Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Progressive Breakfast: Trumpcare Is Wrong For You. It's A Toxic Prescription For Health Care.


Isaiah J. Poole
Trumpcare Is Wrong For You. It’s A Toxic Prescription For Health Care.
As medicine for our health care system, it’s worse than a placebo. It will do active harm to millions of people, particularly low-income people and seniors. It cuts taxes for the wealthy and corporations and dangles paltry tax credits to working people. It leaves consumers facing higher health care prices and will force many of them to forgo needed care.

Rocky Rollout of ACA Repeal

House GOP reveals ACA repeal bill. AP: “The plan would repeal the statute’s unpopular fines on people who don’t carry health insurance. It would replace income-based subsidies the law provides to help millions of Americans pay premiums with age-based tax credits that may be less generous to people with low incomes … The bill would continue Obama’s expansion of Medicaid to additional low-earning Americans until 2020. After that, states adding Medicaid recipients would no longer receive the additional federal funds … Republicans would overhaul the federal-state Medicaid program, changing its open-ended federal financing to a limit based on enrollment and costs in each state … the measure would block for one year federal payments to Planned Parenthood…”
ACA repeal really a big tax cut for the wealthy. Politico: “[The House bill would] kill a 3.8 percent investment tax on the well-to-do that Democrats had used to help finance the health care law, as well as a 0.9 percent surcharge on wages above $250,000.”
Distributes wealth upward. NYT: “[The bill] would substantially cut back funding to states that cover poor adults through their Medicaid program. It would cut back on financial assistance for relatively low-income insurance shoppers above the poverty line … Americans higher up the income scale would be eligible for subsidies to help them buy health insurance … And the law would allow people to save more money each year in tax-free health savings and flexible spending accounts — accounts that are most valuable to people who pay high income tax rates and have money to save.”
Yet conservatives criticize. Bloomberg: “An analysis written for an influential bloc of U.S. House conservatives derides a key component of a new Republican plan to replace Obamacare, faulting a provision offering tax credits to individuals who wouldn’t otherwise have access to health insurance. Prepared for the Republican Study Committee, a group of about 170 House conservatives, the staff report called the refundable tax credits ‘a Republican welfare entitlement.’ ‘Writing checks to individuals to purchase insurance is, in principle, Obamacare,’ says the memo…”
The Atlantic on “The Conservative Uprising Against the Republican Healthcare Bill”: “‘It’s Obamacare in a different format,’ Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a member of the hardline House Freedom Caucus, said … The full Freedom Caucus comprises about three dozen members of the 237 in the House Republican majority. If they voted as a bloc, they could sink the bill on their own … FreedomWorks labeled the plan’s requirement that people pay a 30 percent premium to insurers if they stop their coverage for more than two months ‘the Republican individual mandate.’ The Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity urged the leadership to ‘go back to the drawing board’ a day before it released their bill.”
Four GOP senators signal opposition to Medicaid provisions. Mother Jones: “Republican Sens. Rob Portman (Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Cory Gardner (Colorado), and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday voicing their concerns … ‘We will not support a plan that does not include stability for Medicaid expansion populations or flexibility for states,’ the letter explains.”
How much does it cost? Who knows. CNN: “… the bill was released without any Congressional Budget Office score, a sign that Republicans may be worried about the fallout once Americans understand how many people could be affected by changes in coverage … The lack of a CBO score may concern lawmakers…”
House plan delays “Cadillac Tax.” The Hill: “The House bill, unveiled Monday evening, would allow ObamaCare’s ‘Cadillac’ tax on high-cost health plans to take effect in 2025. The tax, which has been opposed by both Democrats and Republicans, had been slated to take effect in 2020 under current law. By keeping that tax, albeit after a delay, Republicans are trying to ensure that their bill will not add to the deficit after 10 years. That’s a key consideration necessary to ensure the measure can pass the Senate with a simple majority [using budget reconciliation], rather than with 60 votes.”

Muslim Ban 2.0

“Meet the New Travel Ban, Same as the Old Travel Ban” says Daniel Benjamin in Politico oped: “The order remains a Muslim ban with no national security value. And just like its predecessor, it will not improve our counterterrorism efforts; it will only weaken them … Instead of banning 219 million citizens of countries that average 97 percent Muslim as the original order did, the new order now bans 181 million from lands that are 96 percent Muslim.”
Next phase of the ban ominous. The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson: “… all the bans are framed as temporary, but both suggest that what will follow the temporary period will be greater restrictions … At the end of that period, the D.H.S. ‘shall submit to the President a list of countries recommended for inclusion in a Presidential proclamation’—a new list of places suspected of producing bad people … other countries may also have to consider, in new ways, how they want to discriminate between and against their citizens.”
W. Post debunks WH claim of 300 refugees under investigation: “…300 may seem like a large number of refugees. But since … 1980, about 3 million refugees have resettled in the United States … This 300 figure doesn’t tell us whether the individuals were radicalized in the United States, years after entering the country … 300 represents one-fifteenth of 1 percent of refugees admitted from those six countries since 9/11 … [Moreover,] the Justice Department did not provide data to support its assertion…”
“The Real Goal of Trump’s Travel Ban Is to Make America White Again” says The Nation’s Joan Walsh: “… Bannon has long made the case that Muslims are a poor fit for our culture. ‘These are not people with thousands of years of understanding democracy in their DNA coming up here,’ Bannon said …”
Trump to pay for immigrant crackdown with national security cuts. Politico: “The Trump administration wants to gut the Coast Guard and make deep cuts in airport and rail security to help pay for its crackdown on illegal immigration, according to internal budget documents … the administration would slice the budget of the Coast Guard and cut 11 percent in spending from the TSA … OMB also wants to cut 11 percent from the budget of FEMA…”

Breakfast Sides

Primary challenges threatened if Dems aid Gorsuch. The Hill: “Although Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) came out strongly against Gorsuch shortly after he was nominated, the liberal grassroots believe he has let the reins slacken on moderate Democrats who are swing votes. Three centrist Democrats up for reelection next year — Sens. Joe Manchin(W.Va.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) — and independent Sen. Angus King (Maine) applauded when Trump touted Gorsuch during his address to Congress last week .. Another centrist Democrat, Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.), was recently spotted strolling with the judge — a Colorado native — in downtown Denver.”
WH cuts and pastes from ExxonMobil. The Hill: “A White House press release congratulating Exxon Mobil Corp. for its recent investment in U.S. manufacturing repeats an exact paragraph from the oil company’s own release … Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, previously served as the CEO of Exxon Mobil from 2006 to 2016.”

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