AuthorTopic: The Death of Health Care  (Read 7370 times)

Offline Surly1

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Re: The Death of Health Care
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2017, 06:31:05 AM »
Piling on this story.
Every time you think Santorum is well and truly politically dead, someone (like CNN) re-animates him.

Quote
Remember: Rick Santorum was Ted Cruz before Ted Cruz was. He was cordially disliked by his fellow senators; Bob Kerrey once opined that Santorum was Latin for “asshole.”

Pitch-perfect.

A Shameless Bill Deserves a Shameless Pitchman

A Shameless Bill Deserves a Shameless Pitchman

Rick Santorum rides to the Republican rescue on healthcare.

Getty

Thursday’s results on the fiasco that is the Cassidy-Graham-Johnson-Heller-Nash-and-Young dog’s breakfast of a healthcare bill shows that Rank Charlatanism won the race, and won it wire to wire. They really would like to persuade Lisa Murkowski to betray all those people in Anchorage who threw a rally to thank her for her efforts the last time the Senate Republicans tried to immiserate the lives of millions of sick Americans. So, the brain trust behind this latest campaign of vandalizing the national health came up with a novel pitch to convince Murkowski to vote in favor of eviscerating the Affordable Care Act. They would let Alaska keep… the Affordable Care Act.

Put Ron Johnson, Lindsey Graham, and Bill Cassidy in a room, and you’d have to bring in an entire monastery of penitent monks to find an ounce of shame. From CNBC:

Under the tweaks described in the IJR report, Alaska and Hawaii would be the only states to still get the premium tax credits under Obamacare. Medicaid per-capita caps would get delayed in those two states. They would also receive an increased federal Medicaid matching rate, the report said.

Here is where I’d like to mention something to which I have not given sufficient attention. If you’re going to create so shameless an attack on sick people, and if you are going to do it so shamelessly that you’re reversing not only things you said before, but also, as is the case with Murkowski, reversing yourself on the entire raison d’etre of your bill, you need someone with extensive experience at being shameless in publicto show you the way.

Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska
Getty

Hi, there, Rick Santorum, and have I mentioned recently what a colossal dick Rick Santorum is?

From Politico:

While the idea of health care block grants has circulated for years in conservative policy circles, Graham credits Santorum with pushing it as the key to replace Obamacare. “Rick said, ‘Why don’t you just do a block grant like we did with welfare reform,’” Graham said. “When you look at it, it’s such an elegant, fair, common-sense solution to a complicated problem.” Santorum first floated the concept to House conservatives in late March, just days after Speaker Paul Ryan pulled his chamber’s repeal bill from the House floor. The House Freedom Caucus had banded together to block what they deemed “Obamacare lite,” so Santorum began meeting with Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and member Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) to make his pitch. During one meeting early on, Santorum name-dropped Graham. He said he believed his old Senate colleague was also open to the idea of block grants and could help sell it — bridging the divide between moderates and conservatives.

Remember: Rick Santorum was Ted Cruz before Ted Cruz was. He was cordially disliked by his fellow senators; Bob Kerrey once opined that Santorum was Latin for “asshole.” In his last campaign for the Senate, he lost by 15 points to Bob Casey, Jr., who, while a decent skin, is not exactly pyrotechnical on the stump. If Rick Santorum is involved in a piece of legislation, you can count on that piece of legislation being hurtful to people who are easy to hurt, and moralistic to the point of low comedy.

 
 

YOU NEED SOMEONE WITH EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE AT BEING SHAMELESS IN PUBLIC TO SHOW YOU THE WAY.

Just look, he’s still bragging about how he spurred the block granting of welfare as part of the welfare “reform” of the mid-1990s. The fact is, the “reforms” of which he’s so proud went sour within a decade. From ThinkProgress:

The percentage of poor families with children, those meant to be the primary beneficiaries of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF, or welfare), who don’t receive benefits has reached a record high, according to a report from Legal Momentum. In 1996, just 28 percent of poor families with children missed out on the benefits. But that share has since soared, and in 2012 it hit a record of 74 percent… 1996 is the year President Clinton signed welfare reform into law, dramatically transforming the program. It changed from cost-sharing model, where the federal government’s contribution to fund state welfare programs increased as need increased, to a block grant, in which the government now gives states a fixed amount and they have wider discretion over how to design their programs. That amount hasn’t changed since the reforms took place, losing 30 percent of its value to inflation. Meanwhile, states have used their latitude to redirect much of the funding and took actions to shrink welfare rolls in the face of budget shortfalls.

So, by all means, let’s convert a huge part of the national economy into a program whereby say, Scott Walker can send your grandmother’s chemo money to a Taiwanese corporation so that its executives don’t have to sit in traffic in Racine. Jesus, how many ways and how often does this country have to demonstrate that it doesn’t want Rick Santorum’s ideas anywhere near public policy? Don’t listen to them, Senator Murkowski. Remember those nice people in Anchorage.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

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🏥 We can have Medicare-for-All—and bypass Mitch McConnell and the GOP
« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2019, 02:15:52 AM »
https://www.salon.com/2019/04/01/we-can-have-medicare-for-all-and-bypass-mitch-mcconnell-and-the-gop-controlled-senate-to-get-it-now/

We can have Medicare-for-All—and bypass Mitch McConnell and the GOP-controlled Senate to get it now
As far as Medicare-for-All is concerned, the question is: Do we really want it? If we do, we can have it right now


Daley Gruen
April 1, 2019 3:30PM (UTC)

It’s 2009. Barack Obama has just been elected president, and Democrats hold commanding majorities in both chambers of Congress.  The Academy Award-winning documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" recently prophesied a coming climate cataclysm and engendered a new surge in environmental activism. Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and current Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi even appear together in TV ads agreeing that "both sides" want action on global warming.

This consensus for climate action takes the form of the Waxman-Markey bill, the core element of which is "cap and trade." Cap and trade is a politically-moderate proposal, which would set a gradually-diminishing cap on greenhouse gas emissions for large energy users and establish a market to trade these newly-valuable emissions rights. Republican Senator John McCain had proposed cap and trade in his presidential campaign one year earlier, and 60 percent of Americans favor implementation. It has every reason to pass.

However, that busted slaughterhouse of dreams known as the Senate engages in another filibuster cluster – a clusterbuster – and the Waxman-Markey bill fails. Cap and Trade is dead. Republicans take back the Peoples' House the following year, and in the intervening decade, Congress does nothing whatsoever to avert anthropogenic ecosystem collapse.

But here’s the catch: "Cap and Trade" didn't actually die there. Behind the scenes, a gang of ten Northeastern states, from the south in Maryland all the way up to the north in Maine, had been devising a plan since 2003 called RGGI (pronounced “Reggie”) to practice "Cap and Trade" on their own, and just as the federal plan crashes and burns, the states' goes live.

In the decade since 2009, not only has cap and trade lived on in the RGGI states, which make up about 2 percent of the country’s GDP, but according to studies by Duke University, Analysis Group, and the Acadia Center, it has thrived. In RGGI states, emissions are down 51 percent, half of which is directly attributable to "Cap and Trade." RGGI has saved its energy consumers $220 million, it has created 14,500 new full-time jobs and in just the two most recent years studied, it led to $1.4 billion in net economic benefits. Virginia just applied to join, and if other states get smart, there is no technical obstacle to its continued growth.

A decade later, that brings us to 2019 and the current battle over "Medicare-for-All." Medicare-for-All is the popular nickname for a national single-payer health insurance system, which would provide coverage to every single American as birthright and save trillions of dollars in total health spending. It has also been a raging battleground in American left-right politics since the end of the last World War. And right now it is having a moment: According to a recent Reuters poll, 70 percent of Americans – and even a majority of Republicans – now support it. Not to mention, most of the Democratic presidential candidates are running on it.

Despite the popular support, it is absolutely, positively not poised to pass in Congress. The House of Representatives could maybe – possibly – pass legislation. However, in the Senate, you need 60 out of 100 votes to pass anything — a filibuster-proof majority — and there simply are not 60 votes for Medicare-for-All in that chamber. Even though a majority of Americans want Medicare-for-All, a majority of states don't, and senators represent states – and thus a busted slaughterhouse of dreams. To boot, only 15 Democratic senators have even signed onto the legislation.

And these numbers aren’t changing anytime soon: Dems have long-shot odds of picking up three Senate seats in 2020. And in swing territory, they won’t be progressive ones. There absolutely, positively will remain at least 41 votes to block Medicare-for-All in the Senate for the foreseeable future. Plus, if Trump gets re-elected, and odds are he will, according to TrendMacrolytics, you would need a veto-proof majority of 67 Senators to back it, which is lightyears away from happening.

So why die at the altar of an "all or nothing" proposition that would surely result in "Nothing-for-Anyone?" Instead, we could end the decades of war now by stopping trying to win over and appease leery conservative states and simply doing what RGGI did: create a full on, single-payer, everyone-gets-healthcare-priced-into-their-citizenship, Medicare-for-All system across the states who want it.

Don't confuse this with various other “Medicare-for-More” plans pushed by battle-shy centrists. Those proposed watered-down solutions include allowing anyone to buy into Medicare or expanding coverage to more age or income brackets. One could perhaps argue the merits of those, but this approach isn’t that. This is about providing member states real deal, 100 percent Medicare-for-All.

How would it work? According to Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution, states can enter into "interstate compacts," or agreements between two or more states, as long as they get the “Consent of Congress.” And the courts have pretty much nullified that “Consent of Congress” part: in the cases of Virginia v. Tennessee of 1893 and U.S. Steel Corporation v. Multistate Tax Commission of 1978, the Supreme Court held that if a member-state could theoretically execute the program in question by itself anyway – and if the compact doesn’t threaten the supremacy of the federal government more broadly – then the U.S. Senate doesn’t have to weigh in at all. In fact, despite it being a massive, multi-state program, RGGI itself fully bypassed Congressional consent.

In addition to RGGI, there are just shy of 200 active interstate compacts. You’re probably affected by several interstate without even knowing about them. The Driver License Compact (DLC) is why, if you get pulled over in Montana, it affects your Maine license. A compact is why most states share the same state scratch-off lottery games. Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania even have a compact to provide each other with military aid in the case of an emergency, like a little NATO.

Interstate compacts don’t make sense for everything. There is little benefit, say, in three sexy states getting together to declare that on Wednesdays they wear pink, rather than each declaring it individually. But when it comes to government programs, something where the sharing of resources would be of benefit, or where coordination makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts, then interstate compacts are sometimes the most powerful tool in a state's arsenal.

In the case of Medicare-for-All, joining together could make possible what a state can’t do on its own. Vermont tried to create their own single-payer system, which famously sputtered out. The startup and administrative costs of such a system are too much for one single state to bear alone – especially one with a small tax base.

But the 16 bluest states represent almost half of the country’s GDP and 37 percent of its population. Their collective GDP is larger than every other country except for China, making them certainly large enough to support a single-payer program. That’s larger than Sweden, Bahrain, Canada, Cyprus, Finland, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom, all of which provide single-payer health coverage to their citizens.

Every kid knows that if Dad says, "You can’t have ice cream," you ask Mom instead. In this case, Daddy Senate isn’t just saying no ice cream – he’s basically unconscious. Each year brings another round of “Least Productive Congress” headlines, eulogizing our ineffectual Senate. That is, in part, because Majority Leader McConnell gets to single-handedly block any bill he doesn’t like from coming to a vote. And if he doesn’t, then another Senator will: The filibuster, a once-arcane procedure to block a vote by threatening to never shut up, is now deployed near constantly. If something does make it through for a vote, the fact that every state gets two senators regardless of population size means 17 percent of Americans can impose “majority rule” over the other 83 percent. Yes, it’s time to ask Mommy inter-state compact for some ice cream.

Potential stakeholder states could start immediately in developing a system to fund and administer the program — just as RGGI states did for Cap and Trade. And if the left’s claims about single-payer are true, then a Pennsylvania, say, seeing the success in its neighbors of Maryland and New York, would apply to join — as Virginia is doing right now in RGGI. Or if the right is correct that single-payer would bring about Soviet-style ruination for individuals and businesses, then surely states would leave it – or their citizens would leave them.

This means as far as Medicare-for-All is concerned, the question is whether or not we really want it. Because, if we do, we can get it right now.

So, can someone tell California Gov. Gavin Newsom to get New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the line?

Daley Gruen

Daley Gruen is a former Democratic congressional staffer, and most recently helped run a midterm campaign in an upstate New York swing district. He writes about democratic reform and the new economy.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 02:17:33 AM by RE »
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