Yes! We Finally Have a Plan!

For a couple of weeks we have had this story about the secrecy that is surrounding the Senate’s health plan…of course we have also had those that tried to divert the attention by saying all sorts of stuff about when Obama was working on the ACA….that is a moot point…it is law and the Senate is trying to change that…..

After lots of angry diatribes about the secret bill we finally have word about what this new bill will contain……

Senate Republicans on Thursday finally unveiled their answer to the House bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and Vox has an explainer of what’s in it. Some major sticking points: The Better Care Reconciliation Act will ask poor and middle-class Americans to pay more for less coverage, and Medicaid would be cut after expansions are rolled back. Medicaid patients would be unable to get treatment at Planned Parenthood, which would be defunded for a year. The bill also includes a tax break for the wealthy. Here’s what else you need to know:

  • First, Politico has the full text of the 142-page document Republicans are calling a “discussion draft.”
  • Three Republican senators can defeat the bill by joining Democrats to vote against it. FiveThirtyEight reports the most likely candidates are Rand Paul and Mike Lee (who don’t believe it goes far enough; Paul recently said he doesn’t want “ObamaCare lite”) and Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski (who want more protections for Medicaid and pre-existing conditions).
  • ABC News reports four Republican senators have already said they won’t vote for the bill without more information and negotiation: Paul, Lee, Ron Johnson, and Ted Cruz. They released a joint statement saying the bill doesn’t do enough to repeal ObamaCare.
  • The bill’s writing was cloaked in such secrecy that the Week reports as of Thursday morning quite a few Republican senators still had not seen it; Murkowski, for example, told a reporter, “I am not a reporter, and I am not a lobbyist, so I’ve seen nothing.”
  • President Trump had called the House bill “mean” and in need of “more heart.” So Scientific American takes a look to see if the Senate version fulfills that requirement.
  • When asked by a reporter if the Senate bill had enough heart, Trump called it “very good” but in need of “a little negotiation,” CNN reports.
  • According to People, police dragged protesters—some of them in wheelchairs or wearing medical devices—away from Mitch McConnell’s office and arrested them. The protesters, members of a national disability rights group, say people with disabilities are threatened by the bill.
  • Finally, USA Today reports Senate Democrats plan to fight the bill through procedural requests to slow down the process. They called for any changes to the House’s bill to be made public for at least 72 hours and be subject to CBO analysis.

Not looking good for a quick pass of this in the Senate……but then all the opposition could just be political games…..

All this could be avoided and set into law quickly…..a single payer system (someone half brain will call it socialism…the problem with that is it is not free people pay into the program)….

I have even seen a conservative case for single payer…….

The GOP’s latest health-care push is a magic show featuring the same malnourished rabbit being pulled from the same shabby top hat Republicans have been reaching their fingers into for years before pronouncing their now-familiar incantations.

Abracadabra! they always say. Allowing companies to sell insurance across state lines! Alakazam! Block-granting — is there an uglier formulation in the English language? — Medicare to the states! Presto-chango! Medical malpractice reform! Hocus-pocus! Health savings accounts! And for my last trick, keeping the expansion of Medicaid but not paying for it!

Source: A conservative case for single-payer health care

This is a simple fix that could go into effect almost immediately and the Congress could move on to something else and get on to the business of the nation.

Why is simple so difficult for politicians?

5 thoughts on “Yes! We Finally Have a Plan!

  1. I blew a gasket yesterday watching the reveal on the Republican “answer” to the Affordable Care Act. Of course, as you will undersatand reading my “introduction” to a share of Barack Obama’s Facebook appeal to sanity with regards healthcare reform in America, I have a major medical issue and take the Republican plan as a death sentence to people like me (what a pissy little whiner am I):

    While I sat in a recliner yesterday having dialysis, the Republican response to the ACA (Obamacare) was revealed to America. Such a hateful, mean-spirited, secretive, vile, slap in the face to people like me who basically die without resources to pay for treatment of life-threatening long term medical issues!

    God bless with His grace the billionaires who stand to suck up all those tax dollars released to them when taken from the old, poor, children, sick!!! They’ll need it to get into heaven.

    Yes, I’ve let my Representative (Adrian Smith) and Senators (Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse) know my feelings on this earlier, and I got the predictable party talking points. In their responses to me I kept reading “You will die, Doug, from Congressional action, not Wegener’s granulomatosis or end term kidney disease. They are murderers if they pass that bill, and you will be one of their victims.”

    I suppose my blood pressure (which is monitered throughout dialysis) was highest when I saw Capitol police doing their business of removing wheel chair-bound protesters in front of Senator McConnell’s office…. SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!

    I know I was upset, not my usual positive self, when I told Peg the social worker, who made her monthly review of each of the dialysis patients’ state of mind and assessment of how they are handling problems associated with their “new normals”, that perhaps it was better not to talk with her then. I pointed at the television, showing wheelchair-bound protesters being removed one by one by examination-gloved police, you know, to prevent getting “handicap cooties” from the protesters…. I was boiling!

    “There is a reason Congress polls lower than dog shit,” I sputtered out to Peg, a false claim made up on the spot, I confess. Actually they were lower than cockroaches, traffic jams, and Brussels sprouts at one point. Hey! Hey! Hey! Brussels sprouts are good! Anyway, I talked it out with Peg, which helped me put it back in the cesspool and leave dialysis a few minutes later in a much better mood.

    Then I came across this appeal from former President Barack Obama, which is a breath of fresh air. It is complete sentences, strung together is his professoral style that is coherent, calm, Presidential, and so unlike the current President’s style of innuendo, snark, misrepresentations, and disjointed ramblings that are a combination of his campaign speech and a touch of whatever current issues are in the air. Yeah, and tweets….

    Yes, we work best when we work together, McConnell. I prayed you wouldn’t win again, but you did, then you continue your anti-democratic (as in “democracy”, not the party) destruction through dirty tricks and slight of hand of our Constitution-based representative republic.

    This isn’t the Republican way of my parents’ time, where Republicans worked with Democrats to create the Voting Rights Act, EPA, Medicare, and other progressive/liberal/socialist (take your pick of the label you’ve corrupted to be a perjorative of the day) actions that made life better for the greater number of Americans, not the few who have you by the tender parts by buying you and your position to satiate their greed! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! This isn’t the way!

    When WE worked together, McConnelll (and Ryan – let’s not forget that fellow!), Americans, through their President and Congress, built the Interstate system that unlocked a continent to commerce and travel for the ordinary citizen! When WE worked together. McConnell and Ryan, WE landed men on the moon, not once but several times! WE can do anything together, so give it an f’ing try!

    I know you are at least as good as Brussels sprouts.

    [What follows is Barack Obama’s statement on Facebook.]

    Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

    I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

    We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.

    Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.

    And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.

    We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.

    At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.

    That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.

    But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.

    The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

    Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

    I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

    To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

    That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

    After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.

    1. Thanx for your thoughts….this is a dividing topic…..those that do not use Medicare are the ones that hate it the most….we can only hope that saner brains prevail….chuq

    2. LIke I said the most simple answer is “Medicare” for all….no need to start a new program….it is already here….why is simple so difficult? chuq

  2. Wow….Best I can do…

    The simple answer to your final query, which nails part of the problem with the whole thing, is this: because there is no advantage, political, economic, or, most significantly, personally, for doing so…

    That’s all I can manage today, bro…. too much pain, (overdid the walk), & too much Twitter…. Brain fried.

    gigoid, the dubious

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