Posted by: minnow | September 23, 2017

And in Healthcare News…

Doesn’t it make sense, as in common sense, you know the kind we all hope the people in Washington have, that if the GOP actually thought their bill was an improvement over the ACA they would want the whole country to see it. One would expect them to brag about all it will accomplish. One might even think they would want to carefully walk it through the process of public scrutiny–a thorough review by the Finance Committee, a vigorous debate on the Senate floor, and multiple endorsements from various health organizations. One might hope…

Sadly the current proposal–the Graham-Cassidy Bill–is the polar opposite. The Senate Finance Committee doesn’t have time for a thorough review.  Republicans plan to limit the floor debate to a few minutes. And multiple groups have come out against the proposal, including: the American Medical Association, AARP, Blue Cross Blue Shield, the American Cancer Society, a group of bi-partisan governors (including the governors of Alaska and Montana despite the fact both would be exempt from the Medicaid caps), the March of Dimes, and the National Association of Medical Directors (a group that represents all 50 states).

The GOP wants a win.  One of my own state senators sent a form letter reply to my plea that he vote against this proposal. His letter repeated the Republican mantra that under the ACA premiums have gone up and the Republican party wants to fulfill their promise to the American people to repeal Obamacare.  What my senator neglected to acknowledge, and what he would prefer none of us understood, is that the GOP refused to allow premium caps on the ACA and it is the insurance industry–A MULTIBILLION DOLLAR PROFIT ORGANIZATION–which is responsible for increased premiums NOT, I repeat–NOT, the Affordable Care Act.

Individuals in the Republican party are desperate to please their donors. At least part of the thinking of the GOP goes like this–we need to fulfill our promise to our big money donors to provide a tax cut.  We have to find money in the budget to do it.  We just approved a $80 billion dollar increase for the military. We can’t look like we don’t care about the deficit. Oh yeah–Obamacare–we hate that anyway. Here’s what we’ll do.  We’ll pretend we want to give control to the States, throw a chunk of money in a pool, set a date after the 2020 elections for that money to dry up and miracle of miracles our donors have a tax cut and we’ve shoved the problem of healthcare onto the states.

Money buys influence. It’s a sad fact of human nature.  But it shouldn’t have unlimited power within a free society’s political system.  If we don’t want to have to keep fighting the same fight with healthcare over and over again we need to work to change the system.  YES, today you must call your senators, urge them to defeat the Graham-Cassidy Bill and remind them we are watching.  Yes, this is an urgent issue that needs your immediate attention.  Follow this link to find out how to contact your senator or Google his or her name, go to contacts on his or her political website, and get the needed info there. Be brief. Be polite. BUT BE FORCEFUL! If we are going to win the battle for our nation’s soul we must put in the time consuming work. We must be diligent!

So, the above is the solution for the short term.  For the long term–WE MUST HAVE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM! We must organize at the grassroots level and elect people of integrity, people who can’t be bought, people who will work for us and not for corporations. We must become savvy with social media–figure out how to wage the soundbite war.  And we must focus on giving the people a voice. It may take a village to raise a child but it will take the citizenry of every state to reframe the American dream to include ALL AMERICANS.

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