The health care farce

Posted 6/29/17

A Republican Senate apparently inspired by the president who would “Make America Great Again” for the likes of the robber barons of yesteryear (in whose image he obviously has fashioned himself) …

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The health care farce

Posted

A Republican Senate apparently inspired by the president who would “Make America Great Again” for the likes of the robber barons of yesteryear (in whose image he obviously has fashioned himself) is gleefully charging forward in pursuit of a $700,000,000,000 prize. That’s the jackpot of tax cuts, basically for the very wealthy, that are a part of their so-called “health care” plan. 

In the process they are turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the misery that their political “victory” and personal enrichment will bring to our society in general. To the poor, the infirm, the mentally ill, the aged, afflicted children—and to all average Americans to a lesser degree—it is an apocalypse. A recent respected poll of public opinion showed 12% public approval of the GOP plan. Another showed 17%. Yet the minions of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell forge on toward the building of their ramshackle facade of service to the general well being of the American public specified in the introduction of our supposedly-revered constitution.

If you’re one of the 22,000,000 Americans who would (as determined by the Congressional Budget Office) lose health care under the devious GOP scheme, you might be one of the first to die. But you could expire happily, knowing that rubbing elbows at a cocktail hour at Mir-a-Lago was a billionaire with a $5,000,000 annual income who was receiving a $250,000 tax break in your memory. And he’d also be getting it again next year—and the year after that . . .

Some 45% of that 700-billion tax cut would go to individuals earning more than $875,000 a year—and 67% of it all would go to the top 20% of American income-earners. All while 22,000,000 Americans would lose their existing health care, something that can’t be mentioned too many times. Added to those already uninsured, that would leave 1 in 7 Americans not covered. Compare that to the universal coverage enjoyed in countries our nationalistic bullies like to make fun of because they’re “smaller” than we are. Yeah, sure; “smaller” geographically or financially perhaps—but certainly not in terms of spirit and social conscience.

The Senate Health Care Bill is opposed by all major medical organizations:

Physicians: American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association, American Psychiatric Association, American College of Emergency Physicians, Association of American Medical Colleges.  Hospitals: American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals. Other organizations including patient advocates: American Public Health Association, American Association of Retired Persons, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, and others.

While the wealthy would be getting massive tax cuts, among those retaining coverage health insurance premiums would go up substantially for those making less than $26,500 a year—$400 more for a 21-year-old, $900 for a 40-year-old, and $2,000 for a 64-year old person. For that 64-year-old (stlll not yet qualifying for Social Security) the cost of health insurance of $16,000 a year would be more than half of that person’s annual income.

Essentially, the Republican plan makes insurance unaffordable for poor and middle-class Americans who do not have employer-based health insurance.

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Note for those unfamiliar with the term: ”Robber baron" is a derogatory metaphor of social criticism originally applied to certain late 19th-century American businessmen who used unscrupulous methods to get rich.

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