HealthCare Notes

1/7/18

Trumpian Philosophy: Any Regulation Is Bad, Even If It Protects Sick Old People

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a14504814/trump-nursing-home-regulations/
"Wednesday’s example comes to us from The New York Times, and isn’t this decision going to be a lovely one when they come for Medicare because of the “unexpected” explosion of the deficit due to the abomination of a tax bill they just passed. The Trump administration is scaling back the use of fines against nursing homes that harm residents or place them in grave risk of injury, part of a broader relaxation of regulations under the president. The shift in the Medicare program’s penalty protocols was requested by the nursing home industry. The American Health Care Association, the industry’s main trade group, has complained that under President Barack Obama, federal inspectors focused excessively on catching wrongdoing rather than helping nursing homes improve. That last sentence is a real keeper, isn’t it? If you keep punishing us for our substandard practices, we won’t be able to improve our substandard practices. Punishment for breaking laws is a hindrance to our abiding by them. Thousands of criminal defense lawyers are wondering why they didn’t think of that one first."

Trump WILL Cut Social Security, Medicare, And Medicaid

Intolerable cruelty: Kansas Medicaid leaves elderly to die without care

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/12/22/1726888/-Intolerable-cruelty-Kansas-Medicaid-leaves-elderly-to-die-without-care
"Governor Brownback, a man who considers himself someone of significant faith, working to transition to the position of Ambassador to Religious Freedom, may need to learn a few things from the book he professes. The Kansas City Star revealed that the policy in Kansas has left many families struggling to figure out care for their loved ones."

Trump Eases Rules To Allow Nursing Homes To Abuse Elderly Without Punishment

8.8 million people signed up for Obamacare coverage despite Trump’s sabotage

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/21/16807348/obamacare-enrollment-2018
"About 8.8 million Americans enrolled in health coverage through Healthcare.gov, the Trump administration announced Thursday, a slight dip from last year after the Trump administration cut spending and outreach but far from a dramatic drop. Last year, about 9.2 million people signed up through Healthcare.gov, which serves more than 30 states. A dozen states run their own marketplaces and several of those states have not yet closed their open enrollment."

12/21/17

The 10 Step Scheme for One-Sided Class War

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/12/20/10-step-scheme-one-sided-class-war
"1. Scream about the debt and deficit. 2. Shrink revenue by slashing taxes for the already palatial elite. Summarily dismiss all concerns about the debt and deficit, because, well, the debt and deficit don't really matter. Plus, tax cuts for the rich grow the economy anyway. Or maybe not. It doesn't matter. What matters is that one render unto the power elite the things that are the power elite's; everybody else can go to hell. 3. Scream about the debt and deficit. 4. Savagely gut Social Security and Medicare, because obviously the debt and deficit. Turns out the debt and deficit do matter. And to get the debt and deficit under control after slashing taxes on the rich will require nothing less than shared sacrifice from all Americans. But not really all Americans. The persecuted John Galts of the world have shouldered the burden of sacrifice long enough. Time, then, for all those particularly shiftless souls lacking the creativity and work ethic of the ruling class to sacrifice. Time for these ungrateful hordes to genuflect at the altar of capital and empty their pockets in tribute."

Republicans Coming To Steal More

Trump Wants To Cut Aide To American Children To Pay For Tax Cuts For The Wealthy

12/17/17

Activist With ALS: Kill The GOP Tax Bill & Save My Life

The Republican Long Game

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/12/09/republican-long-game
"with Donald Trump in charge, Republicans feel no need to conceal. They have been emboldened, I think, to show their true selves because they feel Trump has their back with his supporters—and as long as they have that army behind them, they are willing to take the risk of promoting a “reform” nearly everyone else hates. Those aggrieved white men who form the bulk of rank-and-file Republicanism don’t care if they have to pay more taxes. They don’t care if their health insurance premiums soar. They don’t care if their children can’t afford to go to college. Surveys show that they are more devoted to Trump than to their own welfare, and they will follow Trump wherever he leads, even if he leads them to financial disaster. He voices their hatreds, and hatred trumps policy. Such is modern Republicanism."

People with rare diseases join cancer patients on the list of those screwed by Republican tax plan

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/12/8/1722529/-People-with-rare-diseases-join-cancer-patients-on-the-list-of-those-screwed-by-Republican-tax-plan
"It’s starting to look like it would be a very bad idea to get sick, in any serious way, if the Republican tax plan becomes law. Ending cancer treatments for Medicare patients and partial Obamacare repeal aren’t the only ways the bill takes serious aim at health care. The tax bill could also cause problems for people with rare diseases"

12/16/17

'You Can Save My Life': Traveling on Same Plane, Man With ALS Confronts Sen. Flake Over GOP Tax Bill

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/08/you-can-save-my-life-traveling-same-plane-man-als-confronts-sen-flake-over-gop-tax
"Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) boarded a plane leaving Washington, D.C. on Thursday, less than a week after voting for a tax bill that could result in devastating cuts to disability programs."

GOP Budgets, Statements Make Plans Clear: Costly Tax Cuts for Wealthy Now, Program Cuts Later

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/12/05/gop-budgets-statements-make-plans-clear-costly-tax-cuts-wealthy-now-program-cuts
"The Senate bill raises taxes on millions of low- and middle-income households and raises the number of Americans without health insurance by an estimated 13 million."

Paul Ryan's winning 2018 idea: Cut Medicare and Medicaid after giving $1.5 trillion away to the rich

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/12/6/1721831/-Paul-Ryan-s-winning-2018-idea-Cut-Medicare-and-Medicaid-after-giving-1-5-trillion-away-to-the-rich
"Noted sociopath and House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn't even gotten the odious tax bill—a massive redistribution of wealth from the bottom-up—in final form and passed. But he's already making good on the Republican promise to use the gaping hole it blows in the nation's deficit to start in with the granny-starving again. "We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit," Ryan said during an appearance on Ross Kaminsky's talk radio show. "... Frankly, it's the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements -- because that's really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking." Ryan said that he believes he has begun convincing President Donald Trump in their private conversations about the need to rein in Medicare, the federal health program that primarily insures the elderly. As a candidate, Trump vowed not to cut spending on Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. (Ryan also suggested congressional Republicans were unlikely to try changing Social Security, because the rules of the Senate forbid changes to the program through reconciliation—the procedure the Senate can use to pass legislation with only 50 votes.)"

Paul Ryan admits the GOP will gut Medicare and Medicaid to pay for tax cuts

https://thinkprogress.org/paul-ryan-tax-cuts-medicare-medicaid-f87d810ad5b9/
"Republicans in Congress are openly admitting they plan to use their tax reform bill to justify slashing funding for essential social programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps. The bill — which is expected to balloon the national deficit by at least $1 trillion, and which only benefits the country’s wealthiest in the long-term — has not yet been reconciled or signed. But Republicans aren’t wasting any time laying out what they see as the next step."

Paul Ryan: Now We're Coming For Your Medicare

12/14/17

The Right Is Attempting to Roll Back the 20th Century @alternet

The Right Is Attempting to Roll Back the 20th Century @alternet:

"This legislation is more than a grotesque effort to take money from the poor and working class and give it to the very richest Americans and corporations. In reality, it is an effort to wholly remake American society by undoing the social progress of the New Deal, the Great Society and the civil rights movement."

12/6/17

Disastrous Republican Tax Plan Is Only the First Step in Long-Term Effort to Cut Social Security and Medicare, Exacerbating Inequality @alternet

Disastrous Republican Tax Plan Is Only the First Step in Long-Term Effort to Cut Social Security and Medicare, Exacerbating Inequality @alternet:

"If all the Republicans were doing was lining the pockets of the already rich, that would be bad enough—pick your adjective. But that’s not the endgame. Before the Senate voted, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a past presidential candidate, said the Republicans must make additional cuts to Social Security and Medicare, both federal programs for those over age 65 as well as people with disabilities and parentless children (such as Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan as a youth)."

On taxes, what in the world was Susan Collins thinking?

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/taxes-what-the-world-was-susan-collins-thinking
"Collins recognizes the fact that her party’s tax plan is slated to end health care coverage for 13 million Americans and cut Medicare by tens of billions of dollars, but she voted for the legislation anyway because Republican leaders said they’ll soon take up other bills that should help prevent too much damage. And so, Susan Collins was comfortable making the gamble. What’s wrong with that? A few things, actually."

Marco Rubio Makes It Clear: Republicans Will Cut Social Security And Medicare After Tax Cuts Pass

The Atrocious Big Pharma Record of the New HHS Nominee @alternet

The Atrocious Big Pharma Record of the New HHS Nominee @alternet:

"Does anyone believe an executive who enabled such profiteering, looting of tax dollars and unethical marketing of dangerous drugs should be health secretary?"

MILLIONS Of Americans Will Lose Their Health Insurance with GOP Tax Plan

12/1/17

The GOP Tax Scam Two-Step: Explode the Deficit With Cuts for Rich, Then Screw the Poor

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/12/01/gop-tax-scam-two-step-explode-deficit-cuts-rich-then-screw-poor
"the GOP is planning to use the massive deficit hole its plan would create to justify taking a sledgehammer to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—a ploy one group has termed the "tax two-step"."

After Sen. Collins implied AARP would back tax cuts, AARP fires back with a resounding 'NO!'

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/12/1/1720166/-After-Sen-Collins-implied-AARP-would-back-tax-cuts-AARP-fires-back-with-a-resounding-NO
"Yesterday, she tried to float out a two-pronged excuse by both pretending the tax cuts wouldn’t obliterate Medicare, while attempting to pass the buck onto Sen. Mitch McConnell."

Cancer doctors make emergency trip to Washington, warn senators they're sentencing patients to death

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/12/1/1720176/-Cancer-doctors-make-emergency-trip-to-DC-to-warn-senators-on-tax-bill
"The only thing that's certain is that if this bill passes, the already devastating cuts that cancer patients on Medicare have been subjected to are going to get much, much worse. That's the only guarantee Republicans are making. It's what they are voting for. Jam your senators' phone lines at (202) 224-3121. Tell them to vote "no" on the Republican tax bill."

During tax debate, Republican questions funding for children’s health

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/during-tax-debate-republican-questions-funding-childrens-health
"The context for the exchange between Hatch and Brown was quite extraordinary: this happened on the Senate floor during a debate over the Republican tax plan. In other words, Orrin Hatch was trying to pass a massive series of tax cuts, the vast majority of which will benefit large corporations and the wealthiest of the wealthy. What’s more, as the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell recently explained, The Republican tax bill is often described as being weighted toward ‘the rich.’ But that’s not the full story. It’s actually weighted toward the loafer, the freeloader, the heir, the passive investor who spends his time yachting and charity-balling. In short: the idle rich.” The price tag for the GOP tax plan is roughly $1.5 trillion. Meanwhile, there’s the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which needs $15 billion. In other words, CHIP costs literally 1% of the overall cost of the Republican tax package. And yet, there was Orrin Hatch, a supporter of his party’s tax cuts, making the case on the Senate floor that CHIP’s “having trouble” because “we don’t have money anymore.” I feel like I’m stuck in a Dickensian nightmare."

Republicans will cut Social Security and Medicare next

Republicans will cut Social Security and Medicare next

"Florida Senator Marco Rubio admits that the Republican tax cut plan to aid corporations and the wealthy will require cuts to Social Security and Medicare to pay for it."

McCain, undergoing cancer treatment, will vote to end cancer treatment for Medicare patients

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/11/30/1719833/-McCain-will-vote-for-tax-cuts-and-to-end-cancer-treatment-for-Medicare-patients
"We know the tax bill is going to take $25 billion from Medicare immediately, because it will trigger automatic spending cuts and only part of Medicare won't be shielded. The part that will be cut is the part that pays for expensive chemotherapy drugs. The last time these cuts were triggered, cancer patients were denied treatment. And it's going to happen again. The last time it was resolved when the government shutdown ended. This time it's permanent."

Rubio: Tax bill and resulting deficit is first step for destroying Social Security, Medicare

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/11/30/1719820/-Rubio-Tax-bill-and-resulting-deficit-is-first-step-for-destroying-Social-Security-Medicare
"Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio let the cat food out of the bag Wednesday, telling a group of lobbyists that hiking the deficit with this tax bill is the first step in dismantling Social Security and Medicare."

11/24/17

Trump’s HHS Pick Alex Azar Is the Worst Pharma Bro of All

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/11/17/trumps-hhs-pick-alex-azar-worst-pharma-bro-all
"Azar’s face is the industry’s face, not just that of one corrupt fraudster. And his shame is the industry’s shame. And now the date has been set for his Senate nomination hearing: November 29."

Lisa Murkowski is looking for an excuse to vote for Obamacare repeal, tax cuts for the super rich

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/11/17/1716575/-Lisa-Murksowski-is-looking-for-an-excuse-to-vote-for-Obamacare-repeal-tax-cuts-for-the-super-rich
"Murkowski should end this farce now by acknowledging the reality that her conditions for voting for the tax bill cannot possibly be met. Because right now she's just transparently lying to her constituents."

11/21/17

New Report Details '13 Terrible Things' About Senate GOP Tax Plan

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/11/21/new-report-details-13-terrible-things-about-senate-gop-tax-plan
"The tax bill would trigger immediate Medicare cuts of at least $25 billion a year, and more than $100 billion in other cuts to agriculture subsidies, student loans, military retirement and more, because it adds $1.4 trillion to the debt.  [(CBO)]"

Trump's Pick for Health Secretary Led Company That Jacked Up Insulin Prices

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42595-trump-s-pick-for-health-secretary-led-company-that-jacked-up-insulin-prices
"The Canadian research team that developed insulin as a breakthrough treatment for diabetes back in 1923 sold the patent for just $3, essentially giving its intellectual property away for the greater good. Nowadays, the companies that manufacture this crucial medicine raise the price on a regular basis in order to maximize profits. One of those companies is Eli Lilly and Co., where Alex Azar II, the man that President Trump has selected to run the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently worked as a top executive. During Azar's eight-year tenure as president and vice president of Eli Lilly's operations in the United States, the pharmaceutical giant raised the price of Humalog, a fast-acting form of insulin, from $2,657 per year to $9,172. That's a 345 percent price increase for a drug that millions of patients depend on, according to Peter Maybarduk, the director of the Access to Medicines Program at the watchdog group Public Citizen. President Trump announced on Wednesday that he is nominating Azar to replace a disgraced Tom Price as health secretary"

The Senate Tax Bill Threatens Access to Health Care

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2017/11/16/442906/senate-tax-bill-threatens-access-health-care/
"This week, Senate Republicans announced that they plan to pay for their tax cuts for large corporations and millionaires not only by imposing tax increases on the middle-class but also by undermining people’s access to health care."

The GOP's Tax Cut Bonanza Is a Major Attack on Medicare @alternet

The GOP's Tax Cut Bonanza Is a Major Attack on Medicare @alternet:

"To be clear: If the tax bill passes the Senate and is signed into law by Trump, nothing more needs to be done to cut Medicare. If the House and Senate do nothing, the cuts take effect immediately after the end of the congressional session and get bigger every passing year. A vote for this tax bill is a vote to cut Medicare."