Friday, February 17, 2017

"If you like..."

"But I like my health insurance company!"

"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."
If you click the "If you like your doctor" link, you'll see all the iterations.  It's the infamous "lie" Obama told us all to sell us Obamacare, the Big Government "takeover" of America's healthcare "system."  Of course, it was not a lie, but rather a very hopeful though politically careless thing to say.  Of course, some things were going to change, and Murphy's law has an exponential relationship with change.  And it was far from a takeover of far from a system.

All the ups and downs of Obamacare aside, here's a peek at what Paul Ryan (Rep, JackKempTopia, WI) and the GOP in the House, has in mind for us now...
Our proposal will then create a new, advanceable, refundable tax credit to assist with the purchase of health insurance on the individual insurance market. The legislation creates a new code section – 36C— to do this. The credit is:
•Universal for all citizens or qualified aliens not offered other qualifying insurance
•Available for dependent children up to age 26
•Grows Over Time

The credit is not based on income. This will help simplify the verification process and expand access for Americans who have been left behind by Obamacare. Additionally, a universal credit does not create the same labor market distortions and perverse incentives as President Obama’s law did: according to CBO, the Obamacare income-based subsidy system resulted in so many lost labor hours it would be as if 2 million full-time equivalent workers left the labor force in 2025. A universal credit fixes this unnecessary disincentive to work and makes sure our tax code is built for growth.

Older Americans will receive a higher credit amount than younger Americans, reflecting the higher cost of insurance for older Americans. Taxpayers can receive credits for their dependents – including children up to the age of 26. The credit, however, is limited only to citizens or qualified aliens. Incarcerated individuals are not eligible for the credit.
The link will bring you to their policy paper.  They want to retract Medicaid, put out "advanceable, refundable" tax credits (at one point is says "monthly"), have them flat for everyone and only progressively adjusted by age, oh and override state laws (?) to open insurance markets interstate.  That's really the crux of this.

I know I haven't been posting diligently, as I've been a little out-of-it, but I beg of someone out there to explain to me first, how this is not the federal government taking over healthcare by superseding state laws, second, how this will not lead to a few big, awful, national private insurance companies who survive the race to the benefits bottom, and third, finally, WHO THE FUCKING HELL LIKES FUCKING INSURANCE COMPANIES IN THE FIRST PLACE?  That last one, I will never understand, so you can skip that one.  The only thing I can make of it is that the American private health insurance raison d'etre is a hedge against labor inflation.  It serves no other purpose.  It has nothing to do with HEALTH.


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Rule 19 = Catch 22

"Major Major never sees anyone in his office while he's in his office."
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
 So, Sen Elizabeth Warren was reading a letter from Coretta Scott King regarding AG nominee Sen Jeff Sessions when Mitch McConnell and the Gang shut her down on the floor.  They used Rule 19 of the Senate, Section 2:
2. No Senator in debate shall, directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator.
 So, basically what the Senate GOP is saying is that no Senator can say anything negative about Sen Jeff Sessions, or any other one.  But is she referring to Sessions the Senator or Sessions the AG nominee?  Can there be a difference?  By McConnell's standard, all Senator-nominees would be immune from criticism!  We'd have nothing but Senator-Cabinets forever!  And Warren was reading from a letter, and a letter written by a prominent American historical figure.  So, was it Warren doing the impugning, or Corretta Scott King?

 Is it just me, and just me for about twenty years now, which I find really hard to believe, or is the GOP just not smart enough to govern?