Truly sickening

Posted 3/14/17

If Republicans manage to put some sort of a ramshackle facade on the maimed remnants of Obamacare, I hope “Look at me, look at me!” Donald doesn’t have the gall to call it Trump Care. That …

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Truly sickening

Posted

If Republicans manage to put some sort of a ramshackle facade on the maimed remnants of Obamacare, I hope “Look at me, look at me!” Donald doesn’t have the gall to call it Trump Care. That would be one of the greatest oxymorons of all time! He definitely is not a caring person. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office Monday said that the current health care plan—to replace Obamacare—would slash the number of people with health care insurance to 24,000,000 by 2026 . . . more immediately, by 16,000,000 next year.

It’s too bad that Donald doesn’t hang out with more poor people. But unfortunately he’s totally engrossed in strutting among the ultra-rich, who undoubtedly praise him long and loud for his continuing efforts on their behalf. My own overall impression of health care under a Trump administration is the sick and dying being sacrificed on the altar of some diety akin to the Golden Calf alluded to in Biblical history. Donald Trump is sort of a modern version of Aaron who hornswoggled most of the Israelites into embracing a gold-based theology while Moses was busy up on the mountain dealing with a virtue-based future for humanity. 

So Trump is swearing by the first proposed bludgeoning of Obamacare as brought forth by Speaker Paul Ryan of the House of Representatives. But they are not offering better health care at lower cost with their ongoing shell game. It’s basically just another “something for nothing” lie through the teeth of Donald Trump and the wealthy to whom he panders. It’s all about the underlying conservative agenda that Trump is ramping up in all ways possible, both blatantly and behind the scenes—free rein for industry, more wealth for those who don’t need it. 

Two of the biggest tax cuts in the current Republican ACA repeal would deliver roughly $157,000,000,000 over the coming decade to those with incomes of $1,000,000 or more, according to a congressional analysis (by the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation). 

The New York Times stated: “It is not unusual for tax cuts to benefit mostly the wealthiest, but still save some money for a majority of Americans. But the benefits of these reductions would be aimed squarely at the top. The provisions would repeal two tax increases  on high earners enacted in 2010 to help pay for the Affordable Care Act: an increase in capital gains taxes and other investment-related income, and a surcharge on Medicare taxes.

“People making $200,000 to $999,999 a year would also get sizable tax cuts. In total, the two provisions would cut taxes by about $274,000,000,000 during the coming decade, virtually all of it for people making at least $200,000, according to a separate assessment by the committee.”

The panel’s analysis was provided to the House Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday (March 8) but had not been published on the committee’s website when the Times (which had received a copy) published this analysis. No surprise to those of us aware of a great censoring of negative information within the Trump camp these days. 

This so-called “repeal and replace” Republican bill is basically a gigantic transfer of wealth from the lowest-income Americans to the highest-income Americans. Trump tries to justify this somehow by lying hugely about perceived shortcomings in Obamacare. See: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/us/politics/fact-check-trump-obamacare-health-care.html?_r=0 

The Times story concluded: “The analysis found that by 2020, the repeal of the two tax provisions would save about $15.9 billion a year for those with incomes of $1 million or more. By 2026, the final year of the analysis, they would combine to save that group a little more than $20,000,000,000 a year. . .”

Paul Krugman, Nobel prize-winning economist and also a New York Times columnist, calls the GOP effort a half-baked plan that if enacted would almost surely lead to a death spiral of soaring premiums and collapsing coverage. “The effect on those who are older and less affluent would be devastating. AARP has done the math: a 55-year-old making $25,000 a year would end up paying $3,600 MORE for coverage; that rises to $8,400 for a 64-year-old making $15,000 a year. And that’s before the death spiral.”

Krugman concluded: “the modern GOP always wants to comfort the comfortable and afflict the inflicted; so the bill ends up throwing away the taxes on the rich that help pay the subsidies [to lower-income families] and redirects the subsidies themselves away from those who need them to those who don’t.” 

The outlook becomes even more alarming up close and personal here at the state level. “Gloomy if not grim,” said The Seattle Times March 12. The consensus: “Unless state leaders come up with more than $1,000,000,000 a year in cuts or taxes, hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians, mostly low-income workers, would likely lose the coverage they gained under Obamacare . . . doctors, hospitals, insurers here say impacts also would include more out-of-pocket expenses for seniors, longer waiting lines in emergency rooms, less access to contraceptives, rural hospital closures and a roiled market for individual insurance, with a shrinking pool, rising premiums, fewer plans to choose from—putting the entire market at risk of collapse.” 

And let’s not forget: our state already has been struggling for some time but remains unable to fully fund public education, despite a mandate from its supreme court.

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