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“Moderate” Republicans Insult Your Intelligence About Their Atrocious Health Care Law

[ 14 ] May 16, 2017 |

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Representatives in marginal districts who are enabling Donald Trump so they can continue with their work of trying to pass awful legislation — most notably, their effort to take health insurance from 24 million people to pay for an upper-class tax cut — are trying to defend themselves. Elise Stefanik, who will be representing New York’s 21st district until January 2019, has many spicy meatballs quoted here (with some good, more fact-based pushback), but this was particularly amazing:

Stefanik also addressed the issue of those on Medicaid potentially losing it under the GOP plan. “This is a false claim that is often reported in the media,” she wrote.

There would be no changes in Medicaid until 2020 and anyone currently on the program would maintain coverage, she said. As one of 31 states to expand Medicaid to those just above the poverty line, New York would be free to keep its program. “Additionally, after 2020, tax credits will be made available for people to purchase high quality private insurance plans,” she wrote.

“In theory, states could make up for the $880 billion we’re cutting from Medicaid, so it’s not really a cut!” OK.

While we’re here, this piece about how critical the massive cut to Medicaid is to TrumpCare is really good:

A massive expansion of the Medicaid program was one of the key pillars of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, and the AHCA rolls it back in a sneaky way. That rollback will deprive millions of vulnerable people of health insurance on its own terms if the bill is ever enacted in its current form. But the AHCA actually goes even further with Medicaid cuts — enacting broad cuts to the program’s spending that compound over time, offsetting a massive package of tax cuts for the rich.

And while leading Republicans are claiming that you can somehow take $880 billion out of a program to provide health care to the poor, elderly, and disabled without harming patients’ interests, that seems extremely unlikely.

The larger truth is conservative politicians once had a sweeping vision of rolling back all of America’s big entitlement programs — Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security — to prevent population aging and rising health care costs from inexorably pushing the country toward bigger government and higher taxes. Under Donald Trump, that agenda has gotten far less attention, perhaps because he’s promised to protect Social Security and Medicare, or perhaps because of his emphasis on culture war and immigration politics.

But the effort to smuggle large Medicaid cuts into Obamacare repeal is real. And its failure or success as the Senate takes up Obamacare repeal will reveal if this is either the last gasp of a fading small-government crusade or the start of a welfare state rollback effort that will eventually expand to cover Medicare and Social Security as well.

The scale of the Medicaid cuts is why the bill Setfanik voted for would result in even fewer people being covered than just straight repeal of the ACA.

You know, it’s kind of amazing how much downward wealth distribution and regulation of business was in Obama’s neoliberal bailout of the health insurance industry.

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  • daves09

    Irony, satire, awareness of reality, truth-or truthiness-all dead in this grand new Repub. world.
    Can the face eating leopard party send a leopard over to Paul Ryan’s house to eat the face off that smarmy bastard?
    Where shame goes to die-McConnell hyping Garland for FBI as “a disinterested, law professional who is just what is needed-and what does his being senior judge have to do with it?”

  • cpinva

    with any luck, most of those 24 million losing health insurance (or getting stuck with shittier policies) will have the decency to die before the next elections, so who cares about them? fortunately for Rep. Stefanik, most of her constituents aren’t very bright (if they were, she wouldn’t now be in office), so by the time they figure out she’s full of shit, it will be too late to do anything about it.

  • keta

    Medicaid today, Medicare tomorrow, and then on to Social Security.

    Is there nothing these policy wonks can’t fix?

  • CP

    God, fucking “tax credit.” How the fuck does “hi, I’ll tax you a little less of your money” help get health insurance for people who have no or next to no money in the first place? Cocksuckers.

    • keta

      GOOPer: “I’d like to address the substance of your concerns, but swearsies, so…”

    • Dennis Orphen

      Why should an innumerate population know or care?

  • That rollback will deprive millions of vulnerable people of health insurance on its own terms if the bill is ever enacted in its current form.

    That rollback will deprive millions of vulnerable people of health insurance on its own terms if the bill is ever enacted in any form. This needs to be stressed. Whatever monstrosity the Republicans push through will hurt millions of people.

  • jdd_stl

    Has there been a CBO scoring of the actual AHCA that was passed by the House, yet?
    If not, why not? I thought it was supposed to be out the week after they voted.

    • Aaron Morrow

      No, last week, the CBO announced it wouldn’t be ready until next week.

      Maybe it’s late because they need to develop a methodology to determine which purple states will waive insurance market regulations and create policies that the CBO will not consider insurance under the current baseline? There were a lot of late amendments to the AHCA, but I would guess that the waiver process would cause a lot of second and third order effects.

  • Joe_JP

    Article in today’s NYT (hey, I didn’t buy it) on people who voted for Trump largely since they hate ACA so much. Deplorables.

  • alercher

    If the AHCA cuts to Medicaid go through, what is the chance that New York and California might expand some form of public insurance?

    New York had a public option before ACA. Reviving and expanding this would be politically difficult and costly. But it is at least politically possible.

  • nobody

    Regarding CBO report:

    What’s to prevent Ryan or McConnell from suppressing the CBO report or firing the CBO director and putting in Mick Mulvaney instead?

    Then Mulvaney can just issue a hack CBO score saying how awesome the AHCA is for healthcare consumers.

  • Hondo

    When they turn the rest of the country into Brownbackistan, what will we call Brownbackistan (formerly known as Kansas)? Actually, they can call it whatever they want since I won’t be here next year.
    Seriously, I don’t understand what they think they are doing. I know what we all say about republicans, that they are greedy sociopaths, totally without empathy, willing to degrade the country for their own short-term financial gain, etc. etc.
    Do they really enjoy watching children die of curable diseases?
    Do they really want large portions of the US to be reduced to the standards of a typical 3rd world country?
    I really don’t understand what their end game is here. Do they really think there is no reasonable balance to be found between allowing the poorest among us to get whatever medical care they need, live indoors with heat in the winter, have clean water to drink, not suffer malnutrition, provide decent public schools, and not going bankrupt in the process? Are republican really that fucking evil?
    As for their supporters, I don’t think there is a simple explanation for what motivates a Trump supporter. But, for all of them it includes various combinations of the following:
    Racism, bigotry, homophobia, xenophobia, selfishness, profound ignorance, being misinformed, being caucasian, and arrogance. But, the one common denominator that I think they all share regardless of which of the preceding descriptors apply to an individual is Fox “News”. Rich, poor, less than high school education, or advanced university degree, upper middle class, or below the poverty line, it don’t matter. They all get the poison that has infected their brains from the same source. It is this positive feedback loop that has created the people we love to ridicule. Personally, this just adds to my despair.

    • sylvainsylvain

      It’s tempting to attach Trumpian analysis (dementia and ego can’t be reasoned with, it can only be feared, and perhaps dealt with in some way) to the Republican Party at large. However, I want to believe that they would fear electoral defeat. If we can turn Georgia and Montana into wins for the Dems, then MAYBE they’ll start to see the consequences of their actions.