Wednesday, April 26, 2017

MAJOR UPDATE of GOP Obama-care Repeal-Replacement Plan: New Trick and Stunt

AHCA to Replace ACA (Obama-care) Phase I: Never Got a Vote
(Ryan Failure #1)

“You Guys Got My Back This Time, Right?”
(Ryan Possible Failure #2)

MAJOR UPDATE: Original Post Follows Below. This update refers to the GOP's so-called MacArthur amendment” explained and introduced below. I said it was weak and a parody of sorts. Further research now shows it is harsh, plays favors for member of Congress, and bashing millions of needy Americans in the end, if it passes into their new law. This great overall analysis comes from here and this updated impact of what they want to sneak around is here from the with this headline: 

House GOP health bill changes exempt members of Congress

The highlights are these and boy do they stink to high heaven:

[That MacArthur amendment] to the House Republicans Obama-care replacement plan (Note: Which I call the “GOP-don’t-care” plan) exempts members of Congress and their staff from its effects. (Neat trick, um)? 

The new changes to the bill would allow states to apply for waivers for certain Obama-care provisions, (1) such as a ban on insurers charging premiums based on a customer's health, and (2) the requirement that insurers' basic health plans cover certain services: like prescription drugs and mental health. But, then GOP amendment exempts members of Congress and their staffs to ensure that they will still be protected by those Obama-care provisions especially if they are in states what ban those things – 

(I note: In other words: protect your own while screwing most Americans – welcome the GOP). 
The exemption provision was flagged by health law professor Tim Jost who has an exceptional eye for these things big kudos to Professor Jost. 

Democrats quickly jumped on the development, arguing that Republicans are willing to take away protections for the general public, but not themselves. 
Continue the story at the link and then take action. Tell your member of congress don’t vote for this… if you do, your days are numbered. Stop screwing Americans and protecting yourself and your staff at the expense of millions.
That kind of citizen action probably will work if enough citizens rise up and we should … this a sick and harsh and just plain low-down trick.

Amazing how this GOP thinks and works, isn’t it?

ORIGINAL POST BEGINS HERE: Absolutely and excellent piece written by Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post (April 20, 2017): Key points follow this short reminder of how we got here from various sources and links – a really super story – Eugene Robinson is an excellent writer for sure.
The repeal bill was pulled from a House vote by Speaker Paul Ryan due to lack of GOP votes that many GOP Freedom Caucus members said they could not support because it did not do or go far enough to dismantle Obamacare. After that loss, Trump targeted the Freedom Caucus on Twitter with this “nasty gram:”
“The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”

House Republicans are apparently ready for yet another attempt to snatch health insurance away from constituents who need it. Someone should remind Ryan of a saying often attributed to his legendary predecessor former speaker Sam Rayburn from Texas who died in 1961 (at age 79) and had been the 43rd House Speaker from 1940 to 1947, and then again from 1949 to 1953, and still again from 1955 to 1961. He remains the longest-serving speaker ever (17 years).  He also represented the TX 4th District from 1913 to 1961 (until his death: total of 48 years). His famous quote applies here: “There’s no education in the second kick of the mule.”
Having failed miserably to win passage of an abomination of a bill — the American Health Care Act — Current Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his minions are back with something even worse. A draft framework being circulated this week would pretend to keep the parts of Obamacare that people like, but allow states to take these benefits away. There is great pressure to follow through on the GOP promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, and Trump is nearing the 100-day mark, thus he sorely needs a legislative victory to tweet about.
Republicans don’t talk much about the practical reason for moving urgently on health care, which is to set the stage for tax reform: They want to take money now used to subsidize health care for low-income Americans and give it to the wealthy in the form of big tax cuts.

Likely the crowds at GOP Town Halls will be totally understanding, um? Just be sure to check attendees at the door for tar and feathers.
This new proposal — brokered by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), from the moderate “Tuesday Group,” and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), of the far-right “Freedom Caucus” — itself is like a sick parody.
Nominally, it is now called the “MacArthur amendment” — it would retain the “Essential Health Benefits” standard imposed by Obama-care which requires insurance policies to cover eventualities such as hospitalization, maternity, and emergency care — basically, the things many people need you know, to live.
It appears to maintain Obama-care’s guarantees that anyone could buy health insurance, including those with preexisting conditions, and that parents could keep adult children on their policies until age 26.
But that is where the parody ends and the GOP illusion kicks in.

After specifying that these popular provisions will stay, the amendment then gives states the right to snatch them away.
States would be able to obtain waivers exempting them from the Essential Health Benefits standards and the other stuff mentioned above – those life-saving in some cases – good decent care and waivers from the “preexisting conditions requirement by creating what is called: “high-risk pools” to provide coverage for those who are unwell. What does that mean?
It means there would no longer be a prohibition against charging “high-risk” individuals more — so much more in fact, that they would potentially be priced out of the market entirely. We would go then back to the pre-ACA (Obama-care) days and situations wherein serious illness would mean losing a home or filing for bankruptcy just to get decent life-saving healthcare – neat stunt isn’t it: That is to appear to be helping while literally watching people in need die – the illusion part.
All this probably will satisfy GOP ideological imperatives — and Ryan’s hero, Ayn Rand would be so proud of him – but it is atrocious policy, even if you put aside considerations such as compassion and community. Thus, we live at a time of enormous economic dislocation:
1.  Manufacturing sectors have shrunk dramatically,
2.  Retail may be starting down the same path,
3.  Long-lost jobs in industries such as coal mining are not coming back, no matter what Trump says.
4.  Workers need to be able to move to where jobs are being created — which means that health insurance should ideally be portable.

But Republicans are heading in the other direction by trying to set up a system with radically different health-insurance rules in different states. In today’s world, how does that make sense? Unchanged from last month’s failed bill are provisions that would strip massive amounts of money out of Medicaid, by far the nation’s biggest source of payment for nursing-home care. So Republicans might not want to show their faces anywhere near a retirement community.

The Affordable Care Act changed the way most people in this country think about health care. It did not, however, change the thinking of many House Republicans, who continue to believe individuals should be held financially liable for and to blame for: (1) Having a genetic predisposition toward diabetes, or (2) a random cellular mutation that leads to cancer.
Stay tuned. It outta be a hot time in the old town – to coin an old cliché.

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