Monday, June 25, 2018

Will Ruining The American Health Care System Weaken The GOP In November?


Congressional Republicans plan to reduce the biggest budget deficit in history-- that they created by giving multimillionaires and billionaires massive tax cuts-- by further eviscerating the social safety net, particularly Medicare and Medicaid. But not 'tl after the midterms. Even the GOP-mandated spikes in Obamacare are a political problem for them-- although, they too are timed top come after the midterms, even if voters will know about the huge price increases right before the election. Politico: "Unlike recent campaign cycles, when Republicans capitalized on Obamacare sticker shock, they’re now likely to be the ones feeling the wrath of voters."

Paul Demko surmised that because Republicans are now in total control of the federal government they will therefore be on the hook for the health care system’s chronic shortcomings. "Polling data has consistently suggested that more voters will blame Republicans for future problems with Obamacare. In addition, the GOP’s repeated failures to repeal Obamacare after eight years of campaign promises will make it difficult to galvanize the base on health care." Dems have been hammering Señor Trumpanzee and his congressional enablers "for 'sabotaging' the health care markets and driving up premiums. Protect Our Care has been running digital ads in 13 states featuring news coverage of big rate hikes and concluding with a sound bite from Trump: 'Let Obamacare implode.' They hope that message will stick with voters come November."

One of the most conservative Democrats in the House, Raul Ruiz from Palm Springs, a doctor who sits on a key committee that oversees health care, explained that "The political implications go only as far as people understand that they are a direct consequence of the administration’s actions. If they realize that, then they will be very, very upset with them."
In particular, Democrats blame Republicans for eliminating the mandate penalty for failing to obtain health insurance, which was designed to be a cudgel to compel people who might otherwise go uninsured to buy coverage. They also point to the Trump administration’s efforts to make it easier to buy skinnier, cheaper plans that don’t meet the Affordable Care Act’s coverage requirements and patient protections as an exacerbating factor.

“Once they fractured the mandate, that changed the insurance pool,” said Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA.), the ranking member on the Ways and Means Committee. “Insurance is based upon shared risk, meaning fewer people contributing, the premiums escalate.”

...Insurance experts generally agree that the rate hikes will be more severe because of actions taken by the Republican-led Congress and the Trump administration.

“If it hadn’t been for the individual mandate being repealed, and the threat of short-term and other loosely regulated plans proliferating, I think we would have seen single digit premiums increases,” said Cynthia Cox, an insurance expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation. “Insurers are performing much better on the exchange markets than they had in the early years.”

...[D]ouble-digit premium increases are still likely in many states, as evidenced by the rate filings that have been trickling out in recent weeks. Premiums for the most popular Obamacare plans are going up by 15 percent on average-- about $100 per month-- according to an analysis of rate filings in 10 states by Avalere Health. While rates won’t be finalized until the fall, it’s already clear that there will be wide discrepancies across the country that could affect the political salience of the issue.

Insurers in Maryland want to raise rates on the most popular plans by an eye-popping 53 percent, while New York insurers are seeking average premium increases of 24 percent. By contrast, insurers in Pennsylvania only want to raise premiums by 5 percent on average. All four insurers selling Obamacare plans in Minnesota want to decrease premiums.

One big factor affecting the severity of the rate hikes is how insurers account for the removal of the individual mandate. The Congressional Budget Office has projected it will increase premiums by 10 percent, mainly because fewer healthy people will opt to enroll, but Republicans have scoffed at that as an unrealistic assessment of the mandate’s significance.

...Democrats note that Republicans are hoping to at least partially insulate themselves from health care attacks by passing a barrage of bills designed to address the opioid crisis. But Ruiz points out that many individuals who enter rehab to treat opioid addiction are enrolled in Medicaid, which Republicans sought to dramatically scale back as part of their Obamacare repeal efforts.

“You realize that this is a small step forward, but ten steps back if they get their way,” Ruiz said.
If you are wondering whether or not Democrats are taking the offensive against Trump and his Republican enablers on this, please read what these 3 progressive candidates have to say about it. You probably remember Orlando Congressman Alan Grayson for this fiery and compelling speech on the floor of the House almost a decade ago:

Today, Grayson, who is running for his old congressional seat again-- against some do-nothing backbencher-- told me that today the Republican health care plan, in the age of Trump, "isn’t very complicated: the GOP tried again and again to take health coverage away from 20 million people, and they have repeatedly threatened the anti-discrimination provisions and the subsidies that make it affordable for tens of millions of others. However, Republicans are so experienced at playing the blame game that many voters will continue to blame the Democrats for whatever the GOP does to them. As the Republican Party demonstrates every day, 'you can fool some of the people some of the time...'"

Goal ThermometerKara Eastman, who won her primary against a DCCC Blue Dog, is now facing off against an anti-healthcare Republican, Don Bacon, who has the highest Trump affinity score in Congress-- 98.8%. But the DCCC adamantly refuses to help her, even though they have called her Omaha district one of the most flippable in the country! That isn't stopping Kara from running of the most powerful grassroots campaigns anywhere. Yesterday, Kara told us that "Nebraska is one of 17 states that left millions of dollars on the table by not expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Thus about 90,000 Nebraskans are left without health care. This has tremendous economic consequences for our state, not to mention, it is immoral. We know that by expanding access to health care, we will see a direct increase in state-level gross domestic product. This would also mean Nebraska could stop cutting funding for things like education (another topic for another day). Health care in the United States should be a right, not a privilege reserved for the wealthy or for those fortunate enough to have good benefits through their employer. In the 65,000 doors we have knocked during my campaign, health care is the number one issue voters talk about. While some disagree on how we get everyone insured, we all agree that health care is a priority and we need to fix our broken system now."

James Thompson's Republican opponent never deviates from the GOP party line-- including when it comes to taking healthcare away from Kansans. Today, James told us that "The GOP and the current administration will not rest until they destroy the social safety nets that are the only things standing between us and third world status. Their plans to gut social security, Medicare, the Veteran’s Administration, Medicaid and the ACA are attacks on the most vulnerable among us. Healthcare is a human right inherent in all of us. Here in Kansas the failure to expand Medicaid has resulted in the closing of at least one hospital in Independence, Kansas. At any given time, one third of all rural hospitals are in danger of closing because of the failure to implement substantive health care reform and expand Medicaid. The current path of the GOP in attacking healthcare will result in the loss of healthcare for 13 million Americans which will in turn cause the deaths of thousands of American citizens who will be unable to get the healthcare they need. In addition, the profits-- first agenda of the GOP-- driven by legalized bribery through campaign donations has resulted in the skyrocketing pharmaceutical costs that will also cost many their lives. Kansans in my district, including Republicans, are tired of being forgotten by elected officials and seeing their loved ones die because they could not afford healthcare. The tide is shifting towards Medicare for All because they realize the profit driven health insurance industry is unsustainable. In November, I will win the election for 4th District Congressman because the people of my district know that I will listen to them and will do my very best to make sure they get the access to healthcare that every human being deserves."

Ellen Lipton is running for an open Democratic seat in the suburbs north of Detroit. In the state legislature she's proven herself to be a solid progressive leader. Yesterday she told us that "Trump continues to gut the Affordable Care Act. He bragged about doing so just yesterday in Nevada. When I knock doors and go to community events, everyone I meet is concerned about health care as their top priority. I have MS. The fact that I have health insurance is why I am able to afford the medications that allow me to live a healthy and productive life. When Trump threatens to allow health insurers to stop selling to people based on pre-existing conditions, it's personal. In Congress, I will fight for universal health care for everyone in our country."

And for those who follow the vicissitudes of weekly or monthly polling, the first one since Trump started locking up children of immigrants in for-profit-prisons was released by Gallup today, notice the significant spike in disapprovals and the equally significant spike downwards in approvals, We're back to 55% of Americans telling pollsters they think he's doing a bad job.

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At 1:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It will take longer than November for the majority of American voters to realize what Trump is doing to medical care even though it's the same thing he's doing to everything else which benefits normal human beings. He will get away with it.

At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt americans have the horsepower to ever figure out that what EVERY admin since Reagan has done to them.

I didn't need to read anything but the title. The answer is no, it will not weaken the Nazi party in November or ever. Since 1980, no less than 80% of all economic expansion has gone only to the top 1%. And 80% of THAT has gone to the top .01%. Since '80, the tax policy has created a couple thousand billionaires and a handful of folks worth more than $60 billion. Sane tax policy should never allow such concentration of capital in ANY situation.

But the clincher is that I just read a poll that shows that a majority of americans (not just the Nazis) approve of trump's economic policies.

When an electorate is this brain damaged, there really is nothing that good candidates can do with the minority of the electorate that does not have their head and both thumbs up their ass.

A consequence of that, of course, is that the OTHER money party is no less enthusiastic about ratfucking the 99.99% as long as that other party also gets some of their spillover.

So ... you see the problems here?

At 3:10 PM, Blogger edmondo said...

If the Democrats want to capitalize on the Republicans screwing up healthcare wouldn't they need, you know, an alternative? Even better, wouldn't they need an alternative that didn't require the voters to pay 150% of their disposable income for a shitty insurance policy that incurs a $5000 annual deductible?

Just asking in case you start wondering what happened to that Big Blue Wave that never appeared and Nancy Pelosi announces on November 7th, 2028 that she wants to be Minority Leader just one more time.

At 8:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

edmondo all over it again. We've already seen the democrap/corporate alternative. The democraps won't do better. They corporations won't let them.

At 8:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The plan is to completely eliminate all governmental programs which aid human beings so that funds are released to aid fictional economic beings.

I marvel that people don't put two and two together. Wages are being dropped, our taxes are going to jump to cover the breaks given to corporations, "entitlements" are going to be diverted into the military, and somehow we mere mortal humans will be expected to keep the economy going with our purchases - transactions we won't have the funds to cover.

A now-deceased relative (a Republican, no less) once told me that people are stupid and no damn good. The longer I live, the more I realize just how correct he was.


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