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Cooper's Hawk

Monday, July 3, 2017

Blast, Cliff Notes version


Since minds can no longer ever be changed, having been long ago made up, it is pointless to try to frame an argument for you regarding either a single or multiple sins of this Trump administration. I know what would happen.

The usual suspects would gnash their teeth and tear their garments in agreement and Bradford would send me the Go Trump Go email he sends me every time I get negative about his boy.

So I will merely skim over the top and give you today's Cliff Notes version.

With somewhere between 12 and 17% of the American public loathing the big tax cut for the rich that we call Trumpcare, it is no wonder that GOP members are afraid to meet with their angry constituents. The prospect of raising premiums on the poor and elderly five fold has got many people rattled, including the AMA and AARP, as well as most of the insurance and doctors groups in our country. But they will do it anyway, because if they don't the red meat base will be after their lily white asses.

And not content to dismantle and defund Medicare and Medicaid by giving inadequate subsidies to state's utterly unable to handle the task, the Trump administration and Republicans also appear to have more big game in sight.

Like killing the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, known in many states by its acronym, LIHEAP.  The program currently distributes about $3.6 billion dollars to approximately 6 million households a year.
President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating heating aid for low-income Americans, claiming it’s no longer necessary and rife with fraud. People needn’t worry about being left in the cold, he says, because utilities cannot cut off customers in the dead of winter.
But he is wrong on all counts.
The heating program provides a critical lifeline for people like Perkins, and officials close to the program don’t see any widespread fraud. Guidelines for winter shutoffs by utilities vary from state to state and don’t apply to heating oil, a key energy source in the brittle New England winter.
Grandma can put on a sweater damnit. That's the problem today, the old people are getting too damn soft.

And now that the elderly are both cold and sick, they probably don't need to eat so much.

Let's go after their food stamps too.
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) is the chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, which reauthorizes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program every five years as part of a farm bill that also includes agribusiness subsidies. For weeks, Conaway has been trying to prevent Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), chairwoman of the House Budget Committee, from including massive SNAP cuts in her budget. Black’s committee has been floating the prospect of significant spending reductions since May.
Conaway said Friday that they had a deal, though neither he nor Black would reveal any specifics.
“I will leave it to them to discuss the details of their budget when they are ready,” Conaway said in a statement. “What I will say is that I am very confident that the agreement we have reached will give the Agriculture Committee the flexibility it needs to craft a farm bill that works for all of our various stakeholders.”
If Conaway is on board, that suggests Black has agreed to relatively modest reductions to programs under the Agriculture Committee’s jurisdiction. She has been seeking $200 billion in cuts overall, which would be spread across an array of unspecified programs.
A spokesman for Black said only that the chairwoman is committed to getting a budget done next month. “It’s the strongest possible step to achieving real deficit reduction, strengthening our military and beginning the tax reform process,” Budget Committee spokesman William Allison said.
Conaway has been holding hearings for next year’s reauthorization since 2015 and has kept his policy plans a secret.
One reason Black would want to cut SNAP in her budget, aside from the fact that many Republicans consider cutting SNAP good policy, is that the reduced safety net spending can be used to offset the budgetary effect of other Republican priorities, such as more military spending and less taxes.
We are rewriting our existing social contract in the most disgusting way imaginable. I imagine that these people have elderly relatives or know some poor people in their lives. What I don't understand is their deep seated need to punish them so severely.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have two types of friends on the left. One receives SSI, disability,medicare, etc. The other is comfortably retired or self employed. They either self insure, have coverage through their former employer (cadillac) or pay out of pocket for medical care as it comes up. Myself we're a middle class family. Prior to Obamacare we had excellent medical insurance, with the doctor of our choice, $800 a month premiums and reasonable co pays, deductibles and maximum annual benefits. Are premiums went up to $1,600 a month, co pays are similar but the deductibles are much higher with lower coverage caps. So we've chosen to pay the tax penalty every year since it went into effect and roll the dice and become uninsured. My sister in law is a pharmacist, so I get my 3 meds at a discount of only $500 a year. We pay $30,000 a year in income tax on salary and wages (no sole proprietorship to generate losses against profits).
I believe in a safety net for the sick, elderly and poor. I believe the benefits should be means tested. I also believe my family should've been allowed to keep our doctor and our plan as promised. To say we're disapointed with the ACA would be an understatement. Politics are local, and when we voted in the last election, we voted on what we believed would most positively effect our household's economic and healthcare future. If folks in my tax bracket don't see improvement, there will be hell to pay in the next house and senate elections.

Blue Heron said...

Thanks for a very well reasoned and sensible comment. I don't get enough of them. My premiums actually fell in the last year of Obamacare, from about 1400 for the two of us to about eleven. Unfortunately deductibles are high, for many of us insurance is now pretty much catastrophic. And I have railed against the failures of the ACA for a long time. But I believe that they can be fixed. Pulling 800 billion out of the system is not going to help health care in this country, it will do the opposite. And premiums are not coming down, unless you are a young kid that doesn't have a pre existing medical condition. For the elderly it will be a choice between food, housing and health. Many will do without. Deductibles are said to be going way up under Trumpcare as well. The very worst idea is repeal and then wait and see what happens and replace at a later date. They will kill Obamacare, hurt lots of people and then blame it all on the democrats. Which is what I would bet on happening if I was a betting man. Fix, don't repeal.

Anonymous said...

2.0 Fix is fine with me, as long I can get(god dammit please!) insurance that's less than my $1,400 a month mortgage payment. I've always carried insurance for my family, and now when I actually need it I can't afford it. I pay for labs along with an annual check up. But that's it. Thank god we have a family member that's a dentist.
When I look at the amount of taxes that we pay combined with expenses and other commitments it angers me that we don't have a healthcare insurance system in place that is structured to provide all of us with choices that we can fit into our individual budgets. Not looking for a handout, just a way forward for my family to have healthcare when we need it.

Renee C. OBrien said...

I don't understand how Spain and Canada can do healthcare and we can't. I have used both systems as I lived in both countries.