Friday, May 5, 2017

GOP Invites "Pitchforks and Torches" Blowback With Sham "Health Care" Bill

While the GOP House denizens practically broke their arms patting themselves on the back for barely passing (217 to 213) their foolish "American Health Care" bill - to repeal Obamacare and install their own non-version, millions of citizens saw this travesty for what it really was: A blatant giveaway to the richest 1 percent in terms of nearly $600 b in tax benefits.  So to ensure the wealthiest got their even larger bite of the good life, even basic  health services (ER admission, mental health care, maternal care, etc.) had to be cut for those barely hanging on - the sickest and most vulnerable among us.

To be sure, as a number of pundits have observed, the GOOPrs had basically only two unattractive options : 1) piss off their hardcore base of Trumpies by failing on their pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare - this when the GOP had total control of government, or 2) forcing Repub "moderates" based in swing districts to vote for a deeply unpopular bill that will definitely put many of their seats at risk next fall. Indeed, after this "moral atrocity" - to use Nancy Pelosi's term  - I am fully convinced the Reepos will lose their House majority in 2018.

This latest chapter in the Repukes' tax reform saga (which is what this bill is really about) is how cheaply the GOP moderates could be bought off. All Paul Ryan and the right wing extremists had to do is mollify them using the promise of an "$8 billion"  slush fund by which states could fund exchanges to permit acceptance of pre-existing conditions.  This reminded me of how cheaply the "moderate" climate change skeptics could be bought off by the specious nonsense that CO2 is "just a trace gas that helps plants grow".   No acknowledgement at all of the thermal properties of CO2 that enables it to trap long wavelength (e.g. infrared) radiation even at concentrations of 200 parts per million. (As shown by Gale Christianson there has never been an ice age when CO2 concentrations have reached 200 ppm or greater.).

But the most vile aspect leading up to the vote came from those like Alabama's Mo Brooks who insisted that "good people don't get pre-existing conditions". Tell that to all the young children that get cancers of the brain or leukemia - kids barely  4 or 5 years old. What does Brooks and his ilk believe they did to deserve those cancers? Rob a kiddie bank or utter a curse word?

Brooks' codswallop is part of the larger, loopy, quasi-religious trope that noble and goodly people prosper on account of their "goodness" and hence can afford their health care because they "earned" the jobs to pay for it via their righteousness. This helps explain the belief of many conservatives - such as one who blurted to Adam Schiff that "if people can't afford their health care they shouldn't have any."  This despite the fact the U.S. was a signatory to a UN Declaration making health care a human right in 1994.

All of which is pointing to even more hostile, recriminating town meetings as the assorted Reepos go home to their constituencies over the next two weeks. Will they be prepared for the pitchforks and torches that come out after this week's moral travesty? I doubt it. But they should be given their bill gives several hundred thousand of the richest parasites an added enormous tax break while gutting the health care of tens of millions. The belief, one every bit as stupid as the one of climate skeptics that CO2 is a "good gas" - is that giving this largesse to the wealthiest will generate economic growth.

None of the nitwits seem to process the fact we're in an ongoing crisis of aggregate demand, whereby GDP support is falling because too many normal, working mortals have much less to spend. The answer wasn't to give more to those who don't spend because they have it all, but to those who need financial support - especially to pay for their health care.

Allowing the states to "take over" is merely political posturing and a blatant dodge since the states - given the choice - will do nothing, as in nada. Why would they when most are on shoestring budgets and even here in Colo. we've been told we're facing over a $1.3 b deficit and so cuts need to be made - to school funding, health care and public services.

So no, there's no doubt the people are smart enough to see through this sham and the inevitable blowback will haunt these Reeptard nitwits for the next year into next fall's midterms. And I'm asserting that even before the Congressional Budget Office has scored this latest iteration of the original farce - which is likely to show an even more forlorn rating. Even The Denver Post editorial today expressed "surprise that so many House Republicans voted for an overhaul of Medicaid and the health system before a more recent budget update".  Well, bottom line, they didn't give a damn. It kind of reminded me how the vile GOOPs rammed through the "Medicare Modernization Act"- a huge corporate welfare bonanza- back in 2003.

Some pundits have opined that this bill will face "uncertain prospects" in the Senate, but I look for McConnell and company to try to ram it through - with very minor changes - using budget reconciliation (where only 51 votes are needed). The Reeps have been too desperate for a massive tax cut to the rich for too long, and this travesty of a House bill gives them a leg up that the Reep Senate isn't likely to sacrifice at this stage. Oh yeah. they'll tweak it a bit but the basic heinousness will remain and up to 124 m Americans with "pre-existing conditions" could pay the price. Meanwhile more than 24 m could lose their Obamacare via the Medicaid cuts alone by 2020.

For readers interested in further analysis, columnist Michael Hiltzik offers a handy guide to “all the horrific details”


'Under the GOP plan, Medicaid expansion, which currently provides coverage to some 10 million low-income Americans, would be killed as of 2020. It also converts Medicaid into a block-granted program, stripping more than $800 billion from the program over 10 years. Because block-granted program can’t keep up with the needs of beneficiaries, this means that states would have to respond to fiscal stringencies by cutting benefits or throwing enrollees out.'

Cheers to the Democrats who sang “na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, hey, hey, goodbye” to GOP members facing reelection in 2018. Will they pay a price?   I'd lay Vegas odds of three to one that they will and it'll be steep.

See also these articles:



'House Republicans say they have protected people with pre-existing health problems. Baloney. Sick people could be charged premiums so high as to make insurance unaffordable. Trumpcare would even let states waive the Obamacare ban on charging higher premiums for women who have been raped — which actually occurred before the Affordable Care Act.
America has the only healthcare system in the world designed to avoid sick people. Private for-profit health insurers do whatever they can to insure groups of healthy people, because that’s where the profits are. They also make every effort to avoid sick people, because that’s where the costs are'


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