Sunday, May 7, 2017

I Have Never Seen Lawmakers So Deeply Hurt So Many of Their Own Constituents

May humankind wake up and reflect in the spiritual paths we walk - which includes in our actions, in our political alliances, in those resources we turn to for information, in our belief systems, in who we allow into our hearts, in our capacity for compassion and understanding and wisdom, and in our core values - what it is to be humane and kind. We are all related. Let us all come together to insist on caring for one another. Your suffering is my suffering, your joy is my joy. We all matter. This is so clear once we come to a place of recognizing that the Divine permeates all of life. Some of us are simply more asleep and disconnected from our hearts. May we awaken. Now. - Molly

With Trumpcare approval, House vote to take health care coverage away from millions and make it less affordable, skimpier, or both for millions more.

House Republican lawmakers voted today to add more than 20 million Americans to the ranks of the uninsured; require millions more people to pay thousands of dollars more each year for coverage and care — often for skimpier care; rip $800 billion out of Medicaid over the next decade by ending the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that provides coverage to 11 million poor and near-poor people and by cutting federal support for state Medicaid programs and thereby forcing states to cut back health care for low-income people who are elderly, disabled, children, or parents; sharply weaken, and in many cases gut, protections for people with pre-existing conditions; eliminate the national requirement that health plans cover basic benefits like prescription drugs, mental health treatment, and maternity care; and let employers and insurers again impose lifetime limits on coverage for important health services for most people covered under employer-based health plans.

In all, the House bill takes roughly $1 trillion over ten years out of Medicaid and subsidies to help low- and middle-income people afford decent coverage and meet high deductibles and cost-sharing charges — and uses the bulk of this money to give lavish tax cuts to the nation’s richest people instead. 

Indeed, the majority of the bill’s individual tax cuts would go to the fewer than 1 percent of Americans who make over $1 million a year.  And the wealthiest 400 Americans — whose average incomes exceed $300 million a year — would get an average tax cut of $7 million a year each, even as millions of Americans could no longer afford needed health services.

I have been in Washington, D.C. for 45 years.  But I have never seen members of Congress vote to so deeply hurt so many of their own constituents.  If enacted, this bill will stand as the biggest assault on ordinary Americans — and the largest Robin-Hood-in-reverse transfer of income up the income scale, from low- and middle-income families to those at the top — in our country’s modern history.

Specifically, the bill’s Medicaid cuts would reach 24 percent by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, placing adequate coverage at risk for many of the tens of millions of Americans whom Medicaid serves.  The bill also sharply cuts the premium subsidies that now help 10 million lower- and middle-income people afford health coverage — and the bill entirely eliminates all assistance to help such people meet their high deductibles and cost-sharing expenses. 

Overall, the bill subjects millions of Americans to higher out-of-pocket health costs.  Those costs would rise by an average of $3,600 in 2020 for people buying coverage through — and by even more for people with marketplace coverage who are older, have lower incomes, or live in rural areas or in states with high health insurance premiums.
Rubbing salt in the wounds, the bill takes the $1 trillion it extracts from low- and middle-income Americans and uses the bulk of it for tax cuts tilted to those at the pinnacle of the income scale.

House GOP leaders continue to deny these very real problems.  They assert that the bill would protect people with pre-existing conditions, make health care more affordable, strengthen Medicaid, and the like.  But their claims are strikingly inaccurate and do not fairly represent what their legislation actually does. 


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