The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    Obamacare: Never was about Health Care for the GOP

    Obamacare was never about health care for Republicans. That's why they still don't have a health care plan of their own. Republicans don't do health care, because the 1% doesn't need one. For Republicans, it was always about Obamacare taxes, on the rich. Taxes which fund health insurance subsidies for the poor and the middle class. Eliminating those taxes is job one this week. And don't ever believe the GOP will ever pass any tax to replace those funds. The health care industry is in 'disarray' with how this comes out.

    Jan 9th, 2017 - Muted Response from Health Lobby as Affordable Care Act Faces Repeal:

    WASHINGTON — The speed of Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act has stunned health industry lobbyists, leaving representatives of insurance companies, hospitals, doctors and pharmaceutical makers in disarray and struggling for a response to a legislative quick strike that would upend much of the American health care system.


    the most prominent message from lobbyists that lawmakers saw in their first week back at work was a narrowly focused advertisement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce demanding the repeal of “Obamacare taxes....

    For Republicans it was always about taxes, on the rich. 

    Forbes on Obamacare taxes on the rich, the ones the GOP is going to repeal this week:

    The biggest revenue raiser in Obamacare is the net investment income tax, which levies an additional 3.8% surtax on interest, dividend, rent, royalty and passive business income of high-income taxpayers; those earning more than $250,000 (if married, $200,000 if single). Thus, once again, the tax impacts only the wealthiest 2% of Americans.

    The principal that the federal government can tax those who can afford it, to help those who cannot, is anathema to Republicans.

    The right wing Heritage Action for America plan for health care is the GOP ideal. Heritage Action was behind the government shutdown in 2013 over the Affordable Care Act.

    Their health care plan is euphemistically called "patient centered health care". Meaning you're on your own.

    According to the Heritage Action for America, Medicare and Medicaid, like Obamacare are not patient centered, because 'choice'.

    Rather, our health care system has long been among the most segmented and least market-driven sectors of our economy. A large portion of the country receives government-controlled health care from Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile, market mechanisms have long been impeded in the private sector by the tax code’s arbitrary preference for employer-provided care, which serves to prevent consumers from choosing the plans best suited to their needs.

    So don't think that your current or future Medicare is safe from the Republican servants of the rich.

    A huge plus for Republicans in gutting Obamacare taxes on the wealthy is it hastens the insolvency of Medicare.  So they can get rid of that next, with privatization, and 'choice'. For 65, 75 and 80 years olds. Vouchers for the private health insurance markets....

    Forbes Magazine, December 2016

    Obamacare added an additional 0.9% Medicare tax on a taxpayer's "earned income." This was, however, a targeted tax increase, meaning it doesn't apply to everyone; in fact, you only pay the additional tax on earned income in excess of $250,000 (if married, $200,000 if single), meaning only the richest 2% are subject to the tax.

    Forbes sums up the tax cuts going to be enacted by repealing ACA:

    In total, the immediate repeal of the Obamacare taxes will amount to a $350 billion tax cut for the richest 1% of taxpayers over the next ten years. The remaining 99% will either win or lose, depending on whether they currently claim the premium tax credit.

    Forbes continues:

    Should Congress decide to immediately repeal all tax aspects of Obamacare, including the premium tax credit, the results will be sure to create headlines. In this scenario, because low-income taxpayers would lose their subsidies in the form of the credit, while the richest 1% would continue to save, on average, $33,000, those earning less than $89,000 will actually experience a tax increase. In fact, 7% of taxpayers earning less than $25,000 would see their taxes rise by an average of $3,900 because of the loss of the premium tax credit, while 3% of middle-income taxpayers -- those earning between $25,000 and $89,000 -- would experience an average increase of $6,200 resulting from the loss of the subsidies.

    To sum it up, NYT 'Muted Reponse toi Repeal':

    “More than 20 million people could lose their health insurance, and states could lose billions of dollars in Medicaid money,” said Kenneth E. Raske, the president of the Greater New York Hospital Association. But, he added, many health care executives “don’t want to get on the wrong side of the new administration or the Republican majority in Congress.”

    But won't millions losing health care create a crisis? Won't this hurt Republicans in 2018, and 2020?

    Yes, but the GOP will string this out, it may be months before their 'replacement' plan becomes clear.

    Their plan is mentioned above. 'Choice'. End Obamacare now, Medicare and Medicaid later, vouchers, block grants. Trump's Secretary Health and Human Services, Tom Price, wants vouchers for Medicare.

    It may be more than a year, or years before the ACA dies off completely. The GOP will likely fund it on debt, not taxes on the rich, for a while. Skyrocketing the debt by giving tax breaks to corporations and the rich is a great way to tie the hands of Democrats and government in the future.

    The longer the destruction of the ACA is strung out, the easier it will be for Republicans to say it all isn't their fault when our health care system goes into shock. They will say Obamacare was dying anyway, which it isn't.

    If uninsured Americans rise from the current 10% to 20-30% Republicans may lose seats in 2018, may lose the Presidency in 2020, But that will be far enough down the road that with disinformation and 'both sides are to blame' media baloney, the GOP figures they won't lose enough to give Democrats enough seats to try Obamacare all over again. And what brave souls would want to try to health care reform again at the federal level? In an America that elected Donald Trump?


    I don't understand why they don't have a replacement, I mean they've been threatening for seven years now, "Repeal and Replace." They should have a replacement ready to go. The reason they don't is, ACA is a capitalist method of implementing universal care, the mandate and the tax increase must be preserved to keep it viable.

    In some ways I want Republicans to follow through and collapse the entire system, throw it into utter chaos, because people need to learn lessons the hard way, as we can all see. I think if they crash it, they will be held responsible, maybe??? As a sentient being, I cannot allow that to happen, too many innocent people will once again not be guaranteed basic preventative health care. 

    I spent a little bit of this morning arguing with two members of Twitlers cult, who seem to be under the impression they have ACA and not Obamacare!! I am stunned and cannot really wrap my head around the idea that this misperception is almost universal among them, and I feel sad for them! I mean, OMG, they don't know!!! 

    But I also bought a product just yesterday, and on the label, it read "Peach Bellini".??  I stared intently at the container for what seemed like five minutes and thought to myself, "How fucking redundant is that"? What's up America?

    Good points. Jonathan Chait, who understands Republicans well, notes defections in the GOP Senate, and that although 50 senators can kill the ACA taxes on the rich (reconciliation budget measure), it will take 60 to 'replace' the law with a new health care law-requiring 8 Dem votes, the gist of which, of course, most Republicans don't give a crap about, but enough (3 is all that is needed) do care about not wreaking health care havoc that they might stymie the grand GOP plan.

    if 50 Senate Republicans are willing to gamble that they can hold the one-seventh of the economy consumed by health care hostage and force a bunch of Democrats to go along. If that gamble fails, the ruin could easily trigger a backlash against the majority party. Apparently not enough Senate Republicans are willing to roll the dice. If this holds, Obamacare, or something substantially similar, is probably going to survive.

    The reason is they'd have to move their asses and plan something out - neither the intelligence nor work ethic to do that.

    Excuse me, I'm going to go make myself another orange screwdriver.

    The 3 dimensional chess of Obamacare is it directly ties taxes on the highest 2% incomes to health care subsidies for middle class and low income families, and it reinforces the solvency of Medicare.

    Breaking news, Trump demands immediate repeal Obamacare, without any replacement.

    He is so smart!

    The reason is they'd have to move their asses and plan something out - neither the intelligence nor work ethic to do that.

    Heh, yea this. 

    Way back when....the repubs would attack the new plans of 2009.

    They would say:

    Hell, the ER will take care of things.

    The dems would say:

    Yeah, but who the hell pays for the ER visits?

    I am reminded of this NY fellow who ran for Governor of Gotham:

    You have cancer. I am sorry for your loss. But I do not have cancer. And so your problem has nothing to do with me.

    Now this fun fellow is part of the New Cabinet?



    And ER care is the most expensive.

    On health care McCain always says 'we have to start from scratch'. He's been starting from scratch for almost a normal lifetime.

    As TMC notes many on ACA don't know it's Obamacare, they will notice if they lose it. That's the GOP problem.

    But Trump could never have been elected President of the United States after promising 'fantastic health care at a fraction of the price' unless he meant it, and had a plan, right? And he's a smart rich businessman,


    Very hard not to feel that these people actually are "deplorable."

    From Heritage...

    The law provides massive incentives to insurers for cooperation. It offers them a steady stream of customers through its requirement that all Americans purchase their products.

    But this "requirement" or mandate was devised by Heritage a while back to prevent free riders. I have a copy of one of their old plans where it's clearly laid out.

    Thing is, Obamacare was a sitting target. The GOP could attack it even before it became a plan. It was "a thing." What they're trying do, as laid out above, has so many hard-to-understand moving parts that phase in a different times, no regular person will ever be able to figure out what's happening, when or why.

    The sneakiest part, as mentioned above, is for the GOP to pretend to try to save it by keeping it on life support until it's plain to everyone that the poor thing died on its own because it was never any good. What can you expect from the government?

    And there will be plenty of "progressives" happy to dance on its grave because all it ever was a give away to the health care industry. Once it's destroyed, they say, a new single payer plan will rise from the ashes--except not if Medicare has become a voucher plan, indistinguishable in many respects from...Obamacare!

    True and well stated. This is for now and for who knows how long, a right leaning Fox/right wing/Koch/anti-liberal propagandized very divided nation at least as far as those who vote. In an increasingly failed democracy where the popular vote winning Party may hold no political power, and the other Party seeks unlimited power, and one Party rule.  Single payer is he best system, but not even on the horizon.

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