Republicans reveal their health-care bill

After confabbing in secret for several days, the Republicans have now released their healthcare bill (the secrecy was reprehensible). You can read it at CNN here, and I haven’t yet gone over it, but I offer it for your delectation.

47 Comments

  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Looks like the Donald is makin’ good on that campaign promise of his to “provide great healthcare, for everybody, at a tiny fraction of the cost.”

    Might be 23 million Americans without who are tired of all the winning. MAGA!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Actually it’s much worse than that. Essentially, this eliminates the ACA and tells everyone, you can take it or leave it, based on what is available and how much the insurance companies want to charge. That is kind of what has been available in the country all along. It also does one even bigger thing, it starts Medicaid on the way to non-existence. It is basically going to turn all of it over to the states which means in the end, you are going to get nothing. Hopefully the American people are going to enjoy dying as well as they do living.

  2. Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Either way, Obamacare or Trumpcare, I still can’t afford to get my broken teeth fixed even with insurance and have had to stop PT (for recent surgery) because the co-pays are too high.

    Our healthcare system is unsustainable and second to almost everyone else’s with either plan.

    There are two unforgivable mistakes Americans make; getting old and getting sick.

    • darrelle
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Yeah. It makes no sense that medical problems with your teeth aren’t covered by medical insurance plans or dental plans.

      • Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        I know more than one person who’s spent more on dental work than many people do on cars…and some of these people have top-of-the-line government job medical insurance, to boot. Plenty others who could benefit greatly from such treatment but won’t even entertain the thought for a moment because of the cost.

        What really boggles my mind is how the dental industry hasn’t managed to get these procedures (implants, etc.) covered. They’d be able to profit hugely if they could get that cost-sharing aspect of insurance going for them. Lots of people simply can’t afford several grand for an implant but wouldn’t blink (much) at an extra $50 / month in dental insurance that covered it.

        …of course, a truly civilized society would include it in its universal health care, the same way we all pay for guard rails on lonely mountain roads we’ll never personally drive on, let alone need to avoid horrific death….

        Cheers,

        b&

        >

        • darrelle
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          I don’t no if this is still a “thing” but back in the early 2000’s two people that I knew personally went to Costa Rica for serious dental work. The dental work was world class and so affordable compared to the same work in the US that even including two separate trips to Costa Rica and an additional week long vacation there it added up to less than half the cost.

          • Paul S
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

            Last time I was in Costa Rica I believe I was told their two largest industries/sources of income were health care and beef.

            • Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

              I’ve never been to Costa Rica and I know very little about the country…but I do know that they produce some truly great coffee. As in, there are equals — especially from Ethiopia — but no superiors. If you’re in the Valley of the Sun, or if you’re a roaster looking for an wholesale source, check out Cortez Coffee in Tempe, AZ for a few different varieties.

              https://cortezcoffee.com/

              (That’s “a few different varieties” of Costa Rican coffee, in addition to I-can’t-count-how-many others, mostly from Africa and South America, but also sometimes from other regions like Nepal and Hawaii.)

              Cheers,

              b&

              >

  3. Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I find it incredible (well, no, not really, given these folks) that people would want to do this sort of thing *in secret* …

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      I’m not so sure about that in secret stuff. Basically, the republicans have been attempting to kill ACA for the past 7 1/2 years, pretty much in the wide open.

      • Harrison
        Posted June 23, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        That they want to scrap the ACA they’re not ashamed to admit.

        The shame comes from the fact that their “replacement” is garbage by every metric. They don’t want it being scored by the CBO and shown up for the trashfire it is.

        This shouldn’t be surprising as the ACA was already the conservative alternative to real universal healthcare. You can’t have a system that does what Republicans promised to do (better, cheaper, wider coverage) without going hard leftward. They’re in an impossible situation of their own making and I hope they enjoy twisting in the wind.

  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Also, Trump has finally admitted he was bullshittin’ about taping his conversations with former FBI director Comey. In related news, Capt. Renault has discovered there’s gambling at Rick’s.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      If you think that Drumpf saying there aren’t any tapes is the end of the matter, I’d like to take this opportunity to offer you the chance of a lifetime to invest in some prime New York real estate….

      Drumpf really screwed the pooch (that caught the car) on this one. Nobody’s going to believe that he didn’t record the conversation — not after all the hype he himself blew up over the tapes. Rather, he just made it plain that he’s either actually destroyed them or thinks he can pretend that they don’t exist. And when that chicken comes home to roost….

      Besides, just look at the parsing of it. He doesn’t know if somebody else taped it, but he didn’t and doesn’t have the tapes. That just means that somebody else really does have them and he’s scared shitless panicking about what’s going to happen when that shoe drops. Maybe if he sets the stage that he’s a victim of espionage it’ll soften the blow?

      Yeah, right….

      Cheers,

      b&

      • rickflick
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        I’m counting on the Russians to provide tapes. They’re good at that sort of thing.

        • Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          The only tape of Drumpf the Russians are likely to provide at this point is the one he’s most terrified of — the one with him and the prostitute. And, frankly, I think the odds are mostly against that happening. Much more likely is that they’ll tell him it’s time for him to go, and hack his phone to replace the background picture with a screenshot as a reminder…shortly after which he’ll decide he needs to spend more time with his family and on his personal business interests.

          But I really don’t think it’ll come to that, especially as Drumpf is doing such a spectacular job at destabilizing America just by being who he is.

          If you think about it, it’s in the best interests of Russia to keep him in office as long as they possibly can, keeping the pot simmering indefinitely. It doesn’t do them any good for America to blow up; that just creates a YUGE mess they’ll get splattered with, too. But for us to collapse from within, such as with the devastated economy that Trumpcare is all but guaranteed to cause? That leaves the perfect void for Putin to heroically rescue the world from….

          Cheers,

          b&

          >

    • Craw
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Trump never said he had taped them.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        I never said that he did; I said he bullshitted about whether he made tapes. And for 41 days he did. Another needless national embarrassment by this incompetent asshole.

      • Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

        Yeah, and never ordered Comey to back off on the Flynn investigation …

  5. Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Republicans are like the dog that finally caught the car…and their jaws are firmly clamped on the bumper as it’s driving away, headed to the freeway onramp.

    There is no scenario in which this ends well for them.

    If it passes, almost everybody who finally got insurance under Obamacare loses it again. And the majority of those are Republicans. And the tax cuts they’re drooling over? They go mostly to Democratic-voting states.

    And if it goes down in flames, they become not only the party of “No,” but the party of “FAIL! Sad.”

    I’d say chances it’ll pass the Senate are around 40%. It certainly could happen, but they can only afford two defections — and there’re already more than that many voicing concerns amongst Republicans from both sides (those who reject it as Obamacare Lite and those who think it cuts Medicaid too much).

    Passage in both houses is probably also Drumpf’s last chance to avoid impeachment…not that he necessarily realizes that….

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Also, would be a nice touch if someone in Congress would just speak, out load for a moment on their own personal health care provided as members of congress in the federal govt. It is just about the best available because it is a shared coverage between worker and employer. I use the term worker very loosely. They also, quite nicely get something else not available to nearly everyone else and that is a great pension plan. I know because I kind of participate in that one. Oh, they also do not participate in social security and therefore, do not pay a dime into that. One of the great benefits of being in Congress is that nearly all the laws they pass have no effect on them.

      • Randy schenck
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        that would be out-loud

        • Zetopan
          Posted June 25, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          It works either way.

    • Harrison
      Posted June 23, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      The trouble with being a senator is that your whole state gets to vote for you. There’s no way to gerrymander yourself a nice safe district.

      So many Republican senators are honestly wondering if this vote is worth their jobs or not. And there’s probably not enough big money kickbacks to go around for all the people who would be taking a risk voting on one of the worst bills in history. One that’s gonna be so unpopular it’ll probably itself be undone a few years later.

  6. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Ha, for some reason I stumbled on Al Franken’s recent speech comparing how the Democrats had allowed for an extensive and open process with many changes , in an area that concern 1/6 of the US economy, while the Republicans now tries to minimize the political process. (He ended with a touching history of a 3 year old with cancer, which is covered by the ACA but will likely be killed by the new bill.)

    Nothing new here. Republicans know that their voting base is inflated by an insecure society at both ends (poor get insecurity, rich gets resources). And so US will lose another decade in the process of making America as Trumpantly small as it possibly can be under the current regime of a compromised democracy. I read in the Economist that the process started a century ago – it is their index that pulled it back from a full democracy last year – but I do not know why. Any ideas?

    • darrelle
      Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Probably because there is so much corruption involved in our elections. For several election cycles, at least, observers that monitor elections in troubled parts of the world have noted that the level of corruption in US elections is similar to that of some of the troubled countries that the international community is concerned enough about to monitor.

    • Posted June 23, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget “small” is a technical term in US politics. It is consistent with the world’s most expansive “defense” budget, and that sort of thing. So “military Keynesianism” works to offset total disaster, for better or for worse.

  7. Kevin
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Prohibition from entering a ‘secret circle’. Sounds like Temple mongers attending their cult meetings to discuss their ideologically motivated dogma.

    History does not bode well for this technique of isolated groups of men comparing pant sizes when benighted outsiders are meant to think great power and omniscience comes form such gatherings.

    Reminds me of many Tom Baker Dr. Who episodes of a bunch of men in robes chanting to candles and cow patties in the hopes that worlds will turn for them.

    Alas, a solitary sonic screwdriver is more useful to humanity than the sum of the GOP.

  8. nicky
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Tried to read it, but after page 20 I gave up. What did I learn? Basically nothing. It appears, but I’m not sure, they don’t want insurance to pay for abortion (surprise! (if so)) and deny medical care for illegal aliens. If so, it is very short-sighted: it is not because an alien is illegal (s)he can not give you TB, for example.
    It is in dire need of a translation into normal language.

    • Randy schenck
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Pretty sure it throws Planned Parenthood under the bus for at least one year. That kind of does it for any help from the fed on abortion.

      • Mark R.
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        It does throw Planned Parenthood under the bus, but the Fed doesn’t pay for abortions.

  9. Craw
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing reprehensible about people getting together without outsiders — “in secret” — to come to a consensus on a proposal which they then make public. I think in fact that can fairly describe every grant application I have ever seen, as well as how Obama’s cabinet worked. When the University of Chicago promulgated their policy on free speech which you so admire, and have cited numerous times, I do not recall the university president and his advisors holding public forums to work out the details.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      That doesn’t apply to the legislative process. Yes, cabals can certainly work quietly to generate legislative proposals, but at some point before it is offered up for a vote, it should be discussed widely and be subject to amendment. That hasn’t happened and it looks like it won’t. If our institutions are to work properly they will have to follow the rules.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      It’s not the way the popularly elected people’s representatives go about making “the public laws of the United States” — i.e., federal legislation. What do you think those rules in the House and Senate about committee hearings, witness subpoenas, and floor debates are all about?

      This gang of 13 Republicans isn’t running a closely-held corporation; they’re conducting the people’s business, writing a law that accounts for one-sixth the US economy and will affect the lives and health of us all.

      • Posted June 22, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        Exactly.

        Closed session is supposed to be limited to military and espionage secrets, ongoing criminal investigations, that sort of thing.

        Everything else — and I do mean everything — is supposed to be open to the public.

        Arizona has an “open meeting law,” and even something as seemingly innocent as too many city council members having an hot tub party could land them in water as proverbially hot as is literally in the spa. Even one-on-one idle elevator chatter about matters tangential to official business is frowned upon.

        Everything else needs an agenda published so many days in advance (and only that which is on the agenda can be discussed), public access (typically including limited time for public comment), minutes published in a timely manner, all the rest.

        If Arizona can get it right…what’s Congress’s excuse?

        Cheers,

        b&

        >

        • Craw
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          I ask again, what “closed session”? What *session*? This was just the GOP getting together right?

          • Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            As I wrote, in Arizona, it would be extremely illegal for any group of elected officials to “just get together,” especially for the purpose of conducting official business, most especially for the purpose of working on legislation (or its equivalent in other branches of government).

            The Feds don’t have Arizona’s open meeting law, so what they did was legal, at least as far as this narrow point goes. But it’s highly unusual for Congress, and over-the-top unethical.

            Hint: there’s a reason Arizona has its open meeting law, and why it’s taken so seriously here.

            Cheers,

            b&

            >

      • Craw
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Was this a committee? It was the GOP caucus wasn’t it? Not remotely the same thing. Any bill presented will have been prepared before hand won’t it?

        • Craw
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          Here is a news report of the Democrat caucus in a closed meeting this week.

          http://thehill.com/homenews/house/337572-pelosi-dems-push-back-against-sherman-impeachment-push

          Sheesh.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            I missed the part in that article about how the Democrats actually, you know, drafted legislation in that closed meeting — let alone how they intend to ram that legislation through the Senate next week without public hearings and minimal debate (and probably very little vaseline).

            Mitch McConnell plays a rough and dirty game.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

              I think it is very apparent that CRAW is just an agitator. He makes extremely odd arguments to get others pissed. My advice is don’t fall for it. If he was paying attention to the politics of this subject he would not be asking such questions or making these statements. He actually sounds very much like a pundit they drag out every so often on CNN for the Republicans.

              • Historian
                Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

                Yes, Craw is either pulling our chain or has no idea how laws are typically passed by the U.S. Congress. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the mastermind behind the Senate bill, is doing everything he accused Obama (falsely) of doing in getting Obamacare passed.

    • Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      There were many, many debates on the ACA, over months before it became law. There were dozens of GOP-initiated amendments to it that were accepted into the law.

      This is just like the other GOP nonsense.

      And the millions who get thrown off health insurance? To finance tax cuts to the wealthy?

      Obscene.

      Next up (for all you working class Trump-voters)? Paul Ryan has a Social Security “reform act” ready for you: You won’t get your SS, the top 1% will get it. And then his Medicare “reform act”: You don’t get Medicare. To relieve the crushing burden on the very wealthy (they suffer so!) you will get a subsidy that will, in just a few years, be inadequate. My advice? Prepare yourself to work until you die.

      And the rest of us? Back to paying for health care for the poor via the ERs of the country.

      All for another Paris Hilton Relief Act.

      Genius!

  10. BJ
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I heard on the news that they didn’t even consult with the CBO on this bill. That should tell you all you need to know about its viability and/or what they really think its effects will be on the American people.

  11. Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I heard a GOP congressman talking about Medicaid (for non-USians, the program that helps poor people (as opposed to old people, which Medicare helps in the US) get health care). They want to cut it, because, “it was not intended for able-bodied people.”

    The people helped by the ACA (Obamacare) by way of medicaid. Are almost all working people (I’d wager).

    The GOP has spent the last bunch of decades assiduously trying to suppress the wages of working people.

    What, are those people who are currently being helped this way by the ACA either:

    1. Don;t need health care anymore (by some miracle)?

    2. Suddenly will be paid enough to buy health insurance on the open market?

    3. Health insurance premiums are suddenly going to drop so they can afford them?

    No, this is another “Paris Hilton Relief Act” from the GOP. They want to throw tens of millions of US citizens (under the bus) off health insurance — to finance more big tax cuts for the wealthy — who we know are suffering so much these days (how can they take it? Goodness, what a problem!)

    This is obscene and the damned Dems had better get out there and tell it like it is.

    As one commenter on NPR said yesterday, “the Republicans are worrying about a few tens of thousands of people who have only one “choice” in the health insurance market in their county. And their solution is to throw tens of millions off of health insurance. Seems like their sense of proportion is a bit off.”

    Crocodile tears anyone?

    And now we have Cheeto-Jesus in the White House and therefore no backstop against this crap.

  12. Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Here’s a good summary of the GOP Senate Bill:

    http://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/gop-senate-health-care-bill-explained/

  13. Zetopan
    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    “Republicans reveal their health-care bill”

    While they obviously prefer to call this a “health-care bill” it is the essentially the opposite of health-care and a far more accurate title would be a “tax break bill for the rich” since that is its main thrust.


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