[Discussion] Health Policies and ACA Reform/Repeal

The existing health thread is for discussion on how changes to current policy will/have personally affected you or those you know. This thread is for more general discussion of the subject.

It may make sense to cut down on advertising after the program is no longer new but 90% is sabotage.

To be fair, Trump and republicans have had full scale advertisement for Obamacare for months now. And the only cost was neglecting all other lawmaking.

Got a mailing list email from Bernie just now:

Today — along with 15 co-sponsors — I am officially introducing our Medicare-for-all, single-payer health care legislation that will guarantee health care as a right for every single man, woman and child in the United States of America.

The last time I introduced this bill, it lacked a single co-sponsor.

Today, we have 15.

Here is the list:

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Senator Al Franken (D-MN)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Ed Markey (D-MA)
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Senator Tom Udall (D-NM)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

But it gets better.

Over the past two months, more than 500,000 people across the country have joined them as citizen co-sponsors of our bill. And in the House of Representatives, for the first time ever, a majority of the Democratic members have signed onto John Conyers’s Medicare-for-all legislation.

There is no doubt about it, momentum is on our side.

It was not long ago that the idea of Medicare for all was dismissed and ridiculed by the corporate media and political establishment of this country. Today, a strong majority of Americans understand that it is the responsibility of the federal government to provide health care for all.

But we still have a long way to go.

Because the truth is, the insurance companies and drug companies in this country are extraordinarily powerful and they are not going down without a fight. They have obscene amounts of wealth and have used that money to protect a dysfunctional system that allows them to make billions in profits while leaving far too many Americans behind.

But in my view, the people of this country have had enough of the greed and recklessness of these industries.

We understand that it is a moral outrage that the United States is the only nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee health care as a right to all of its people.

We believe it is a national emergency that 28 million of our sisters and brothers lack health care coverage and that many more are underinsured with high deductibles and copayments.

We are tired of going to the pharmacy to get medicine we need and the price triples for no other reason than because the drug companies now have the right to charge as much as they like. Unbelievably, one out of five adults under the age of 65 in this country who gets a prescription from a doctor cannot afford to get it filled.

The American people are sick and tired of a health care system that spends twice as much per capita as countries around the world but has worse outcomes. All while the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry reward their executives with outrageous compensation packages.

All of us get sick.

All of us need medicine.

All of us have accidents.

All of us need good quality health care.

In my view, the function of a rational health care system in this country should be to provide quality care for everyone in a cost effective way, not to make health industry CEOs richer or drive up stock prices on Wall Street.

Even with growing support in Congress, we are still taking on much of the political and financial establishment in this fight. But when we are united, when we stand together, we are more powerful than they could ever imagine.

Sisters and Brothers: In this pivotal moment in American history, let us lead our country forward to guarantee health care as a right and not a privilege. This is a struggle whose time has come. This is a struggle not just about health care but about the heart and soul of our country, about what we stand for as a people.

Please remember that when we stand together and do not let allow demagogues to divide us up by race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.

That is the political revolution.

In solidarity,

Bernie Sanders

I'd be more excited about this if Republicans didn't have a majority in both sides of Congress, and if I felt there was a snowball's chance in hell that they'd break ranks if their constituents, unlikely as it is, pressed them to do so.

Mormech wrote:

I'd be more excited about this if Republicans didn't have a majority in both sides of Congress, and if I felt there was a snowball's chance in hell that they'd break ranks if their constituents, unlikely as it is, pressed them to do so.

I agree, but at the same time, I think it's important to keep supporting and pushing this type of legislation even without the majority since it keeps the idea actively in the forefront of people's minds. Plus, a lot of the work on honing it and ironing out details will all be done by the time Republicans no longer have the majority, and then it would just be a matter of introducing it again and moving it through into reality!

Definitely doesn't hurt to start early, and who knows? Maybe even some Republicans might jump on board if they believe they might win an election by supporting it. Long shot I know, but miracles do sometimes happen.

Breitbart has already said they're going to run ads against some Republican incumbents that are up for reelection. If you're in an area that's solidly red your choice is continue to run further to the right or maybe take a stance that sets you apart from the super-conservative they will likely put you up against in the primary. Who knows, maybe some swing voters would go for the guy who's only kinda' crazy but also has a few good ideas, versus the religious racist nazi guy that Breitbart would likely be pushing. Now, at least in my super red state I know doing anything but pushing as far to the right as possible makes you ineligible for a national level office but a guy can dream. Here, if the majority of the churches would just back away from the "only Republicans are godly politicians" line it might let some of the less informed voters feel free to look at other options.

Directed by Chuck Jones, better known for animating Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck, and the Road Runner, "So Much for So Little" follows our main character from infancy—where doctors help immunize babies against whooping cough, diphtheria, rheumatic fever, and smallpox—through school to dating, marriage, becoming parents, and settling into a nice, healthy retirement. Along the way, the government has made sure that health care is nothing to worry about.

The film won an Academy Award in 1950 for Documentary Short Subject—not best sci-fi, despite how radical this all sounds.

So what happened? John Maher at the blog Dot and Line puts it this way:

Partisanship and capitalism and racist zoning policies shattered its idealistic dream that Americans might actually pay communally for their health as well as that of their neighbors and fellow citizens.

Three cents per American per week wouldn’t cut it now in terms of universal health coverage. But according to Maher, quoting a 2009 Kingsepp study on the original Affordable Care Act, taxpayers would have to pay $3.61 a week.

So folks, don’t get despondent, get idealistic. The Greatest Generation came back from WWII with a grand idealism. Maybe this current generation just needs to fight and defeat Nazis all over again…

Guess what's back from the dead?

The Republican Health Care Zombie Is Back

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.

This is not an idle threat. President Trump wants this bill passed by the end of next week, before the expiration of a budget rule that allows the chamber to pass a health care bill with only 50 votes (and a tiebreaker from the vice president). It’s unclear whether the votes are there, but the bill’s chances increased on Monday when Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona said he supported it. His endorsement is important because it could convince Senator John McCain, who cast the decisive vote against repealing the A.C.A. in July, to vote for this version.

They will never stop.

The worst part is that even if this attempt fails, they'll still do everything possible to undermine and destroy the existing system. They just want to tear the whole thing down, and don't seem to care who gets hurt in the process. It's sickening to watch, and I don't know that there's anything to really be done about it.

Should we call senators that aren't from our state?

Typically no, you aren't one of their constituents so they (pragmatically and arguably morally) don't have any reason to take your concerns into account. I've never read an article interviewing a Senator or one of their aides that stated that they take non-State communications under advisement.

If anything calling a senator who is not your own adds to the noise those staffs need to deal with which takes the edge off the number of people calling. "Well I got 3000 calls today but 1500 weren't my constituents, the others might not be as well."

You're better off making your calls to your folks.

The WHO ranks the US as 37th in the world for Health Systems. Canada is at 30 and France at number one. So what do our politicians do? Try to make our health care system even more dysfunctional and unaffordable. Could we possibly trick some of them into thinking our health care ranking was our military ranking? Maybe then they'd give a flying fig about it. As it stands, I really feel like most politicians are telling me I should just go ahead and die if I'm not making a 6 figure salary and able to afford medical care.

Kehama wrote:

The WHO ranks the US as 37th in the world for Health Systems. Canada is at 30 and France at number one. So what do our politicians do? Try to make our health care system even more dysfunctional and unaffordable. Could we possibly trick some of them into thinking our health care ranking was our military ranking? Maybe then they'd give a flying fig about it. As it stands, I really feel like most politicians are telling me I should just go ahead and die if I'm not making a 6 figure salary and able to afford medical care.

I don't find their position all that baffling since many of them do make six figure salaries so being willing to screw over everyone else seems understandable (horrible but understandable) What I find mystifying is that huge numbers of people vote for them.

farley3k wrote:
Kehama wrote:

The WHO ranks the US as 37th in the world for Health Systems. Canada is at 30 and France at number one. So what do our politicians do? Try to make our health care system even more dysfunctional and unaffordable. Could we possibly trick some of them into thinking our health care ranking was our military ranking? Maybe then they'd give a flying fig about it. As it stands, I really feel like most politicians are telling me I should just go ahead and die if I'm not making a 6 figure salary and able to afford medical care.

I don't find their position all that baffling since many of them do make six figure salaries so being willing to screw over everyone else seems understandable (horrible but understandable) What I find mystifying is that huge numbers of people vote for them.

Because "Socialism" is worse and will take all their money away and give it to people who didn't earn it. Extreme right-wing propaganda is very effective.

Socialism redistributing wealth is only bad unless you're talking about taking it mostly from liberals and giving it to real Americans. Then it's great.

bekkilyn wrote:

Because "Socialism" is worse and will take all their money away and give it to people who didn't earn it. Extreme right-wing propaganda is very effective.

Did you know that Nazis were leftist socialists?

They weren't, but Republicans love to claim they were. (Funny how Nazis marched in the Unite The Right rally, but not the lefty anti-Trump protests.)

Then how do you explain the famous quote:

"First they came for the Socialists, to give them medals and throw the parades and whatnot. Because Nazis were totes all about that socialism."

Ah, I've figured out one reason why they're trying to push the ACA repeal through (besides the obvious):

Koch network 'piggy banks' closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform: Koch officials said that the network’s midterm budget for policy and politics is between $300m and $400m, but donors are demanding legislative progress (Article is from 3 months ago)

At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.

“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Nonetheless, Koch officials said that the network’s midterm budget for policy and politics is between $300m and $400m.

I thought the main reason for the push is that they are only allowed to use the reconciliation process once a year and then have to wait for a new budget in order to reset that counter. They want to continue to use this hack/cheat next year for tax reform so they only need 50 votes.

All in all. They’re full of sh*t and seem intent on burning the ACA, and our democracy, to the ground.

Yes, that is correct. In order to reserve next years budget reconciliation for actual budget reconciliation they have to use this years budget reconciliation for railroading healthcare policy by the end of the month.

I think most congressmen would have a hard time putting together an interesting power point presentation by the end of the month and they think they can completely overhaul the national healthcare system in that same amount of time? Wait, I take that back. They don't think they can overhaul it, they just hope they can smash it in that amount of time.

Looks like we're going to have a vote next week after all (or at least the "intention" of a vote).

McConnell spokeswoman: Senate to vote next week on Graham-Cassidy

"It is the Leader’s intention to consider Graham/Cassidy on the floor next week," the spokeswoman said.

Republican Maryland Gov. Hogan joins 10 other governors to reject Graham-Cassidy health bill

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced his opposition to Senate Republicans' latest effort to undo the Affordable Care Act.

The first-term Republican said the legislation - being written by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and known as the Graham-Cassidy bill - would cost Maryland too much money and put residents' health care at risk.

"Unfortunately, the Graham-Cassidy bill is not a solution that works for Maryland," Hogan said in a statement. "It will cost our state over $2 billion annually while directly jeopardizing the health care of our citizens."

Hogan's rejection of the plan is in keeping with his previous opposition to this summer's failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which passed the House but died in the Senate.

"We need common sense, bipartisan solutions that will stabilize markets and actually expand affordable coverage," the statement said. "It is time for Republicans and Democrats to come together, fix what is so clearly broken, and finally get something done for the American people."

Hogan spoke out on the same day that 10 other governors from both parties, including Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, of Virginia, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., rejecting the plan GOP leaders have embraced.

"As I have said from the start, the Affordable Care Act needs to be fixed," Hogan said. "I will support any solution - no matter which side of the aisle it comes from - that helps us reach this outcome."

Hogan's stance puts him in line with the majority of the Maryland congressional delegation who are Democrats, including Rep. Jamie Raskin, who will participate Tuesday night in a forum to discuss Medicaid in Silver Spring, Maryland.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has not committed to supporting the bill as of Tuesday.

Graham, a chief sponsor of the bill, said Tuesday he's "never felt better about where we're at" but stopped short of predicting the GOP has the votes to pass the measure.

Graham spoke to reporters after a Republican closed-door luncheon where Vice President Mike Pence joined the lobbying effort.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said lawmakers spent the luncheon talking about the bill and there was "lots of interest."

Republicans are aiming to vote by the end of the month before Democrats' ability to filibuster legislation kicks in.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nm

I guess we know who runs the country and who has completely superseded our three branches of government. Blame Obama, blame Bernie, blame Hillary, blame Bill, blame non ideologically pure Democrats, or blame Citizens United.

McCain has announced he is a “no” on the latest Republican healthcare bill.

Please let it be over. Please. Please. Please.

From your keyboard to whatever god happens to control this kind of thing

farley3k wrote:

From your keyboard to whatever god happens to control this kind of thing

Please don't be Supply Side Jesus. Please don't be Supply Side Jesus.

I'm not going to relax until after the 30th*, but it's looking like the GOP is fighting against a headwind.

* And even then, they could try to change the rules. Call your Senators.