On Beating A Dead Horse …

Two men who know less about health care and medical insurance than even I, have suddenly become experts in what is good for the health of our nation.  Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy have brought the dead horse issue of repealing ACA (Obamacare) back to some form of life in the Senate, apparently in the hope of currying favour with Donald Trump.

dead horse 2

There was a time that I had some grudging respect for Senator Graham, but that time has long since passed, the final nail driven into the coffin last weekend when he lowered himself into the dung heap and appeared on Breitbart to make a plea to the masses.  The ‘nationalist’ Trump-supporting masses, that is, for the other 65% of us do not appear to matter to him.

The Graham/Cassidy bill looks remarkably like a clone of the bill that failed in July that was drafted by Mitch McConnell and his goons, none of whom know any more than I do about the details of a comprehensive health care plan.  Where are the experts?  Where are the people for whom this is charted territory, the people who understand the ramifications and effects on We The People?  They are not in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol, that’s for certain.

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Lindsey Graham/Bill Cassidy

When Senators McCain, Murkowski and Collins cast ‘nay’ votes on the Senate floor in July, I thought the issue was done … the dead horse had been beaten for the final time.  Trump ranted for a bit: “3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!” He told them to go back to the floor and try again, but the senators were tired, it was time for their break, and they had other work to do. They also knew they could not sway the three who voted their conscience.

But now for some reason, Lindsay Graham and Bill Cassidy are determined to attempt to breathe new life into that dead horse. Make no mistake … it is the same horse and it is still dead.  The goal of Graham and Cassidy, I think, is to bully and browbeat and push for a very quick vote before the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has time to remind us of the terrible consequences of the repeal.  I hope … I sincerely hope … that nothing has changed and that at the very least, Senators McCain, Murkowski and Collins will continue to stand by what they know is right.  I believe they will.  Senator Rand Paul has also said that he will not vote for the bill. But what about the other 49 senators?  Where are their consciences?  I think I know where … buried deep in their wallets, gathering dust and being crushed by their fat arses every day.

toon-1.jpgIf the Graham/Cassidy bill fails to pass by September 30th, then it will require a 60% majority to pass, which would mean at least 8 democratic senators would have to cast their votes in favour.  I would like, ultimately, to see bi-partisan efforts such as those being proposed by Lamar Alexander and Patti Murray to fix the cracks in the ACA and maintain it, rather than recklessly throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

On Saturday, Graham appeared on Breitbart to convince those who watch such things that his plan would somehow make them happy, I suppose.  One thing he said, though, sticks in my craw:

“So the goal is to get the money and the power out of Washington. This is not about repealing and replacing Obamacare. This is about stopping a march towards socialism.”

This was in reference to the single-payer plan laid out last week by Bernie Sanders.  I can speak only for myself, but if Bernie’s plan is considered socialist, and Graham’s plan is anti-socialist, then call me a socialist. Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,  Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom all have universal health care, and none are socialist nations.  Senator Graham is wrong, just plain wrong. He is simply more interested in pleasing Trump and the lobbyists for the insurance industry than he is in seeing to the best interests of those who have voted him into office since 2003.

My best guess is that this latest incarnation will have essentially the same effect, that of leaving between 24-26 million people without health insurance and without the ability to pay for their own health care.  If so, that is an abomination.  Graham claims the states will then implement their own health care bills, but we all know that a) these things take time, and b) we cannot always trust the states to act in our best interests.

Meanwhile, folks, it is time to start once again making those phone calls and writing those emails once again.  This administration is going to owe us all new laptops and cell phones before it’s all over. Some analysts are saying it looks close this time, but of course it was close last time, and if Senator McCain had not pulled a rabbit out of his hat, it would have passed in July.  But we cannot rest on our laurels, and we cannot count on ‘right’ to win out over ‘might’, for Trump is a powerful bully who wears people down with his schoolyard tactics.  Please, take a few minutes to write to your senators and let them know how you feel.

We need to put this idea of repealing ACA at all costs, to bed.  If the GOP had a viable plan whereby everyone … everyone … would have access to affordable health care, I would not object. Obviously, they do not. It is not the senators who need to worry about how they will be able to afford a doctor next time they need one … no, it is you and I, our friends and our families.

25 thoughts on “On Beating A Dead Horse …

    • You’d think, wouldn’t you? But … I have begun to wonder if much of this is a smokescreen? The Mueller investigation seems to be heating up and taking a direct path to hone in on Trump … how many have noticed that, in light of this abominable health care bill? Just a thought …

      Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU!!! I already loved Kimmel, but this puts him at the top of my list! I loved this … laughed so hard I nearly choked, but he made his point using humour. And I so admire that he uses his voice, which reaches so many, to highlight this issue. That man deserves a medal! Thanks again for sharing this, Keith!

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  1. You can’t fix a traumatic injury with a band-aid. That is exactly what these idiots are trying to do. Healthcare is a complicated, multi-headed beast. There is no quick fix. The ACA was a massive, complex bill and, even with all of the thought that went into it, it was still flawed. The Obama administration tried to fix it, but was headed off at the pass by the republicans. The only thing that will give the insured what they want is single payer. It comes at a price, however. Somehow we are finding billions and trillions to dump into the military, but healthcare on a national scale can’t be achieved without tax hikes. That is the threat. Another wrinkle to this is, many of us with full-time jobs pay a reduced rate for healthcare insurance because our employers cover part or all of it. This is as invisible to most workers as the actual income tax they pay because it is automatically withdrawn from most payroll systems. If they had to write a quarterly or yearly check for the healthcare coverage, that might make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! To even attempt to write a health care bill without expert advice, time, open discussion, and much tweaking is simply ludicrous. It isn’t truly a health care bill, but merely an attempt to get back into Trump’s good graces by repealing ACA and to hell with We The People. If this passes, far too many will suffer, and not necessarily only the poor, though that is bad enough. The republicans who are applauding the repeal of ACA don’t seem to realize that they, too, will be affected. Meanwhile, the rich get richer while the poor get poorer. I don’t think it will pass, but it is frighteningly close, and I’m disappointed in John McCain. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My reply to this is on a different tack (nautical term for a sailing vessel changing course on a different wind).

    One thing that that keeps smacking me in the face, is that Trumpets and his cronies seem to tie congress up in knots discussing the same old issues over and over again. The public are pulled into watching a circus full of dead animals. So the outcome is always going to be the same …’ Nothing to see here folks.’
    Meanwhile, Mr despicable and his minions are busy creating legislation and doing surreptitious deeds beyond the public gaze, and it is all pushed through before anyone notices. This cloak and dagger operational mode should be very worrying, especially for countries outside of the USA.
    😕

    Liked by 1 person

    • To a large extent, you have hit the nail on the head. Smoke and mirrors … don’t take your eye off the ball … oops, you blinked! And, of course, we only know what the press reports, so while I would like to blame them, and I do to an extent, but at the end of the day, they are reporting what their audience wants, putting the monkey squarely back on our backs. We need to get smarter, but I am not holding my breath. Sigh. Good comment … very astute!

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  3. Jill, here is an updated version I have been posting to senator and the White House website. I called my two senators as well, speaking to a staffer on one and leaving a message on the other. Thanks, Keith

    Dear Senator, as a retired benefits actuary, consultant and manager of a Fortune 500 company benefit program, I encourage you to vote against the latest repeal effort for the ACA led by Senator Graham. It will be harmful to multiple millions of Americans and be dilutive to the economy. As a former Republican, I would encourage you to instead vote for the bipartisan efforts of Senators Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray who are looking to improve the ACA and shore up the funding of the subsidies to insurers. That bill has followed due process in the Senate, while the Graham bill is frustratingly, yet another attempt to ram through legislation without bipartisan input.
    Truth be told, the ACA is not in a death spiral and has areas of success. However, its success has been dampened by the major defunding of the risk corridors to pay for adverse risk in 2016-17, which further increased premiums at the expense of Americans causing some insurers to leave certain markets. These risk corridors were a major reason for the successful rollout of Medicare Part D. Yet, they were defunded much too soon.
    Please forego harming more Americans with a repeal vote. Let’s fix the problems in the ACA. Let’s study data on states who expanded Medicaid versus those who did not. What can we learn from these data points?
    Many thanks for your consideration.
    Keith Wilson

    Liked by 2 people

    • Excellent!!! Thank you, Keith … we need only change it around a bit, as most of us are not former actuaries, but the rest is perfect for all of us. I am so tired of hearing them say that Obamacare is a failure … it is anything BUT a failure. Sure, it needs some work, but you don’t junk a car because it needs new valve cover gaskets … you fix the damn thing! Thanks again … you are the master, as far as I’m concerned, at writing these letters!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, I left a number of phone messages as well, even asking Graham and Cassidy to pull their bill. Emails, phone calls are needed. 10 bipartisan governors came out against thw Graham/ Cassidy bill, as have AARP and the American Heart Association. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • Let us hope our persistence pays off! I am disappointed in John McCain, as from what I hear he will support the Graham-Cassidy bill. How anyone can support it when we don’t have more than a few hints what is even in it is beyond me. Blind acceptance by the GOP, but hopefully enough will say ‘no’. Thanks for all you do, my friend.

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            • True. And I believe there are states that would do a better job of it than the federal government would, but … a) I don’t trust the majority of the states, and b) there would be no uniformity, which I think is important. And, there is the time factor. I cannot imagine the states coming up with any viable alternatives quickly. And the money … most of the states stand to lose a great deal. So … I still say it is better to keep the car we have and repair it than buy a costly new one. 😉

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  4. Dear Jill,
    Thanks a million for warning folks to make this call as it is close. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are best friends. Senator McCain said he would base his vote on what the AZ Governor Ducey wants. Governor Ducey has said he’s in favor of the Graham-Cassidy bill.
    This time the Senate leader Mitch McConnell will not wait for the CBO numbers. As soon as he counts 50 votes, he will bring up the bill for a vote.

    On 2/2/17 Daily Kos by Water Willow published this this:

    So, here’s a fax your Senate (or Rep) tool, totally free. Write your message and save as a .pdf (or you can send as Word doc). Then attach your letter at the below link. You must reply to an email you’ll get once you make the fax, to confirm it is from you. The service also emails you when it’s been delivered. Very user friendly, imho. If you need any help please ask in comments!

    Make sure your cover page (you’ll be asked to fill out a form on the website for this) is clear and concise:

    “Vote No on Sessions” (just for example ~!*)

    Then attach your personal letter explaining why.

    Here’s the link:

    Fax Your Senator or Representative (You may have to go to Daily Kos)

    The main US Senate phone line 202-225-3121 (202-224-3121) or YOU CAN FIND PHONE NUMBERS FOR EVERY SENATOR HERE. or U.S. Senate: Senators of the 115th Congress.

    Find Your Representative · House.gov – U.S. House of Representatives (You can Google this)
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the info, Gronda!!! I was just reading tonight that a bi-partisan group of governours has come out against the bill and it is apparently wreaking havoc! Good enough! Yes, I have written … twice now … to Rob Portman and will do so again later this week. I don’t know how effective it is, but it’s all we’ve got. Thanks again! Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You already know certain Republicans will vote the Trump way no matter what.But I wonder if enough care about the people or are thinking of next year’s vote to vote with the Democrats a resounding No. If they’re going to persist in making plans that affect the whole country the least they could do is consult with or work with experts who can see the outcome of particular plans. I totally agree with you that it would be best to stick with Obamacare but correct some of the mistakes.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • What is maddening and at the same time frightening is that the majority of the country does NOT want a repeal of ACA, but rather prefer to see it tweaked and fine-tuned. However, the majority are not in power, and the GOP seems hell-bent on pursuing its own agenda even though it is not desired and not in our best interest. I sincerely hope that every bloomin’ one of them lose their seats next year, but … the democratic party is still bumping into things in the dark, not sure of a direction or a path to take. This cannot be good!

      xxx Cwtch xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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