Another Deplorable GOP Healthcare Plan

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September 13, 2017
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September 14, 2017

Another Deplorable GOP Healthcare Plan

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

Proposed by neocon Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham, so-called Cassidy-Graham is similar to earlier GOP marketplace medicine plans – focused on profit-making, not providing all Americans with adequate healthcare coverage.

Along with co-sponsors Dean Heller and Ron Johnson, Cassidy and Graham lied claiming their bill isn’t partisan and doesn’t include draconian cuts.

Under their scheme, millions of Americans will lose coverage, Medicaid recipients hardest hit. Out of pocket costs for everyone will soar, making healthcare insurance more unaffordable than already.

They proposed eliminating ACA subsidies and enhanced matching rate for Medicaid, replacing them with woefully inadequate block grants to states, eliminating them altogether after 2026.

Medicaid’s federal/state partnership would be converted to a per capita rate, slashing current benefits.

Post-2026, coverage would revert to pre-ACA days with no replacement, leaving 32 million Americans without health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Eliminating Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies would begin in 2020, America’s poor and vulnerable harmed most under Cassidy-Graham.

Block grant funding they propose would provide $239 billion less from 2020 to 2026 than current projected federal spending – plus additional cuts from the Medicaid per capita cap in their measure and additional cuts.

Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies now adjust to account for enrollment increases and higher costs from public health emergencies, new treatments, demographic changes, and other factors affecting overall costs.

Proposed Cassidy-Graham block grants are fixed, unadjusted for inflation and other future conditions, assuring increasing numbers of Americans losing vital coverage.

Under ACA, moderate-income households get tax credit help. Low-income ones in Medicaid expansion states are assured of enrollment in the program now and in out-years.

Cassidy-Graham eliminates these benefits, letting states decide how to spend block grants, including for healthcare other then individual coverage.

Commenting on the deplorable state of America’s healthcare system (Cassidy-Graham would worsen, not improve), Chicago physician David Ansell said “(i)n nearly 40 years as a doctor, (he) witnessed time and again how inequality kills.”

Millions of Americans without health insurance or inadequate coverage “often cannot access the most basic care, let alone complex specialty care.”

America has “an apartheid healthcare system.” Poor and low-income households can’t afford coverage available for the nation’s well off.

Inequality and marketplace medicine leave many millions unable to receive proper healthcare for serious illnesses and diseases.

The only solution is universal coverage, bipartisan policymakers in Washington reject – despite some undemocratic Dems offering rhetorical support. Never in the nation’s history was universal coverage voted on by Congress.

“I speak for many American physicians when I say I am sick and tired of a health insurance system that harms our patients, many of whom are sick and tired themselves,” said Ansell.

Proper healthcare isn’t a left or right issue, he added. “It’s a matter of right and wrong.”

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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.