medicare for all.

Some background: American spending on healthcare per person is more than twice the average in the world’s thirty-five advanced economies. Yet Americans are sicker, our lives are shorter, and we have more chronic illnesses than in any other advanced nation.

That’s because medical care is so expensive for the typical American that many put off seeing a doctor until their health has seriously deteriorated.

Why is healthcare so much cheaper in other nations? Partly because their governments negotiate lower rates with health providers. In France, the average cost of a magnetic resonance imagining exam is $363. In the United States, it’s $1,121. There, an appendectomy costs $4,463. Here, $13,851.

They can get lower rates because they cover everyone-- which gives them lots of bargaining power.

Other nations also don’t have to pay the costs of private insurers shelling out billions of dollars a year on advertising and marketing-- much of it intended to attract healthier and younger people and avoid the sicker and older.

Nor do other nations have to pay boatloads of money to the shareholders and executives of big for-profit insurance companies.

Finally, they don’t have to bear the high administrative costs of private insurers-- requiring endless paperwork to keep track of every procedure by every provider.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare’s administrative costs are only about 2 percent of its operating expenses. That’s less than one-sixth the administrative costs of America’s private insurers.

To make matters even worse for Americans, the nation’s private health insurers are merging like mad in order to suck in even more money from consumers and taxpayers by reducing competition.

At the same time, their focus on attracting healthy people and avoiding sick people is creating a vicious cycle. Insurers that take in sicker and costlier patients lose money, which forces them to raise premiums, co-payments, and deductibles. This, in turn, makes it harder for people most in need of health insurance to afford it.

This phenomenon has even plagued health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.

Medicare for all would avoid all these problems, and get lower prices and better care.

It would be financed the same way Medicare and Social Security are financed, through the payroll tax. Wealthy Americans would pay a higher payroll tax rate and contribute more than lower-income people. But everyone would win because total healthcare costs would be far lower, and outcomes far better.]

If Republicans succeed in gutting the Affordable Care Act or subverting it, the American public will be presented with a particularly stark choice: Expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.

This political reality is already playing out in Congress, as many Democrats move toward Medicare for All. Most House Democrats are co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill there. Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing to introduce it in the Senate. New York and California are moving toward statewide versions.

A Gallup poll conducted in May found that a majority of Americans would support such a system. Another poll by the Pew Research Center shows that such support is growing, with 60 percent of Americans now saying government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans-- up from 51 percent last year.

Democrats would be wise to seize the moment. They shouldn’t merely defend the Affordable Care Act. They should also go on the offensive-- with Medicare for all.

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At 6:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally disagree.

The goal of drumpfdeath is really twofold, and in this order:
1) give the rich huge tax breaks and use health care as the vehicle.
2) repeal everything obamanation "did" to get the stench of black off of our white government.

MFA is not on the horizon. Never was. Probably never will be.
1) there exists no political party that will ever introduce, craft nor pass it.
2) it will require taxes. there exists no political party that will ever try to pass tax increases like that.
3) it requires recognition that health is a human right. there exists no political movement that recognizes ANY human right (cuz you'd have to extend that to the nonwhites, nonchristians, LGBTQs and women, who are all hated by large swaths of society)
4) it would put unknown numbers of insurance companies and workers out of jobs. As we've seen, when an obsolete or archaic or counterproductive voting demographic is threatened with obsolescence, our politics will artificially bolster that instead of allowing evolution to occur (coal).
5) health insurance and phrma give a billion per cycle to the current political clusterfuck so that they are not impeded from ass-raping the populace for profit and purveying sickness, misery and death. there exists no political party that does not eagerly partake.

At 6:46 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Anonymous above, you do not grasp the concept of change. It does happen and it can happen quickly. Just look at how far women, people of color and gays have come, and marijuana. Common sense and the bulk of the nation's humanity eventually win. As fast as Trump is destroying the USA, that is how fast things can change in other ways.

Bernie brought many things to the fore. He kept pushing and pushing and pushing for Medicare For All and made people think about it. And they liked it! Health insurance is an extremely personal issue that all can relate to and really care about. The Dems need to get behind it full force. Nancy Pelosi will eventual cave and support it - she will be forced into it.

Take heart. NEVER GIVE UP.

At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to be an optimist about this, but... not in my lifetime.

The Ignorance Belt - corresponds to the Bible Belt with the addition of much of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains - will recoil in horror when the demagogues start shouting "SOCIALISM!"

The great mass of people that Mencken referred to as Homo boobiens would rather die, sick and destitute, rather than give up their G-d given right to be screwed over. They'll resist any additional taxes to pay for other people's health care, and the bottomless well of corporate money will make sure the message always gets through.

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

Hone, whatever you're drinking... stop. It's giving you hallucinations.

Yes, change can happen quickly. But only in one direction. Remember... entropy!

MFA was floated by Kerry. But when obamanation was elected and given a mandate to fix the health insurance clusterfuck? The corporations started writing checks and obamanation made MFA almost impossible by making corporations MORE powerful over life and death.

Pelosi will never "cave and support it" as long as there are billions of corporate dollars telling her to never do so. Get real. puhleeeeze.

Read 7:10. There is no political party nor any quorum among the sub-sentient masses to pay taxes for anything at all, much less someone ELSE'S cancer treatment. And the corporations can afford 24X7 propaganda via their media to keep the imbeciles drooling.

pot is a different critter. For the most part, corporations have been indifferent to SOCIAL progress (marriage equality being the best example, but pot is another) since those changes are of no real consequence to profit. But pot has the potential to be very lucrative, but also to be very anti-lucrative.

Should pot companies prove to be very profitable, the tobacco companies will be buying them very soon. However, legal pot does have an ironic suppressive effect on other corporate profits -- prisons. Absent a lot of low-level offenders serving long sentences, corporate prisons stand to lose a lot of business.

So that hasn't really worked itself out yet. Which way it will go may simply be up to the religious fervor of whomever is in charge at the fed level... and sessions is a pious (deluded) anti-pot guy looking for an excuse to drop the guillotine on legalized states.


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