Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, June 26, 2017

Cancer and the "Mean" Republican Health Care Bill

Those of us who've faced and fought cancer can take courage and hope from reading Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh's story below on how he won the battle against his childhood cancer.

But not all Americans have the medical insurance to help them through this very difficult and expensive ordeal. The current bill in the Senate is a national disgrace that threatens to take away Medicaid from our most vulnerable American citizens and re-introduces lifetime caps on insurance coverage; and at the same time, enriches already very wealthy Americans by giving them huge tax cuts.

Are we our brothers' and sisters' keepers? Does the Republican Party believe in helping those who cannot help themselves? Does the Republican Party believe in anything except tax cuts for the wealthy? Does the Republican Party have any humanity left in it?

One of our blogging buddies, Jersey McJones, is fighting cancer. Think of him and the thousands of other Americans who face this struggle every day and who need affordable medical insurance to help them fight this battle. 

I know what that struggle is about. I've fought against cancer four times. Thanks to the exceptional medical teams at Massachusetts General Hospital, I can count myself as a cancer survivor, just like Boston's Mayor Marty Walsh.  I fervently hope Jersey has the same outcome I've had, and I wish him courage and strength to face this ordeal. All of us in the blogging community hope for the best outcome for him.

Keep calling your senators and representatives to let them know this inhuman legislation is not acceptable to Americans who care and who believe we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers.

Here's Mayor Marty Walsh's story:

When I was a kid, I fell asleep in school a lot. The teachers didn’t scold me, and they kept the other kids from pointing and laughing. Because I wasn’t just tired — I was exhausted. I was drained. I was going through chemo.

When I was seven, I was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma, an aggressive cancer. The doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital gave me two months to live. I spent four years in and out of aggressive treatments, missing second and third grade, fighting for my life when I should’ve been playing hockey. But slowly, I recovered.

My community stood by my family, and my dad’s union insurance made it possible for us to afford costly treatment. By the time I was a teenager, some of my friends didn’t even know I had been sick.

Cancer is hard enough on a family. Imagine having to choose between saving your child and staying in your house? Or saving your child and selling the car you use to get to work? 

The healthcare bill that’s racing through the Senate right now is designed to do just that — make cash-strapped families pay for situations beyond their control, and put the savings toward tax cuts for the ultra-rich.

I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if my family didn’t have insurance. My treatment would’ve bankrupted us.

Evan Seigfried (conservative Republican):

 Senate’s BCRA does not help Americans or health care system The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the Senate’s health care bill, is a draconian proposal. Following in the footsteps of the House’s AHCA, the bill does nothing to lower the cost of health coverage, while also failing to improve the quality of care. 

On top of this, the BCRA is a bill that leaves the health care system worse off and ignores the Hippocratic Oath: First, do no harm. One would think that after the AHCA debacle, Senate Republicans would have proposed a vastly different bill, but they did not. The BCRA disproportionately impacts Americans on the lower end of the economic spectrum. 

Take how the bill proposes aiding low income individuals and families by giving them federal tax credits to help them purchase insurance. In no way would that be of assistance to those Americans, as they do not earn enough to pay federal income tax in the first place. Without paying federal income tax, they cannot receive the tax credits. This portion of the bill sounds good, but does not actually have a meaningful impact.


Shaw Kenawe said...

PM Carpenter:

The godawful Senate bill is in deep, deep trouble

The NY Times' lede:

"Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill as opposition continued to build inside and outside Congress … [and] Trump expressed confidence that the bill to repeal the guts of the Affordable Care Act would pass."

It is axiomatic that Trump always lies, thus his expressed confidence yesterday in the bill's passage was a dead giveaway that the bill is in trouble — deep trouble. And sure enough, here's a portion of Trump's morning tweetstorm:

Donald J. Trump‏Verified account
Republican Senators are working very hard to get there, with no help from the Democrats. Not easy! Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!

There are no lines to read between. The tweets scream Failure.

That's not to say that to procure more votes Mitch McConnell won't promise Alaska half of next year's federal budget, or Texas, all of Mexico as an annexation. But I would say that Republican leaders scrambling and Trump lying and then Trump flying tweeted flags of resigned failure are signals indeed that the Senate's health-care bill is in deep, and likely irretrievable, trouble.

Shaw Kenawe said...

We always knew that the GOP never really were right-to-lifers. That was always a scam to get the naive to vote for them. Sen. Ron Johnson doesn't believe people with pre-existing conditions should get a break and be insured. So there ya go, infants, babies, children who are born with epilepsy, chronic kidney disease, lung disease, heart disease, the GOP just gave you and your family a YUUUUGE EFF U! And compared you with used cars.

The GOP is an immoral, inhuman collection of money grubbers who are willing to kick infants, babies, and children into the used car lot of sicknesses. BUT! They praise Jesus every Sunday on their blogs!

GOP Senator Ron Johnson is an asshole. There’s really no other way to put it. On Sunday, he showed off his right-wing “Christian” values by explaining to NBC’s Chuck Todd that people who have pre-existing conditions are just like used cars that have been in an accident and therefore deserve to pay more for insurance — further proof that the GOP thinks of you, me, and everyone else as inanimate objects unworthy of so much as a second thought.

“We know why those premiums doubled,” he said. “We’ve done something with our health care system that you would never think about doing, for example, with auto insurance, where you would require auto insurance companies to sell a policy to somebody after they crash their car.”

“States that have enacted guaranteed issue for preexisting conditions, it crashes their markets,” he added. “It causes the markets to collapse. It causes premiums to skyrocket.”

Dave Miller said...

Shaw... it ain't over til it's over and that means when the capture the White House, Senate or House...

Until that day, Progressives need to be on their knees praying and on their feet working to insure the Trumpistas cannot throw millions of Americans off the rolls of the now insured.

skudrunner said...

What will be truly mean is for obamacare to sink under it's own weight and there be nothing to replace it. We have 539 elected elite and some of them have a brain, not many but some. If they could just take the politics out of it they could probably come up with a system that would work for everyone and serve the American people. Nobody wants people to go without healthcare and have people suffer. It just comes down to who pays and what is it.

We know obamacare doesn't work, now they need to find something that does. The American public needs to hold their feet to the fire instead of taking sides on two terrible systems. They are elected to work together to solve issues, maybe they should start.

Grey One talks sass said...

I was born with my 'pre-existing' condition. According to the GOP I came out of the womb as a second hand car?????

Honestly, there are some folk who truly deserve a smiting.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Skud: "We know obamacare doesn't work, now they need to find something that does."

That's not true. Millions of Americans have been able to get medical care because of the ACA. Do you ignore the testimonies of the Americans who've come forward to tell everyone how the ACA saved their lives. Instead of working together, the Democrats and the Republicans are playing a dangerous, life-threatening game of politics. They're playing with people's lives.

I am disgusted with the whole thing. The original ACA was a REPUBLICAN idea from a REPUBLICAN think tank. But because a Democratic president proposed using that REPUBLICAN outline for universal health coverage, the Republicans said NO! They lied to their naive followers, and now that they're in power, they're lying again, led by the monstrous Liar-in-Chief.

Fortunately, I live in a state that adopted another REPUBLICAN idea for health care: ROMNEYCARE. If the feds screw the poor southern states, I'm sorry for them because those folks continue to vote against their self interest. We in Massachusetts have a safety net. We have ROMNEYCARE, thanks to a REPUBLICAN governor. The rest of the Goopers who believe helping the sick, the poor, the vulnerable is giving them "free stuff" -- they can live with their despicable choices. I sleep with a clear conscience at night because I live in a state that puts people above ideology. True Blue Massachusetts adopted a True Red Governor's plan. We have 98% coverage. Meanwhile Trumpcare will throw millions of Americans off of their insurance plans. How can you Goopers live with that?

skudrunner said...


No one is going to the rolls of the uninsured unless they choose. This millions will die is hogwash and pre-existing conditions will be kept. Unlike another plan that was voted for without being seen, this one is actually being debated. They want to slow the growth of medicaid not eliminate it. Maybe people will choose to go to work so they can provide for themselves. Sorry didn't mean to offend the progressives.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Grey One,

Many infants are born with pre-existing conditions. The Goopers don't believe in covering them. Those infants and babies are just "free loaders" in their ideology. Healthy infants and babies should just go out and get a job so they'll have co verage.

We live in a very stupid country.

Shaw Kenawe said...


It will take a miracle for this country to come together and solve the health care problem.

So far, there's no indication that the country has the stomach (or the brains) to do that.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... Obamacare is not collapsing under its own weight. It's been creamed by the GOP actively working to weaken it, and be able to portray it as broken. Yet it was in fact working before the GOP got their gloves on it. Granted, it was not perfect, but for many, as evidenced by the numbers we are now seeing, it was a Godsend.

Criticism from you, and other conservatives frequently said it fell short of its coverage goals. That may indeed be true, but no one is saying we had less people insured at the end of the Obama Admin then before the ACA took effect. In fact, more people were insured here in the US then before the act became effective. In Nevada alone, more than 200,000 people gained coverage, explaining why Gov Sandoval and Senator Heller, both Republicans, are opposed to the the ACHA. And yes, for some that coverage was because we forced it on them, but in the end, that action saved all of us lots of $$$ because we did not have to pay medical bills they could not afford.

With the ACHA, we are not having a discussion on how close we came to meeting our goals, instead, we are talking about taking 22 million people off the rolls of the insured.

How is this a good thing?

So let me ask you, and try to answer without a comparison, or by mentioning Pres Obama or -H-... if you can.

Here are just a few of Pres Trump's statements about healthcare. Are any of them looking remotely true in light of either the House or Senate bill?

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,”

“I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid”

“You will end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that will take place immediately after we go in. Immediately! Fast! Quick!”

And yes, I know BHO said if "you like your insurance you can keep your insurance" so please skip mentioning that and focus on the current White House occupant. If you can.

Dave Miller said...

Skud... here's the analysis of the non partisan Congressional Budget Office on how the ACHA from the GOP compares with Obamacare, of which you have been consistently critical...

Though the CBO acknowledged that “premiums have been rising under current law,” it projected “sufficient demand for insurance by enough people, including people with low health care expenditures, for the market to be stable in most areas.”

Stable in most areas Skud. No one is predicting this for Trumpcare.

skudrunner said...

“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Not provide insurance for everyone so this is true

“I was the first & only potential GOP candidate to state there will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid” They are not proposing to cut medicaid just slow it's expansion

“You will end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that will take place immediately after we go in. Immediately! Fast! Quick!” So far no president has understood the complexity of our healthcare system.

Your other statement about rising premiums is correct only the rising premiums have been for everyone.

My unanswered question remains how can 20 million lose coverage when only 10-13 million, or 6.4 million according to CNN are enrolled and if obamacare is so great why do 2/3 of eligible people choose to pay a fine rather than enroll?

They should have expanded medicaid benefits and not passed obamacare. Now so much of the money goes to the insurance companies who are still losing money. The CBO does seem to differ with what is happening in the marketplace.

The only solution is to go to the Russian healthcare system because it doesn't work either. You can't compare the US with other countries like Canada and Denmark because they are small and are not based on fried food and lousy air quality.

Dave Miller said...

Insurance you cannot afford is not insurance. That's one big problem with Trumpcare. At 55, insurers can raise rates 5 times above someone even 50 years old.

And as for coverage, no, Obamacare did not get to full coverage. But coverage got better for millions of people. CBO projections say that if we do nothing, in 10 years there will be about 15 million people uninsured.

They say with Trumpcare, there will be an additional 22 million in top of that. In effect, Trumpcare will be more than twice as bad at trying to get Americans insured.