Republicans Failing Their Corporate Sponsors Could Be a Miracle For Democracy
Now, you don't hear it very much in the corporate media, but the budget bill that the Republicans passed through the House and Senate and Donald Trump signed that set the table for this tax legislation - this tax scam that is being worked out between Republicans in the House, Republicans in the Senate and the billionaires who own them all - includes a trillion dollar cut to Medicaid and a half a trillion dollar cut to Medicare.
So how do you get people to stop using Medicaid and Medicare if you're going to cut the funding for it? You can't just start saying to doctors, 'sorry we're only going to pay you 20% of what we used to pay you, or 80%, or whatever it may be.' I mean, you could, but you might as well not have a system. So what do you do?
Well, the Republicans have got an answer to that, too. You just you have to admit these guys, they're slick. They put a lot of thought into this stuff.
They want to make sure that the donor class is not paying for your health care if you happen to be working for $7.50 an hour someplace and are making so little even though you're working full-time that you qualify for Medicaid.
They want to make sure that you can no longer get that Medicaid because Medicaid is paid for out of the federal coffers and federal coffers are replenished in part by taxes from billionaires and big corporations.
And billionaires and big corporations, they want to keep all that money in Bermuda. They don't want that money messing around here.
So, how do we get people to stop using Medicaid? Because we're going to cut a trillion dollars - a thousand billion dollars - out of Medicaid, so how do we get people to stop using it?
Again, this is all predicated on the foundational notion that Republicans have that health care is not a right, it is a privilege. It's a privilege that you must earn, and you earn it by becoming wealthy, because that's the only metric that is important.
Being a good person - not important.
Being a decent parent - not important.
Being a good son or daughter - not important.
Being wealthy - oh yeah, that gets the GOP going.
So you've got the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - it's called CMS - the part of HHS that administers Medicare and Medicaid. And the woman in charge of this, her name is Seema Verma. And last week she made a rather shocking - in fact it's been called "twisted" and "absolutely awful" by health care experts - a shocking statement.
This from Common Dreams by Jessica Corbett, staff writer. The headline: "In 'Twisted' Push, Trump Admin Encourages States to Impose Work Requirements for Medicaid."
Now, keep in mind, the vast majority of people on Medicaid fall into three categories:
- they are people working usually full-time for very low pay - they're making so little that they qualify for Medicaid - so they're already working;
- they are elderly people who are in nursing homes and rather than their children and grandchildren paying for their nursing care, Medicaid pays for it. The Republicans would much rather that these middle-class families who have some wealth - they still own houses, you know - there's money here we can extract from these people;
- and then you've got children and single moms - and that's that a large cohort of children.
So this is who's getting Medicaid right now, and this is who Seema Verma says should now have to fulfill the work requirement before they get Medicaid.
"Verma vowed to fast-track approvals of states' proposals for amending how they implement Medicaid and denounced the Obama administration's rejection of work requirements for Medicaid recipients, promising to "approve proposals that promote community engagement activities."
Presumably these are red states' proposals.
Now what the hell does "proposals that promote community engagement activities" mean? She says, "working, volunteering, going to school, or obtaining job training." In other words, you have to earn your health.
Remember I said Republicans don't think health care is a right, it's a privilege.
"According to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis published in February, among able-bodied individuals who were under the age of 65 and enrolled in Medicaid in 2015, 59 percent were working, and 78 percent were in families with at least one worker.
Despite these figures, eight states - Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Maine, Utah, and Wisconsin - have submitted requests for permission to require able-bodied Medicaid enrollees to work or complete community service, Kaiser Health News reported. To make changes, states submit waivers for existing requirements to the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), which includes CMS."
If you live one of these states you might want to have a quick conversation with your state senator or your state representative or your state assembly person or whatever it is in your particular state.
Now I might be wrong, but I believe every single one of those states is entirely or largely controlled by Republicans. And what the states have submitted these waivers to do is four major things:
- base the eligibility on drug screening - you've got to pee in a cup if you want to have health care;
- impose premiums on people with incomes below the poverty line, so even if you're poor you're going to have to start paying for your Medicaid;
- impose a time limit on how long people can be enrolled in Medicaid. "oh, that factory the left your West Virginia town that hasn't come back, there's no more work but tough luck, you weren't born rich, you've been on Medicaid for two years you can't have it any more";
- and refuse coverage to people who don't submit renewal paperwork on time or don't report employment or income changes within 10 days.
So under these new rules that the Trump administration is proposing, if you get a raise and you fail to notify the Medicaid people, you've committed a crime. You're now engaged in Medicaid fraud. You can go to jail if you don't tell them within 10 days of your raise or any other change in your employment status.
Now, odds are, they won't send you to jail, they'll simply say, "you're no longer eligible for Medicaid. You can't have it. Ever. Sorry. Tough luck."
And this is part of the strategy that the Republican Party is using to be able to get enough people off Medicaid that a trillion dollars over a decade - a hundred billion dollars a year - a trillion dollar cut to Medicaid won't be noticed. Because people aren't eligible for the benefit anyway. Because "oh, last year you must have smoked a joint of pot", or "oh, last month you actually got a 10 cent an hour raise and you didn't notify us, you're no longer eligible for Medicaid".
I mean, this is craziness, and this is part of this war on working people that the Republican Party declared in 1981 with the election of Reagan Ronald Reagan. When he was sworn in January 20th 1981 and first thing he did was bust up the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization" - the PATCO union.
And that war on working people continues to this day.
This is a very risky move by the GOP when one looks at the temprement in the USA today. You can fool some of the people mainly GOP voters for awhile but when the steep bills come in for healthcare for their parents. That is going to be like a huge electric shock to them.
The GOP has set this up for a very harsh response when you consider how they have pushed their voters with fear and then sided with NRA for them to have all the guns they want. We just might be watching the beginnings of an American revolt against the elite in the GOP.
Remember it happened in France and the elite in France ,like the GOP of today never saw it coming. But the mood is ripe for it just read the various blogs, news sources and comments on twitter and FB.
Yes, Tom. It really is tragic that a huge number of well to do people in this country do not care if children, disabled and poor do not have healthcare if it involves costing them a cent while they drive around in their Mercedez or Cadillac, with children in choice prep schools or Ivy League Universities, and whine that they have to pay any taxes at all. Their logic is to delegitimize the unfortunate, blame the poor for not making enough money as they attempt to do away with any minimum wage. A really pitiful example of brotherly love from a lot of folks who care only for themselves and claim to be good Christians.
The vast majority of Trumps base Got screwed today by the Republican Congress tax vote. They are on the path to making the 1% more wealthy at their expense.
Get the cemetaries ready, and fire up the furnaces.. There's going to be a LOT of dead people coming! I wonder if I'll have enough money left for my creamation? What Irony - They used to call Obamacare, "death care"..
The Dems had 8 years to make Obama care work, why didn't they? They would probably be in office now if they didn't run princess pantsuit. What I saw was 8 years of Dems with their head stuck in their underwear, all things LGBT were the priority. Obama care and LGBT are the only accomplishments I can think of, and neither group seem very happy with the results.
So... if California goes single payer on it's own how long before everyone without medical moves to California? Which has no housing or water???
As bad as it is the Dems brought it on themselves.
Keep letting the Corporations lobbists run the country and you won't even want to use the health care we do have.
Please lets not forget they successfuly lobby both sides.
Experts predict that Kochpublican tax/ACA repeal legislation will cause health insurance premiums to rise by at least 10%, which means an increase of $$$thousands$$$ to most. It's pretty simple math, if your health insurance plan costs you and or your employer $10,000/yr, then the increase will be $1000. Even this low-ball amount is far more than the temporary tax cut that only some "working people" will get.
States like Calif. and N.Y. need to go single-payer immediately....in my opinion this would be best way for the , "We the People," Blue States to fight back. Lead by example and let the, "We the Billionaires," Red States continue to pay for their sins.
Kochbaggers will tell you that massive tax breaks for the rich will grow the economy and thus offset the 1.7 trillion being added to the deficit, in other words their talking point is the biggest economic lie already told....many decades old and proven to not work.
Yep, they're going to break it and not know how to fix it. Get ready for the fall of our empire...seriously. Putin will tell you what that feels like. He's about to get his revenge.
With this conservative takeover, you certainly have a lot to write about. But it must be disheartening to see all that you have worked for as a writer to be dismantled before your very eyes.
Zeke, I don't have time to verify your statements, but consider this, how many Kochpublicans want Medicare for all????....something many Dems are already pushing for.
It is a misnomer to imply that Medicaid is free to those poor enough to be eligible. In fact, even most of our blue states with Obamacare's Expanded Medicaid, still require their clients to pay such an exorbitant share of cost (SOC), that they cannot afford it. This is not the case in a few (or several or a bit more) states, such as Minnesota, which does not charge any SOC if your income is around $1,300 or less. However, dental care is not covered.
Now here in my home state, California, SOC was established in 1989...and is based on that year's cost of living, which is a humble $600! And since that cost has never been adjusted over the years, this means someone on Medi-Cal who collects a monthly Social Security income must pay the remainder of that income beyond $600, for any month he or she uses Medi-Cal, which only covers any expenses /over/ that amount.
This means that many, if not most, Medi-Cal recipients cannot afford to pay the SOC, thus must go without the vital health care they need and deserve. (I also want to point out that no one so poor as to be eligible for Medicaid should ever be required to pay /any/ SOC in the first place!) We Californians have had a Democratic governor for some years now (Jerry Brown), yet he has neither addressed nor rectified this egregious ripoff to the poor...who must, as a result, continue to live with more misery, pain and early death, thanks to an astronomical, MONTHLY Medi-Cal fee. If you doubt my claim re. high SOC, see:
--from which I quote:
Share of cost is calculated on a monthly basis by deducting a set amount called a "maintenance need level" from the net income. That is, Share of cost = Net Income - Maintenance Need. A Medi-Cal beneficiary’s share of cost is the difference between her income after allowable deductions and the Maintenance Need Level (MNL), which is a set amount allocated for her living expenses.
The MNL has not changed since 1989 and is $600 for an individual. Thus, anything an individual earns over $600 a month becomes that individual’s share of cost. For example, if an individual earns $1,100 a month, that person must incur $500 in medical costs each month before receiving any coverage from the Medi-Cal program. For consumers with a high share of cost, Medi-Cal provides little more than catastrophic coverage and does not enable them to access health care services. --end
In my online research, I've discovered other blue states that also charge an exorbitant SOC, including Washington and Oregon. And it seems that the majority of blue states are guilty of this denial of basic health service to the poor. Medi-Cal's own site once had a page where they admitted this terrible arrangement, but they have since taken it down, and replaced it with a very deceptive statement, making it look like no one is charged too much for their care. And that is why I had to find another site, to verify my claim.
I don't know why alternative (progressive) news sites and whistle blowers like Thom Hartmann never seem to bring this matter to the public eye. I have emailed my Medicaid grievance to many popular alternative news sites, as well as to notable liberal and Democratic politicians. Yet not a single one ever got back to me, or has covered this issue. The important thing that comes out of this, is:
The Democratic Party is just as culpable for hurting the poor in a most vulgar way (because invisible)...and it has been going on in many states for a long, long time. To point one's finger solely at Republicans is not just a misnomer: it is a shame of the worst kind. Yet the Democratic Party bigwigs are patting each other on the back, over the "miraculous" achievements of Medicaid.
You may read my original letter of outrage to the progressive media and politicians (including Nancy Pelosi) here:
2950-10K: You wouldn't respond so flippantly, had you bothered to take a little time to do your own research.
HotCofee: I'm a gay activist myself, of many years (as well as a progressive) and couldn't agree with you more! Obama is just a brand, a corporate shill. I have zilch faith in our party any more. In fact, I lost faith back in 1996, when Clinton was in office and signed DOMA and DADT, and threw the poor under the bus, to become a puppet for major corporations, as a "Centrist Democrat." It is during his term that "Republican Lite" was coined. I remain an independent to this day.
Why this struggle with taking care of poor and frail humans in our country?
The wealthiest place on the planet
Individuals who propose these suggestions need to go and live in countries where people die, and young, because they can not afford to see a doctor
I'm talking "so called" third world
America is like this
No money... get sick... die... dead... get outta here
Supposedly a Christain country
Damned shame... shame... shame!
To use Christian language "go to hell"!
Obamacare is not single payer because they could not get the votes. Joe Lieberman (IND) from CT was the swing vote. It did a lot of good things but is Corporate for profit insurance. Dealing with for profit medical industry. But ask yourself, what have Republicans done for healthcare compared to Democrats?
Medi cal in California will also wait for you to die and take your home for services rendered.
Thank you for your response, I was concerned that any LGBT might take unintended offence, and it's definatly not meant that way.
I was done when Bill C shook his finger in our faces.
Nice wordpress articles.
I have found writting our Dem leaders pretty useless,
Did you know that on medi cal when they covered dental they would send dental impressions back and forth to Florida prisions to make the dentures, it could take a year or more to get a partial that fit....I have a friend who went through the process.
Zeke....you're correct, I have little respect for those who condemn the Dems with almost no condemnation of the Koch party. I don't trust where you're coming from at all.
"Remember I said Republicans don't think health care is a right, it's a privilege." TH
Newsflash for Thom. Health care IS NOT a right. Stating so reveals a total lack of understanding of what rights are and where they come from, on your part and many other liberals.
Thom, as an American disabled senior who spent 35 years working in the hospitality industry, I have witnessed the power of the hospitality lobby. Every state feels they are a tourist destination and so a functioning hospitality sector is a must. Labor unions that speak on behalf of the workers have shrunk from 1 of 3 employees in 1965 to 1 of 10 employees in 2014. This has happened through a calculated and coordinated attack by “think tanks”, politicians, and media; serfs, all owned by the corporate and economic elite.
We, the workers and common folk, have suffered economically as this insidious ideology, developed. From the 1930's during America and Europe's heyday of “fascism”, they continue to vitiate and inveigle our democratic values and social fabric through it's agenda of duplicitous and malevolent coercion(populism). An ideology that allows unfettered peculation, perpetrates corporate hegemony that undermines civil laws and absolves the transgressors of any responsibility for harm or cost to citizens resulting from their disregard and disdain for anything but profit.
Fascism did not die at the end of WWII. Instead a euphemism for their fascist ideology of greed and power was created..... “Free Enterprise”!!! Yes... “Free, unfettered capitalism for the few, Enterprise” and the “Road to Serfdom” for the rest of us.
Sadly, they are very close to turning the world into riches for the oligarchs and perpetual serfdom for the rest of the world. The fact that there are so many fatuous apostates filled with betise and perfidy of quislings singing a song by abnegated pharisee's spewing the nihilistic and seditious rhetoric they've learned from their masters, the corporate and economic elite.
We are witnessing the emergence of the fascist “Fourth Reich”. It never went away, it just changed clothes and put on the euphemistic dress of “Free Enterprise, Capitalism=democracy, Individual freedoms, etc..
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
I'm not sure what you are trying to say....you've provided the reference, how about some substance.
The general welfare.
The preamble of the Constitution says to provide for the common defense, and promote the general welfare.
1. make available for use; supply:
"these clubs provide a much appreciated service for this area"
synonyms: supply · give · issue · furnish · come up with · dispense ·
make adequate preparation for (a possible event):
"new qualifications must provide for changes in technology"
synonyms: prepare · allow · make provision · be prepared · arrange ·
3. stipulate in a will or other legal document:
"the order should be varied to provide that there would be no contact with the father"
synonyms: stipulate · lay down · make it a condition · require ·
1. further the progress of (something, especially a cause, venture, or aim); support or actively encourage:
"some regulation is still required to promote competition"
synonyms: encourage · advocate · further · advance · assist · aid ·
• give publicity to (a product, organization, or venture) so as to increase sales or public awareness:
"they are using famous personalities to promote the library nationally"
synonyms: advertise · publicize · give publicity to ·
act as a promoter of (a catalyst).
2. advance or raise (someone) to a higher position or rank:
"she was promoted to general manager"
synonyms: upgrade · give promotion to · elevate · advance ·
The Constitution requires a common defense, but it only encourages the general welfare (welfare is open to interpretation). Nowhere in the Constitution is Healthcare required.
When it comes to the Constitution, in leftie/socialist world, anything can be added to, removed from, or interpreted as they wish.
Ou812: "Nowhere in the Constitution is Healthcare required."
Nice of you to take time off from licking Donald Trump's ass, to share your valuable insight on this matter.
Dianereynolds: "When it comes to the Constitution, in leftie/socialist world, anything can be added to, removed from, or interpreted as they wish."
That's not /you/ speaking, that's the Trump snowflake koolaid.
Hephaestus: "To use Christian language "go to hell"!"
Right on. What we have here is the result of an utter failure to truly keep church and state separate, all the way back to when this nation was created. All these cutbacks on the poor and low income, and draconic laws established to opress minorities and the disenfranchised come out of fundamentalist Christian dogma. Including homophobia, racism and misogyny. As well as needless and unending wars. Muslim jihadists have nothing over Jebus butt kissers.
2950-10K: I condemn /both/ the Dems and the Koch Brothers, as well as the GOP. Those who point their fingers solely at the Democratic Party are Trump ass lickers. Thank you for your reply. No need to trust what I say, you can find all this on your own...though it's kinda hard to dig it up, as the states that charge a high SOC conceal that dirty secret very well. It's like pulling teeth.
Willy Lohman: "We are witnessing the emergence of the fascist “Fourth Reich”. It never went away, it just changed clothes and put on the euphemistic dress of “Free Enterprise, Capitalism=democracy, Individual freedoms, etc.."
It is a frightening truth that you have just declared. I'd like to say you're wrong, even in some little aspect, but I can't.
Ou812: "I'm not sure what you are trying to say....you've provided the reference, how about some substance."
You have offered no substance in your own, pointless statements to this discussion...just a meanspirited attitude. No surprise, though, considering your disgusting phallic-inspired avatar that appears in every one of your posts. (Holding what appears to be an oversized corn dog to your lips...though it may actually be a dildo.)
Well I see deepspace has returned as Zeke Kahlin. Nothing but name calling so sad. It's not my fault you have limited comprehension.
HotCoffee: Regarding dentures: partials are not a part of Medi-Cal's services, even though most dental care has been reinstituted via Expanded Medicaid. So, after my teeth rotting away thanks to over a decade of cutbacks on dental (and other) care, they will only cover removel of all bad teeth, and restoration of the few good teeth that remain. (They will /not/ remove any teeth that can be restored, even if only one left, in order for one to get full dentures.)
I am therefore better off w/o dental work, because I'd be left with just several teeth sticking out. Besides, I can't afford dental care anyway, due to the astronomical share of cost. This is a nightmare, created by Democrats, not Republicans solely.
Before Bill Clinton's draconic cutbacks, Medi-Cal gave full dental coverage, w/o any share of cost. Including partials. But I must also note that, even in the best of times, Medicaid services were grossly inferior to the health care that the affluent could afford. And it remains that way. As for Bill Clinton:
His signing not just one, but /two/ bills that vilify homosexuals (as if they are actually a threat to heterosexuals), opened the floodgates for Republicans and their Christian lackeys, to raise the bar against LGBTs, and make them the key scapegoat for their disgusting "fambly valyooz." IOW: the Democratic Party paved the way for the GOP to persecute queers to a greater degree than ever, yet act like their own (liberal) hands are clean.
Not to mention Obama selecting a virulent and popular preacher, Rick Warren, to speak at his first inauguration...in spite of his extremely homophobic stance. Even though many excellent Christian leaders of a progressive bent were freely available. Obama's catering to Muslim fanatics was no help, either. He did not mention even once, homophobia, in his speech about the Orlando massacre. Instead, he chastised so-called Islamophobia (which does not even exist) and gun fanatics. Check this out:
Ou812: Nothing good comes out of your mouth...or into it, snowflake. I'm surprised that Rehab even lets you onto the Internet, unless they have no hope for your recovery.
PS: Posing as an online prostitute only serves to show everyone else where you're /really/ coming from. Your avatar screams: "I'm a disgusting lady." Self hatred is a common trait among right-wing nimrods.
Better an online prostitute than an angry, toothless washed up lefty:)
"Newsflash for Thom. Health care IS NOT a right. Stating so reveals a total lack of understanding of what rights are and where they come from, on your part and many other liberals."
Newsflash for Kilosqrd: Every democratic nation on the planet but one (guess which one that is) has outgrown its adolescent phase, to realize that health care is a right by birth of all its citizens. You simply parrot the 12-year-old IQ and EQ of the Republican Party. In fact, the right to pursue happiness cannot be guaranteed without universal health care. Without which many suffer through no fault of their own...as is our present situation. Republicans and conservatives are sadists, pure and simple, and have nothing to do with the ideals of democracy.
Ou812: Nothing says "dumb and tacky" like a corn dog hovering before a woman's face in a political forum. It also serves to declare yourself as irrelevant at best, and a low-brow creep at worst. Way to go, lady!
Ou812: "Better an online prostitute than an angry, toothless washed up lefty:)"
If you really think that, you're an uglier person than I first thought. I pity any person you get close to. To mock someone due to their disability, or misfortune, is the lowest one can get.
@37 you started it asshole. You want to be the poor victim. The evil California government is responsible for your toothless mouth, because they wouldn't pay to have your teeth fixed. Poor baby, why don't you try paying your own bills. By the way, quit trying to bully people.
Ou812: You have all the answers, don't you? All the wrong ones. The only one who's bullying is /you/, snowflake...especially against the poor. Aren't /you/ just such a glowing example of the Ugly Amerikan! You add nothing to any topic, only hostility and ignorance.
@39 If you don't like my comments, don't read them. I don't know what makes you think that you and your alter-ego Deepspace have all the answers. Is no one else entitled to their own opinion? Unless that other opinion is so spot on and so true it shows yours to be pathetic.
Ou812: You don't like /my/ answers, yet you reply to them. Hypocritical much? Of course you're entitled to your opinion, no matter how stupid or bigoted. Just don't whine about anyone who challenges your vulgar comments. Whoever this "Deepspace" is, must be a good person for pressing your buttons of ignorance.
Piece of advice: take that corn dog out of your mouth, and maybe you might appear relatively sane. My conclusion:
Ou812 = RUSSIAN SOCK PUPPET TROLL ALERT!
Thanks for your conclusion, that conclusion and a dollar will get me a cup of coffee at McDonalds
This final movement of all new wealth into the off-shore hidden accounts of the 1% will lead to a revolution. We are repeating the circimstances of the Great Depression, except for an ever more select few. Where's FDR when we need a real, patriotic, American President? The current thief-in-chief will be the symbol for the rebellion, as soon as the so far ignorant average American finally sees through the propaganda wall and realizes the truth. God help us!