Senate Trumpcare is the Worst Bill Since the Poor Laws
I’m happy to see that Senator Susan Collins gets that this Senate version of Trumpcare is worse than the House version.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) June 25, 2017
I’ve been saying Senate Trumpcare is worse than the Poor Laws but this analogy is not whimsical or arbitrary. There truly is no historical antecedent in our own nation’s history:
“There has never been a rollback of basic services to Americans like this ever in U.S. history,” said Bruce Siegel, president of America’s Essential Hospitals, a coalition of about 300 hospitals that treat a large share of low-income patients. “Let’s not mince words. This bill will close hospitals. It will hammer rural hospitals, it will close nursing homes. It will lead to disabled children not getting services. . . . People will die.”
“According to an analysis by the Commonwealth Fund, hospitals in Nevada would be saddled over the next decade with at least double the costs in “uncompensated care” — bills for which neither an insurer nor a patient paid. It examined the House legislation but noted that the Senate bill would doubtless hit harder because of its deeper reductions in federal Medicaid payments.”
No wonder Dean Heller is a no-at least for the moment. And again-Senate Trumpcare is worse than House Trumpcare.
“Hospitals in West Virginia would suffer an even greater spike in uncompensated care, about 122 percent during the decade. But the analysis showed that the greatest damage would come in McConnell’s own state: Kentucky, which has had the nation’s largest Medicaid expansion under the ACA, would see a 165 percent jump in unpaid hospital bills.”
It will hit McConnell’s own state worst. Yet he has no qualms in supporting it. His next race is 2020 and while he will be 78 he says ‘There’s a great likelihood’ he will run and I certainly will presume it’s more probable than not.
Could that be the year his luck finally runs out? Trouble with that is, it’s perhaps more likely if he’s successful in passing Trumpcare than if he fails. There’s the rub. While it would be nice to get him out, we don’t want to inflict this level of pain on those who are poor and sick to achieve such a worthy aim.
Pat Toomey thinks it’s a swell bill:
“Yet conservative Sen. Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), one of the bill’s champions, said it would establish “a very, very gradual and gentle transition to a normal inflation rate” for a program in which he said costs were spiraling out of control. Beyond Medicaid, it would permit private health plans to cover fewer services and would allow individuals and employers to eschew coverage without penalty — elements that its authors say could lower how much consumers pay for their insurance.”
“The idea that there’s a sector of our economy that has to permanently have a higher inflation rate than the rest of our economy is ridiculous,” Toomey said Thursday. “I think that it’s absolutely essential to putting [Medicaid] on a sustainable path so that it will be there for future generations.”
That’s because healthcare is different than other sectors of the economy-even the free market economist, Kenneth Arrow, himself admitted this. Krugman wrote about this-back in 2009:
“Judging both from comments on this blog and from some of my mail, a significant number of Americans believe that the answer to our health care problems — indeed, the only answer — is to rely on the free market. Quite a few seem to believe that this view reflects the lessons of economic theory.”
“Not so. One of the most influential economic papers of the postwar era was Kenneth Arrow’s Uncertainty and the welfare economics of health care, which demonstrated — decisively, I and many others believe — that health care can’t be marketed like bread or TVs. Let me offer my own version of Arrow’s argument.”
Healthcare is treated different because-it is different. Kenneth Arrow himself said so.
Again, Senate Trumpcare is the worst bill since the Poor Laws:
“Specific constituencies aside, some policy experts regard the Senate’s plan as a wholesale reversal of the government’s path to offer health insurance to ever-wider groups of Americans, piece by piece. That started with the creation of Medicaid and Medicare as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society and could be ending with the ACA.”
“This is bringing us back to where we were before 1965,” said Paul Starr, a Princeton University professor of sociology and public affairs who has written extensively about the history of U.S. health-care policy. “There is no longer the federal commitment to back up the states in terms of health care for the poor.”
Not before 2009 but before 1965.
So you see that the Poor Laws analogy is rather apt-that too took social policy back 50 years.
P.S. So the Gravis poll against Peter King NY2 and it has good news-almost too good to believe.
In my March poll I trailed King by 11 and thought that was very good news. Now Gravis has me up by 10? Still, the moment of truth is next week when Gravis writes up the press release.
I can use any help I can get at this point-volunteers or supporters who live in NY 2. Donations whatever your zip code. These days we can’t just support a local Dem we need a Dem Congress. Which is why I’ve donated few hundred to Jon Ossoff.
Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House-$5 or $10 can do so much.
If you feel that you can’t I, of course, understand-who is rich these days? But please do me one favor: ask yourself privately, mentally, if you really can’t spare $5 dollars. If you can honestly say you can’t, no worries.
We can have a Dem Congress, we must have a Dem Cogress, and we will.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.