Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Saturday, December 2, 2017

The GOP Tax Cuts for the Wealthy...

will imperil America's cancer patients.

Trump, of course, has no idea what this bill does to sick Americans, and neither do his delusional supporters who actually believe they're going to get a tax break. Ha! Fools.

Here's hoping none of those deluded Trump supporters have members of their family who are currently being treated for cancer (or will need to be treated with chemo in the future), because the GOP "tax cut" bill is going to put them at risk of losing access to treatments.

Think about this:

The GOP has given billions to the top 1%, increased the deficit by $1 trillion, and they will offset that by taking chemo therapy away from cancer patients (Republican and Democrat) on Medicare and Medicaid.

The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is warning Congress that a new, increased sequester cut to Medicare payments will severely threaten community cancer providers and the nation’s cancer care delivery system. The Medicare sequester cut has already dealt a severe blow to community cancer care, and doubling and extending it will be catastrophic. 

This budget gimmick will further reduce access to cancer care for Medicare patients, particularly in rural communities, limit provider choice, and have the unintended consequence of actually increasing the federal deficit. If the Republican tax cuts bill becomes law, it will immediately trigger a $25 billion cut in Medicare. That's because of mandatory spending cuts that will kick in as a result the tax bill’s $1.5 trillion increase to the deficit. 

The last time this happened, that Medicare cuts were forced, wasn't that long ago. It was 2013. And as Sarah Kliff reminds us, what happened then was that cancer patients were turned away from clinics, because the clinics couldn't afford the expensive chemotherapy drugs they were administering without Medicare offsetting the costs. 

 In 2013, it was temporary, part of the government shutdown. This time around it would be a permanent cut. In light of that, Kliff followed up with an oncologist who sees that threat again as a result of this bill. I talked to one Long Island oncologist who said he and his staff held an emergency meeting earlier this week and decided they would no longer see one-third of their 16,000 Medicare patients. "It's a choice between seeing these patients and staying in business," Jeff Vacirca, chief executive of North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates, told me. 

The Senate could pass separate legislation to skirt these rules that would require the automatic budget cuts—but as my colleague Tara Golshan notes, the politics of Republicans voting to undermine a deficit-management law won't be easy. And if they don't, the fears of cancer clinics turning patients away could become real again. The tax bill could, for some seniors, become a bill that sharply limits their access to health care. 

Cancer patients and survivors, people with other serious, life-threatening conditions are facing the very real possibility that they will lose their insurance because of the repeal of the mandate in Obamacare. 

Patients who thought they'd be okay because they're covered by Medicare are now losing that assurance. 

 Republicans are taking away treatment from cancer patients. They're doing it to give tax cuts to corporations and the rich. And they're proud of themselves.

Your modern GOP:

Tax cuts for those who own private jets (yes, they can use their luxury jets as a write-off) and reduced or no Medicare or Medicaid for cancer patient treatments.

Trump and his party have done this to America and Americans in less than one year.

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Clearwater, Florida said...

Shaw, the Tax Reform Bill is NOT a law yet.

It is NOT ready to be signed by DJT yet. (He is so clueless he may not even know this...)

This bill still has TWO very important hurdles to jump.

The House and Senate passed different versions of the bill. That is not allowed. Before a bill can go to the White House to be signed, the EXACT SAME VERSION must pass the House and the Senate.

Since the House originated this one, and passed their version first, the Senate now has to send their version back to the House who will then call a CONFERENCE COMMITTEE. This is where the differences between the House and Senate versions are theoretically ironed out until there is one bill with language the House and Senate can agree on.

So the version that comes out of Conference Committee must be voted on AGAIN!

Dave Miller said...

Clearwater... you are correct but the fact is we are gonna see a deal along the lines of somewhere in the middle of these two bills. Why? Certainly not because the economy, moving along nicely and at historically low levels of unemployment, but because the GOP promised their base, much like Obama did with healthcare, that they'd get it done.

They'll reconcile the two and have something set to go pretty quick.

But the facts remain that the GOP is stuck in trickle down fantasy land, confident all these tax cuts to corporations will somehow increase factory investment and raise wages. And of course not add to the national debt.

We all know none of that will happen of course. We also know that even as the working poor who elected Trump will celebrate as their freedom as they lose health care, pay more in taxes and see their purchasing power diluted when inflation heats up, a normal reaction when you stimulate an already functioning economy.

Dave Miller said...

We should add Shaw that one day the bill will come due and the choices will be this...

Massive tax increases across all sectors of the economy, or massive cuts to entitlements.

You can guess which one the GOP is planning for.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Clearwater, Dave,

I find it astounding that the Trump supporters give him any credit for the good shape the economy is in, since the U.S. had been functioning on President Obama's budget up until October of this year. Trump has nothing to do with it. (Let's not forget how the Goopers refused to give Mr. Obama credit as the stock market improved under Mr. Obama after the Bush financial meltdown disaster. But hypocrisy flows in their veins, so no surprise.)

Now, will the economy continue to hum along as it has since Mr. Obama's terms in office? That remains to be seen, since we can't predict the future. What we do know is that generally Republicans are bad for the economy, and they usually drag us into wars. But don't let facts and history discourage Goopers from their fantasies.

Trump, being the malignant narcissist that he is, of course will take credit for the good things he did not accomplish, and he'll avoid responsibility for things he ruins.

That's what narcissists do. And the Goopers will cheer him on.

skudrunner said...

DJT gets credit for the good shape of the economy not because he did anything but he does not attack success and make everything about special interests. People and companies have Hope for Change. Keep in mind the partial reason for the financial meltdown was the collapse of the housing market brought on by sub-prime mortgages that started years before GW.

Dave, how does anyone know what cutting the corporate tax rate will do since it hasn't been done in decades. The tax it till it dies has not worked keeping companies from outsourcing maybe a tax cut to be in line with other countries will work.

The largest tax cuts will apply to the rich but they pay the majority of taxes so they will get the largest cuts, simple math. The people choosing to live in high tax states may take a hit but that seems to be their choice. The middle class will get a tax cut and I agree with Dave that this will all come crashing down once the democrats get control.

Now if we can get rid of Trump and allow Pence to step in all will be right with the world.

The Prophet Dervish Z Sanders said...

If we can get rid of Trump and Pence and allow Pelosi to step in all will be right with the world.

DJT is attacking success by going after the drivers of the economy, which would be middle and lower class consumers. Trump's tax deform will take money from their pockets to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. The oligarchs might be happy now, but they will be less so when the Trump recession begins. Or maybe not. They made out pretty well in the aftermath of the bush II recession.

BTW, Skudrunner, I'd be open to lowering the corporate tax rate IF true reform was on the table. Get rid of loopholes so large corporations can't reduce their effective tax rate to zero via accounting tricks. Do something about evaders who dodge US tax via corporate inversions or by declaring that their "headquarters" is a PO box in a low tax country. None of these problems are being discussed as a part of the Trump tax deform as far as I know.

BB-Idaho said...

A Short History In Tax Cutting:
By the end of WWII, the US debt was at 106% of GDP
Taxes, especially upper brackets, were high, but-
By 1952, under Eisenhower, debt was down to 51% GDP
Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford & Carter managed the debt down to 30% GDP
The Reagan tax cut quickly drove the debt up to 65% GDP, starting the
practice of continually promising and delivering tax cuts to the rich, until
Clinton got them down to 54%
The learning impaired GOP and Bush II cut taxes even more: debt = 78% GDP.
The continual debt compounding and no new taxes brought the debt to 100%.
Now, despite the middle class crushing run of tax cuts for the rich, we
observe the irrational Ryan's Folly and ponder the axiom- insanity is making the same mistake over and over and expecting different results.

BB-Idaho said...

RE: ".. one day the bill will come due and the choices will be this...
Massive tax increases across all sectors of the economy, or massive cuts to entitlements." Or perhaps in desperation, nationalization of Wall Street and Big Banking, flooding hundreds of billions into healthcare and infrastructure..but
gosh, wouldn't we be like those poor downtrodden Europeans then? We can hope.

Les Carpenter said...

If Carter had avoided malaise, kept inflation under control, and home interest rates low we might be in a different place today.

Anyway it does appear we have just went from jogging to possible disaster to sprinting.

skudrunner said...

BB, We can't cut entitlements because once you give something away you can't get it back. Try making welfare apply only to those who need it and see the riots. Make people who can work, work to help support themselves and we would be headed for utter chaos. We are into fourth generations of welfare families who have never held a job and have no intentions of doing so. Like Alfred E said, What me work! Entitlements are wa way of life and it is so pervasive that our elected elite lump in SS and medicare, which we pay for, to make the term entitlements include more people.

RN, what you said is if Carter hadn't done what he did he would have been a better president. He was the most inept president in recent times because he did all you said he shouldn't do. He even made the last two presidents, make that three look competent and that is why he didn't lose reelection, he got trounced.

If we catch a few more of the privileged class in 40 year old sex scandals maybe we can drain the swamp.

BB-Idaho said...

Skud, we pay into SS/Medicare primarily for retirement:
"Such beliefs are starkly at odds with the basic facts regarding social programs, the analysis finds. Federal budget and Census data show that, in 2010, 91 percentof the benefit dollars from entitlement and other mandatory programs went to the elderly (people 65 and over), the seriously disabled, and members of working households. People who are neither elderly nor disabled — and do not live in a working household — received only 9 percent of the benefits."
-As for the privileged class:
"These figures contrast sharply with the distribution of the extensive deductions, credits, and other write-offs in the federal tax code, known as tax expenditures (former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan has called them “tax entitlements”). The Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center estimates that for tax year 2011, the top fifth of the population will receive 66 percent of the $1.1 trillion in individual tax-expenditure benefits (the top 1 percent alone will receive 23.9 percent of the benefits), the middle 60 percent of the population will receive a little over 31 percent of the benefits, and the bottom 20 percent of the population will receive only 2.8 percent of the benefits."
Welcome to the Age Of Neofeudalism. We have voted ourselves into peasants.

Shaw Kenawe said...

BB-Idaho, thanks for that information.

Our friend skudrunner often comes here and posts inaccurate information that he probably gets from FAUX NOOZor some far right wing site. His sweeping generalizations about welfare and entitlements are right wing talking points that turn the less informed against the needy while ignoring the true free loaders: The upper 1%.

skudrunner said...

BB, What you do not mention is the cost of supporting undocumented (a term the liberals can understand)immigrants. Madam Pelosi has predicted if this tax cut passes we will have Armageddon we will never be able to return from because of the one trillion in debt increase. What she failed to mention was the 6 trillion in eight the former president added but of course that was fine.

The top fifth, or 20%, of the population receive 66% of the tax-expenditure seems about right because they pay 70% of the taxes. Maybe the bottom 50% should only receive 3% of federal benefits and since 45% of households pay no federal income tax should they receive no help. The attack on success has resulted in the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer. Would it not benefit everyone to not chastise success and applaud failure but to reward success and help failure succeed.

BB-Idaho said...

"Would it not benefit everyone to not chastise success and applaud failure but to reward success and help failure succeed." So the theory goes, Skud. Having been employed at various levels in the private sector, my concern is that business has a single goal - profit. That is never passed on to the employee (other than some lucrative bonuses at the top level). Nor is it plowed back into plant. It is
used to pay shareholders (raising the stock price) or to buy back stock (raising
the stock price, or often stashed in some Caribbean island bank. It has never, nor will it ever, 'trickle down' as Laffer (what a Laff) still promotes. Perhaps, Skud,
consider our health care: about the same, outcome wise, as most European countries.
But at twice the cost. Why? For profit hospitals, clinics, pharma and health insurance: each taking a slice. Banking likewise: you may prefer to be screwed
by Wells Fargo, but local credit unions offer the same for far less. I would agree,
Skud, if business, especially BigBizz, had a modicum of social responsibility. But
most don't: there is no place on the all important bottom line for that. My experience in the private sector has also led to the rebellious notion that a strong economy 'trickles up'. People cannot buy what they cannot afford; it behooves business and economists to understand that a robust financially secure
middle class is the secret to economic success (see Switzerland, for example).
Is that Skud, "applauding failure"?

Shaw Kenawe said...

skud and BB-Idaho, I've pasting the last two posts above to the most recent blog post about the GOP tax bill. I think the comments deserve more discussion.