Cruz Amdt is a Disaster for Healthcare … Nationwide

In rare joint letter, insurers say the Cruz amendment to the Senate Healthcare bill is “unworkable in any form” and will lead to “widespread terminations of coverage.”


Trumpka on the GOP’s Gutting of Healthcare

— Richard Trumka — President, AFL-CIO

We are—and always will be—stronger together. You’ve proved that again by standing united in opposition to the GOP health care bill.

More than 400,000 working people like you signed petitions aimed at Congress. More than 26,000 people made phone calls to their senator or representative urging them to oppose a health care bill that will leave 22 million Americans without the care they depend on. And thousands more of you showed up at events across the nation to speak up for all working families’ freedom to have decent health care.

Despite all we’ve done, the fight is far from over. You can help keep up the momentum by sharing this image with your friends and family.

Not only does this plan put millions of working families at risk of losing their care, it also would destroy 1.45 million jobs in the health sector in order to pay for more tax breaks for the wealthy.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t have enough votes today to guarantee a win if he brings this terrible piece of legislation to the floor for a vote, because working women and men continue to take action. It’s up to all of us to keep it that way. Sharing this graphic right now on social media is a great, simple way to do just that.

NOW is THE Time!

We’re in danger of losing our health care. The Senate is inching closer to passing a devastating health care bill. If they do, then millions of people will see their health care coverage disappear. But you can do something about it.

Nevada is particularly important in the fight to save our health care. Why? Because our senator, Dean Heller, is a deciding vote on the Senate bill.

You have a critical part to play, and there is no time to waste. As a constituent, you have the power to influence Senator Heller’s vote on health care.

The over 600,000 Nevadans who rely on Medicaid would be most adversely affected as Nevada is poised to lose approximately $5 billion in federal Medicaid funds by 2028 if the Senate health care bill passes. This would harm 300,000 children, 13,000 seniors, and 42,000 people with disabilities in Nevada.

But that’s only what we actually know today.  Are you insured through an employer plan?  You do know that employers shop insurers country-wide for the best policy prices they can find, right?  Have you heard this bill allows States to seek waivers of  EHBs (Essential Health Benefits, like maternity coverage, ER visits, Xrays,  cancer screenings, etc.)?  What do you think will happen to the healthcare insurance coverage you now have once your employer, like everyone else’s employer starts shopping “EHB-waivered” states for their insurance policies to save money, while holding what you pay constant or even charging you a larger percentage of the cost, all to pad their bottom line?

  • Read the over-glorious summary from the Senate Budget Committee glossing over the dreadful impacts.
  • Browse the actual bill text.
  • View a section by section summary by the Congressional Research Service here.

TrumpedUpCare harms us all and we can’t let that happen!  The clock is ticking with an expected vote no later than next  Thursday.  Call Senator Heller’s offices today and often (call all of them).  Let him know that if he takes a meat cleaver to our healthcare, he might as well take a meat cleaver to his 2018 campaign, because he’s done!

202-224-6244 (DC)
702-388-6605 (LV)
775-686-5770 (Reno)
775-738-2001 (Elko)

Term: 2013-2018

Gov. Sandoval Vetoes Healthcare and Renewable Energy Bills

Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed Assembly Bill 374, which would have created a Medicaid buy-in option for all Nevadans. Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II released the following statement:

“Republicans like Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei are actively sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and trying to pass a bill that increases your costs, slashes your coverage, and eliminates key health care protections. Assemblyman Sprinkle’s Nevada Care Plan was motivated by the idea that health care should be a right, and his legislation was the product of diligent work, innovative policy ideas, and bipartisan collaboration. If Governor Sandoval had signed this bill, every Nevadan would have gained the opportunity to buy an affordable plan with Medicaid-like health benefits on the insurance market. Governor Sandoval’s disappointing veto leaves Nevadans more vulnerable to the GOP’s heartless and reckless health care policies in Washington.

Governor Sandoval’s disappointing veto leaves Nevadans more vulnerable to the GOP’s heartless and reckless health care policies in Washington” — NV Dems Chair William McCurdy II

Governor Brian Sandoval also vetoed Assembly Bill 206 to set a standard of getting 40% of our energy from renewable sources by 2030 and Senate Bill 392 to expand solar energy access to more communities including low-income families. Nevada State Democratic Party Chair William McCurdy II released a statement relative to those vetoes as well:

“During this past legislative session, Democrats worked in a bipartisan way to revitalize Nevada’s clean energy economy, and I’m proud of everything we accomplished together in Carson City. Governor Sandoval’s vetoes represent missed opportunities for us to seize the economic opportunity of renewable energy in our communities. Community solar would have helped families who rent and low-income neighborhoods reduce their energy bills through access to solar power, and an ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standard would have created tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wages right here in Nevada. The fight will continue to build on our state’s clean energy progress and enact these common-sense policies next session.

Governor Sandoval’s vetoes represent missed opportunities for us to seize the economic opportunity of renewable energy in our communities” — NV Dems Chair William McCurdy II

Heller’s High (or should I say Low) Water on Healthcare

In case you haven’t heard, Senator Dean Heller supports MASSIVE cuts to Medicaid.  In fact, Senator Heller has drug the proverbial tea and has expressed his support for PHASING OUT the Medicaid expansion over the next 7 years.

After weeks of denying, fudging and wriggling, Heller is finally admitting he’s ready to end the Medicaid expansion covering more than 138,000 Nevadans—including children—since Obamacare became law.  THAT is unacceptable. Senator Heller was elected to look out for Nevadans, but he’s instead ripping the rug out from those who count on Medicaid.

“I support seven, I support seven,” Heller told reporters on his way into a healthcare working group meeting in the Capitol. “So do a number of us, including [Sen. Rob] Portman [R-Ohio] and others who have been working on this.”

Full story here.

Apparently Heller figures blame won’t fall back on him if they just “slowly” take Medicaid away from over 130,000 Nevadans and millions across the U.S.  … over a 7 year time frame. What folks need to understand is, that without Federal “matching funds” which enable States to open up the Medicaid insurance program to those whose incomes are below or just above the poverty line, it will be detrimentally consequential. Thirty-one states chose to expand Medicaid, and, as a result, 11 million to 12 million newly eligible people were finally able to obtain health insurance.  If federal matching funds are withdrawn, most states will likely return to the more restrictive eligibility rules for Medicaid eligibility ― effectively wiping out the coverage gains, leaving millions of low-income Americans with worse access to health care and more exposure to crushing medical bills.  In other words, it’s the equivalent of legislating a “death panel” where access is denied or expensive procedures/surgeries are denied as funding will not be available and people WILL die.

At a time when the Nevada Legislature is seriously considering a “Medicaid for All” healthcare delivery model that would let Nevadans buy into a “public” delivery system to assure Nevadans can more effectively access healthcare coverage, it appears that Senator Heller has chosen to throw his constituents under the first bus he can find.  Even Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican who doesn’t support blocking healthcare coverage access for so many Nevadans, has shared his concern about rolling back the Medicaid expansion.

We can’t let Heller and his spokespeople get away with playing loose with the truth, calling this “fake news,” and blaming it on Democrats.  He made the comment and it’s on tape!

We must defeat Senator Heller in 2018. Nevadans can’t afford to lose the Medicaid expansion.

Related posts:

Press Releases from NV Dems

Getting straight — A rough week for Dean Heller
Dean Heller Still Wants to Repeal the ACA
Heller getting a bit bipolar about Planned Parenthood funding
Heller Cheerleading Trump Attacks on Nevada’s National Monuments
How Does the Senator Explain That?
A complete and total disaster

News & Views | 04.25.17

 

Betraying ‘Hire American’ Pledge, Trump Rewards Companies Offshoring US Jobs
by Lauren McCauley
Though he has the power, President Trump has yet to wield his executive authority to stop U.S. jobs from being shipped abroad

 

It’s Now Been Three Long Years Since Flint Had Clean Water
by Nika Knight
Flint, Michigan has not had clean water since the city switched its water source to the Flint River on April 24, 2014

 

Ivanka Trump Is Booed, Hissed in Germany for Defending Donald Trump
by Nika Knight
German audience also appeared confused by prominent role president’s daughter is playing in the administration

 

‘Truly Dumb’: Why $2.4 Trillion Corporate Tax Cut Will Not Magically Pay for Itself
by Jon Queally
Economists and tax experts push back against White House reported plan to slash corporate rate by 60 percent

 

‘Conveyor Belt of Death’ Continues as Arkansas Carries Out Double Execution
by Lauren McCauley
‘The sentences of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams are another heinous example of how the death penalty is applied to people with severe mental impairments and history of abuse’

 

Ontario to Launch North America’s First Test of Universal Basic Income
by Nadia Prupis
“We want to find out whether a basic income makes a positive difference in people’s lives”

 

FCC’s “Puppet Bureaucrat” Chair Pai to Announce Plan to Kill Net Neutrality
by Nadia Prupis
“Trump’s FCC chairman has put on blinders because he’s determined to take away basic rights against online discrimination that Congress granted everyone in this country”

 

Attention, Please: We Can Guarantee Healthcare for All Californians
by Deborah Burger
It’s time for a better plan. One that puts everybody in and leaves nobody out.

 

Making Sense of the Deportation Debate
by Aviva Chomsky
How Bill Clinton and Barack Obama laid the groundwork for Trump’s immigration policies

 

Where Is the Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders of Foreign Policy?
by Katrina vanden Heuvel
Many Democrats are positioning themselves to take on Trump four years from now. They’d be wise to seek leadership by demonstrating it.

 

Why Was Heath Mello Thrown Under the Bus?
by D.D. Guttenplan
Was the candidate for mayor of Omaha held to a different standard than other Democrats?

 

Why We Are Joining the March on Harrisburg
by Frances Moore Lappé, Adam Eichen
A vibrant pro-democracy movement is on the march

 

Everything Wrong with Charter Schools on Display in New Orleans
by Bill Quigley
Major challenges of ctiy’s charter schools exposed at recent NAACP Hearing

 

Trump’s AP Interview: Unhinged, Bombastic, and “[Unintelligible]”
by Nadia Prupis
President sits down with Associated Press to rail against the media, dismiss his 100-day threshold, and discuss his broken pledges

 

American Dream in Freefall: It’s This Bad
by Andrea Germanos
‘Declines in absolute mobility have been a systematic, widespread phenomenon throughout the United States since 1940,’ the authors of the new study write

 

‘Major Setback’ for Justice as Supreme Court Rejects Torture Report Lawsuit
by Nadia Prupis
“The full report is the definitive account of one of the darkest chapters in our nation’s history, and the public has a right to see it,” said ACLU’s Hina Shamsi

 

Planet Breaches 410 ppm as Back-to-Back Protests Demand Trump Wake Up
by Lauren McCauley
Bridging March for Science with Peoples Climate March, week of action will focus on creating a just transition from fossil fuels

News & Views | 04.13.17

 News…

Commander-in-Chief Trump Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on Afghanistan
by Lauren McCauley
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said the “unprecedented use of an MOAB…marks a new front in the almost 16 year war in Afghanistan.”
Bill Introduced to Protect Fliers from Being Violently Dragged Off Planes
by Nadia Prupis
‘Airlines and corporations clearly are not people, because if they were, a number of them would have been arrested and prosecuted’
  Hunger Strikers at UN Headquarters Call for End to Yemen War
by Nika Knight
‘We call on the Saudis and Donald Trump to look at the horrific effect their bombing is having on the beautiful babies in Yemen’
  Pentagon Admits to Killing 18 US-Backed Syrian Forces in Friendly Fire Incident
by Lauren McCauley
“The U.S. is literally bombing everyone now,” quipped journalist Asaad Hanna, a Syrian civil society and human rights activist
  Trump Threatens Healthcare for Poor in Effort to Cut Healthcare for Poor
by Deirdre Fulton
President Donald Trump appears to be pursuing Republican strategy of sabotaging Affordable Care Act
  What Campaign Promises? Trump Backpedals on Yet More Major Pledges
by Nadia Prupis
President reversed or pivoted position on several big issues, including labeling China a currency manipulator
  Leftist Candidate Surges in French Presidential Election
by Nika Knight
Inspiring hope in battle against Europe’s far-right, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is swiftly gaining in polls

 Views…

  Why Trump Was Able to Sucker the World on Syria
by Neal Gabler
The reality-show presidency goes to war.
  The Mental Limits of War
by Robert C. Koehler
This is American exceptionalism in action.
  You Pay Your Fair Share. Shouldn’t Wall Street?
by Sarah Anderson
While you and I file our taxes, Republicans want to make it even easier for big banks to dodge them.
  During Resistance Recess, Join The Fight For Public Schools
by Jeff Bryant
In this season of resistance, there’s no issue more imperative to your community than the fight for public education.
  ‘The Resistance’ That Doesn’t Resist War
by Dan Kovalik
The overwhelming support for Trump’s Syria strikes is consistent with FAIR’s studies of media reaction to US military action.
  Is No Place Safe? Climate Change Denialists Seek to Sway Science Teachers
by Ann Reid, Glenn Branch, Steven Newton
Science teachers know better—and science students deserve better.

Newswire…

Trumpcare Was for CEOs, Not Patients

Buried in Paul Ryan’s failed replacement for Obamacare was a huge handout to overpaid health insurance CEOs.

Jim Hightower

It appears that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s 123-page legislative plan for Trumpcare, the GOP’s so-called “replacement” for Obamacare, is dead — for now, anyway.

Republicans tried to rush it through, but not before the Congressional Budget Office discovered it was actually a displacement plan.

That is, if it had passed, 24 million Americans who are now insured would have lost their insurance. Moreover, the premiums paid by senior citizens would have been jacked up, and the benefits for practically everyone would have been cut.

But Ryan did make sure that one group with special needs would have benefited from his legislative wizardry: the CEOs of giant insurance corporations.

money-healthcare-drugs
(Photo: Bill Brooks/Flickr)

Understandably, none of the GOP lawmakers who’ve been loudly crowing about killing Obamacare mentioned a little, six-line provision hidden on page 67, discretely titled “Remuneration from Certain Insurers.” In plain English, this gob of gobbledygook offers a tax subsidy that encourages insurance conglomerates to increase the pay of their top executives.

Current tax law says insurers can pay as much as they want to top executives, but they can only deduct $500,000 per executive from their corporate taxes. Under Ryan’s rip-off, however, we taxpayers would have at least doubled — and possibly quadrupled — the unconscionable salary subsidies we dole out to these enormously profitable corporations.

The White House and GOP Congress proclaimed that their replacement of Obamacare was “the will of the people.” Really? How many Americans think that jacking up the pay of super-rich insurance chiefs is a proper use of our tax dollars?

And I’d say a big majority of the people would think it immoral to steal lifesaving healthcare benefits from working-class and poor families just to subsidize corporate elites who are already overpaid.

If Republicans actually thought their executive pay subsidy was the will of the people, why did they try so hard to keep it a secret?


OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed by OtherWords.org. 

Senator Casey Releases 50 State Report on the Impacts of TrumpCare on Older Americans

Individual State Fact Sheets Confirm that TrumpCare Will Cause Premiums to Skyrocket for People Ages 50 to 64; Decimate Medicaid, Meaning Cuts to Care for the Most Vulnerable Seniors / Fact Sheets, Compiled by Senate Special Committee on Aging, Show Devastating Consequences of TrumpCare’s Age Tax in Each State / Data Confirms that TrumpCare Cuts Benefits and Hikes Costs for Older Americans in Order to Finance Tax Cuts for the Wealthiest and Big Corporations

Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, released a 50 State Report detailing the impacts of TrumpCare on older Americans. These individual state fact sheets make clear the consequences of TrumpCare’s irresponsible policies: imposing an age tax on those between the ages of 50-64 will cause premiums to skyrocket, reducing tax credits available to older Americans will make health care out of reach for millions, decimating Medicaid means our most vulnerable seniors get knocked while they are down and undermining the finances of Medicare will opens the door to benefit cuts and vouchers. These changes are financing tax cuts for the wealthy and giving special interests a sweetheart deal.

“For older Americans, TrumpCare is highway robbery,” Senator Casey said. “It strips older Americans of the ability to afford health coverage while lining the pockets of the wealthiest individuals and companies. The TrumpCare scheme is a profound betrayal of our seniors, penalizing people for getting older and neglecting the most vulnerable members of our families. The information I am releasing today shows that individuals in every state are worse off under this plan.”

Under the Republican plan, by 2026, the average premium in the non-group or individual market for someone age 64 will be 20 to 25 percent higher than it would be under current law. In Pennsylvania, the “age tax” will raise premiums for a 60 year old earning $40,000 by $2,300 annually. And, that same 60 year old will lose out on $4,000 in tax credits.

Factsheets for each state: https://www.aging.senate.gov/press-releases/the-american-health-care-act-will-harm-older-americans-in-each-state