GOP Wants Medicaid Abolished
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Republicans want Medicare and Medicaid eliminated, marketplace medicine replacing both programs – obtaining healthcare based on the ability to pay.
In their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, changes in Medicare toward eliminating it altogether are delayed for a later time.
Nearly 75 million Americans depend on Medicaid for healthcare. For now, the GOP focus is on deep cuts in the program.
Eliminating it would jeopardize the health and lives of millions. Republicans want it abolished incrementally over a number of years to be determined later on.
The House bill cuts around $830 billion in Medicaid funding over the next decade. GOP senators want stiffer reductions.
Republicans in both houses want savings earmarked for huge tax cuts for business and high-net-worth households.
Details of the Senate bill remain largely secret. On Monday, The Hill, citing unnamed lobbyists and aides, said the body’s measure reduces the growth rate on Medicaid spending – based on the so-called chain-weighted CPI-U, an artificially lowered number unrelated to reality.
It assumes when prices on some products rise, consumers choose lower-cost substitutes. Perhaps for steak v. hamburger.
It doesn’t hold for rents, other housing costs, transportation, gasoline, electricity and other energy costs, as well as for medical expenses.
Reengineering the CPI based on how calculated in 1980, economist John Williams estimates current inflation at 9.6%, not the phony below-2% official number – to keep annual Social Security increases for eligible recipients as low as possible, regardless of higher annual cost of living expenses.
Without committee hearings or public debate, Senate leaders aim to vote on their measure before the July 4 recess.
On Monday, the ACLU, along with over a dozen disability rights groups and several senators, held a briefing on “the devastating impact of Medicaid per capita caps on people with disabilities.”
Caps and cuts in House and Senate measures “would leave people with disabilities without the essential services they need to live independently in the community and will endanger their lives,” their statement said.
According to the ACLU’s Faiz Shakir, “Medicaid is a lifeline for people with disabilities and prevents them from being forced into nursing homes and institutions.”
“They have a right to live independent lives in the community, where they can make meaningful contributions and fully participate in” society.
“For many, Medicaid coverage is the difference between life and death. We cannot allow Congress to undermine the lives of millions of Americans in this way, and we must stop the American Health Care Act from ever becoming the law of the land.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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