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Sunday, June 25, 2017

#HealthcareBill, the Kellyanne Conway solution

Simple. Problem solved. @KellyannePolls.

From the USC Annenberg Center:
As Senate rushes ahead, the missing debate over Medicaid poses dire risks for rural, elderly Americans
Trudy Lieberman

Has the conversation swirling around replacing the Affordable Care Act focused on the wrong thing?

For weeks the steady stream of tweets, studies, numbers, and pleas to save Obamacare has largely focused on the people who gained covered through the health law’s state insurance exchanges. But under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, in my view the most important feature of the law, far people gained health insurance coverage. For millions of people, that was the first time in their lives they got insurance and care they never had before...

You would think such an achievement in improving the health and well-being of so many citizens would be something to celebrate — perhaps something akin to the excitement expressed when Medicare became law in 1965, making it possible for millions of old people to get health insurance and medical care at a time in life when their incomes and health had declined. Instead, Medicaid has become something to tear down, emerging as the central focus of Republican attempts to rid the country of the Affordable Care Act. “Medicaid is growing at an unsustainable pace,” said Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey recently. “If we’re going to overhaul this program which we need to do by virtue of Obamacare, we can at least put it on a sustainable path.”...

But there’s another reason: Medicaid carries the stigma of being a welfare program, and Americans don’t like welfare. Typical of that sentiment is one email I received earlier this year from a man in the Midwest, who said, “I LOVE the idea of Medicaid reform. We can save millions, probably billions by putting people to work who can work and sending people who won’t comply back to their own country.”...

Medicaid’s untold story also includes Americans who have received benefits under the traditional Medicaid program — for example, the millions of middle class families who’ve come to rely on it to fund long-term care for a family member. Medicaid pays for about half of all nursing home stays. That’s another subject that’s been missing from the media until this past week. GOP proposals to slice more than $800 billion from the Medicaid program mean that states will have much less money to funnel into nursing home and other forms of care for the elderly in their communities. Where are the media stories on this? Where are protests from families who would be affected?...
There seems to be a distinct odor of Persecute the Poor, Halt, and Lame in the air these days.

From The Atlantic:
The Kabuki Theater of the AHCA
Normally, a bill this unpopular wouldn’t stand a chance. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s health-care bill seems designed to let reluctant senators amend it, and claim victory

The United States has never had a Senate leader as ruthless, as willing to bend, distort and break the rules, traditions and precedents of the Senate as Mitch McConnell. And the Senate has probably never had a majority leader as effective at accomplishing his goals as Mitch McConnell—making even Lyndon Johnson look like a neophyte in comparison.

That is why no one should believe that the McConnell-crafted health-policy bill is dead, despite the growing opposition and the fact that the overwhelming majority of health-policy analysts and health providers say the bill is a walking disaster. It eviscerates Medicaid—a program widely misunderstood as simply insurance for poor people, but which uses most of its money for long-term care for the elderly, and basic protection for the disabled and mentally ill populations. The overall Medicaid cuts, while spread over a longer time frame, are more severe than the draconian House bill.

The McConnell bill removes the protection of lifetime and annual limits, meaning someone with a serious illness like cancer could be cut off in the middle of chemotherapy. It also fails the so-called “Kimmel test,” named for Jimmy Kimmel after he faced the horror of a newborn son born with a devastating heart ailment. With this bill, a newborn with a major problem requiring weeks in intensive care and multiple serious surgeries would pass both the annual and the lifetime limit within his or her first few months of life. And because the bill allows for insurers to charge much more to those with pre-existing conditions, a newborn who leaves the hospital without exceeding the lifetime limit might be unable to afford insurance for the rest of his or her life.

More generally, the bill is structured so that essential coverage provisions can be dropped, and insurers will be able to offer barebones plans with low premiums—and sky-high deductibles, far greater than those imposed by plans on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Many people could have insurance that would be faux-insurance, something appearing great until they actually needed it, and discover that their ailment, or pregnancy, was not covered, or if it was, requires them to pay $7,500 out of pocket before it pays a dime...
My younger daughter Danielle, should she live long enough in her ghastly battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, could be among those left without any coverage should this kind of crap be enacted. She's a Kaiser member for now, but will soon likely be on Medi-Cal (she's finally lost her job, and will have to apply for SSI and Medi-Cal).

From Esquire:
Kellyanne Conway Says the Republican Medicaid Cut Isn't a Cut to Medicaid
New frontiers in mendacity

It's one thing to lie about the size of an inauguration crowd. It's entirely another to get on national television and present blatant non-facts about whether your party's Double Secret Healthcare Bill will cut people's coverage. Of course, this was always inevitable: This White House has such a staggering disdain for the concept of objective reality that it was bound to reflexively misrepresent the facts on something that really matters.

That's how we got to Kellyanne Conway on Sunday. She had the extraordinary nerve to go on ABC's This Week to tell George Stephanopoulos that the Republican healthcare plan's $800 billion cut to Medicaid isn't a Medicaid cut...
I wonder if she takes her 70% taxpayer-subsidized premiums FEHB health care coverage?

Senate Bill also taking fire from the Far Right.

UPDATE: CBO Score Report now published.
The Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have completed an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, a Senate amendment in the nature of a substitute to H.R. 1628. CBO and JCT estimate that enacting this legislation would reduce the cumulative federal deficit over the 2017-2026 period by $321 billion. That amount is $202 billion more than the estimated net savings for the version of H.R. 1628 that was passed by the House of Representatives.

The Senate bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to the number under current law, slightly fewer than the increase in the number of uninsured estimated for the House-passed legislation. By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.

Following the overview, this document provides details about the major provisions of this legislation, the estimated costs to the federal government, the basis for the estimate, and other related information, including a comparison with CBO’s estimate for the House-passed act...


See you there.


Very interesting.

See my prior post about my "Omics" concerns.


This looks very worthy. We need more women leaders in health care.
More to come...

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