Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Friday, May 05, 2017


Abundance of malice

by Tom Sullivan

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Will Bunch calls yesterday's American Health Care Act (AHCA) vote in the U.S. House "a Thursday afternoon that will live in infamy." The New Yorker's John Cassidy calls it Paul Ryan's "health-care suicide pact," "a moral travesty, a betrayal of millions of vulnerable Americans." As if that mattered to House Republicans.

House Republicans voted to repeal the increasingly popular Affordable Care Act because the nickname they gave it celebrates a black Democratic president. They didn't pass the AHCA because it was the right (or adult) thing to do. They didn't pass the AHCA because it would help their constituents. (It won't, and they never offered a cogent argument for how it would.) They passed it because they had the power, and because the naif in the White House wanted something, anything legislative to hold up for the "fake news" cameras besides another executive order:

Trump did not want to talk about the merits of the legislation — he didn’t care much about those specifics, senior officials said. What mattered to him was how a failed vote would hobble his presidency and the ability to get other legislation through Congress.

He wanted a win.
The ACHA is his first grader's finger painting for mom to fix to the refrigerator door with an alphabet magnet. The president himself has no idea how healthcare works, as he proved again in remarks yesterday to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It didn't much matter what is in the bill. It didn't much matter that Republicans were celebrating one stage of the process to be tackled next by the Senate. The celebration was the win.

For the moment, forget process. Forget the AHCA's unknown cost or details. Paul Waldman lists the grim details and pulls no punches:

I won’t mince words. The health-care bill that the House of Representatives passed this afternoon, in an incredibly narrow 217-to-213 vote, is not just wrong, or misguided, or problematic or foolish. It is an abomination. If there has been a piece of legislation in our lifetimes that boiled over with as much malice and indifference to human suffering, I can’t recall what it might have been. And every member of the House who voted for it must be held accountable.
Robert Schlesinger of U.S. News and World Report writes:
But this is the unalterable bottom line: Under the Affordable Care Act, people with pre-existing conditions have iron-clad protections; 217 House Republicans just voted to create a path for insurers to circumvent these safeguards and charge them more. That this path may be narrow and convoluted is really beside the point.


The Washington Post's Greg Sargent reports that the CBO is expected to deliver its new assessment next week or the week after. Two-hundred and seventeen Republicans, then, have just strapped this bomb around their necks and it could go off in a matter of weeks – and they'll have to explain that to their constituents. We're talking about one-sixth of the economy and these bozos couldn't be bothered to so much as hold a hearing, let alone wait for a nonpartisan score of it. This isn't a political party; it's a political suicide cult.

There is more than loss of protections for those with pre-existing conditions in what Cassidy considers "one of the most regressive pieces of legislation in living memory":
On top of all this is another huge issue, which I’ve pointed to before. The bill passed on Thursday includes a substantial tax cut for the rich, financed by big cuts in Medicaid, the federal program that provides health care to the poor and indigent. Obamacare expanded Medicaid and chip, the children’s version of the program, and, to pay for these and other provisions, the law imposed a tax of 3.8 per cent on the investment incomes of wealthy households and a 0.9-per-cent surtax on their ordinary incomes. That money has helped sixteen million struggling Americans, many of them kids, obtain health coverage since the start of 2014.

The House bill eliminates the Obamacare taxes, reverses the Medicaid expansion, and converts the financing of the program from a per-capita subsidy to a block-grant system. What impact would this have? Since the treatment of Medicaid in the bill that passed is basically unchanged from the original version, we can rely on the C.B.O.’s analysis, which showed that, over ten years, spending on Medicaid would be reduced by almost nine hundred billion dollars. Of the roughly twenty-four million people the C.B.O. estimated would lose their health coverage under the original version of the bill, fourteen million were Medicaid recipients.
Trump and the Republican congress pledged to repeal and replace Obamacare. Yesterday they took a big step towards that goal. They might have warned supporters beforehand that what they planned to replace it with would be worse than what they had before. Don't tell Donald Trump. He still thinks TrumpCare is terrific. Just like his university.