Bend Over America: ‘New, Improved, Healthcare Lite’ — Just What Dr. Paul Ordered
When people tell you; “You just can’t make this stuff up” — they’ve obviously never been involved in the ugly “sausage making” of D.C. Beltway politics.
Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Donald J. Trump played a leisurely round of golf, and thus began a cynical marriage of political convenience — on healthcare and “other matters” of national concern. The President, currently under investigation by the FBI for suspected electoral collusion with Russia, and failing miserably at his job — after a mind-numbing defeat over a draconian American Health Care Act (AHCA) — unable to cite a single major legislative accomplishment, has now joined hands with the Kentucky senator.
Senator Paul, an ophthalmologist who plays a senator in Washington D.C., recently encouraged the House “Freedom Caucus” to torpedo any Obamacare “Repeal & Replace” plan which didn’t meet their ideological ideal. Essentially: No federal subsidies; no government regulation or involvement (read: safeguards) in health and welfare insurance plans of the American People. Strictly for-profit “Free Market” forces — to determine coverage and premiums, without concern for critical human health needs, like “Essential Health Benefits” long mandated by federal legislation for retiree healthcare plans,…mandated for all plans under the ACA, to make them actual healthcare, instead of merely cheap, inadequate insurance scams.
The earlier, failed attempt stalled out in the House of Representatives (comically referred to as “The People’s House”), when the Far Right Freedom Caucus refused to get behind any plan that merely reshaped the essential components of the ACA, and left government Medicaid subsidies in place — even if they were to be changed dramatically; based on age and creating unsustainable “high risk” (high premium) pools of people with actual health problems, while reducing coverage requirements (and premiums) for younger, healthier people. Changes that would potentially cost ill and elderly consumers as much as five-times what younger, healthier consumers pay in premiums and deductibles!
What made any such deal unworkable (to attain a majority), was an odd combination of draconian features demanded by the Freedom Caucus, and growing reluctance by more moderate Republicans; bruised and battered in recent raucous town halls by constituents demanding preservation of the essential components of Obamacare,…like coverage for pre-existing conditions, keeping children on parents’ plans until age-26; no coverage caps; and some form of subsidies for low-income people, which — if lost — would trigger upwards of 24-million Americans losing healthcare insurance altogether.
“Members of the conservative caucus objected when the AHCA did not repeal the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all health insurance policies taking part in the marketplaces must cover specific procedures, known as essential health benefits. Moderates had their own concerns, including cuts the AHCA made to Medicaid.” (NBC News)
Enter Rand Paul — with Vice President Pence as the Trump Administration “front man” — offering up a “brilliant” compromise solution: Just grant individual states the right to waive the requirements of “Essential Health Benefits” — as long as they can demonstrate that it will cut premiums! Yes, America; just as the price of a new automobile would be dramatically lowered too,…if you simply leave out the engine.
“The compromise Pence and the moderate members of the House discussed — and that Pence has taken to the conservative members on the Hill — would give states the opportunity to issue a waiver so they don’t have to impose those requirements on the condition that states show that getting rid of the insurance regulations, such as essential health benefits, will lower the cost of premiums, according to a Republican aide.
The compromise would not allow states to waive those requirements for dependents under 26 or allow an opt-out for pre-existing conditions or impose lifetime spending caps.” (NBC News)
Not sure about the juicier details of this “deal with the devil,”… or even which one of these men (Trump or Paul) is the devil in this Machiavellian scenario; but it is clear that Libertarian whackadoodle, Rand Paul, is now running political interference for the beleaguered President.
And, not just on this latest reiteration (resurrection?) of a badly flawed GOP healthcare plan (scam) of the American consumer, but now also — cynically capitalizing (Video) on his own ‘anti-surveillance by government’ position, by throwing his support to Donald Trump’s delusional claim of being “wiretapped” by President Obama,…again confounding the current focus on possible charges of treason, or other criminal acts committed by President Trump (and/or members of his team), with more specious charges absent of any credible evidence. And you thought the Hippocratic Oath read: “First do no harm.”