Welcome to Ayn Rand Hell. Republicans are about to try to destroy President Obama’s landmark Affordable Healthcare Act. To do so they will sacrifice the well-being of tens of millions of Americans. They will thus free up money for massive tax cuts for billionaires and corporations. And that way Trump achieves his only real legislative “ambition”: undo everything and anything the first black president did… no matter what the cost to America.
Thus Trump’s twisted “logic” and the extremist far right of the Republican Party represented by Mike Pence become one and the same. The Republicans can get Trump to do anything to anyone as long as it is an insult to President Obama’s legacy.
The far far right wants even more extreme pro-billionaire and anti middle class and poor people measures. The Koch brothers’ political network lashed out at the Senate Republican health care bill on Saturday… as not conservative enough!
Tim Phillips, who leads Americans For Prosperity, the Koch network’s political arm, called the Senate’s plans for Medicaid “a slight nip and tuck” of President Barack Obama’s health care law, a modest change he described as “immoral.”
Only a few Republican senators have raised concern about cuts to Medicaid, which provides health care coverage to millions of poor and middle-income Americans. Several more conservative senators have voiced opposition because they feel it does not go far enough in dismantling what they call “Obamacare.”
The Koch brother demands for even more extreme cuts came on the first day of a three-day private donor retreat at a luxury resort in the Rocky Mountains. (Invitations were extended only to donors who promise to give at least $100,000 each year to the various groups backed by the Koch brothers’ Freedom Partners — a network of education, policy and political entities that aim to promote small government.)
“When I look at where we are at the size and effectiveness of this network, I’m blown away,” billionaire industrialist Charles Koch told hundreds of donors during an outdoor evening reception. His brother, David Koch, looked on from the crowd along with Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona.
“We’ve got to keep doing it at an accelerated pace!” Charles Koch said.
Trump continued to push for replacing Obama’s health care law, tweeting Saturday: “I cannot imagine that these very fine Republican Senators would allow the American people to suffer a broken ObamaCare any longer!”
The Senate measure resembles legislation the House approved last month that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said would mean 23 million additional uninsured people within a decade and that recent polling shows is viewed favorably by only around 1 in 4 Americans.
No matter public opinion! No matter millions losing health care! Charles Koch and his chief lieutenants met privately with Vice President Mike Pence for nearly an hour Friday. Pence, a longtime Koch ally, was in Colorado Springs to address a gathering of religious conservatives.
Ah yes, those “religious conservative haters of the poor! So much for Jesus!
One Media Matters survey found over one two-week period in early June, as the bill was being molded in secret, major networks all but ignored the topic. CBS News didn’t cover the subject at all, ABC gave it a mere 40 seconds and NBC News dedicated just under 2.5 minutes out of roughly five hours of news. By contrast, NBC News program “Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly” set aside 700% more time, or 17.5 minutes, to the urgent topic of Alex Jones.
According to the New York Times, “With more than 70 million people enrolled in Medicaid, the program certainly faces long-term financial challenges. Federal Medicaid spending is projected to grow 6 percent a year on average, rising to $650 billion in 2027 from $389 billion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Even if Congress does not repeal the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid will remain a target for cuts, experts say.”
“The Medicaid pieces of the House bill could be incorporated into other pieces of legislation that are moving this year,” said Edwin Park, a vice president at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington nonprofit that focuses on how government budgets affect low-income people. “Certainly, nursing homes would be part of those cuts, not only in reimbursement rates but in reductions in eligibility for nursing home care.”
As the Times notes:
While most Medicaid enrollees are children, pregnant women and nonelderly adults, long-term services such as nursing homes account for 42 percent of all Medicaid spending — even though only 6 percent of Medicaid enrollees use them.
“Moms and kids aren’t where the money is,” said Damon Terzaghi, a senior director at the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities, a group representing state agencies that manage programs for these populations or advocate on their behalf. “If you’re going to cut that much money out, it’s going to be coming from older people and people with disabilities.”
The House health care bill targets nursing home coverage directly by requiring every state to count home equity above $560,000 in determining Medicaid eligibility. That would make eligibility rules tougher in 10 states — mostly ones with expensive real estate markets, including California, Massachusetts and New York — as well as in the District of Columbia, according to an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
The most urgent political issue of the past decade was all but a non-issue in major media outlets. And in the rare case it was mentioned, the fact that Republicans were deliberately keeping the process secret was not.
Senate Republicans are working to finish their draft health care bill, but have no plans to publicly release it, according to two senior Senate GOP aides.
“We aren’t stupid,” said one of the aides.
According to the Bible (say in Deuteronomy 15:7-11 to take one of many such passages, Trump and the Koch Brothers along with all the Republicans and the white evangelicals who elected them are… toast. “If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother… You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’
Trump, Koch, Pence, GOP, white evangelical Trump-voters … God hates you.