librewolf's picture

    Can We Arrest the Congress for Robbery and Attempted Murder?

    open gravesMy life is on the line as are the lives of millions of others. My continued existence depends upon access to an expensive mix of medications and medical care for I live with a double-lung transplant. My yearly out-of pocket expenses are already over $20,000 a year. With the "improvements" proffered by Trump and the Republicans, that amount will at least quintuple - just for the insurance, and forget about deductibles and co-pays. Without a medical "lifeline" I will die. I suspect that most of us will have someone we know or love who will lose their lives.

    I know I am not alone in this "dilemma." People have accidents; weird health issues strike you down (as pulmonary hypertension did to me); babies are born with medical defects and anomalies; simple surgeries gone awry. Even with current insurance, people with chronic and/or catastrophic health issues struggle financially. I admit making tearful calls to the representatives from Oregon (where I live) to plead, beg actually, for them to vote against this bill. I admit to crying again when I heard the vote, and to being enraged as they partied on the White House lawn.

    The outright duplicity of the Republicans regarding virtually everything they say about both the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is stunning.1;  How can they just lie straight to our faces? Did a chill run down your back as the Republican Congress first passed their atrocity of a bill that will harm millions and likely kill tens of thousands of us, and then went to party at the White House celebrating their "victory"? I found myself in tears that they could truly be this calloused - pathologically calloused.

    What has happened here affects us all - not just the poor, the "elderly" (if you count 64 as such), and those with pre-existing conditions. Just as the ACA radically slowed the cost inflation of health insurance while lowering overall costs, the AHCA will drive up the costs for almost everyone - whether insured through AHCA or not. Do you really think that when insurers are permitted to charge those over 64 up to FIVE TIMES what they charge younger people for exactly the same coverage, that they are not going to do the same thing with their non-AHCA insureds? This is even more likely as the Republican plan removes constraints on employers to provide coverage.

    Republicans celebrate House AHCA

    If you (or someone you know) thinks that the concerns over the Republican plan are overblown, then I encourage reading the bill - H.R. 1628 - American Health Care Act 0f 2017 -  or at least the summary of it. It is chilling reading, and listening to Republicans talk about the "benefits" of their plan would be laughable if it wasn't so pathetic. Following are just a few of the changes:

    • removes individual mandate     
    • increases the ratio of cost to 5 to 1 (or charge $5 for ever $1 of coverage for a younger person with no preexisting condition)     
    • cuts out the Medicaid extension by lowering limit from 133% of poverty to the poverty line     
    • cuts public and preventative health initiatives and services     
    • allows state creations of high risk pools (already proven not to work) and allowing correspondingly high costs and deductibles for said pools     
    • sends Medicaid back to states as capped block grants - this means there will be no inflation increases making less money available with each passing year

    The claims that the Republican plan is going to "save" money, or offer more "customer" options are exaggerated at best, and outright lies at worst. The so called "savings" are going as straight across tax benefits for (roughly) the top 1% (or families earning more than $250,000/yr. In other words, this is a HUGE transfer of wealth from the bottom 99% to the top 1%.

    The claims of "choice" are laughable. It allows plans that offer little or nothing. For example, plans that cut out hospitalization, emergency room services, or catastrophic care. Isn't that why people have insurance, for those times when costs exceed any hope of payment?

    Perhaps people need to be reminded what drove the need for the Affordable Care Act. Insurance cost were jumping by double digits every year and the Number 1 cause of bankruptcy was medical costs. The cost of insurance was driving down the profits of major corporations and definitely more modest ones. We were a nation drowning in unchecked explosion of healthcare costs while more and more people were priced out of the market. In other words, the United States was in a healthcare crisis from both a cost and access perspective.

    The Republicans want to take us back to this catastrophe in order to transfer massive wealth to the wealthiest people in the country.

    To add insult to injury, the Republicans voted to exclude themselves from the changes they voted for. The added slap in the face being that many of them would also get to pocket the benefits of the rest of those earning over $200,000 a year.

    I am sickened and beyond sad that we have actually elected people who are willing to lie, steal, and murder for personal gain. They are stealing far more than money from us, and the theft goes far beyond (no)Health policy.

    We must fight back. We all have skin in this game. The Republicans think they can shove this through and the hell with us. I say no way is this going down and us not yell all the way to the voting booth and back.


    Kaiser has a detailed summary of the impacts of the changes in this document.

    1 I assume it is lost on no one that we have gone from "Affordable" to "American" (and definitely not affordable).

    Photo credits:

    Open Graves by The Davelaars.

    Republican Congresspeople celebrate their passage of the AHCA with Trump in the Rose Garden May 4, 2017 Yahoo).

    Rowan Wolf

    Image icon open graves72.78 KB
    Image icon Republicans celebrate in the Rose Garden104.04 KB


    Bless you for sharing your story to help fight this when you've got so much on your plate already.

    There is one meme that you touch on in your story that I think is particularly successful across a lot of divides. And that is "insurance that is not really insurance", that is one that angers a lot of people. Not just for health but any other kind of insurance too, car, home, flood, etc..Because it makes a mockery of the word and the concept of being protected against disaster when there is separation into various risk groups.

    This is why the Jimmy Kimmel story has had a lot of resonance. He's not a poor person, but people see only that: he had insurance, therefore, a baby born under that insurance should be covered. Forever, period.

    A bit too cut-and-dry for me, though glad for it to get attention.

    In this case, with a heart defect, the kid either lives or dies. What about the single 17-year-old who's been encouraged not to get the abortion, and instead gives birth to an autistic or challenged kid with *multiple issues* that will demand loads of daily attention for the next 20, 40 or 60 years - from doctors & therapies to expensive childcare to special schools. And likely won't be covered by insurance.

    In January last year, Hillary revealed a comprehensive proposal for helping address autism and similar, and continued to make disabilities a big part of her platform, her convention appearance and her ads, including a nice one on a hearing disability and how ACA & other government initiatives helped address pre-existing conditions, the right to an education, and streamlining access to care without draconian costs.

    She got next to 0 credit for this, even though about 1 in 6 voters suffer from a disability, and instead got a good cold splash of water for engaging in "inspiration porn" and taking the voice away from the disabled.

    But some good looking youngish rich white TV dude tells of his 72 hours of suspense (which for his wife could be 20 years, depending on the affliction, as women as mothers, wives and daughters carry the unpaid burden of most of our health care), and we're all in, teary-eyed and waving our Bic lighters.

    Well we fucked up on this one, didn't we? We were debating a moonshot or going to Mars, single payer for all!!!! while electing the guy who was helping the Visigoths pierce the walls and destroy any semblance of public healthcare or access to abortion or any of the other precarious basics of life.

    Jimmy Kimmell isn't going to fix it, nor are the motherfuckers writing a 1-page nothing burger to replace hundreds of pages of painfully compromised policy nor the guy who says "let's not stop with Obamacare [which is largely Hillarycare, get it already], we can do more more more more, why are we giving up?" - its the "unlikeable" establishment wonkish cunt who actually read and wrote policy papers and hosted divisive hearings and showed some initiative and care on the topic for over 40 years.

    I wish I were drunk so I could blame writing this on the alcohol.

    Well, alcohol or not, you are right.  As usual.

    eloquent guest op-ed by Hilary Yancey over at WaPo:

    You say you’re pro-life, but then you want to limit health care for my disabled son

    “It’s a good thing he was born to you. Most people would have aborted him.”

    The him was my 6-month-old son, Jack, nestled into my arms, held at the angle he preferred — one that wouldn’t cause his tracheotomy tube to torque. His one and only eye remained fixed on me, his one and only ear perked, waiting for what I would say.

    In those early days, I heard a lot about what brave parents we were, how no one else could do what we were doing, how anyone else would have aborted him, because abortion is what people do now. We didn’t ask to become a pro-life touchstone, but for many Christians, we became one [....]

    Latest Comments