Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sunday Reading

Carlos Barria / Reuters

As always, please follow the link to the full reads.

Adam Gaffney is a critical care physician. He knows the Republican TrumpCare bill is more about tax cuts for the wealthy than anything else:
Let us imagine that you would like to redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars from working class people to the rich, and wouldn’t hesitate to risk the lives of tens of thousands of people to do so. Well, as luck would have it, there is a bill— the “American Health Care Act” (AHCA)—that does precisely that. [snip] 
Together with savings from having less adequate, skimpier insurance subsidies, these reductions will allow hundreds of billions of dollars to be channeled to the wealthy and corporations in the form of tax cuts. 
By enriching the rich in this manner, the AHCA would leave an estimated 24 million more uninsured by 2028. Similar calculations have already been done, but it’s worth briefly revisiting the blood-arithmetic on this.  
Colleagues of mine recently reported estimates, in the American Journal of Public Health, of how many newly insured people there would have to be to prevent one death per year. These estimates, which, being estimates, aren’t perfect, were based on five studies. The numbers ranged from 300 to 1,239 people.  
If we were to pick a round number on the conservative end of that range – say 1,000 – we would estimate that stripping insurance from 24 million people would produce an estimated 24,000 additional deaths annually. That is 40% more than the sum total of all murders, estimated by the FBI at 14,429 for 2014 (using somewhat different numbers, Vox’s Julia Belluz makes this point and comes to the same figure).
Now, in all fairness to House Republicans, as a critical care physician, I too get blood on my hands when I go to work. The only difference is I can wash mine off. [snip] 
This execrable, homicidal bill must obviously be stopped. But that’s not all we must do. The most enduring defense against the rightwing saboteurs is not continued championship of a flawed status quo, but instead the promise of a better tomorrow: healthcare for all, through a single-payer universal system. That alone will put an end to these deadly assaults on healthcare. 
A Republican's idea of great legislation combines tax cuts for the wealthy, afflicting the afflicted, and systematically dismantling the Obama legacy. This POS bill hits the trifecta.

Warren Buffet is an extremely wealthy man. He also knows the Republican TrumpCare bill was written just for people like him:
May 6 Berkshire Hathaway Inc Chairman Warren Buffett on Saturday fumed that healthcare costs are eating away at the U.S. economy like "tapeworm" and said the Republican approach to overhaul Obamacare is a tax cut for the rich. 
The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly approved a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, a victory for Republican President Donald Trump who has called the 2010 law a "disaster." 
Speaking at Berkshire's annual shareholders' meeting in Omaha, Buffett said his federal income taxes last year would have gone down 17 percent had the new law been in effect. 
"So it is a huge tax cut for guys like me," he said. "And when there's a tax cut, either the deficit goes up or they get the taxes from somebody else." 
E.J. Dionne agrees that this abomination will define Republicans, to their everlasting detriment:
We should never forget May 4, 2017. 
It should forever be marked as the day when the House of Representatives descended to a new level of cruelty, irresponsibility and social meanness. 
The lower chamber has always claimed to be “the people’s house.” No more. It should now come to be known by other names: the house of selfishness, the house of suffering, the house of the wealthy, the house of expediency, the house of untreated illness. Perhaps also: the house of Trump. [snip] 
“This is who we are,” Ryan told his colleagues this week. “This will define us.” 
Yes, it will. [snip] 
And then there is President Trump, who has absolutely no idea what’s in this bill and couldn’t care less. He hailed a measure that dumps people off the insurance rolls by saying that “we will have great, great health care for everyone in our nation.” And then he praised the Australian health-care system, which covers everyone and is the antithesis of the bill he had just praised. 
For the benefit of this empty man, House Republicans, you just sold your social consciences [ed.: puhleeze, they never had social consciences].
The Congressional Budget Office is expected to come out with its official scoring of this atrocity in the coming week. It will lay out the cold facts of this atrocity's impacts, which will have only become worse since the scoring of TrumpCare 1.0.  For now (and into the future), expect much more of what Sen. Chris Murphy observes about Republicans:

(Photo:  Let this image of Republicans celebrating bringing misery to average Americans in order to deliver tax cuts for the wealthy be imprinted on your brain.)

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