Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What Is It All About Then?* The True Reasons for the BCRA.

Only seventeen percent of Americans approve of the Senate health care proposal, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).  So why did a group of Republican older white guys craft it and why do many Republican pundits still push for it?  Note that the BCRA decimates the ACA (Obamacare), whereas the same poll which found its support to be 17 % also found that

In fact, while many Americans want changes to the ACA, also known as Obamacare, they want it to be more far-reaching. A 46 percent plurality say they want to see the ACA do more, while just 7 percent want it to do less. Keeping the ACA and having it do less is essentially what GOP congressional plans are doing.
It's that seven percent who are the hidden powers of the Republican Party, the ones who like the idea of 22 million more uninsured, the ones who believe that we are all going to die anyway, sooner or later, so why not sooner?

The Congressional Budget Office:

CBO and JCT estimate that, in 2018, 15 million more people would be uninsured under this legislation than under current law—primarily because the penalty for not having insurance would be eliminated. The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 22 million in 2026. In later years, other changes in the legislation—lower spending on Medicaid and substantially smaller average subsidies for coverage in the nongroup market—would also lead to increases in the number of people without health insurance. By 2026, among people under age 65, enrollment in Medicaid would fall by about 16 percent and an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.

Let's recap:  Most Americans are opposed to the BCRA, and it will probably result in more premature death and more suffering.  But of course cutting back on Medicaid and health care subsidies to consumers and cutting back on the taxes of health insurance providers benefits one group.

An example:

At a weekend donor retreat attended by at least 18 elected officials, the Koch brothers warned that time is running out to push their agenda, most notably healthcare and tax reform, through Congress.

One Texas-based donor warned Republican lawmakers that his “Dallas piggy bank” was now closed, until he saw legislative progress.
“Get Obamacare repealed and replaced, get tax reform passed,” said Doug Deason. “Get it done and we’ll open it back up.”

Deason has already informed a handful of congressional Republicans that the “Dallas piggy bank” is closed until he sees more action. He said he was recently approached by congressmen Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Jim Jordan of Ohio about hosting a fundraiser.
“I said, ‘No I’m not going to because we’re closing the checkbook until you get some things done,’” Deason said, noting he’s encouraged nearly two dozen major Texas donors to follow his lead.
While some donors threatened to withhold campaign cash, Koch’s team outlined a broader strategy to help shape the debate. Already, Americans For Prosperity claims a paid staff of more than 400 full-time activists in 36 states.
The group is actively lobbying Senate Republicans to change their current healthcare proposal, which it views as insufficiently conservative.

I found that whole quote quite shocking after first donning the naive believer in democracy mask:  It really does look as if the government is for sale, and the buyers, the ones with the most money, expect one-dollar-one-vote democracy.  Should they not get what they want, the money faucets will be turned off.

So that's what it is all about, really:  The desire to give very rich people even more money**.

*  That quote is from various Terry Pratchett fantasy books where some individual suddenly starts wondering why we are here, what life is all about, where we go when we die and so on.  I recommend his work as pain relief during the Turd Reich.  The Truth, for instance, is all about why people like fake news, why people want to hear what they already believe in and so on.

**  Because they are seen as having deserved that money through hard work, even if they inherited it or committed white-collar crimes to get it, and because all poor people are viewed as having been too gormless and too stupid and too lazy to deserve any money. 

Also because the government is viewed as unable to do a single thing right, whereas the markets are viewed as unable to do a single thing wrong. 

And individuals are assumed to be in full command of their fates and destinies, so that no person who works hard and runs a lot and lives on celery will ever die or get ill, and should illness strike anyway, well, then the person is like a car after a car accident and should probably be scrapped or at least see the car insurance premia rise a lot. Unless the person is a Rolls Royce.

The last point is pretty funny, by the way, because the elderly in the nursing homes are the ones who survived the longest, and it's the care of those elderly that the Republicans want to cut away.  So what's your reward for that healthy lifestyle which led to long life, eh?