Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Not Healthy, Not Wealthy, Unwise (with Updates)

You're living in a neighborhood you'd rather not live in, or you're having trouble paying the mortgage or the rent, and you see strange people around, probably poorer than you are.  One reason you can't afford to move is the proportion of your income you must spend on healthcare.  So who do you blame?

Do you blame the strange people you can see, or the super rich you have never seen, who run the corporations that export jobs and together haven't raised the average American wage in a decade, who lost little in the Great Recession and have mightily prospered since while you lost and have not recovered?

The ACA at least helps with medical care, and in certain cases it can be the difference between life and death, or some security and certain ruin.  The CBO analyzed the Republican-passed replacement, and found how devastating it will be for tens of millions of Americans--cutting them off from healthcare insurance, offering them extremely expensive policies when they're sick and utterly inadequate policies otherwise.

Michael Grunwald in Politico put it succinctly:

"Obamacare has had plenty of glitches, especially for the small minority of Americans who don’t get their insurance through the government or their employers, but it basically succeeded in taking some of the top 1 percent’s money to improve the health security of the bottom 99 percent.

The GOP wants to take money that the government has been spending on the poor and working class—mostly for expanded Medicaid coverage or tax credits to help moderate-income families afford their premiums—and give it back to high earners.

...what’s really being contemplated is a gigantic redistribution from health to wealth."

This was the agenda all along, and it is behind the regime's proposed budget: enrich the rich.  It's just an extreme version of the basic Republican plan.  It can be so extreme--and so extremely obvious--because of what Shadowy stuff has been stirred up to obscure this, or in the minds of way too many, make it not matter. They don't call it blind rage for nothing.

On a somewhat different matter, when a reporter tweets that a Montana congressional candidate has just body slammed him and "broke my glasses" on election eve, the cynical response has to be, this guy just got elected.  The "broke my glasses" especially.  The Republican candidate was charged by police with misdemeanor assault. We'll see what level of civilization proves out at the polls on Thursday.

Update: Apparently this assault was witnessed by, of all people, Fox reporters, and it seems to have been a good deal uglier than the reporter's tweet suggested.  According to NPR:

According to three Fox News reporters who were in the room preparing for an interview with the GOP nominee, Gianforte "grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground ... then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, 'I'm sick and tired of this!' "

The Ginaforte campaign claims the reporter was the aggressor but witnesses from Fox News make that awkward for Fox News to agree with.  Meanwhile the Borowitz headline is REPUBLICAN HEALTH-CARE PLAN LACKS COVERAGE FOR INJURIES RESULTING FROM BODY SLAMMING.  Satirical but true.

Apparently there's a lot of early voting in Montana in this statewide race, so nobody knows the possible impact of this story on an election that experts guess is close.

Second Update: The Republican Ginaforte won the Montana seat in the US House of Representatives.  Before he goes to Washington, he'll have to answer to the charge of assault on a reporter.  Who knows, he may get a medal for it from this White House.

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