Thursday, September 21, 2017

Cassidy -Graham: The Latest GOP Effort To Take Down The ACA - Could Happen!

Image result for Sen. Bill Cassidy grinning  face images
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel rips into the lunatic goofball GOOP Bill Cassidy - for claiming the Cassiidy-Graham health bill  "passes the Jimmy Kimmel" test.

"Republican lawmakers have wasted much of the year trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a move that would deprive millions of people of health insurance. They’re back at it. Like a bad sequel to a terrible movie, a proposal whose main architects are Bill Cassidy of Louisiana and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina would in many ways be worse than bills that came before. It would punish states like California and New York that have done the most to increase access to health care and set in motion cuts to Medicaid, the federal-state program that provides insurance to nearly 70 million people, many of whom are disabled and elderly."   - NY Times editorial, Sept. 19

The optimal way to gauge the degenerate new "zombie" healthcare (Cassidy-Graham)  bill now being pushed by the Gooprs is to see and hear the take direct from Jimmy Kimmel, e.g.

Note from the clip how  Kimmel lambastes the sheer dishonesty of representation by Cassidy and how the "only child"  who would get coverage under this disgusting bill is Kimmel's own child.  Kimmel also noted this bill is actually worse than the earlier 'skinny repeal' effort  in all the ways it damages healthcare including eliminating:

-- pediatric services

-  Hospitalization

-  Ambulance transport

-  Mental health treatment

- emergency services (ER visits)

- Lab work

- Rehab services

-  Wellness checkups for seniors

- Prescription Drugs

- Maternity care

It would also allow states to charge more for pre-existing conditions. Lindsey  Graham - lying punk that he is -  claimed people "can choose between socialism and federalism:".  In fact, this bastardized law on offer - if passed - would force citizens to choose between health care that saves their lives, OR literally begging for charity care in states that direct block grants to other priorities.

Why the unseemly rush to scuttle Obamacare and especially Medicaid right now? Well, Republicans must act by September 30th in the Senate or face the prospect of a Democratic filibuster. That is currently impeded by budget rules that allow for "budget reconciliation" but that ends at the end of the month.  But this is exactly why citizens must become activated now, as much as they were a month ago when the skinny repeal was attempted. It is not the time to be complacent..

The Grand Old Party wants to slash spending on Medicaid over all by giving states the option of a "block grant" or a per capita allotment. So here in Colorado, for example, that may mean allocating the state a fixed amount for next year of $100m. That then will have to suffice to cover the needs of some 125,000  citizens, mainly frail elderly, poor, unemployed or under-employed. But if those people normally need some $4,000 a year each for their medical needs, just doing the math discloses the shortfall will be nearly a factor 5 less than needed ($500m vs. $50m).

Graham-Cassidy would further cripple Medicaid by putting a per-person cap on what the federal government spends on the program. Under current law, federal spending increases automatically to keep up with the rise in medical costs; a per-capita cap would leave governors, who are ultimately in charge of administering Medicaid, in the unenviable position of denying care to poor and older Americans.

Why are Republicans so obsessed with dismantling Medicaid? For one thing it is expensive, in terms of providing the extensive medical care or other assistance needed for its dependent population. In a post in June I already cited one expert on why medical-health costs are exploding worldwide. In his extensive Barbados Advocate column (April 30, p. 14) David Jessop shed light on exactly why medical costs are soaring in all the nations of the world:

"Around the world, public health care systems are in crisis. From India to Australia, nations in the developing and developed world are struggling to meet the expectations of their local populations."

What reasons does he give for this crisis? He lists the following as primary culprits:

- A surge in the nature and volume of demand as populations age and birth rates continue to increase

-  The preceding occurring at the same time a desire for low taxes has made it difficult for governments to garner the necessary resources to respond to societal expectations.

In terms of Cassidy -Graham the last is most relevant, given the new bill wants to shift all the economic losses thereby imposed on the Medicaid population (est. $240 b) to pave the way for their tax reform- tax cut initiative. If Cassidy -Graham then can pass by Sept. 30th, they're almost home free with their monster tax cuts for the rich when the tax legislation comes up. It's up to us to stop them!

Sadly, the Congressional Budget Office admitted it will not be able to determine the full impact of the legislation, including its effect on premiums and the number of people who have insurance, for several weeks.  By then the lying cowards of the GOP hope to have this law signed, sealed and delivered for Trump to sign.

An analysis released on Wednesday by the health-care consulting firm Avalere estimates that the $215 billion in federal spending that the bill would eliminate by 2026 will balloon to nearly $500 billion the year after and $4.2 trillion by 2036. That’s because, as critics of the bill have pointed out, funding for the system ends in 2026, meaning it would need to be re-appropriated by the government. If that doesn’t happen, funding will fall further.  Over 70 million people -citizens could find themselves with no healthcare, and just one auto accident or major disease away from homelessness, poverty.

This pathological bill would also pervert how Medicaid works, dramatically reducing the amount spent per person relative to how the system works under the current law. By 2036, that change translates into a reduction in federal spending in every single state relative to the current law.
Avalere’s analysis suggests that, overall, only 16 states would see any increase in federal spending at all, 15 of them states that voted for  Donald Trump in 2016. (The exception is Virginia.) Even Cassidy’s home state of Louisiana would see consistent declines, which is one reason that the state’s health secretary publicly opposed the legislation.

In a way it is incredible that the GOOPs are prepared to go this far to commit political Hari Kari.While they had promised for seven years to get rid of Obamacare - a promise made to the GOOP base - it would come at an immense cost to that base. This is given it is mainly their health care that would be affected- either losing coverage outright, or getting a "skinny"  substitute that - for example - would not cover chemotherapy if they got cancer. Effectively, it will ultimately have devastating consequences for the Republican party.

Analysis also shows spending on the disabled, children and other adults would decline relative to the current law. By 2036, Avalere estimates, Medicaid spending that supports children would be cut by nearly a third.  This is despite the fact, as Jimmy Kimmel noted two nights ago, nearly 55 percent of those on Medicaid are kids.  What kind of heartless bastards are Graham and Cassidy anyway that they could team up to push such a vile bill at the last minute - especially when most of the nation's defenses are down?

I regret to say that what is needed once more are hundreds of disabled citizens coming out to block the offices of congress critters, e.g.
Image result for disabled blocking congressional offices, photos
Because it is clear that action is only feared if it is immediate and proximate. Other millions of people need to call reps up and give the following message:

Hello my name is  ABCDE   and I live in (State). I want to make sure Senator X (name him)  understands that Graham-Cassidy wouldn't just cut Medicaid drastically — which he pledged not to do — it would also take the funds that are coming to (Blue tsate name)  and allocate them to states that did not expand Medicaid. So Senator X wouldn't just be breaking his pledge he would be voting to give (Blue state's) money to another state! Voting for this bill would be a vote against (State name) . Thank you.
It is regrettable we have to go through all of this again, but it is essential to act because the gutter rat Goops never quit. Since they won't quit, we can't either. Anyone who cares about health care in the country even remotely needs to call or write their Senators - say delivering a message along the lines of that above. Pick up the phone and blitz the bastards six ways from SundayAs Paul Krugman put it:

"Complacency could kill health care...if you care about preserving the huge gains the Affordable Care Act has brought, make your voice heard."

"Make America Compassionate Again" was a recent header for an essay by Eric J. Schneidewind in the AARP magazine.  He implored the powers that be to enable and facilitate a health system that allows Americans to weather a health crisis without financial ruin. Alas, that will simply not be possible without a fight.

See also:


Vox's excellent Sarah Kliff encapsulates the latest of the GOP's once-inconceivable foulness — the Graham-Cassidy ACA-"reform" bill:
[It] takes money from states that did a good job getting residents covered under Obamacare and gives it to states that did not. It eliminates an expansion of the Medicaid program that covers millions of Americans in favor of block grants….
Plus,… insurers in the private marketplace would be allowed to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, for example. And it would eliminate the individual mandate as other bills would have, but this time there is no replacement.

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