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Thursday, June 29, 2017

McConnell should take the temperature of the nation before ramrodding his unhealthy plan

Senate Majority Mitch McConnell "feeling worse" about the GOP "unhealthy" plan by Amy Davidson in The New Yorker

Maine, USA:  Progressive Advocacy Group: Nearly 118,000 Mainers Would Lose Health Insurance Under Senate Bill

An NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll shows President Trump's approval ratings below 40 percent and approval of the GOP health (aka "unhealth") care proposal is in the teens. This toxic environment makes it even tougher for Republicans to forge a deal to meet their twin goals of repealing the Affordable Care Act and making affordable health care more accessible.

In fact, only 17 percent support the GOP plan. By the way, just in case you think that might be an outlier, it's not. Quinnipiac also has poll data reporting fifty eight percent disapprove. Sixteen percent approve of the bill. And USA Today has a poll where the Senate bill has only 12 percent support. And what's even more significant, Republicans in our poll - only 35 percent of them like the Senate plan.

In the The New Yorker, "Talk of the Town" comment by Amy Davidson- the headline is "Feeling Worse"!

The Senate’s Disastrous Health-Care Bill

How much of a surprise was the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the (GOP led) Senate's super-secret health care bill which Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, finally revealed?

Among others, Donald Trump claimed the GOP would fix some of the destructiveness of the House bill, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated would cause twenty-three million Americans to lose their insurance coverage. But it turned out, the Senate bill is just as miserable.

In fact, the Senate bill jettisons standards for care so thoroughly that, under its terms, it isn’t clear what it would even mean to be covered. 

(In other words, insurance premiums could pay for practically no coverage at all.)

Before the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare, when people who had insurance developed a serious health condition, they often discovered that it wasn’t covered by their policy, or that there were so many co-payments, deductibles, mysterious charges, and caps—including lifetime caps—that their coverage amounted to little more than a discount coupon on something that remained unaffordable. 

Oftentimes, patients found themselves without coverage for hospitalization, prescription drugs, and pediatric and chronic-disease care. A key contribution of the Affordable Care Act was to define each of those services, and some others, as “essential health benefits”—services that a plan had to cover in order to call itself a plan.The House and the Senate bills both allow the states to waive the essential-benefit requirements. House Republicans justified this provision by expressing outrage at the inclusion of prenatal care in the benefits: Why, they asked, should men, who can’t get pregnant, have to pay for that? Such attempts to frame access to coverage as someone else’s problem are muddled as a matter of both practice and principle.
Mysteriously, how and why would anybody vote for such an unpopular insurance plan? Moreover, the lawmakers who are ramrodding this ridiculous legislation through the Congress are, themselves, fully covered for themselves and their families - for life!  In fact, while a chunk of the population of Kentucky are at risk for the chronic impacts of black lung disease, McConnell wants to force a bill whereby more people to be taken off of Medicaid coverage. Yet, Medicaid is the only way the victims of the coal mining caused epidemic can receive coverage, after they are forced to leave the workforce.

It's clearly time for the Republicans to take the temperature of the nation before putting millions of people into the ranks of the uninsured; their bad and heartless health plan will cause hundreds of hospitals to close for lack of reimbursement, a condition exacerbated by the cruel BCRA. 



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