The questions they can’t and won’t answer….

About the GOP drive to destroy people’s lives by taking away their health insurance. Jim Wright, author of the blog Stonekettle Station in a Twitter thread throws out the hard truth that current GOP leadership, in its quest to appease the “base” and repeal the ACA, refuses to acknowledge.

By the way, if you are not a regular Stonekettle Station reader, you should be. Jim Wright is a retired Navy officer and a fountain of good old-fashioned common sense, while all the while not going down the usual mil-blog route of conservative insanity. He’s also grasped the changes in the medium and has made himself an internet presence to be reckoned with on his blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter. To get the full effect of his wisdom and snark, you should definitely be on all three platforms.

But today he posted a thread of Tweets that the Orange Menace should learn from:

Which I think is correct. People are willing to pay reasonable premiums on health insurance. What they don’t understand or want to tolerate are the greedy souls who want to profit off their misery.

 

Which is a very good question to ask? Why are there so many Americans who bend themselves into rhetorical knots trying to find some guilt free, constitutional justification, for what is essentially a selfish desire to say, “I got mine, fuck you.”

And as Paul Krugman pointed out in his most recent column, we already know where the opposite path of providing universal health care leads.

Sometime in the next few days the Congressional Budget Office will release its analysis of the latest version of the Republican health care plan. Senator Mitch McConnell is doing all he can to prevent a full assessment, for example by trying to keep the C.B.O. from scoring the Cruz provision, which would let insurers discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. Nonetheless, everyone expects a grim prognosis.

As a result, White House aides are already attacking the C.B.O.’s credibility, announcing in advance that whatever it says will be “fake news.” So why should we believe the budget office, not the Trump administration? Let me count the ways.

First, this White House already has a record of constant, blatant lying about health care that is, as far as I can tell, without precedent in modern history. Just a few days ago, for example, Vice President Mike Pence made the completely false assertion that Ohio’s expansion of Medicaid led to a cutback in aid for the disabled — a lie that the state’s government had already refuted. On Sunday, Tom Price, the secretary of Health and Human Services, claimed that the Senate bill would cover more people than current law — another blatant lie. (You can’t cut hundreds of billions from Medicaid and insurance subsidies and expect coverage to grow!)

The point is that on this issue (and others, of course), the Trump administration and its allies have negative credibility: If they say something, the default assumption should be that they’re lying.

Second, the C.B.O. is hardly alone in its negative assessments of Republican health care plans. In fact, just about every group with knowledge of the issue has reached similar conclusions. In a joint letter, the two major insurance industry trade groups blasted the Cruz provision as “simply unworkable.” The American Academy of Actuaries says basically the same thing. AARP has condemned the bill, as has the American Medical Association.

Which brings us back to Jim Wright’s most important question.

 

He’s right and you know it-why should health care depend on that? And what does it say about the black hearts of those people who do believe it should depend on those factors?

Let’s rejoin Professor Krugman:

Third, contrary to White House disinformation, the C.B.O. actually did a pretty good job of predicting the effects of the Affordable Care Act, especially when you bear in mind that the act was a leap into the unknown: We had very little experience of how an A.C.A.-type system would work…………..

Overall gains in coverage have been reasonably well in line with what the C.B.O. projected — especially in states that expanded Medicaid and did their best to make the law work.

Finally — and this seems to me to be the most compelling argument of all — predicting the effects of destroying the A.C.A. is much easier than predicting the consequences when it was enacted, because what the Senate bill would do, pretty much, is return us to the bad old days. Or to put it another way, what McConnell and Senator Ted Cruz are selling is a giant leap into the known, taking us back to a system whose flaws are all too familiar from recent experience.

After all, before Obamacare, most states had more or less unregulated insurance markets, similar to those the Senate bill would create. Many of these states also had skimpy, underfunded Medicaid programs, which would be the effect of the bill’s brutal Medicaid cuts.

It’s a question of siding with selfishness and cruelty, as those who think to let some citizens go bankrupt and/or die if they get sick, is the price of freedom as they define it.  Or you can side with the ideals of compassion, fairness, and mercy. If you choose option one, just be reminded that “Republicans have never made that case.”

Like their standard-bearer, the GOP promised that a replacement bill would be better for everyone. Of course, by any objective benchmarks, this abomination of a health care bill is not. I’m hoping McCain’s illness buys time for the opposition to ramp up and kill the bill. Then again-decency has no place in today’s GOP.

Will this vileness prevail? Your guess is as good as mine about whether Mitch McConnell will hold on to the 50 senators he needs. But the mere possibility that this much cruelty, wrapped in this much fraudulence, might pass is a horrifying indictment of his party.

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It's not easy being me-but the adventures I get to have- make it totally worth it. "One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny."- Bertrand Russell

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