Surprise! Over the Weekend, Graham-Cassidy Went from Bad to Worse!!

It’s hard to believe this Zombie bill could get any worse. But it did.

Last night Politico received a leaked copy of a revised Graham-Cassidy bill.  I presume the “leak” was by someone who recognizes this effort as so ill-conceived and harmful that the country should know about it ASAP.  In good time, at the eleventh hour, before this terrible legislation is put to a vote.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/24/obamacare-graham-cassidy-repeal-243079

Thank you, dear leaker, whoever you are.  You have exposed this last-ditch Republican effort to undo Obamacare.  Instead of getting better, Graham-Cassidy has gone from bad to absurd, which might be laughable if it were not so cravenly cruel.

This latest effort amounts “bribery” of the “swing senators” from Arizona, Alaska and Kentucky, with more block grant monies promised to each of their states.  However, as the Politico article points out, this masks the overall slash-and-burn assault on Medicaid.

So, promising more money to the “swing states,” is less like a bribe and more like a mugger telling you to be grateful to be mugged because you can keep your watch.

Another retrograde revision tries to win over Senators Cruz and Lee by effectively removing federal regulation of health insurers in favor of the states.

Among other things, this would lift existing caps on out of pocket costs and lead to the unwinding of protections for individuals (like my hard-working diabetic daughter) who have “pre-existing conditions.”

On this point, Politico quotes Larry Levitt of the Kaiser Family Foundation:

“This revised bill is tantamount to federal deregulation of the insurance market.  If there were any doubt that people with pre-existing [conditions] are at risk of being priced out of individual insurance, this bill removes them.”

It’s high time to put aside political differences and mend the problems of the Affordable Care Act.  While Congress continues to battle over health care, with perennial waste of time and money, people are dying.

Americans should demand congressional collaboration and cooperation and an end to this hyper-partisan nonsense.

[Check out my March 15, 2017 blog post:  https://jerrysturgill.blog/2017/03/15/fix-obamacare-stop-wasting-time-and-money-tearing-it-down]

Meanwhile, you have probably seen news of our own Idaho Senators’ willingness to vote for Graham-Cassidy.  (Which makes me wonder why they didn’t try to be hold out votes too, to attract more hush-up, block-grant money to Idaho and make the proposed Medicaid mugging less bad.  Oh well.)

Whether or not Graham-Cassidy passes, Messrs. Risch and Crapo should be held accountable–now and at future ballot boxes–for their cowardly toeing of the far-right party line and their abject failure to help make health care available and affordable for more Idahoans.

 

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Paul Ryan and His $1.5 Million Powerpoint Presentation

With all the money the Insurance Industry has pumped into lobbying and campaign donations, we can certainly depend on our politicians to do what is best for the country. Right?

As you may have seen in my last blog post, the profits of the largest health insurance companies have been hurt under Obamacare.  It is encouraging that these companies and other members of the Insurance Industry are still investing in maintaining the freedom of our markets.

I have dug into the numbers to have a better understanding of their valiant efforts during Obamacare.

“Majority Leader Paul Ryan has received $1,576,754 in Insurance Industry campaign donations since 2010.”

According to Opensecrets.org, the total amount they invested in our political processes in 2016 was almost $80 million, up from around $45 million in 2010, the year of the enactment of Obamacare.

In addition to payments to industry lobbyists, these amounts include donations to incumbent politicians, assuring that caring, experienced public servants, like them, remain in office.

Majority Leader Paul Ryan, the most visible and devoted advocate for dismantling Obamacare, has received $1,576,754 in Insurance Industry campaign donations since 2010. This is the largest amount given to any one member of Congress during the years of Obamacare.

paul ryan presents2

At the same time, we can be proud of our very own Senator Mike Crapo, who has also been among the top congressional beneficiaries of Insurance Industry campaign donations, with  a very respectable $543,750 since 2010.

In addition, it is so comforting to know that around 70% of total Insurance Industry investment in our government has gone to Republican defenders of freedom and free markets.

I am sure Leader Paul Ryan, Senator Crapo and their congressional colleagues–with the benefit of Insurance Industry support and lobbying–are doing their objective, level best to craft a healthcare plan that will be good for the whole country.