Monday, June 26, 2017

Millions Of Americans Are Cheering

The American Senate's version of Trumpcare is a nasty piece of work. And Republicans are doing everything they can to keep their fellow citizens in the dark. Robert Reich writes:

America’s wealthiest taxpayers (earning more than $200,000 a year, $250,000 for couples) would get a tax cut totaling $346bn over 10 years, representing what they save from no longer financing healthcare for lower-income Americans.

That’s not all. The bill would save an additional $400bn on Medicaid, which Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, and Donald Trump are intent on shrinking in order to cut even more taxes for the wealthy and for big corporations.

If enacted, it would be the largest single transfer of wealth to the rich from the middle class and poor in American history.

But the legislation is structured to hide those facts:

The Senate bill appears to retain the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies for poorer Americans. But starting in 2020, the subsidies would no longer be available for many of the working poor who now receive them, nor for anyone who’s not eligible for Medicaid.

Another illusion: the bill seems to keep the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. But the expansion is phased out, starting in 2021.

The core of the bill – where its biggest savings come from – is a huge reduction in Medicaid, America’s healthcare program for the poor, elderly and disabled.

This, too, is disguised. States would receive an amount of money per Medicaid recipient that appears to grow as healthcare costs rise.

But starting in 2025, the payments would be based on how fast costs rise in the economy as a whole.
Yet medical costs are rising faster than overall costs. They’ll almost surely continue to do so – as America’s elderly population grows, and as new medical devices, technologies, and drugs prolong life.
Which means that after 2025, Medicaid coverage will shrink.

Like their president, the Republicans are fundamentally dishonest and morally bankrupt. And millions of Americans are cheering them on.

 Image: Quartz


Lorne said...

As I have said before, Owen, The U.S. is a failed nation, their hubristic boasts of the opposite notwithstanding.

John B. said...

The Republican patriots are doing what they came to do and what they're paid to do. They're redressing some of the injustice perpetrated incessantly over several generations in violation of Market Law and in the name of redistributive socialism. Freedom now!

It's safe and historically correct that this should occur now that the families of the legislators and those with whom they are in a relationship of mutual support have graduated from the dependent class, as everyone else's family should have done by now. This is the natural continuation of a historical process. There's really no other way to ensure that America has any prospect of being made great again.

Owen Gray said...

What has been breathtaking, Lorne, is the speed with which they have descended into nihilistic irrelevancy.

Owen Gray said...

That, of course, depends on how one defines greatness, John. If you look in the mirror and see greatness, it looks like you. Others may not see what you see. Navel gazing forces one to take one's eyes off the road.

Dana said...

Is the person pretending to be The Sloop a satirist or an asshole?

Steve said...

Still no coherent voices in opposition. Could it be the Democratic party is a chimera, just the illusion of opposition provided by the illuminati to rule?

The last D American President who could not just as easily been a republican was Jimmy Carter.
And they got him good.

Anonymous said...

Is "John B." for real, or is he throwing a cat amongst the pigeons to see what reaction he gets?
"Violation of Market Law"? What's that? A moral, legal, natural, or religious law, or all of those jumbled together? Is the "violation" a punishable offense? "Dependent class"? Is that your name for the poor? If it is, are you holding the poor responsible for being poor, blaming them for it, deserving of punishment because of it?
Over hundreds and thousands of years most of the great World religions have had a lot to say about how the poor should be treated - in very plain language - much plainer and clearer than yours, in fact.
If you are enthused by Mr. Trump's idea that America can become "great again" by punishing poor Americans, then I suggest you consider this well-worn idea: the greatness of a nation is defined by how that nation treats the least of its citizens. Do you suppose the "dependent class" might be part of that group?
A lot of people,including Jesus Christ, would think you and Mr. Trump are going in the wrong direction, Mr. B. Better do some more thinking...
But then, your posting wasn't sincere was it? It was a fake opinion, right? You know, a cat dropped amongst the pigeons.


Owen Gray said...

I'm familiar with John's comments, Dana. I take this as Swiftian satire.

Owen Gray said...

As I wrote above, CD, John is having fun. But I'll let him speak for himself.

Owen Gray said...

Like Tony Blair's Labour Party, Steve, the Dems are facing an existential crisis.

The Mound of Sound said...

I would like to think of this as another straw added to the camel's back although I think that beast's load bearing abilities are greater than any of us had imagined. The neoliberal order undermines the middle class in the guise of restoring it. The corporate state ascends essentially choking out liberal democracy. Hedges thinks this will lead to revolt and I hope he's right yet no one can rule out a complacent decline into a neo feudal reality.

It's hard to imagine what America will look like in 20 years, maybe even just 10. This Trumpian era doesn't create stability, just the opposite. We know that American democracy is extinct. The Gilens and Page study of 2014 establishes that and that has been confirmed repeatedly since. The neoliberal order is beginning to falter and those who would perpetuate it are having to resort to more extreme measures to prop it up. The nation is as divided as it has been since the civil war and it's hard to see anything being done to restore societal cohesion. Where does that lead?

Owen Gray said...

If the Republicans pursue their agenda with the same tunnel vision that drives their healthcare "reform," Mound, there's bound to be an explosion. Then all bets will be off.

Pamela Mac Neil said...

I think the neocon elites Owen see Trump as a man who can take their neoliberal and military agenda to it's fullest completion. Almost complete deregulation, the defunding of most social programs, the complete privatization of social institutions and programs. A full on police state, run by the corporate elites.

Owen Gray said...

That's why -- with all of Trump's faults -- they're sticking with him, Pam.

John B. said...

I've been listening to and laughing at market libertarians for so long, and because I've actually read a lot of the material that their manipulators refer to in their sloganeering and speeches, that when a story or comment reminds me of any of their standard rationalizations and platitudes, the caricature that comes to expression can appear to be sincerely intended. I thought that by throwing in the bit about the "historical process" it would have been more obvious than it turned out to be. My apologies.

Owen Gray said...

Irony is a terrific literary device, John, because it turns things on their heads. Jonathan Swift would have approved.

Dana said...

Thanks for the elucidation, John B. Don't feel so broke up that you wanna go home.