HealthCare Notes

6/22/17

Big Pharma Gets $28 Billion Tax Break in GOP Trumpcare Plan

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/06/22/big-pharma-gets-28-billion-tax-break-gop-trumpcare-plan
"There will be a lot of losers if the House GOP’s disastrous plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act ever becomes law: people with preexisting medical conditions, working families, older folks, kids. One of the few winners would be the nation’s pharmaceutical industry: $28 billion richer thanks to a big tax cut. The Senate is likely to keep this tax break in its version of the legislation. Do America’s drug makers deserve a $28 billion tax cut over 10 years, when the profits of the top 10 companies topped $83 billion last year alone, with the top 5 pocketing nearly $58 billion? Hardly. In fact, they need to start paying their fair share. The Republican plan passed by the House and endorsed by President Trump this spring would cost 23 million Americans their health care while handing out $660 billion in tax cuts, mostly to wealthy individuals and big health-care companies."

Trump's Plan for Drug Pricing Executive Order Is a Big Pharma Wish List

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41039-trump-s-plan-for-drug-pricing-executive-order-is-a-big-pharma-wish-list
"Raise your hand if you believed Donald Trump's repeated promises to take on Big Pharma. What about the presidential boast that drug prices for the American people "will come way down?" Anyone? Sadly, skepticism about the true impact of Trump's populist posturing on drug pricing has proven to be well justified. As a worried nation focuses on the looming danger of the Senate vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the pharmaceutical industry has joined hands with the president who once said its corporate members are "getting away with murder." This week, the New York Times obtained a draft of a planned President Trump executive order on drug pricing. As Patients for Affordable Drugs founder and cancer patient David Mitchell told the Times, the text indicates that "Pharma has captured the process." The order, which appears likely to be rolled out after the dust settles on the Affordable Care Act repeal effort, was reportedly written largely by Trump budget staffer Joe Grogan, who was hired by the administration fresh from his role as a drug industry lobbyist."

A First Look at the Senate Republican Health Bill

A Message to Trump Voters on the Occasion of This Healthcare Bill

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a55824/senate-republican-healthcare-bill/
"Today is not the day for you to ask for my understanding as to how you're going to afford Grandma's chemo now that she's busted the lifetime cap on her insurance. Today is not the day for you to ask for my sympathy for Grandpa who's going to get his ass hoisted out of his rest home and dropped onto the couch in your basement family room because his Medicaid ran out. Today is not the day for you to moan into TV cameras about how Cousin Clyde with the opioid problem has to go back to sticking up tourists for his fix because the little hospital up by the mountain closed. Not today. Not this particular Thursday. Maybe by Monday. The Senate unveiled its big secret tax-cut plan on Thursday morning. It also contains some elements dealing with healthcare that will make the lives of millions of sick and elderly Americans immeasurably worse, but, since it's actually a tax-cut bill, and it actually does cut taxes for the wealthiest among us, then I guess you can say the strategy was a success. And they say the Republicans can't govern. Hah."

The Impact of the AHCA on Veterans: State-by-State Breakdown

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/news/2017/06/22/434928/impact-ahca-veterans-state-state-breakdown/
"Contrary to common misperceptions, the majority of the nation’s 20 million veterans do not get their health care coverage from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs but instead depend on other types of insurance. This includes Medicaid, which currently covers nearly 1.8 million American veterans. The cuts not only break President Trump’s pledge to support veterans, they also disproportionately harm voters in the areas that most strongly supported him."

Senator Elizabeth Warren Speaks About the Recently-Revealed GOP Health Care Bill

Mitch McConnell's Sh*tty "Healthcare" Abomination is a Massive Tax Cut for the Rich and That's the Entire Point

https://thedailybanter.com/2017/06/eat-the-poor/
"There's more but the most important thing to keep in mind is that Republicans are literally going to send people to their death so they can shower billions in unnecessary tax cuts to the rich. The Koch brothers will be able to buy a few more super yachts while tens of thousands of people die every year because they lost their heath insurance. Republicans are not doing this because they want to "fix" the system they deliberately broke. They don't actually care about fighting "big government" because they clearly like using oppressive government regulations to their own ends. The GOP doesn't even really care about the detrimental impact on the economy their bill will have outside of giving them a new excuse to cut food stamps for children. The bottom line is that this entire episode has to do with cutting taxes and making those cuts permanent. Period. End of line. Every other horrible thing that goes along with it (like erasing Obama and savagely hurting the poor) is just icing on the cake. But it's even worse because Republicans will use the "savings" gained by stealing healthcare from 23 million people to "pay" for a second set of tax cuts. So, really, the rich will be getting two separate tax cuts at our expense.  The AHCA is the result of a worldview based on a visceral hatred of the poor and middle class. There really isn't any other way to put it: Republicans despise every American that isn't part of their 1% club."

The face of Republican evil: It’s not Donald Trump

http://www.salon.com/2017/06/22/the-face-of-republican-evil-its-not-donald-trump/
"This Republican contempt for democracy was evident long before Trump started grasping for the presidential nomination with his stubby orange fingers. McConnell was so unwilling to accept the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s two substantial presidential election victories that the Republican leader refused to acknowledge Obama’s right to nominate a Supreme Court justice after Antonin Scalia’s death. Not only did that work out perfectly for McConnell — he got Neil Gorsuch onto the high court, instead of rightful nominee Merrick Garland — but it proved once and for all that bedrock conservative voters don’t care about niceties like the rule of law or government by the people. They just want to punish women for having sex and gripe about “Obama phones,” and don’t care if the price paid is the ultimate ruin of this country. Trump didn’t make Republicans corrupt. They were already there. That’s why he hasn’t really needed to do any arm-twisting or commit blackmail, no matter how much he’d like to, in order to get a GOP-controlled Congress willing to look the other way when presented with a growing pile of evidence that something weird is going on with Trump and the Russians. It’s easier to not care if Russian intelligence is actively seeking to subvert U.S. elections for those who aggressively try to deny voting rights to millions of Americans, especially people of color and younger voters who insist on voting for Democrats. At this point, the Republican rejection of democracy is an established fact. The only question is how far the ruling party is willing to take it. The antidemocratic, secretive process surrounding the GOP’s health care bill suggests there may be no real limit."

Sen. Brian Schatz: Senate GOP Bill 'Extremely Cruel'

Heartless! Senate Trumpcare Plan Every Bit as 'Ugly' and 'Cruel' as Expected

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/22/heartless-senate-trumpcare-plan-every-bit-ugly-and-cruel-expected
"After weeks of secrecy, the Senate GOP's Trumpcare plan—described as "a tax cut wrapped in the veneer of a healthcare bill" that could portend a "near-apocalyptic scenario for the poor"—was made available (pdf) to the public on Thursday and is largely living up to the gruesome expectations of analysts and critics."

WATCH: Capitol Police Drag Disabled Protesters Out Of McConnell's Office | Crooks and Liars

WATCH: Capitol Police Drag Disabled Protesters Out Of McConnell's Office | Crooks and Liars

"Senate Republicans have finally released a version of their healthcare bill. It was written in complete secrecy by 13 Senators, all of them wealthy. Of course, it's devastating to the 75 million Americans on Medicaid, does away with preexisting conditions, and is a boondoggle to the rich."

The gigantic lie in Mitch McConnell’s introduction of the Senate’s health care bill

https://thinkprogress.org/gigantic-lie-in-mcconnells-obamacare-repeal-speech-66498351bf9a
"As a candidate, Donald Trump promised not to cut Medicaid at all. If he signs this bill, or the House bill, it will represent one of the biggest broken promises of his presidency. After the Senate draft’s release, Trump noted that “it’s going to be negotiated.” Reaction on the Hill for Sen. McConnell was swift. People with disabilities staged a “die-in” outside his office over the Medicaid cuts. They were then arrested and dragged away."

Republicans Release Summary Of Senate Healthcare Bill, And It Is Terrifying

We Have Less Than a Week to Preserve the Health Care of 24 Million People

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/41026-we-have-less-than-a-week-to-preserve-the-health-care-of-24-million-people
"I am asking you to act. Today, tomorrow, the next day, repeatedly, until this thing is dead. I am asking you to raise the alarm, call your senators and take direct action as though you are standing between 24 million people and a force of imminent destruction, because that's what this fight has come to. It is not enough, in this moment, to be informed, or even reiterate what you know to others. It is not enough to be a voter who believes in your civic duty. Forces that would kill disabled people, defund medical services for children, and rip health care away from the sick and dying are knocking at our door, and we have to push back."

Trumpcare tax cuts to nation's 400 wealthiest families is Medicaid blood money

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/22/1674114/-Trumpcare-tax-cuts-to-nation-s-400-wealthiest-families-is-Medicaid-blood-money
"The tax cuts for the wealthy bill masquerading as an Obamacare "replacement" bill destroys Medicaid, the 52-year-old program that covers 1 in 5 Americans, providing coverage from conception to grave. Half of all births, two-thirds of nursing home residents, a third of all adults with disabilities, three-quarters of poor children—that’s who Medicaid covers."

Arrests of Trumpcare Protesters, Some in Wheelchairs, Outside McConnell's Office

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/22/arrests-trumpcare-protesters-some-wheelchairs-outside-mcconnells-office
"Amid chants of "Don't Touch Medicaid!" and signs suggesting the same, many of those protesting the Senate bill were either elderly or in wheelchairs, offering a stunning visual as police tried to remove them from the hallway."

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Women's Health Care

6/21/17

GOP Sneak Attack on Health Care Nears a Critical Moment—and It's a Total Monstrosity @alternet

GOP Sneak Attack on Health Care Nears a Critical Moment—and It's a Total Monstrosity @alternet:

"The fact is that Republicans are willing to destroy the health and financial security of millions of Americans so they can give massive tax cuts to Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner and others like them who are lucky enough to be vastly wealthy. This is their first real chance to enact permanent tax cuts since 1986. (This Vox article explains why that is.) Republicans have been chasing this dream a very long time. It is their white whale, so important that even the prospect of millions of people suffering and going bankrupt is not enough to make them think better of it."

Democratic Senators Ask CBO For Copy Of Republican Secret Health Care Bill

Bernie Sanders On Secret Health Care Bill: "I'm Speechless"

Senator Elizabeth Warren Speaks on Health Care

Sanders Floor Speech on Republican Health Care Plan

In an Aging Nation, Single-Payer Is the Alternative to Dying Under Austerity

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/40930-in-an-aging-nation-single-payer-is-the-alternative-to-dying-under-austerity
"Meanwhile, the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that passed the House last month would gut ACA provisions that kept insurance companies from gouging older customers and cut $839 billion from Medicaid over the next decade. The bill would increase private insurance rates for older people with lower incomes and leave 5.1 million people between the ages of 50 and 65 without insurance by 2026, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Despite the popular misconception that Medicare covers all of seniors' health care needs, millions of Americans over 65 are also enrolled in Medicaid. Elderly people would certainly suffer if the program saw deep cuts. The proposed cuts to Medicaid are generally unpopular, and the Republican House bill has slumped in the polls. The repeal effort has recently stalled in the Senate due to deep divisions among Republicans. However, reports now indicate that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been hammering out a compromise on Medicaid behind closed doors, with the goal of holding a vote on a Senate repeal package before a July 4 recess. A repeal is not a given, but it will take a sustained push from those who value affordable health care for low-income and working families to prevent a repeal while the GOP has a majority in Congress. Amid this crucial resistance, a renewed push has also emerged for the creation of something different: a single-payer system. A House bill for a "Medicare for All" health plan has more co-sponsors than ever among progressive Democrats, and grassroots activists are rolling out campaigns across the country. When it comes to the issue of how to best serve elderly patients, advocates say guaranteeing health coverage for everyone would help prepare the system for an aging nation."

Franken: Where Is GOP's "Terrific" Health Care Bill Trump Promised? - Full Speech

Sen Klobuchar: MN Wants To Know What's In GOP Health Care Bill - Full Speech

The GOP is working stealthily to shred health and financial protections for ordinary Americans

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gop-is-working-stealthily-to-shred-health-and-financial-protections-for-ordinary-americans/2017/06/13/4ee9f190-4f8a-11e7-be25-3a519335381c_story.html?utm_term=.c4e92a02d540
"While Trump scandals dominate the headlines, Republicans are quietly working on legislation that could hurt millions."

How the Republican Coward Caucus is about to sell out its own constituents — in secret

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2017/06/13/how-the-republican-coward-caucus-is-about-to-sell-out-its-own-constituents-in-secret/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.7dbdf785eeef
"A bill of stunning cruelty, crafted in secret, and all that stands in its way is a bunch of weak-kneed GOP senators."

Sen Markey Blasts GOP Secretive Health Care Bill- Full Senate Speech

Republicans lack public support for new health care scheme

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/republicans-lack-public-support-new-health-care-scheme
"Republicans are no doubt aware of this. Indeed, it helps explain why they’re trying so desperately to legislate in secret. But as an electoral matter, for GOP policymakers to ignore Americans’ attitudes on life-and-death legislation is to play with fire. Given partisan instincts and widespread tribalism, it takes effort to come up with a proposal as unpopular as the Republican health care plan – but they’ve managed to pull it off anyway."

Sen Cortez Masto: GOP Healthcare Bill "Insult" To American People- Full Speech On Senate Floor

Senate Trumpcare Bill As Devastating For People With Pre-Existing Conditions As House Version | Crooks and Liars

Senate Trumpcare Bill As Devastating For People With Pre-Existing Conditions As House Version | Crooks and Liars

"Senate Republicans are going to try to sell this bill as a kinder, gentler Trumpcare. Don't let them. If you have a Republican senator call them through the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and let them know you won't be fooled."

Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren DESTROY "Cowardly" Republican Health Care Bill

Think you're safe from Trumpcare in your blue state? Think again

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/12/1671100/-Think-you-re-safe-from-Trumpcare-in-your-blue-state-Think-again
"There is really no one who will escape the disastrous effects of Trumpcare if it passes. If you've got a pre-existing condition, you're screwed. If you're on Medicare, you're not safe, either. If you're a child, it's potentially catastrophic. If you have insurance through your employer, you're sunk, too. You might feel shielded because you live in a blue state, with a Democratic governor or legislature, and you think the waivers for states that would make the Affordable Care Act's provisions protecting people with pre-existing conditions won't be taken by your lawmakers. But that's probably not how it's going to work, say most experts, refuting the claim made by Republicans like Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) who told people not to get worked up"

Senate Republicans Hope You Won’t Notice They’re About to Repeal Obamacare

http://billmoyers.com/story/senate-republicans-hope-wont-notice-theyre-repeal-obamacare/
"Quickly and in secret — that’s how lawmakers operate when they’re about to pass legislation that is both harmful and deeply unpopular. Last week, while everyone was distracted by former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell put the Republican health care overhaul on fast track. His caucus is writing its bill in secret, and McConnell’s move means he could bring the legislation up for a vote anytime, without holding a single public hearing. All signs indicate that Senate Republicans are preparing to copy their colleagues in the House and jam through a massively destructive piece of legislation before the public knows what’s going on."