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.

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:

GOP Is In Chaos—and 2018 is just around the corner

70 days in and it’s already been pretty rough for residents of Trumpland.

  • The “Obamacare” repeal? Couldn’t get a vote.
  • The Muslim ban 1.0 and then 2.0? Laughed out of court.
  • The budget? “Dead on arrival,” at least, according to Senator Lindsey Graham.
  • “You’re fired” seems to have taken over as the mode of operation, thus far: every US Ambassador effective upon his inauguration (without a single identified replacement to date),  every high-level State Department employee,
    46 District Attorneys General, Acting US Attorney General, National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh 
  • The president thinks it’s a great idea to threaten and mount primary challenges against ultra conservative Republican Freedom Caucus members who defy his will. (He might want to look back in history.  That tactic didn’t work so well, even for a very popular FDR.)
  • This is supposed to be the presidential “honeymoon” period.  Uh — not with ratings in the mid-thirties and dropping like a rock!
  • House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes, who was also a member of the trump transition team, flunked the “smell test” and appears to have completely derailed the House’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the trump campaign colluded in any way with the Russians.
  • Then there’s our Internet Privacy? ISPs are now free to sell your browsing history to the highest bidder without our permission.
  • Via executive fiat, climate change is now collectively being ignored across the board in every governmental department and LGBT statistics have been wiped from the 2020 census.
  • And what’s next? Passage of an actual budget and the need to once again raise the debt ceiling to pay for government spending Congress has already authorized.  Is yet another government shutdown on the near horizon? Will that force Democrats to vote for passage of a horrific budget just to keep the United States afloat?

The corruption of this administration is both brazen and incompetent. Case in point: Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is about to sell his debt-laden Manhattan office tower to a bank owned by the Chinese government —> for several billion dollars above fair market value.

And if that’s not bad enough, it appears there might be evidence of Trump’s campaign coordination with Russian intelligence, strong enough that Mike Flynn won’t testify  before Congress without immunity.  Isn’t that the same Flynn who raled about if  one needs immunity, that’s an indication of being guilty?  The same guy who went on an on about that throughout the campaign?

Surprisingly, the Republican congressional delegation continues to insist that the emperor is fully clothed and has all his real hair. They are going to go down with this ship.  Once again, the Republican party is destroying itself.

Now the question is: Are progressives ready with a positive vision of a just society and the policies?  Are you ready to step up and run against the void?  Are you ready to step up to the plate and throw your hat in the ring?  Let us know, we’re listening and ready to step up and support your campaign run.  Need training?  Need folks willing to contribute or provide shoe leather for door-to-door canvassing?  We can help with that!  We just need to know who you are and how we can help.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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