Saturday, March 11, 2017

“Art of the Don” or “Wrath of Don” if AHCA Passes or Fails: Prepare for Either

Step right up folks, but careful where you step. 
(One thin dime, one-tenth of a dollar - from "Little Egypt")

New GOP Healthcare Plan (AHCA) vs. Current ACA (Obamacare)
My choice of name for this new replacement bill: “GOP Less-Care or GOP Care-Less.” Also my earlier post — same subject but with more data.
Opposition to the all-GOP bill is unrelenting as stated here in part by Quartz news.
Democrats don’t like any bill that tears down former Democratic president Barack Obama’s legacy, and their disgust with its replacement, which will cut $600 billion in taxes on the wealthy (The Atlantic) while potentially increasing the cost of health insurance (PBS) for most others as millions may drop out, or actually lose care due that cost. It has in short, sparked new levels of condemnation of the Trump administration.
Then add in: Retirees, doctors, hospitals, rightwing talking heads, conservatives Republicans, TEA party Republicans, and even Trump campaign booster Breitbart – all have come out against the bill. They all want changes, but sometimes diametrically opposed options.
The AMA, with nearly 225,000 physicians, issued a letter to Congressional leaders on March 8, saying it cannot support the bill as drafted because of the “Expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations that would result in millions of Americans losing coverage and benefits. By replacing income-based premium subsidies with age-based tax credits, the AHCA will also make coverage more expensive — if not out of reach — for poor and sick Americans.” 
They have spent some $19 million lobbying against the bill and they are key donors to many regional political campaigns.
The American Hospitals Association and The Federation of American Hospitals both, which collectively represent over 6,000 hospitals, are concerned about the plan’s effect to reduce or eliminate Medicaid. It would reduce enhanced funding levels to Medicaid that 31 states rely on to extend health coverage to the poorest Americans, by banning new enrollments after December 2019, and by capping the amount states can spend on individual Medicaid recipients, and that they say: “Will have the effect of making significant reductions in a program that provides services to our most vulnerable populations. And, we want to make sure that whatever comes out of this change really supports particularly those low-income Americans, who frankly don’t have the resources to afford coverage.” (As stated in both their letters).
Four GOP Senators  (Mother Jones) have vowed not to support the bill – they are also worried about the Medicaid reductions.
Then the AARP weighed in and quickly dubbed the provisions in the bill that give tax credits based on age and not income saying in a to Congress that the estimated premiums for current coverage would “increase by up to $3,200 for a 64 year old” based on their age NOT their income… thus Bill Gates, at the same age, could pay the same as 64 year-old retiree on fixed income for the same care – FAIR? HARDLY…!!

Bill bills have faced stiff bi-partisan opposition in recent history like the “TARP” bill that bailed out the US big banks at the end of Bush’s term in2008. That was to avoid an absolute calamity — or as former speaker John Boehner said: “stop an economic slump the likes of which we have never seen.” That is not the case here.
The Trump team insists Obamacare is failing, even despite hard facts otherwise:
The uninsured rate is at an all-time low of 10.9% (Gallup Poll).
The majority (Monmouth Edu) wants to keep it.
Any new healthcare bill will need 218 votes to pass the House and the vote is expected to be a nail biter (Roll Call).
If the Senate loses more than three GOPers it would not pass.
So, will “The Art of the Con” – Donald J. Trump, or Flim-Flam man label fits nicely, too, be able to sell this worthless bill like one of his tough steaks, lousy vodka, another fake University course on how to make a million, or like a piece of cheap land for a new hotel or golf course?

So, time will tell… but keep this in mind: Trump hates to lose or come in second (recalled his rage about 2nd place in the popular vote), thus get ready for the “Wrath of Don” if this, his key bill does not pass the way he wants to afterward claim victory. In short, there will be hell to pay for his expected outrage and non-stop tweets. 
… I’d pay good money to see that and probably will.
I say this Trump-GOP farce of a bill will pass as “Obama-lite.” Then watch Trump and GOPers try and sell it as “our totally new, totally great, totally super great (in Trump's new and one in a million vernacular style of speaking) gift to America (at least the top rung). What a hoot that will be. 
Stay tuned.

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