Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill: A Death Sentence for Thousands Annually

The NYT Gives Feature Op-Ed Space to a Russophobe
September 25, 2017

Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill: A Death Sentence for Thousands Annually

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Trump loves it, calling it “a great bill.” If enacted, millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions will be forced to pay exorbitantly higher premiums for coverage.

Pregnant women will have to pay over $17,000 more. Anyone ill from the most serious forms of cancer will be charged nearly $143,000 for insurance.

Trump claimed he wouldn’t sign the measure “if it did not include coverage (for) pre-existing conditions.”

When coverage is unaffordable, as explained above, it’s a death sentence forced on many thousands annually.

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) co-founders Drs. Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein discussed Graham-Cassidy, calling it “The Undertaker Full Employment Act.”

They estimate “18,200 extra deaths in the first year, climbing to 41,600 annually within a decade.”

This is the bill Trump deplorably called “great” – for morticians, cemetery administrators and grave diggers, nightmarish for America’s seriously ill when poor, earning low or modest incomes, or otherwise disadvantaged.

Woolhandler and Himmelstein estimate another 14 million Americans will lose coverage in 2020, at least 32 million more than currently insured in 2027.

Instead of improving US healthcare, it makes its cost unaffordable for many millions to be left uninsured or unacceptably underinsured on their own, betrayed by the world’s richest country – its resources allocated largely for militarism, warmaking, corporate handouts, and other benefits for the nation’s privileged class.

A Woolhandler/Himmelstein Annals of Internal Medicine report on “The Relationship of Health Insurance and Mortality” concluded that “for every 769 people who lose health coverage, one person will suffer preventable death.”

PNHP president Dr. Carol Paris explained “(w)e became doctors to save lives. As physicians, we cannot be silent while Congress plays political games with the lives of our patients.”

Graham-Cassidy eliminates ACA subsidies, slashes Medicaid funding, a roadmap for eliminating the program altogether ahead, what about 75 million Americans rely on for bare bones coverage.

It exponentially increases the cost of insurance for individuals with pre-existing conditions, making coverage, or enough of it, unaffordable for tens of millions.

Healthcare is a fundamental human right, not a commodity for industry giants to exploit for profit.

Universal coverage is the only acceptable option, nothing less. Obama rejected it. So does Trump, along with most undemocratic Dems and every GOP congressional members.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.