aside Why Are Republican US Senators Lying About Their Better Care Reconciliation Act?

by Steve Sack / Minneapolis Star Tribune (CagleCartoons.com 2017) If you have been following my blogs,  you know that “we the people” are being lied to by the US republican senators regarding their efforts to pass the BCRA Better Care Reconciliation Act despite all reason. This is because they need the tax savings contained within this bill as a precursor to their long time dream of a tax cut/ tax reform bill.

Their last version of the BCRA is extremely unpopular with the American consumers, and this conclusion is based on several recent polling results. This is the one piece of legislation where both the insurers and customers are in agreement, that this last bill with the addition of Senator Cruz’s amendment is unworkable. Major actuarial organizations concur with this analysis.

Dave Granlund / politicalcartoons.comThis amendment drafted by the Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, was added because the US senate leadership needed their 2 votes, just to get this bill on the floor for further debate. Polls show that the majority of Americans simply want the US Congress to fix, the current healthcare system of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Only 24% of the population wants the republicans BCRA Act.

Although, in the evening of July 17, 2017, two more republican Senators Jerry Moran and Mike Lee came out against this bill which temporarily halts its progress , the US Senate leadership is not about to give up on it.

Image result for photos of senators moran and mike lee
LEE/ MORAN

WHY THE US SENATE LEADERSHIP CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR PASSAGE OF BCRA

They will continue to push its passage, even though, according to recent polls, the vast majority of Americans indicate that they would rather have the government provide poor peoples with quality health care insurance than have their OWN taxes cut.

Jeff Koterba / Omaha World HeraldAccording to recent studies, the Affordable Care Act is NOT on a “death spiral” as republicans keep alleging, but this isn’t because republicans haven’t tried. Most of the premiums in Obamacare are subsidized according to the clients’ incomes. But 7 % of those insured are not helped by subsidies, and they are the ones being financially squeezed. There are reasonable steps that lawmakers can take to remedy this.

So what’s left that explains their desperate attempts to pass this bill. THE TRUTH IS, that they are motivated by the promise of tax cuts for themselves and their wealthy cronies. And no, trickle down economics does not work.

Steve Sack / Minneapolis Star TribuneHere’s the rest of the story…

On July 17, 2017, Greg Sargent of the Washington Post penned the following report, “This new poll helps explain why the Trump team won’t stop lying.

Excerpts:

* “FROM REPUBLICANS, NONSTOP LIES ON HEALTH CARE: Paul Krugman points out that Republicans are conspicuously not openly defending their goal of rolling back health coverage for poor people:

Instead, at every stage of this political fight they have claimed to be doing exactly the opposite of what they’re actually doing: covering more people, making health care cheaper, protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions. We’re not talking about run-of-the-mill spin here; we’re talking about black is white, up is down, dishonesty so raw it’s practically surreal. This isn’t just an assault on health care, it’s an assault on truth itself.”

“It’s so weird the way these courageous ideological warriors consistently refuse to defend their actual priorities, isn’t it?”(tax cuts)

Rick McKee / Augusta ChronicleTHE MORNING PLUM:

“In recent days, the Trump administration’s lies about the GOP health-care bill have reached impressive new heights of cruelty. The falsehoods have focused mainly on disguising what the bill would do to Medicaid — in one way or another, they are designed to cover up the fact that Trump is eager to sign a bill that would absolutely decimate health-care spending on poor people, in violation of both the letter and spirit of his campaign promises.”

“There’s a good explanation for all this lying buried in the new Post-ABC News poll: Large majorities say that the federal government should prioritize expanding health coverage to low-income people over cutting taxes. And this includes pretty much every core Trump voter group, too.”

Nate Beeler / Columbus Dispatch“The Post poll asked: “On health care, which of these do you think is more important for the federal government to do: provide health care coverage for low-income Americans, or cut taxes?”

“Americans overall picked providing health coverage to low-income Americans by 63 percent to 27 percent. And according to the crosstabs, pretty much every Trump-friendly demographic agrees:”

  • “Whites favor providing coverage for low-income Americans over cutting taxes by 59-31.
  • Americans aged 50 to 64 agree by 61-25.
  • Americans older than 65 agree by 60-25.
  • Non-college whites agree by 58-33.
  • Even non-college white men, perhaps the most Trump-friendly voters out there, agree by 53-38. Non-college white women agree by 62-28.”

Signe Wilkinson / Philadelphia Daily News

“Republicans, to be sure, lean toward cutting taxes by 48-39, but that’s pretty tepid — taken all together, this suggests there are probably a lot of “soft” or reluctant Trump supporters who favor providing coverage to low-income Americans over cutting taxes. (Other polls have also found wide opposition to Medicaid cuts.) Separately, as many have already detailed, Trumpcare’s cuts to Medicaid and subsidies would directly hit a lot of the older and working-class whites who make up the Trump and GOP base.”

“This may help explain why the Post-ABC News poll also finds that Americans favor the Affordable Care Act over the GOP replacement by 50-24. Even Trump-friendly non-college whites are divided on this by 33-33, per the crosstabs. But the question pitting expanded coverage for poor people against cutting taxes strips down the core ideological battle over the GOP bill to its essence — at bottom, it is mainly about gutting Medicaid and subsidies to lower-income people to facilitate tax cuts. Americans broadly oppose this.”

Chris Britt / Illinois Times

“And it is precisely the truth that all the latest lying and dissembling from the Trump team are designed to obfuscate.”

“Over the weekend, Vice President Pence got hammered on social media for claiming in a speech that because of the Medicaid expansion in Ohio, “nearly 60,000 disabled citizens are stuck on waiting lists,” leaving them without care “for months or even years.” But as The Post pointed out, this has nothing to do with the Medicaid expansion, and the office of the state’s GOP governor, John Kasich, flatly declared that this is “the opposite of what happened.” In a related claim, Pence has been saying that the Senate GOP bill “strengthens and secures Medicaid for the neediest in our society,” which it would do, Pence asserts, by returning Medicaid to its “original purpose,” rather than covering so many “able-bodied adults.”

Gary Markstein / Creators Syndicate

“What Pence means is that, by rolling back the expansion of Medicaid to cover that category of “able-bodied adults,” the bill would protect coverage for the most vulnerable, which the program was originally designed to cover. But as the Kaiser Family Foundation has pointed out, one of the main points of the expansion was to cover people who are working — i.e., people who are “able-bodied” — yet cannot get coverage anyway. So all Pence’s demagoguery really means is that the Senate bill would cut the ACA’s assistance to the working poor. What’s more, the Senate bill’s $772 billion in Medicaid cuts would force states to make cuts well beyond the expansion population, which, as Jonathan Cohn explains, would likely hit at least some disabled people. So the cruelty of this lie needs to be appreciated clearly: Pence is falsely claiming that the disabled in Ohio have been hurt by the ACA, to push a policy that likely would hurt the disabled.”

“Meanwhile, in his weekly address, President Trump played down the bill’s enormous cuts to Medicaid by claiming that it “also expands the opportunity for people on Medicaid to purchase a private plan with federal financial assistance.” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, similarly, has been preposterously saying that under the GOP bill, more people will get coverage “than are currently covered.” The suggestion here is that the cuts to Medicaid will be more than offset by the increased access to private coverage that the GOP bill will allegedly bring. Suffice it to say that the Congressional Budget Office disagrees: It found that 22 million fewer people will be covered after 10 years, 15 million of those getting knocked off the Medicaid rolls.’

Bob Englehart / Cagle Cartoons

“All of this dishonesty becomes more understandable, once you see polling such as the above, which shows that large majorities fundamentally reject these priorities. Which gives rise to another question: Is it really true, as we keep hearing, that Trump and/or GOP voters will erupt in fury if this bill does not pass? As noted above, majorities of Trump voter groups oppose its core goals, and even Republican voters are tepid on them. During the campaign, we were told endlessly that Trump’s appeal in part lay precisely in his strong signaling that he was not ideologically aligned with Paul Ryan’s designs on the safety net. Now we’re told his bond with his supporters will be threatened, if he doesn’t get to sign a bill that guts the safety net in spectacularly Ryanesque fashion, including for untold numbers of Trump voters?”

“It is often claimed that these voters don’t really care what’s in the bill; they simply want to see Trump triumphantly stomp all over something with Barack Obama’s name on it and they want Republicans to fulfill their “promise” to repeal and replace the ACA. Perhaps that’s true, but if so, this would confirm, as Brian Beutler has argued, that the only point of Trumpcare is to fulfill promises that were completely divorced from reality all along. And if, at the same time, large swaths of Trump-friendly voters don’t support its actual policy goals, this disconnect only underscores why Trump and the White House have to keep lying.”

4 comments

  1. Gronda, there is a reason the GOP has not openly and publicly advocated for the passage of this bill. It has little underlying merit. So, the Senate leader continues to not follow the normal path to legislation and is resorting to subterfuge.

    Now, the Senate leader is talking about a full repeal vote without a replacement. This is contrary to what the majority of Americand want and is malfeasance. People need to call an “out of the pool” on these Senators.

    Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      On the repeal without the replacement plan of Obamacare, it is a non starter. But Senator McConnell has to manage the recalcitrant very conservative republicans who are the ones who want the full repeal. They will debate on the floor where they will get beaten up with pesky facts from colleagues and constituents. They need to face the reality that what they want is not possible.

      When the floor debates start, I will be watching..

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Gronda, it looks like three female senators killed the repeal only bill. Senator Capito from WVa said “I did not come here to hurt people.” Keith

        • Gronda, it is sad that lying comes so naturally. Maybe they don’t know they are lying. Some in the GOP leadership are saying paying insurers for the adverse selection is “bailing out the insurance industry.” As you and I both have written about, these payments are overdue because the Senate stiffed them, per the deal we made with them as a country. The GOP calling these a bailout, is akin to me not paying my debt, the lender having financial trouble then me deciding later to do so and saying I am bailing them out. Very few people know that folks like Marco Rubio reneged on a deal which screwed Americans. Keith

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