Sunday, June 25, 2017

Washington Post -- Which Republican senators will walk the plank for this terrible health-care bill?

Robert Reich’s comment:

Make no mistake: The Senate’s bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act is not a healthcare bill. It’s a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, paid for by a dramatic reduction in healthcare funding for approximately 23 million poor, disabled, and working middle class Americans. America’s wealthiest taxpayers (earning more than $200,000 a year, $250,000 for couples) would get a tax cut totaling $346 billion over 10 years.

If enacted, it would be one of the largest single transfers of wealth to the rich from the middle class and poor in American history, at a time when the rich already have a higher percentage of the nation’s wealth and income than in over a century.

Mitch McConnell – the Senate leader who refused to hold hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court pick and then pushed Neil Gorsuch through by changing the Senate rules on Supreme Court confirmations -- has scheduled no hearings on this bill. He has shut out not only his own Republican colleagues but also major hospitals, physician groups, consumer advocates and organizations representing millions of patients with heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.

The core of the bill is a huge reduction in Medicaid – America’s healthcare program for the poor -- even beyond the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

Reducing the federal government’s share of Medicaid is not reform, by any sane person’s definition. It is an enormous cost shift to the states – many of whom will not make up the difference. Among the programs sure to be cut are state responses to the opioid addiction crisis, of which more than 40 percent of the cost has been covered by Medicaid.

If this shameful bill is enacted, Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump -- as well as every Republican senator who signs on --will bear the burden of tens of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided were they not so determined to make rich Americans even richer.

“Groups representing pediatricians, cancer specialists, heart doctors and family physicians all agree: Both the House and the Senate offerings for fixing health care in the U.S. would make things worse, not better.

“Within hours of its release, groups representing medical professionals were denouncing the Senate version, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act or BCRA.

“ ‘The Senate draft health care bill is literally heartless,’ American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said.” -- NBC News

Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell in his memoir, “The Long Game,” writes how he overcame polio as a child with the help of polio treatment center set up by President Roosevelt. Now McConnell wants to take away government assistance from children who may be suffering from similar conditions. -- NPR

Which Republican senators will walk the plank for this terrible health-care bill?

By Jennifer Rubin