While the nation is reeling with the the latest Trump-Russia scandal, Republican lawmakers are once again intent on ramming through a heath care bill without any oversight whatsoever.
The GOP’s approach to health care is summed up in a nutshell in this Morning Joe interview with Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy.
Aside from looking like a lunatic, Rep. Cassidy proved he IS a bona fide lunatic with statements like this:
“You know, I’ve always said, along with Susan Collins and others, that we should give the power back to the state. The idea that 700,000 people in Alaska – Alaska almost as big as the lower 48 – should have the same solution as Louisiana, New York or California seems crazy.”
Okay, Alaska is indisputably the largest state in landmass. But to put forth the argument that it would fare better with a state run health care program is ludicrous. California has an estimated 2017 population of 39.608 million and the state of New York has an estimated 2017 population of 19.91 million. The population of the Senator’s home state, Louisiana, is appreciably less, standing at an estimated 4.68 million, but it still dwarfs the population of Alaska. Anyone who understands the way insurance works knows that smaller population numbers means a smaller pool, and that equates to higher premiums.
When Mark Halperin asked, “If you don’t get your conception that basically the states get to decide, under the current Senate bill, who are the Americans who will be worse off?”
At a momentary loss for words, Cassidy, a doctor, kind of laughed and then answered, “I haven’t seen the current Senate bill, so it’s a little hard to say. But one of the ways to keep people from being worse off is to give states large block grants, if you will, that they would wrap around those who might be negatively affected. I would like to think the people who will be worse off would be special interests. They kind of benefited under Obamacare. I’d like to think that we’d take dollars back from them and distribute it to those who need it. But I’ve not seen the final bill yet.”
All right. Cassidy said he hasn’t seen the bill – not the one they failed to bring to the floor and not the one they are currently trying to cobble together in a locked back room, out of sight of the Democrats, much less the American people. Because something as important as health care should be done in the dark. He also fails to acknowledge that the GOP health care bill is a freaking BONANZA for insurance companies – those special interests that he claims Obama catered to.
When pressed by Joe Scarborough about stripping $1 trillion from the Medicaid budget and the effect it would have on the most vulnerable, Cassidy came up with the down the rabbit hole garbage being flung by the right:
“If you pull back on Medicaid, you actually create a private insurance option which is as effective, is as good for these folks, as Medicaid expansion.”
When Scarborough countered and asked if a private option would be as effective as Medicaid for the working poor, Cassidy actually said this: “Yeah, possibly. There are some people who do not take a better paying job because they do not want to lose their Medicaid.”
Or maybe, Rep. Cassidy, those working poor can’t find a higher paying job because they lack skills. Being poor generally has the effect of also being uneducated and without the resources to improve oneself.
Cassidy said that during recent town halls, no one asked about health care. But that’s because at one of the town halls, questions regarding health care were downplayed in favor of the flooding Cassidy mentions in the video. Cassidy also made the statement that no one – not one person – asked about the Russia scandal. That’s most likely because there were huge protests of the GOP health care bill.
But anyway, Cassidy reminds us, all that is in the future – nothing will happen until 2025 (mostly) and we’ll have plenty of time to come up with a solution by then.
Well, we all know what Republican solutions look like. They suck. If they didn’t, then the GOP wouldn’t be behind closed doors writing legislation that no one has seen, or had the opportunity to comment on, and demanding a vote on a bill that has barely seen the light of day.
Republicans have had seven years to come up with a viable alternative health care plan. They have the presidency; they have the House; they have the Senate. And yet, they have not been able to do anything except to continue screaming about how bad Obamacare is. The attempts to “fix” it (rather than the repeal they’ve been promising for years) have only made what is wrong with the ACA worse. Furthermore, they have not been able to pass one piece of meaningful legislation. (Naming post offices doesn’t count.)
The chicanery on the part of the GOP may be what it takes to finally get single payer health care in this country. But in the meantime, there will be pain – a lot of it – and people will die, because if there’s anything Republicans never learned, it’s sharing the wealth to improve the lot of the most vulnerable. That, in turn, improves the lot of all of us. Unless, of course, you’re a person of great wealth who just can’t stand the idea of giving to those takers.
Ann Werner is the author of thrillers and other things. Show her some love and check out her books!
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