Saturday, September 23, 2017

Follow the money

The Senate is currently on their third....or is it their fourth or fifth....iteration of a "Repeal and Replace ObamaCare" attempt, and this one is no better than the ones that came before it.  As bad as ObamaCare supposedly is, all their attempts to date have been giant steps BACKWARD.  The highlight of the current Republican bill is to give each state a "block grant", essentially a pot of cash, and then tell them to figure out what to do with health care.  "Not my circus, not my monkey" the Feds can then say.

Polls show less than 20% of Americans like this giant step backwards.  Neither does AARP, or the American Medical Association, or the various hospital associations, or the insurers, or the drug makers, or the American Cancer Society, The American Heart Association, the Diabetes Foundation, or any other group advocating on behalf of people with health issues.  So why are Republicans so hellbent on ramming this "reform" down our throats?  Who wins in this deal?


The only logical explanation I can come up with is that, to Republicans, "Repeal and Replace ObamaCare" is simply a means to a greater goal.  They have told their ultra-wealthy mega-donors that they will deliver to them a giant tax cut, but before they can do that, they first have to come up with a pile of cash from somewhere.  That "somewhere", they have decreed, will be from the Federal healthcare kitty....cut a few hundred billion here, transfer it on to there.  But if they can't realize big savings via a repeal/replace bill, their promised wealth transfer, their REAL goal, is dead in the water.  

If you can think of another reason why congressional Republicans are pushing so hard to pass such a supremely unpopular bill, please let me know.

If they should ever succeed in achieving this goal, hold on!  Their next target will be Medicare and Social Security.  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has already (correctly) labeled them as the two most expensive Federal programs that can be"reformed" in order to realize great savings.  He just never tells us where those savings will go.

So, as is always the case, FOLLOW THE MONEY.  That will show you who is pulling the strings, and who the big winner will always be.



  1. There is no plan for healthcare that will make everyone, and possibly anyone happy. It will take some form of private insurance for those that can afford it, and those people will receive superior healthcare, and some government assisted healthcare so all are afforded reasonable healthcare, but the best doctors and the best care will follow the money. Healthcare is expensive today because it is so much better than it was years will get even better and even more expensive.

  2. I'm beginning to wonder if it wouldn't be best for Republicans to actually succeed in repealing the ACA. Then they'd own the replacement and be forced to confront millions of angry voters. It's hard to acknowledge the fact that Republicans will probably vote for this terrible bill without knowing what it will cost or what's actually in it. The Republican party once stood for something, but this bill would harm millions just so Republicans can strip away its money to hand over to the rich in the form of tax give-a-ways. Future historians will judge current Republicans very harshly.

  3. Joeh is correct. Like everything else in our country, the wealthy will get the best, and if perhaps anything is left over....
    Health care is a good example. Pt. #1 comes into the ED with chest pain and sob. After an ECG and blood work, depending on the ECG, he is rush to the cath lab and an angioplasty and stent are performed.
    Pt. #2 comes in with chest pain and sob. They get an ECG and blood work. depending on the ECG they are told 'we'll wait and see'.
    Which one has the good insurance that costs a grand a month? Hmmmmm, let me think....

  4. Maybe it's "fake news" but I heard the Koch Bros are threatening to cut off the money spigot to Republicans if they don't scrap Obamacare. For wealthy industrialists they'd love to be able to get rid of having to provide health insurance for their employees.

  5. All the while Congress just forked over $700 billion to the military.

  6. Perhaps you are correct, fixing the problems wit ACA would be a lot easier and less costly.

  7. It's too bad that a lot of people (and politicians) have the attitude that looking at how other countries have solved this issue is "un-American" and we are "better" to try something that has been successfully done somewhere else in the world.

  8. The best summary I've read so far of this healthcare debacle was by Thomas Friedman in the NY Times. He says: "Surely one of the most cynical, reckless acts of governing in my lifetime has been President Trump and the GOP's attempt to ram through a transformation of America's healthcare system - without holding hearings with experts, conducting an independent cost-benefit analysis or preparing the public - all to erase Barack Obama's legacy to satisfy a few billionaire ideologue donors and a "base" so drunk on Fox News that its members don't understand they'll be the ones most hurt by it all."