Thursday, March 09, 2017

Hospitals and Health Groups Denounce GOP Healthcare Bill

Ready to screw over working class families

To the surprise of few, the Republican Party's proposed replacement for the Affordable Health Care Act is a true abortion and despite the bloviating - translate lies - of Republicans, the plan would leave millions without the ability to secure coverage.  Two of the components Congressional Republicans blather about the most are basically worthless to lower income Americans: (i) tax credits, and (ii) health savings accounts ("HSA").  If you aren't making much money and are paying little in taxes, giving you a tax credit goes nowhere near providing the funds to purchase healthcare coverage.  The same more or less goes with having an HSA.  If you don't have the funds to fund the account - and most working class Americans don't - you are left with nothing.  In short, the GOP message to many Americans is that if you get sick, just go ahead and die.  As Congressman Joe Kennedy III noted, the plan is the reverse of the Gospel message Republicans falsely claim to honor.  The New York Times looks at the condemnation coming from hospitals - some of which would likely go into bankruptcy under the GOP plan - and other health care groups.  Here are excerpts:
Influential groups representing hospitals and nurses came out on Wednesday against a Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, joining doctors and the retirees’ lobby to warn that it would lead to a rise in the uninsured.
In a letter to lawmakers, major hospital groups wrote, “As organizations that take care of every individual who walks through our doors, both due to our mission and our obligations under federal law, we are committed to ensuring health care coverage is available and affordable for all.”
The groups, including the American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Catholic Health Association of the United States and the Children’s Hospital Association, said they could not support the bill “as currently written.”
The hospitals and the American Nurses Association joined the American Medical Association and AARP, which rejected the bill on Tuesday.
Squeezed between wary health care providers and angry conservatives who believe that the bill leaves too much of the Affordable Care Act in place, the Republican leadership and President Trump appear to be facing an uphill climb.
But the White House appears increasingly confident about the prospects for a health care overhaul to pass in the House. In a meeting with conservative leaders in the Oval Office on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he anticipated the most trouble in the Senate, where moderate and conservative lawmakers are opposing the plan for different reasons. He said he was prepared to pressure holdout senators by holding the kind of stadium-style rallies he led during his presidential campaign.
The array of groups taking strong positions against the bill is evidence that its potential consequences extend far beyond health insurance coverage, to much of the nation’s economy.
The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation issued estimates this week showing how much revenue the government could lose starting in 2018 under the Republican bill, which the party has called the American Health Care Act, as a result of repealing taxes on drug makers (nearly $25 billion over 10 years), insurers (nearly $145 billion), makers of medical devices (nearly $20 billion), and high-income households (more than $270 billion from taxes on earned income and investment income).
The A.M.A., which has nearly 235,000 members and calls itself the voice of the medical profession, sent a letter to leaders of the two committees on Tuesday saying it could not support the Republican bill “because of the expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations.”
In particular, the group said it opposed a plan to replace the sliding, income-based premium tax credits provided under the Affordable Care Act with fixed credits based on age. The current system, it said, “provides the greatest chance that those of the least means are able to purchase coverage.”
America’s Health Insurance Plans, the health insurance lobby, released its own lengthy statement on Wednesday. In a letter to the leaders of the House committees that drafted the bill, Marilyn B. Tavenner, the group’s chief executive, warned Republican leaders that their plans to change Medicaid financing, among other things, could harm coverage and care.
A day earlier, AARP — the association of middle-aged and older Americans that is another crucial supporter of the Affordable Care Act — declared its opposition to the bill and even started running an ad against it. In a letter to Congress, the group said the bill would increase health costs for people ages 50 to 64, could lead to cuts in Medicaid coverage of long-term care and would allow insurers to charge older people five times as much as younger ones.
There was also a creeping concern about how quickly the bill was moving. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, essentially promised to move the bill to the Senate floor without the hearings and other processes that are normal for such a far-reaching piece of legislation. He had promised when Republicans took the majority that they would honor normal Senate processes and traditions.
“I think if that’s the approach they take,” Mr. Rubio said, “they won’t have the votes in the Senate.”
Note the $270 billion tax cut to high income households and huge cuts to insurance companies.  That is what this bill is really all about.  Working class whites who fell for the GOP's appeals to racism, bigotry and religious extremism are about to learn that the GOP cares nothing about them and is going to f*ck them over thoroughly.  I have no pity for these people if this happens.  They did this to themselves and deserve to suffer greatly.

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