Aug 14, 2017

Implementing "Medicare for All" Is The Fastest, Easiest AND Cheapest Way To Insure The Least Number Of Citizens Die From Preventable Causes

1. BREAKING... The Misunderstood Economy: What Counts and How to Count It OR Real Economics VS Fake Economics: How The Kochs Are Destroying America By Attacking Its Societal Structures In Favor Of Social Darwinism Or "Survival Of The Fittest"
2. How Media Helps With the GOP's "Murder, Death, Kill" Policies OR How The Media Is Failing The American People On The Healthcare Debate

This post brings some basic ideas together to minimize death of American citizens due to not being able to easily access modern healthcare systems. It should be noted that while media is ignoring the importance of Americans dying from the GOP bill (& years ago did the same for the Obama Presidency when they didn't hold the GOP accountable for not wanting to save the lives of ALL Americans), the reality is many people have been condemned to die and the GOP are real life death mongers and this is an important issue that needs to be addressed (but probably wont be). {Note: Medicare for All would help stabilize communities and provide a safety net to  help people grow intellectually and economically and thus make "a more perfect union", i.e. the very opposite of what Koch/GOP economics is designed to do}

Senate GOP Healthcare Bill Estimated to Kill 28,600 More in U.S. Each Year & Drop 22M from Insurance

Transcript Extract:

AMY GOODMAN: And what would Medicare for all look like?
AMY GOODMAN: How would that happen?
DR. STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER: OK, well, it would be expanded and improved Medicare for all. You would get a Medicare card the day you were born, and have it your entire life. All medically necessary care would be covered by a tax-funded Medicare-for-all program, that’s—it would be a lot cheaper over the long run, because you save so much money on administrative costs. All that billing and insurance enrollment is extremely expensive in the United States, consuming 31 percent of total U.S. health spending, according to our research that’s appeared in New England Journal of Medicine. By going to a simple single-payer system, you could save about half of it, about $500 billion a year, which you could use to get to universal healthcare and to remove copayments and deductibles from people who now have them.
So, a single—that’s what’s happened in other countries. Canada has a single-payer system—doesn’t work perfectly, but it does cover everyone. Scotland has a single-payer system. Much of Western Europe has single-payer systems. They cover everyone. They live two years longer. They pay less for healthcare than we do.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, now, this is important, because you talked about mortality, if this bill were to pass and become law, that close to 29,000 people a year could die, more Americans could die. What is our mortality rate with our insurance system compared to others?
DR. STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER: Well, Americans live two to three years shorter than people in Canada, just across the border, with very similar culture, very similar lifestyle, yet we live two years shorter. Similarly, we live about two years shorter than people in many Western European countries. And some of the studies we reviewed in our article actually look at the international evidence, which, again, is totally consistent with the idea that being uninsured is bad for your health, it can cause deaths, and that being fully covered for all medically necessary care, as would happen under Medicare for all, makes people healthier, and it prolongs their life.

MEDICINE AND PUBLIC ISSUES |27 JUNE 2017 The Relationship of Health Insurance and Mortality: Is Lack of Insurance Deadly?

At present, about 28 million Americans are uninsured. Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would probably increase this number, while enactment of proposed single-payer legislation (1) would reduce it. The public spotlight on how policy changes affect the number of uninsured reflects a widespread assumption that insurance improves health.

To solve the problem of unnecessary deaths, Medicare for All (a new and improved version from the old Medicare system - i.e. a modernization - needs to take place)

Medicare for All

Robert Reich: It’s Time for Medicare for All

Some background: American spending on healthcare per person is more than twice the average in the world’s thirty-five advanced economies. Yet Americans are sicker, our lives are shorter, and we have more chronic illnesses than in any other advanced nation.
That’s because medical care is so expensive for the typical American that many put off seeing a doctor until their health has seriously deteriorated.
Why is healthcare so much cheaper in other nations? Partly because their governments negotiate lower rates with health providers. In France, the average cost of a magnetic resonance imagining exam is $363. In the United States, it’s $1,121. There, an appendectomy costs $4,463. Here, $13,851.
They can get lower rates because they cover everyone – which gives them lots of bargaining power.
Other nations also don’t have to pay the costs of private insurers shelling out billions of dollars a year on advertising and marketing – much of it intended to attract healthier and younger people and avoid the sicker and older.
Nor do other nations have to pay boatloads of money to the shareholders and executives of big for-profit insurance companies.  
Finally, they don’t have to bear the high administrative costs of private insurers – requiring endless paperwork to keep track of every procedure by every provider.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare’s administrative costs are only about 2 percent of its operating expenses. That’s less than one-sixth the administrative costs of America’s private insurers
To make matters even worse for Americans, the nation’s private health insurers are merging like mad in order to suck in even more money from consumers and taxpayers by reducing competition.
At the same time, their focus on attracting healthy people and avoiding sick people is creating a vicious cycle. Insurers that take in sicker and costlier patients lose money, which forces them to raise premiums, co-payments, and deductibles. This, in turn, makes it harder for people most in need of health insurance to afford it.
This phenomenon has even plagued health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.  
Medicare for all would avoid all these problems, and get lower prices and better care.
It would be financed the same way Medicare and Social Security are financed, through the payroll tax. Wealthy Americans would pay a higher payroll tax rate and contribute more than lower-income people. But everyone would win because total healthcare costs would be far lower, and outcomes far better.
If Republicans succeed in gutting the Affordable Care Act or subverting it, the American public will be presented with a particularly stark choice: Expensive health care for the few, or affordable health care for the many.
This political reality is already playing out in Congress, as many Democrats move toward Medicare for All. Most House Democrats are co-sponsoring a Medicare for All bill there. Senator Bernie Sanders is preparing to introduce it in the Senate. New York and California are moving toward statewide versions.
A Gallup poll conducted in May found that a majority of Americans would support such a system. Another poll by the Pew Research Center shows that such support is growing, with 60 percent of Americans now saying government should be responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans – up from 51 percent last year.

The New Improved Medicare For All Program

Bernie Sanders: Medicare for All: Leaving No One Behind

It has been the goal of Democrats since Franklin D. Roosevelt to create a universal health care system guaranteeing health care to all people. Every other major industrialized nation has done so. It is time for this country to join them and fulfill the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson and other great Democrats.
The Affordable Care Act was a critically important step towards the goal of universal health care. Thanks to the ACA, more than 17 million Americans have gained health insurance. Millions of low-income Americans have coverage through expanded eligibility for Medicaid that now exists in 31 states. Young adults can stay on their parents’ health plans until they’re 26. All Americans can benefit from increased protections against lifetime coverage limits and exclusion from coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Bernie was on the U.S. Senate committee that helped write the ACA.
But as we move forward, we must build upon the success of the ACA to achieve the goal of universal health care. Twenty-nine million Americans today still do not have health insurance and millions more are underinsured and cannot afford the high copayments and deductibles charged by private health insurance companies that put profits before people.
The U.S. spends more on health care per person, and as a percentage of gross domestic product, than any other advanced nation in the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. But all that money has not made Americans healthier than the rest of the world. Quite simply, in our high-priced health care system that leaves millions overlooked, we spend more yet end up with less.

Read Bernie's full plan

A few comments on an article from the NYMag;

Perhaps more importantly, from a political point of view, Medicare is neither free nor easy for beneficiaries.
Medicare Parts A (which covers medically necessary hospital services), B (which covers doctors’ fees and some hospital outpatient services), and D (prescription drug benefits) all have sizable deductibles and co-payments. That is why most seniors who can afford it buy supplemental insurance to cover such “cost-sharing measures” (poorer or disabled seniors who also qualify for Medicaid get fuller coverage through that program). Parts B and D also charge monthly premiums, which most seniors pay through automatic deductions from their Social Security checks. Extending this to people who don’t qualify for Medicaid, don’t want to pay for a “Medigap” policy, or don’t receive Social Security benefits would require a very different structure. As is, “Medicare for all” would certainly conflict with the general argument that single-payer heath care gets rid of all those nasty out-of-pocket expenses.
The more you look at it, the more “Medicare for all” is, well, misleading. And it is politically perilous to mislead people about sweeping new health-care programs, as Congress learned in 1988 with the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988, a major bipartisan initiative that had to be repealed the next year when seniors figured out it duplicated the Medigap coverage many already had instead of addressing long-term-care needs.
You could just call it a new and improved Medicare For All plan/program.
Maybe it’s time for single-payer advocates to place less emphasis on alleged simplicity, and more on health care as a right that Americans should enjoy universally and equally. It might avoid some hard feelings down the road.
Telling the truth about how many people the GOP are willing to kill to push thier Koch Agenda bills would ALSO help people avoid hard feelings down the road.

But before getting serious about enacting single-payer legislation nationally or in the states, proponents of “Medicare for all” should make it clear not to take the slogan too literally. Including all Americans in the Medicare program as it exists today probably would not work, and might not even be all that popular in practice.
The variation is not big enough to be that big of a deal given the context of what the GOPaare doing and how many Americans are dying for lack of healthcare. I would like to caution any politician from taking this drivel too seriously. If a view can be altered by saying "new and improved medicare for all" then its not really an issue.
Its a bigger deal not to tell the full truth of the effects of the GOP's bill that reflect what thier polices do, i.e. kill people...

Senate GOP Healthcare Bill Estimated to Kill 28,600 More in U.S. Each Year & Drop 22M from Insurance

Twenty-two million Americans would lose their health insurance under the Senate Republicans’ healthcare bill over the next decade. That’s according to the Congressional Budget Office, which released its assessment on Monday. Following the report, Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Rand Paul of Kentucky joined Senator Dean Heller of Nevada in pledging to vote against even debating their party’s healthcare bill this week. Republican leaders had been pushing for a vote as early as today, ahead of the July 4 recess. On Monday, the American Medical Association came out against the Senate bill, writing in a letter to Senate leaders, "Medicine has long operated under the precept of Primum non nocere, or 'first, do no harm.' The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels." For more, we speak with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at CUNY-Hunter College and a primary care physician. She is a lecturer at Harvard Medical School and the co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to President Trump being interviewed recently by Peter Hegseth of Fox & Friends.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Because I want to see—I want to see—and I speak from the heart—that’s what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart.
AMY GOODMAN: Your response?
DR. STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER: Well, Trumpcare has no heart whatsoever. The House bill was going to throw 23 million people off insurance. The Senate bill is going to throw 22 million off in 10 years but then keep throwing more off. You know, they’re going to make health insurance worse for people with private coverage by getting rid of the rules about what has to be covered, so your private insurance will no longer have to cover maternity care. They’re actually robbing money from the Medicare trust fund. They’re taking $117 billion out of the Medicare trust fund, which pays for the health insurance when people turn 65. $117 billion is taken out of that trust fund to give tax cuts to the top 1 percent of taxpayers. That is not heart. That’s the opposite of heart.

I think Trump was probably copying a movie line...

i.e. I think Trump is going senile because he's pushing a health plan that's bad for the people and either expecting to get away with it or not Trump doesn't care about the people to begin with... but the people aren't stupid, they can see Trump went back on his promises. Trump is now a branded liar 6 months into his Presidency amougnst a majority of the people and he's still acting like he's some benign captain and not a crook! It's just crazy!

Promises broken by Trump on Healthcare;

Trump vs. Medicaid Despite repeated campaign promises not to cut Medcaid, Trump supports the Senate health care bill, which one GOP senator said cuts health care for "tens of millions." Ari Melber discusses with Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of Medicare and Medicaid. Duration: 6:29

GOP Health Bill Breaks Trump’s Promise to Lower Deductibles

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump may not have the most detailed knowledge of health care policy, but he knows what people hate: High deductibles.

Democrats slam GOP healthcare proposal as Obamacare premiums & deductibles increase by over 100%. Remember keep your doctor, keep your plan?
Trump has made these complaints about Obamacare, which are shared by many insurance customers and critics of the bill alike, a centerpiece of his rhetoric on health care for years.
“Our healthcare plan will lower premiums & deductibles — and be great healthcare!” he tweeted last month. A few days earlier he tweeted that Republicans would provide “much lower premiums & deductibles.” In March, he complained that “deductibles are so high you don’t even get to use [insurance]" under Obamacare.
But the Senate bill released last week and the House bill passed last month take the opposite approach: They include policies that encourage higher deductibles and dramatically raise out-of-pocket costs, in some cases by thousands of dollars per person. The president has embraced both efforts even though they violate his repeated promises.
“There’s no question that people in the individual insurance market would end up with higher deductibles under the Senate bill, much like the House,” Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told NBC News.
It’s not hard to understand why deductibles would go up under the two Republican plans. There are two major provisions in the Senate bill, for example, that specifically affect deductibles and expenses.
First, the Senate bill encourages customers to sign up for plans with higher deductibles. Under Obamacare, the amount of subsidies customers receive to buy coverage are pegged to the price a “silver” plan, which covers about 70 percent of the average user’s medical costs. The average deductibles for these plans right now are about $3,500 for individuals and $7,500 for families, according to an analysis by the consumer site HealthPocket.
But the Senate bill instead pegs its subsidies to insurance plans that cover only 58 percent of costs. Similar plans on the marketplace this year have average deductibles of more than $6,000 for individuals and $12,000 for families.
That means customers face an increase of thousands of dollars in deductibles unless they pay more in premiums.
That's not the only provision that hikes deductibles, though. Both the House and Senate bills eliminate subsidies that were created just to lower deductibles for low-income customers.
Under Obamacare, insurers cover a large portion of out-of-pocket costs for individuals making up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level — about $30,000 for an individual and $61,000 for a family of four. In exchange, the federal government reimburses them for the difference. The theory is that customers in this income range would otherwise struggle to benefit from a silver plan with deductibles of $7,500.
But the House and Senate bills each eliminate these cost-sharing provisions — and the effects would be dramatic, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. If you’re an individual making around $18,000 a year, your effective deductible would be about $255 under Obamacare. Under the Senate bill, though, that number would jump to over $6,000 — almost 24 times higher.
There’s no squaring that math with Trump’s pledges.

GOP strategist: Trump health care flip 'immoral,' 'wrong' Republican strategist Evan Siegfried says Trump's apparent shift in health care – wanting to repeal first, then replace – goes back on a long-held promise and would do severe damage to the public. Ari Melber also discusses with Joan Walsh and Shannon Pettypiece. Duration: 12:18

Note: Its still being sugarcoated, i.e.. what trump is actually doing is supporting a plan that kills more than 28,600 Americans per year. So much for being a President of safety and law and order.

Moment of Zen:

On the Brink of a Constitutional Crisis, the Nation Goes Numb There is a psychopath in the White House and his administration is being assessed through the norms of political coverage.

In Washington these days, a simple question once regarded as a mere pleasantry has become quite loaded: “How are you?”
“Well, you know …” comes the answer, and it falls off right there, sometimes with a weary roll of the eyes or a downward glance.
Yeah, I know. I know how it is to want to scream or cry as the republic slips away and you’re still trying to do your work, trying to stop some small part of it from happening while the nation seems oblivious to the consequences. I know.
We have sunk so low that we must defend a racist, sexist, homophobic, lock-’em-up-and-throw-away-the-key attorney general from the president’s attempt to push him from power—apparently so that the president may find a new attorney general better situated to shut down an investigation by a special counsel into whether he colluded with a foreign adversary to rig the last presidential election.
Because if that were to happen—if that special counsel investigation should be shut down—the rule of law itself unravels.
I know.
At the same time, Republican leaders on Capitol Hill are trying frantically to deliver a legislative victory to the president—one that, by the accounting of the Congressional Budget Office, would increase by 32 million the number of the nation’s people without health insurance of any kind. That’s in addition to the 27 million who currently go without coverage. That’s right: a total of 59 million. All without any input from the opposition party, which has been blocked from participating in the bill-writing process.
I know.
Then there’s the increasing distemper of the president himself, revving up his base with attacks on the veracity of the media, as well as on the integrity of immigrants, the value of cooperating with other nations, and decency itself.
On Tuesday evening, at a campaign-style rally in Youngstown, Ohio, President Donald Trump treated his audience to a bit of snuff porn involving high-school age girls and some bad hombres.

More Trump lies that can be used as weapons against him and the GOP in upcoming elections...

All the President's Lies The New York Times Sunday published an extraordinary definitive list of the more than 100 lies Donald Trump has told as president. Lawrence O'Donnell talks to Stuart Thompson, who worked on the piece. Duration: 5:10

Trump and the 'honest' question Kurt Andersen and Lawrence O'Donnell discuss Donald Trump's many lies in office and a new poll that shows only 36% now view the American president as "honest" – which comes as the Trump White House has decided to pick a fight with the press corps. Duration: 5:54

More of Trump's obvious treason..

David Cay Johnston: Trump is "Appallingly Ignorant" on Healthcare & Puts Greed Above Human Lives

The Congressional Budget Office has warned that 32 million Americans would become uninsured over the next decade if Obamacare is repealed without an alternative in place. Seventeen million would become uninsured next year alone. The analysis also found the cost of a medical insurance policy would increase 25 percent next year and double by 2026. We speak with David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and founder of

Retired Police Detective: Trump's Comments Endorsing Police Brutality are "Treasonous"

President Donald Trump is facing widespread criticism from police chiefs across the country following a speech he gave on Friday to police officers in Long Island, New York, that appeared to openly endorse police brutality. Commenting on the need to crack down on gang members, Trump suggested that police officers have license to use excessive force on suspects. The remarks come amid a controversial roundup of undocumented minors in Suffolk County, where Trump spoke, who were detained based on unconfirmed allegations of gang affiliation by local police. Trump painted what some say was an overblown picture of gang violence in the community. Following Trump’s remarks, the Suffolk County Police Department tweeted, "As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners." The International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Foundation also criticized Trump’s speech, along with the police chiefs of New York, Boston, New Orleans, Houston, Los Angeles and other cities. We speak with chair of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board, Maya Wiley, and Graham Weatherspoon, a retired New York police detective.

SalonHow 9/11 led to President Donald Trump In the event of a crisis — as post-Sept. 11, 2001 America shows — our democratic institutions fail spectacularly

Excerpted with permission from "Death of a Nation: 9/11 and the Rise of Fascism in America" by George W. Grundy. Copyright 2017, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Available for purchase on AmazonBarnes & Noble and IndieBound.
It is sometimes hard to locate the genesis of a catastrophe. Most examples of societal breakdown are preceded by a long period of decay, before a moment of truth sets a country on an irreversible downward plummet.
The French Revolution came about after years of costly wars, leading to a government near bankruptcy requiring higher taxes during a time of severe famine, in turn caused by several years of failed harvests. Like America, disparity in wealth stratified French society, and led to intense resentment from the starving masses. This eventually boiled into bloody revolution. A vast gap between rich and poor rips a society apart.
When Hitler rose to power in Germany, he took advantage of a broken nation with weak democratic institutions, and was able to quickly crush all opposition. However, Hitler’s rise was made specifically through a populist appeal to make his country great again, after years of reparations (for the First World War) crippled Germany’s economy and collapsed its currency. Most people in Germany in the 1930s weren’t bad human beings, but they were desperate, and hungry, desperate people are powerfully motivated. That motivation can be harnessed, for good or evil.
The seeds of Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory were first sown during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and his second term in office in particular. Reagan’s neoliberal policies (of low taxation, high defense budgets, and the removal of regulation and trade barriers) were continued by George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton (in one way or another), but it was the events of September 11, 2001 that allowed new President George W. Bush to accelerate the rush to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Perversely, the financial crash only added more impetus to this national fleecing.
The astonishing collapse of America’s huge middle class took place in this post-9/11 world. In 2000, just 33 percent of Americans identified as working class. By 2015 that number was 48 percent, or half of the country. Nearly fifty million people (out of around 320 million) live below the poverty line in the richest country on earth. The economy has barely recovered from the financial crash. Social mobility is at its lowest level ever.
It used to be said that poor Americans just considered themselves temporarily embarrassed millionaires. That perception has changed. The poor know they are staying poor. No one believes the bullshit anymore.
Franklin Roosevelt said in his 1944 State of the Union speech that “people who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.” Huge sections of America’s society are hungry and out of a job right now, while Apple (by itself) sits on cash reserves that have come close to a quarter of a trillion dollars. This is the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

BREAKING: Nazism Has Been Repackaged as "Conservatism"

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