Trump(Don’t)Care…

…and Republicans don’t either. At least not about this – government’s responsibility for our commons.

If we follow their prescriptions to run government like a business, we need to internalize profits and externalize costs. That is the key goal to TrumpCare. It isn’t lowering premiums or increasing choice or making sure you can keep your doctor, the goal is to reduce government costs by decimating one of President Lyndon Johnson’s signature entitlement programs meant to stave of crushing poverty in history’s wealthiest country.

At times like this, as we are likely to see a Republican Wall Street version of Medicaid get signed into law, it’s beneficial to review the basics.


a) What is Medicaid? (image, including their advertisers, from the NYT)

What is Medicaid 1

What is Medicaid 2


b) Where are we likely to end up in the next few weeks or months? (From Kevin Drum)

Where headed


c) A Senator, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, reviews in a series of tweets images of the language in the bill and what they mean in English.

Casey 1

Casey 2

Casey 3

Republicans are about privatizing government and our commons. The drive is a natural side-effect of an economic system that rewards focus on individual profits with no means of accounting for shared concerns.

How the vulnerable among us retains access to basic human needs such as health care should be one of a government’s primary concerns, especially when the society has the means to provide this access. But that isn’t the priority of the Republican Party, the priority is to minimize the public percentage of national spending. If you do this, there will be less that their most influential constituents have to pay in taxes.

The Republicans are pro wealth distribution, they just want to continue the destructive focus of our nations wealth (and the benefits that come with health, such as access to preventative health care) into the hands of the few.

outofbalance


This is something I wrote from October 1, 2013, the day the ACA market places opened…

“In order to win his party’s nomination, Mitt Romney had to run as far away from his plan as possible.  Ultimately the conflict over the ACA is not about the ACA itself, it’s about how far right the Republicans have shifted.  The ideology that the free market will solve all problems is as much a crazy utopian dream as the far left’s defunct dreams of a purely socialist state.  Unfortunately the right wing/libertarian free-market fantasy is an ideology that wins hearts, minds and votes because it has an unbelievable amount of money behind it.  With that money the ideology can buy a narrative that turns truth on it’s head.”

Here is just one example of how our collective perception of reality is influenced with money by those who have it and wish to make sure it isn’t spent on others:

More on David Valadao from congressional district CA-21 and other CA Representatives and their vote for the AHCA here.

 

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Is “Trumpcare = Choice” a Lie?

Of course it is. The true is that Obamacare with Medicaid expansion (called Medi-Cal in California) now covers over 50,000 Humboldters. That at least doubled and close to tripled Medi-Cal coverage before the ACA.

To be eligible to Medi-Cal under the expansion, your current income had to be 138% of Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) for an adult and under 266% FPL for a child. 138% FPL is $1,387 per month.

With these new, simpler, fair and humane rules under Obamacare we as a Humboldt community were able to share first rate health care with 25,000 to 30,000 more of our neighbors.

If you have family in Humboldt, it’s likely some members of your extended family are aided under this program. Remember, with Medi-Cal roles in the 50,000 range we are talking about 38% of all 130,000 Humbodlters aided under this program.

And it’s a good program. We are a wealthy society and all other wealthy societies around the globe have figured out access to preventative and sustaining health care is a right. Medicaid under Obamacare doesn’t reach universal health care levels, but it does give access to the most needy in a conservative, market-friendly manner that does allow choice.

If you are over that 138% as an adult, or 266% as a child, you then get access to private health care plans on the Covered CA marketplace. Up to 400% FPL these are subsidized and thus affordable.

Again, Obamacare was a conservative approach to universal health care coverage, one based on markets and helping individuals to chose the health care they can afford.

But the chosen Republican party line to sell what the rest of us understand is a money and power grab where the rest of us are entirely vulnerable is to contend that Trump Care is about choice in health care.

And for some it is. For those making over 400% FPL, I imagine there may be expanded choices as the insurance industry again returns to you as their main profit center. But for those who were able to gain access to health care under Obamacare, there will no longer be a choice.

Trump Care = choice is a lie because Obamacare proved that we were able to expand the roles of those obtaining health care. This meant that money was a factor and reducing funding to Medicaid will again return us to the bad old days where health care is a privilege to those who are gainfully employed or have made many good decisions or have been fortunate enough to be born to a family with enough money or love to set us on the right path.

This just isn’t acceptable in our country and it would be nice if local Republicans who get this would speak to their friends and business associates and help their leaders in Washington get this.

Trumpcare will reduce the number of people who have access to health care, it does this by removing the cornerstone of a critical federally-funded program called Medicaid satisfying another conservative goal in working to reverse the FDR-Johnson vision of America with a strong middle class and access to basic necessities of modern life to those who live at or below poverty limits. Mainstream Republicans and conservatives, please do not let the Economic Royalists or loony libertarians do this to us. Our lives are in your hands and we depend on you to call a lie a lie. 25,000 to 30,000 of your neighbors and customers now depend on your integrity.


tweets:

article:

G.O.P. Health Plan Is Really a Rollback of Medicaid (Margot Sanger-Katz |NYT | 6/20/17)

ff:

High

(This is the forgiveness factor.  I’m asking for a high amount of forgiveness for editing/content b/c of the short amount of time I was able to dedicate to this post) 🙂 (ty)

What is Medi-Cal?  A Timely NYT Opinion Piece. (NEWCU)

NEWCU = News Eligibility Workers Can Use

…also… Medi-Cal is what we in California call the federal program Medicaid.

Between posts, I work as county Department of Health and Human Services employee where I help administer Medicaid in Humboldt County by determining eligibility.

I wanted to make a quick post to share Alice Wong’s piece  in today’s New York Times because:

a) is a first-hand account of one person discovering that public assistance is a right that she has as a member of our society and the freedom that understanding allows, and

b) it does a great job of explaining what Medicaid and Medi-Cal are and other important associated programs such as the Medicaid Working Disabled Program and In-Home Supportive Services, and

c) there is a well deserved kudos to California social services as  the writer describes why she had to move from her home in Indiana to come here.

Liberty and justice for all indeed!

My Medicaid, My Life

   by Alice Wong (New York Times | May 3, 2017)

“I graduated from high school in 1992, two years after the Americans With Disabilities Act was passed. Learning about disability history and realizing I was a member of a protected class encouraged me to imagine and create the life that I want. Once I got over myself and realized I had a right to Medicaid, it made a difference immediately.

This past March marked my 25th year of being a recipient of Medicaid. When I was young, I felt shame and embarrassment at being one of “those people” on benefits. Today I am unapologetically disabled and a fully engaged member of society. None of that would be possible without Medicaid.

Every day I resist forces that label me as the Other or a scapegoat for society’s problems. With the disability community, I share our stories and speak out against threats to our future by using my privilege and tools such as social media. I hope my story will continue for decades to come.”