Friday, March 20, 2015

Uninsure Them All And Let God Sort It Out

Jonathan Cohn goes through the House GOP budget proposal and finds the Republican plan to replace Obamacare is "repeal it and do nothing", which will take insurance away from tens of millions of Americans:

Worried about the number of Americans who still don’t have health insurance? If House Republican leaders get their way, the number will be much bigger -- maybe even twice as big
That may sound ridiculous. But health care analysts tell The Huffington Post that it’s a fair interpretation of the proposed 2016 budget that Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, released on Tuesday
Price's document includes two familiar ideas for transforming major government health care programs: repealing the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, and transforming Medicaid into a “block grant” program. It’s difficult to be terribly precise about the impact these changes would have, at least without some kind of formal economic modeling. But it's possible to do a rough calculation using estimates from independent experts and the Congressional Budget Office of previous proposals with similar elements, including the budgets that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) issued when he was in charge of the budget committee. 
Start with the likely impact of Obamacare repeal. The health care law -- beloved by some, hated by others -- makes Medicaid available to all low-income people in participating states, provides discounted private insurance to people buying on their own, and lets young adults stay on their parents’ plans. As a result, the number of people without health insurance today is down to 35 million, according to CBO. Over the next several years, that number is set to drop even further, to about 26 million. Without the law in place, by CBO’s reckoning, the ranks of the uninsured at this point would have been around 50 million -- and that number is projected to remain steady or increase slightly over the next decade. Taking the ACA off the books, as Price and his GOP allies hope to do, would likely boost the number of uninsured back up to that level or close to it.

So 15 million Americans would lose health insurance from repealing Obamacare.  Oh, but it get so much worse when you factor in the rest of the GOP plan to obliterate the nation's poorest.

And Obamacare repeal is only the first way in which Price’s health care agenda would increase the number of uninsured. Turning Medicaid into a block grant, as the House budget seeks to do, would mean ending the program’s current guarantee: that, as more people fall into the program’s eligibility guidelines, the federal government will provide more money. Under a block grant scheme, by contrast, the federal government would start giving states fixed sums of money with which to administer the program. Given the funding levels Price’s budget appears to set, the money almost certainly wouldn’t keep up with demand for the program. 
In reality, these block grants are huge budget cuts by another name. States would find it impossible to maintain the Medicaid rolls at those funding levels, and start removing people from the program as a result. How many? Price’s budget doesn’t provide the same level of detail that Ryan’s early budgets did. But the proposals appear to be very similar. And an estimate of Ryan’s 2012 scheme, put together by researchers from the Urban Institute and published by the Kaiser Family Foundation, suggested that by 2022, turning Medicaid into a block grant would reduce the number of people receiving insurance through the program by between 14.3 million and 20.5 million
Again, this would be on top of the people who would lose insurance thanks to repeal of Obamacare. Add the numbers together and, come 2022, something like 60 or 70 million people who would have gotten insurance through either Medicaid or Obamacare would no longer have it. Few of these people would be able find insurance through other means. The result could be close to twice as many uninsured Americans as the estimated 35 million who lack insurance today -- or possibly even more. (And it’d certainly be more than twice as many as the 26 million who, according to the CBO, would remain uninsured in 2022 under the status quo.)

60 or 70 million people without insurance by 2022.  That's one in 4 Americans, or more.  It would come close to breaking our federal health care system completely, and yet Republicans are not only okay with this, but are making this the goal of the budget.

But hey, tens of millions of people who can't afford health coverage aren't a problem for very long, now are they?

This is what will happen if the GOP wins in 2016.  Keep that in mind.


Scopedog said...

"This is what will happen if the GOP wins in 2016. Keep that in mind."

Exactly. And if we're too busy with the "both parties are the same" nonsense or whining about how we can't vote for Hillary that we can't get our s*** together, it will happen.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

Alarming development: our esteemed colleagues at the Daily Kos are now using openly Republican talking points to savage HRC - it hasn't been this blatant since Jane Hamsher crawled into bed with that Republican slug, Grover Norquist, over at FireDogLake in a freely admitted attempt to drown the ACA because it was not sufficiently pure. All of this, of course, in lieu of presenting an actual leftish candidate or anything like a workable leftist program around which we might coalesce and give and strength to our collective voices.

This ceaseless whining and negativity is what gets to me. I have no interest in marrying HRC, but I can read the political data and she has real support and she would be a hell of a lot better than anything the Republicans toss up for a candidate. If we want to have a better candidate NOW is the time to bring him forward - or better still, 2013 would have been the time to lay the groundwork so that by now he would have a commanding position. Too bad Snowden and Greenwald dropped their little propaganda bomb and we wasted an entire year in squabbling over trivial conspiracy theories. Anyway, the elwiors don't care about all that so long as they can doodle their little stars and hearts around portraits of Warren. They appear to be sincere in their complaint that the Democrats are worse than the Republicans, so it's better to lose with Smith or Doe or O'Malley than to win with Clinton.

Scopedog said...

(Bangs head repeatedly on desk)

They...they just do not fucking get it, do they?

How many more times will I have to read a "Draft Warren" piece or read another "Both sides!" piece or "Obama is a third Bush administration!" or read shit like this:, written by someone who voting rights are not in jeopardy but pulls smug, holier-than-thou clueless nonsense such as this? No, HRC is not perfect, but compared to the scary clown car show that are the potential GOP candidates, she's light years ahead. We could accomplish some progressive actions with her; with the GOP in the White House and in control of Congress, we will get NONE.

And yet, and yet...these fools are, once again, getting the knives ready to cut the noses off and loading the pistols to point down and fire. The most progressive President in my life is somehow a liar, traitor, a backstabber even though his progressive record rivals that of FDR and Johnson. And to think that the motherKosers are using Republican talking brings to mind something that Ishmael Reed pointed out, that the same thing was done to Obama--that the far Left was fine with using the most bilious remarks stated by the GOP.

I genuinely do not know what the hell these fools want. If they really believe that a progressive utopia is around the corner if only they elect so-and-so and if no one really votes and if the Democrats are soundly defeated (or punished, as Greenwald babbled out once) by electing the GOP so that things will get so bad that the country will rise up....they've got another thought coming (if they actually use those things they pretend to think with). It also shows how, despite putting themselves on the pedestal of "We're smarter than the rest of you peons!" they are really the fools--because they have simply flensed recent history from their minds (or events since 2000).

Horace Boothroyd III said...

Sadly, I knew what would be at the other end of your Smirking Chimp redirect even before clicking the link: that smug little assclown is the queen of striking the "[I'm] smarter than the rest of you peons!" pose and, as you'll notice, her army drones stands ready to swarm anyone who objects. I like the way they gnawed toothlessly at the ankles of that one guy who pointed out (correctly) that the President can only be as liberal and reformist as the Congress we elect to work with him. OBAMA IS NOT A LIBERAL, they squeal in impotent rage, EVEN IF HE DID HAVE A CONGRESS TO WORK WITH. But it's not as if women always had the vote, and her attitude is a slap in the face to every feminist and every ally who labored all those decades to win the vote.

And what do these people want? I am coming around to the idea that they don't actually want anything concrete or actionable, not really. In truth they are happy enough taking themselves off to their little corner and nursing their grievances and cultivating their collective sense of purity and self righteousness. Give them a little authority and they wouldn't know what to do with it, other than strike out in revenge against their most hated enemies. Given them a few responsibilities, make them a part of the governing coalition, and they will drop it like a hot potato lest they collide with the brute fact that they don't actually know what they are doing. All of this is contingent on somebody taking out the trash and doing the laundry and keeping the weed flowing from California, but we have given them every reason to expect that the Democrats will keep doing just that - no matter how obnoxious the Greens become nor how criminally the Republicans govern.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

If you want a good excuse to claw your eyes out with a garden weasle:

Scopedog said...

Fools. A gathering of fools. No clue at all about what's at stake; they only have Warren stars in their eyes.

As for Miss Beattie and her drones at Smirking Chimp...I've thought long and hard about those who gleefully state that they're not voting (or like Michael Moore, encourage people not to vote) and I've reached the conclusion--of _course_ they can say that. After all, no one is taking away their right to vote (not yet, anyway). But the GOP is working very, very hard to take away the voting rights of minorities, and there has been dead silence from people like Miss Beattie and the KOSers and others (with Tom Hartmann and Bob Cesca being honorable exceptions).

I do fear a re-run of 2000, but....I still hope for cooler heads to prevail. Perhaps people like Kevin Drum can knock some sense into a few heads:

Horace Boothroyd III said...

I always liked Bob Cesca, he is the sensible kind.

Although, what possessed him to hang out with those child molesters and hippie punchers at The Daily Banter? They are not all that lefty or anything, but they sure as fuck are stupid.

Scopedog said...

Hah! I pretty much only read Bob and Chez Pazienza over at DB, but I also found Ben Cohen's stuff to be fine too. Unfortunately, I've long since had it with the swill Luciano keeps posting; every damned thing he writes has to be yet another New Athiest tract that must always bash religion and any and all people of faith, insult Muslims, and whine about how Pope Francis is the worst human being on Earth (guess he hasn't seen the GOP), all with that smug, look-down-your-nose-at-everyone else attitude. It's just bad comedy now.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

Agreed: Luciano is dogshit, and tiresome dogshit at that. I have actually lived in a police state, and I have seen what happens to smart mouthed troublemakers - they are dead, in jail, or living in exile. If America really were the authoritarian hellhole that Luciano affects to pretend, and atheists really were as persecuted as he keeps on screaming, then he would not be sitting all smug and angry at his little internet newsletter.

Now don't get me wrong, atheists are fine as far as that goes and I am more than happy to work in the broad coalition that is keeping the fundamentalist christers under control. But - and this is a great big but - I am sick and tired of neoatheists like Luciano going out of their way to kick me in the nuts while they lecture me that I am just as bad as the fundies. If it weren't for the tireless efforts of us left Christians, the fundies very well could succeed in some effort to get the atheists banned - and a tiny little bit of gratitude would go a real long way.

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