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Gahhh! But not forgotten.
He’s Baaaaaaack

Senate Republicans have released their second version of a bill to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act, and like the first one, it rolls back the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and slashes what’s left of the Medicaid program, turning it into a block grant and capping enrollment by state population regardless of how many people need it. The big difference in the new version is that it incorporates that wonderful plan from Ted Cruz (and Mike Lee) that promises to make healthcare plans on the individual market — the thing most people think of as “Obamacare” — far worse. In essence, it would create two individual markets: One for younger, healthier people who want to buy cheap “junk insurance” that doesn’t cost much, but also doesn’t cover much, and another for sicker, older customers who actually need health insurance.

Let’s tour the worst of this monstrosity with some guidance from the invaluable Sarah Kliff at Vox, and this excellent Twitter thread from Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey. The basic shape of the bill — still going by the name “The Better Care Resolution Act of 2017,” which we read with increasingly dark irony — is much the same. It would still repeal most of the taxes in the ACA, but would keep — for a time — two taxes on the wealthiest Americans, to help cover the most expensive patients. Here’s the summary from Kliff:

Healthier and higher-income Americans would benefit from the changes in the new Republican plan, while low-income and sick Americans would be disadvantaged. It would create a two-track system for health coverage on the individual market. One would offer cheaper, deregulated health plans, which healthy people would likely flock to. The other would include comprehensive plans governed by Obamacare’s regulations, which would cost more and mostly be used by less healthy people and those with preexisting conditions — a system experts expect would function like a poorly funded high-risk pool.

Deductibles would almost certainly rise under the Republican plan, as would overall costs for low- and middle-income Americans. Individual market participants would have more options to purchase catastrophic coverage, an option likely to appeal to those with few health care costs.

Kliff notes (hah! Bet she never hears that!) that some experts are already saying the new version is unlikely to change the Congressional Budget Office estimate that 22 million more Americans would be left without coverage.

The Cruz-Lee plan would allow insurers to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions, and also to not cover the “essential health benefits” required under the ACA, as long as each insurance company offers at least one plan that meets all the current Obamacare requirements. Cruz calls it the “Consumer Freedom Act,” because people with preexisting conditions would be free to pay through the nose for insurance that actually covers them (or be priced out of the market altogether) while people who are temporarily young and healthy would be free to purchase a no-frills junk insurance plan that might not really cover them if they get sick or have an accident.

Health policy experts know exactly how this would play out: Healthy people would pick the skimpier plan, while the comprehensive plan would essentially become a high-risk pool for sicker Americans.

Individual market enrollees would likely game the system too. A couple expecting a baby, for example, would be expected to upgrade to the plan that covers maternity care for one year before returning to the cheaper plan they had before.

“Someone with chronic illness, they’re going to end up wanting to buy the more comprehensive coverage,” says Joe Antos, a health policy expert with the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “This means that people with those kinds of illnesses will end up paying more. Even if they receive a federal subsidy, they will likely see higher cost sharing.”

Even before the new draft was released, the insurance industry was condemning the Cruz-Lee plan as a recipe for market collapse, making insurance for people who really need health insurance unaffordable and driving up premiums and deductibles across the board. The insurance lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans warned:

Unfortunately, this proposal would fracture and segment insurance markets into separate risk pools and create an un-level playing field that would lead to widespread adverse selection and unstable health insurance markets

And that’s just the market implications, leaving aside the simple fact that punishing people for being old and sick is evil.

Vox’s Ezra Klein puts it a bit more bluntly:

What will happen here is clear: the plans that have to offer decent coverage to anyone who wants it, no matter their healthcare history, will become a magnet for the old and the sick or the soon-to-be-sick, as they can’t afford, or perhaps can’t even buy, the other plans. That will drive premiums in those plans up, pulling younger, healthier people into the non-compliant plans.

The Senate bill thinks it has a fix: a roughly $200 billion fund to offset the costs of sick enrollees. So, in short, what the GOP bill attempts to do is to rebrand high-risk pools as Obamacare plans and make them subsidized dumping grounds for the sick and the old, while everyone else buys insurance in a basically unregulated market.

The new Senate plan would also muck around with who qualifies for subsidized insurance — where Obamacare offers income-based premium subsidies to anyone on the individual market, CruzCare would limit the tax credits that subsidize premiums to the full-coverage plans. Those buying the cheaper, crappier deregulated plans would not be subsidized. So, hey, the old sick folks would be in OK shape, huh? Not so much, since the costs for full-coverage plans will balloon and the subsidies won’t keep pace:

But even after that financial help, these people would still face significant out-of-pocket costs, including high deductibles and premiums. The Congressional Budget Office estimates, for example, that a 64-year-old individual earning $11,500 and receiving tax credits would still need to pay $4,800 to purchase that plan.

Better Hope You Can Move To Canada Care II would, however, allow people to use tax credits to purchase catastrophic-care-only plans, which have huge deductibles but might cover severe illnesses. Such plans were eliminated by the ACA, which sought to provide real insurance to a wider population. With the tax subsidies encouraging these low-premium, high-deductible plans, the insurance market for younger buyers would shift to skimpy, high self-pay plans as the norm.

Beyond changes aimed at giving an advantage to young, healthy people who will never become old or get sick or have an accident, the revised Senate bill is still every bit as terrible as the first version when it comes to slashing Medicaid, which means people will die, and people with severe disabilities will lose their independence. Considering that the first version’s Medicaid cuts were the reason several GOP “moderates” said they would vote “no,” we don’t see how this new version — which makes the private insurance market even worse than either the House bill or the first Senate bill — is going to get any more support, even though this version does add $45 billion to pay for opioid treatment. Considering that Medicaid is among the biggest funding sources for treatment programs, adding a bit of funding while decimating Medicaid isn’t likely to win any new friends.

That’s where we can at least have some very, very cautious optimism. This puddle of dog’s vomit doesn’t appear to have the votes needed to pass the Senate, at least not yet. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee (and maybe Jeff Flake) are the only senators who have switched to supporting it, while Rand Paul has already said he’s a “no.” Susan Collins of Maine also came out against the new bill, so there are the two votes the Rs can afford to lose.* Several R senators say they’ll wait to decide until the CBO score comes out early next week. Senate leadership has asked for two scores: one with the Cruz-Lee amendment, and one without, so we’ll see whether anyone’s swayed. We can’t see Dean Heller or Lisa Murkowski signing on to this mess one way or the other.

Also, in a fun attempt to undercut the CBO, some Republicans want to ask the Department of Health and Human Services to score the bill separately, which might be available sooner, but might not mean anything, since the Senate’s reconciliation rules require a CBO score. An aide floating that idea claimed the rules only require a “score,” and maybe that doesn’t have to come from the CBO, but that sounds more like an attempt to win spin points than anything else.

But hell, this is the McConnell Senate — there’s no reason to think these bastards will do anything conventionally.

Shorter version: This is the worst ACA repeal bill yet. It’s going to kill people, and make insurance unaffordable for many more. CALL YOUR SENATORS, KIDS.

Update/Correction: We originally said that Rand Paul, Susan Collins, and Ohio’s Rob Portman had all said they’d vote no on the new version of the bill. Only Paul and Collins have actually announced they’re voting no; Portman is still officially undecided. Wonkette regrets the error.

UPDATE: A point from Bob Casey’s twitter thread that also needs to be emphasized: People buying the unregulated plans will be considered “uninsured” as far as the standard of maintaining actual insurance coverage is concerned:

Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please click the “Donate” clicky to help us keep bringing you the horror show.

[BRCA Draft from Senate Budget Committee / Vox / WaPo / Politico / Vox / Politico]

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  • TJ Barke

    Or we could, you know, get universal healthcare, like a civilized country…
    If the rich wanna feel super important then they could have some premium clinic service or something I guess, fucking pricks…

    • SnarkON

      That’s crazy talk!

      • TJ Barke

        Probably cuz these republicans are driving me fucking mad…

    • arglebargle

      Maybe Ivankacare, for those in need of rhinoplasty.

      • SnarkON

        Donnie Juniorcare, for people seeking lobotomies.

        • arglebargle

          Meloncare, for the boob jobs.

          • NotDarkYet

            Where do I apply for orange hair care?

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            you sure that isn’t Donnie Juniorcare?

          • Alex Grey

            But don’t even think of trying to use it for cancer screening!

    • jaspersdad

      Commie

      • TJ Barke

        Democratic Socialist thank you very much!

    • NotDarkYet

      Since we ain’t civilized …

    • The Wanderer

      Operative word is “civilized.”

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      There are already boutique doctors. I’m lucky that most of my out of network doctors will let me pay them on a payment plan.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      The rich have absolutely no problem with everyone having insurance. A healthier workforce is great for them. The only problem they have is being expected to fund the coverage with their taxes.

  • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

    Heller’s twisting in the wind, as usual (though Jon Ralston says this is more likely because Heller likes being the center of attention). Sandoval has already said the bill gives him agita, and since Heller hitched his star to the popular governor he may find himself having to betray someone.

  • SnarkON

    Call me optimistic, but maybe these endless ridiculous iterations of Trumpcare will tie up Congress for the next four years, so that by 2020 they have literally gotten nothing accomplished, and then the grownups can take over.

  • BigCSouthside

    When we get back in charge, single payer better be rammed through and then immediately followed by a “fuck you, republicans” ticker tape parade down Pennsylvania Avenue and carnival on the White House lawn complete with “pin the spine on Paul ryan” and “Mitch McConnell acid filled dunk tank” for the kiddos.

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      I’d buy that for a dollar.

    • Lordpnut

      And tax the fuck out of the “job creators” to fund public education.

    • bless.

  • Painter of Goats

    Changing the shade of lipstick you put on a pig still doesn’t stop it from being a pig.

    • jesterpunk

      No pig.. no pig.. you’re a pig.

      • Painter of Goats

        Ahem, I am a goat. With lipstick.

        • jesterpunk

          That is more of those “alternative facts”.

        • Lordpnut

          Very fetching.

      • Lordpnut

        “You’re a pig. You’re a pig…You’re all pigs. ”
        – Billy Hayes, Midnight Express

    • Bub, the truculent Zombie
    • The Wanderer

      What if you put a garter belt on it?

      • Bub, the truculent Zombie

        Louie Gohmert pops a stiffie.

  • memzilla Ω
  • Zippy W Pinhead

    Flake will cave- count on it. That rat bastard has somehow managed to craft a reputation as some sort of moderate, sane or decent GOP congresscritter, but when push comes to shove he will throw us all under the bus

    • bupkus231

      That’s what so amazing to me ( a non-Arizonan ) – how the hell did Flake get the rep of being in any way “moderate”? I remember when he was running, and he was to the right of Attila, to hear the pundits then speak. Is it just because the rest of the GOP has gotten 10 times worse? He hasn’t been in office that long…

  • calliecallie

    When even members of both the insurance industry and the medical community are against the bill, you have to wonder which lobby they’re really trying to satisfy.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      Too evil for the Health Insurance Industry is pretty damn evil…

  • How did Cruz not wind up married to Betsy DeVos? They are two of the most destructive and vile people that exist outside of the Trump family.

    • Bub, the truculent Zombie

      Ted didn’t have enough money for Betsy’s hand.

      • Celtic_Gnome

        It wouldn’t have been her hand he was buying.

  • Zippy W Pinhead

    The Turtle is also trying to buy moderate votes with some patented “wink, wink” bullshit about the Medicaid cuts not actually ever happening. He’s telling squeamish Senators that they need not worry about those cuts, because none of them kick in until later, long after their terms end. He’s promising them that some future Congress will fix their fuckup and repeal that part of the bill before it has a chance to take effect, so they don’t have to worry about voting for it now.

    Such duplicitous bullshit…

    • cmd resistor

      Scum sucking jerk.

    • BigCSouthside

      He’ll throw em some pork and they’ll cave

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        Yup, he buying votes with bullshit promises and pork

        and yes, these cowardly rat bastards will cave- it’s what they do

    • Spotts1701, Nothingburger Chef

      If that’s the strategy, it won’t help a guy like Heller (whose term ends in 18 months). He’d be better off staying on “no” and take the risk that there isn’t anyone competent to primary him from the right.

    • bupkus231

      Hey, it’s the same shit they pulled with the Bush tax cuts – “Don’t worry, they’ll never be sunsetted” – then when the time came, they treated the sunset provision like it was something new….

      These assholes know no other way of legislating.

    • Celtic_Gnome

      Well, then, why fucking vote for it at all?

  • Alex Grey

    I’m going to need blood pressure medication, after the shock of seeing that picture.

  • The Wanderer

    These guys. These FUCKING GUYS.
    They’d sell their own mothers to a pimp in Port Said if it would enrich their fatcat sugar daddies.

  • Original tweet notes how all versions of the repeal and replace bills severely reduce mental health care.

    Ironic, considering this is what Trump needs more than anything. https://t.co/QnFY7YuSrl— Laffy (@GottaLaff) July 13, 2017

  • Robbertjan Brandenburg
    • cmd resistor

      Notice how Melania and Mrs. First Lady are trying to get the hell out of there and away from the creep.

    • I think it is so telling that Brigitte Macron tries to move Melania between herself and Trump the perv.

    • The Wanderer

      Stay classy, you demented, brain-addled scum-sucker.

    • janecita

      At least he didn’t add, “for an old hag,” which is probably what he was thinking.

      • cmd resistor

        Actually surprised he didn’t. Rare he’d not just say what was going through his stupid brain.

        • janecita

          Rare moment of self-restraint.

          • cmd resistor

            Maybe he’s just planning on doing a little “locker room talk” with Macron later on.

          • janecita

            “So I just grabbed her by la chatte when I was only 15 years old, and she was 39. The rest is history!”

      • Robbertjan Brandenburg

        He speaks of women like I speak of horses with their owners/breeders when discussing a possible purchase.

        • cmd resistor

          Exactly.

        • janecita

          I’m surprised that he didn’t ask her to open her mouth, so he could look at her teeth.

          • Robbertjan Brandenburg

            In France you just offer a Gauloisse.

          • SeeTrain65

            “How many hands tall is she? Never mind. I’ll check myself.”

          • Zippy W Pinhead

            lol, I said the same thing on an earlier thread

          • Marion in Savannah

            You beat me to it!

          • Robbertjan Brandenburg

            This reminds me of a Dutch joke in which lost in translation is very important.

            Dutch word for breeding: Fokken
            Dutch word for horses: Paarden

            “So what do you do for a living?”
            “I fok horses”
            “Pardon?!”
            “Yes Paarden.”

          • janecita
          • Msgr_MΩment

            “Yes, but that fokker was a Messerschmidt.”

          • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

            Little Babby Donnie saves that for the second date.

    • TJ Barke

      God, that’s so gross. Make America a disgrace again…

    • Just one time, I want to see someone forget herself and just slap the everloving shit out of him.

      • cmd resistor

        Of course this is after he nearly jerked her arm off when they first met today.

    • starfanglednut

      Like many, I am a sexual abuse survivor. I’ve done a lot of work, and am no longer easily triggered, but this gross pervert makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I would bet so, so much money that he molested ivanka.

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      He really likes his women bony. I say this as someone who until recently was bony I am so much happier a little heavier. When I was bony and I got sick, I would then become frail. Now since I get sicker more often, I am glad to have a little heft.

      • Robbertjan Brandenburg

        Why do you get sicker more often?

    • therblig

      “You’re almost a 6. Ooh-la-la.” – DJT
      “Careful, that counts as foreplay” – Melon

  • Wild Cat

    Just noting that everything they worship is projection. This is a bill that is meant to create (dead) serfs. (“Dead Souls,”if we want some Russian irony.) Yet the book they worship (but probably can’t read) is that blubbering fart Hayek’s “The Road to Serfdom,” a condemnation of socialism/communism. And from what I understand, Hayek was keen on receiving a healthcare-benefit package for himself before coming over here to “teach.”
    Fuck. Them. All.

    • Ill-Advised

      The black market in people that don’t exist can only expand. Upvoted for the Gogol reference, also, too.

  • Scooby

    I worked for a Bankruptcy firm and before the ACA most of the clients filing because of medical bills had this type of junk insurance. They usually were very surprised to learn, after the fact, that it didn’t cover squat.

    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      And they were the main reason why I needed to by secondary insurance from my sportzball league.

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter
    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      Isn’t that basically Ivanka’s business plan?

      • therblig

        and her beauty regimen

  • Latverian Diplomat

    So there’s still a mandate, but you can satisfy the mandate by buying a cheap junk plan, thereby completely defeating the purpose of the mandate? Do I have that right?

    • The Wanderer

      Pretty much, as I understand it. How do they do things in Latveria?

      • Latverian Diplomat

        Healthcare is administered by suitably programmed Doombots. There are no complaints; by law, there are no complaints.

        • The Wanderer

          Sounds like a winner.

        • Invisible Bunyip

          “There have been no new reports of problems since the government banned journalists.”

    • marxalot

      I’ve seen elsewhere (Esquire maybe?) that the junk plans don’t satisfy the mandate– you can still get spanked later if you want to move to a new plan, bc that crap insurance didn’t count as coverage.

      • Komsumverweigerer Ron

        That’s gonna be in the REALLY fine print, isn’t it?

    • right but then apparently – even tho you’ve satisfied the mandate – you can still be locked out of ACA compliant plans (e.g., the good stuff) for 6 months because…wait for it: you bought cheap crap.

      soviet nesting doll of insurance. ouroboros of insurance.

  • Dr. Rrrrrobotnik

    So essentially the plan, as with all the other ones, fucks over olds, infirms, infirm olds, and rural poor. It really does tell you how much faith the Republicans have in Fox News’ propaganda powers that they’re essentially screwing over their own base and expect to get away with it.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      When your base are a bunch of brainwashed zombies who will never ever accept any information that doesn’t conform to their existing biases…

    • BigCSouthside

      They’ll get away with it. Liberals are already an enemy of the state in GOP voters minds. If it pisses off libs, they will willingly die early for it

      • eastcoastlib

        Okay but can they please hurry?

    • Wild Cat

      No, the base is getting the values it wants. (Exercising self-interest would mean there would never be wars, since no one would enlist.)The rich base will still have healthcare. The rest have already led lives akin to a demolition derby, and they’re just happy to spread the misery to others. And a good portion of the misery will hit people who would never vote for these dog fuckers; and all states have a mixture of voters in them, Repug, Democratic, etc.

    • laughingnome

      As Jesus taught

  • Pinkham’s Law
  • Latverian Diplomat

    McConnell: This is a disaster.
    Cornryn: You said come up with a plan that is not so appealing, so naturally, I went to Cruz.
    McConnell: I said a plan that is not so unappealing.
    Cornryn: Right, a plan that is so unappealing. That’s what I said.
    McConnell: I…I…I sometimes wish my ancestors had never left the Galapagos.

  • Joe Beese

    Chris Hayes [de-Twitter-fied]:

    So here is what we are currently being asked to believe:

    A Putin-aligned Russian oligarch and his son cultivate a personal/professional relationship with Trump and his family over several years. When Trump becomes the nominee, said oligarch uses trusted intermediary to tell Trump Jr. there’s a Russian government effort to elect Trump. And that as part of that effort they have damaging info on Hillary to share. They set up a meeting to collaborate on this project.

    Trump’s son, his campaign chair and son in law attend a meeting with a person called a “Russian government lawyer” to obtain the dirt. Everyone shows up at the meeting and…the lawyer just talked about adoption and the Magnitsky act! After all that, it’s a dud.

    And then, and here’s the crucial part, NO ONE DOES ANYTHING ELSE. The oligarch and son don’t make further contact. Trump & Co don’t use the active line of communication through Goldstone to say “hey what the hell was that about?” Everyone just drops it! Both Trump’s campaign and the Putin-allied oligarch never take another single step to further a collaboration they’d both agreed to!

    And then, oh by the way, the Russian government *is actually* engaged in a brazen, sophisticated effort to get Trump elected. And as that becomes public just 5 weeks later, no one at Trump Tower gets curious. No one reaches back out. No one calls Emin. No one emails Goldstone about this topic ever again. No one brings it up ever again. No one ever tells Trump “Aras and Emin said the Russian government wants to try to get you elected, but then we had this weird meeting”. No one ever raises it when they see DNC hacks & Wikileaks. Everyone just forgets about that crazy time, when Dad’s Russian contacts reached out to join forces with the Russian government to defeat Hillary. That’s it. That’s the end of the story.

    I don’t have the words to express how implausible that version of events is, but it’s what the White House is currently telling us happened.

    • Zippy W Pinhead

      and yet millions of dullards across the country are perfectly OK with that steaming dog turd of a story

      • SeeTrain65

        … because they don’t understand 99 percent of the words used.

        • Komsumverweigerer Ron

          Including the articles and prepositions.

          • Amy!

            I dunno what that damn “pruh-zishun” is, but I only read th’ articles, dammit! How many times I gotta tell you? Them pitchers, they don’t mean nothin’ to me.

            What?

  • exinkwretch

    CruzCare: Oily Ted will personally lay his hands on every sick person in America. Anyone who is not immediately healed is a heretic and deserves to die.

    • Painter of Goats

      When they jump up and try to run away in horror as he touches them he’ll proclaim, “It’s a miracle!”.

    • laughingnome

      And he’s a natural emetic.

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    Pictured: The look that has caused 20 years worth of Heidi Cruz nightmares.

  • Major_Major_Major

    In a roundabout sorta ratfucking way, the goopers were right about death panels and Obamacare. They just didn’t say that it would ultimately be a result of their toxic bastardization once they got there dickskinners on the ACA.

  • The next Senate healthcare bill will be the final solution to the nation’s healthcare problems: if you’re sick, disabled, poor, old, or become one of those, simply report to your nearest location where they’ve concentrated health care resources and they will permanently take care of your health issues. There will even be shower facilities on site if you’re homeless.

    • The KGB Ate Our Votes

      We call it the Consumer Freedom to Die Act.

      • UncleTravelingMatt

        Freedom? You’ve got my vote!

      • Ricky Gay

        Or something catchy and soothing, like Carousel!

        • PixieThis

          Gold star for the Logan’s Run reference!

        • Nockular cavity

          They’re renaming the disintegration chambers to be the You’ll Be Lighter-Than-Air! chambers.

      • Ill-Advised

        You’re on to something there. It’s as if health care was the thing that let you live until the forever option became available, and the working class and middle class aren’t good enough for the option.

        Eureka for Eugenic Economics.

    • laughingnome

      Will they cover the Zyclon b?

      • bupkus231

        Donations from the deplorables….

        “Hey, we kin kill libtards! – Hey, wait, I’m not libtard?”

        • Funny, you look sort of libtardish to me…

          • bupkus231

            Third person voice sounded better when I spoke it to myself….

    • Lordpnut

      Soylent green is people?

  • UncleTravelingMatt

    “Well basically, I just copied the plan we have now. Then, I added some fins to lower wind resistance. And this racing stripe here I feel is pretty sharp.”

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    “…unlikely to change the Congressional Budget Office estimate that 22 million more Americans would be left without coverage…”

    It seems to me the whole point of allowing sub-standard policies is to undercut criticism that millions will lose insurance. Most or many will switch to a Cruz-Socialism* plan so will be counted as “insured”. And, even if the CBO says millions will lose insurance, Repubicans will say something about the free market will respond to that unmet need.
    _____________________________________________
    * Cruz-Socialism plan is where the crappy insurance doesn’t cover the bills so society-at-large is forced to absorb those costs when people walk away or go bankrupt.

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter
    • TJ Barke

      He seems pretty immune to facts, to be honest…

  • SadDemInTex

    Call your Senator? That ratfucker Cruz is my senator!

    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      You know what to do…

      • Msgr_MΩment

        Isn’t that illegal?

        • Komsumverweigerer Ron

          Must be. He’s still breathing.

    • marxalot

      So call him a ratfucker!

      • SadDemInTex

        Glad you are ok. I guess shooting was in the parking lot?

        • marxalot

          Apparently an attempted carjacking/armed pursuit swerved onto campus! So yeah, that was interesting.

  • Sedagive ’em Hell

    I was one of those lucky people who was dropped by my (pre-ACA) individual insurance plan when I became just too sick to be financially viable. They refused to cover tests, they refused to cover biopsies, and they left me and my family to founder in bankruptcy even though I had been a paying customer for years (this was during the Summer of the Tea Bagger “rebellion,” and I though that was as angry as I could ever get).

    I had to wait to sign up with my spouse’s employer-provided insurance, which saved my life. I will never, ever forget the nurses, advocates and doctors who fought valiantly for my health in the face of such intransigent, institutional evil.

    So, yeah: fuck the GOP, from the politicians to the lobbyists to the voters. Each and every one of them are either complicit (in the actual sense of the word) or clueless (which amounts to the same thing).

    With votes and other forms of civilized persuasion.

  • bupkus231

    I didn’t see mention of Miss Lindsay’s health plan, also to be released today:

    Link: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/07/republican-health-care-is-now-very-deep-down-the-rabbit-hole/

    The Senate GOP’s push to rewrite the Affordable Care Act suffered an ill-timed setback Thursday, as two centrist Republicans announced plans to offer their own health-care plan just as leaders released an updated bill of their own….In a joint interview with CNN on Thursday, Cassidy and Graham said that they would take the billions of dollars the federal government now receives in taxes under the ACA and direct that revenue to the states.

    ….“Our problem has been trying to combine tax reform with replacement of Obamacare,” Cassidy said. “We’re giving the money back to the states. The states can do what they want to do. A blue state can do a blue thing; a red state can do a red thing.”

    So, not only do they want to block grant Medicaid funds to the states, Miss Lindsay and Bill Cassidy want to block grant the Obamacare subsidies to the states as well. That should work out very well…

    …Federal funds would be restricted to health care spending only. These funds could be distributed by the states in the forms of tax credits, subsidies, health savings account premiums, and other means as the individual states see fit to meet their health care needs.

    This proposal sounds to be potentially even worse that the turtle’s “new and [not] improved” version of the BRCA.

    • Old town Urbandale

      “and other means as the individual states see fit to meet their health care needs.”

      You mean like ramping up abstinence education to please the evangelicals, funding healthy kid programs in the lily white suburbs, and maybe even make up any shortfall in Medicaid for grannies in nursing homes (so they aren’t a burden on their kids), but nothing for the inner city or Planned Parenthood?

  • BigCSouthside

    Somewhere, Paul ryan is fapping to this bill

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    Susan Collins — who says she will vote against TrumpCare 3.0 — observed that Republicans should not make the same mistake Democrats made when they passed Obamacare without any Republican votes. Well, fuck her. Not voting for Obamacare was a deliberate Republican strategy; there would NEVER be an Obama health care bill they’d support. And it worked! Republicans control all elements of the federal government.

    • Funny thing is that it had one Republican vote in the House. Mind you, he only did one term, but most of the Republicans were pretty pissed at him for breaking party ranks over something so silly as “his constituents needs.”

      • SeeTrain65

        And if you count Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman in the Senate, there were three. But only after some heavy concessions.

    • bupkus231

      “Susan Collins — who says she will vote against TrumpCare 3.0 — observed that Republicans should not make the same mistake Democrats made when they passed Obamacare without any Republican votes.”

      Hahahahaha! She’s so cute, thinking that the GOP would actually welcome ANY Democratic votes. If a Democrat agreed to vote for this bill, 17 Republicans would immediately flip-flop to opposing it.

      • Zippy W Pinhead

        Hmmm, there’s an idea…

        • Komsumverweigerer Ron

          Risky, though. I’d wanna see odds first.

    • It works because we do not have unabashed liberals. We have pusillanimous progressives. At least one such progressive and a key member of the Clinton campaign gets it now.

      Then, this is what she said:
      https://twitter.com/neeratanden/status/785276795532800001

      After losing GA-06
      https://twitter.com/neeratanden/status/877360871311196160

  • laughingnome

    I just don’t understand what they have against a healthy populace. Seems unpatriotic to want a sick hobbled nation. Then we move on to their education policies and see they want a stupid nation as well. Who is going to work for the capitalists when they are too stupid and sick hobbled to do it right for the boss man?

    • SeeTrain65

      They’re more in favor of making their wealthy benefactors, and themselves, wealthier.

      • laughingnome

        Short sighted. We won’t have a nation in the long run. So they are only in it for their own lifetimes. Wow.

        • SeeTrain65

          That’s really all they care about. Themselves.

          • theblackdog

            Yup, this is the party of “I got mine so fuck you”

          • Old town Urbandale

            A populace hobbled by disease won’t be able to put up much of a resistance when the Russian tanks roll down Pennsylvania Avenue.

        • Courser_Resistance

          Just look at Russia. A bunch of rich oligarchs and millions of dirt poor citizens. Their rates of alcoholism are ghastly.

          That’s exactly where they want to go. The entire populace under their thumb, powerless.

          • Ω cynmac will never surrender

            And their overall economy sucks too. The GOP seems to think that they can have everything all at the same time. But like the Silicon Valley assholes with survivalist mansions in the mountains, who is going to do their work, grow their food, etc if the end is nigh.

          • eastcoastlib

            The Russian government subsidizes Vodka and also controls it’s retail pricing. Considering the unique tastes and habits of the average Trump voter, we should do the same thing with Meth.

          • Courser_Resistance

            That’s a horrible idea…

            … that I can get behind

          • eastcoastlib

            We’ll just re-brand it. We’ll call it Jesus Rocks

          • Three Finger Salute

            But not weed. No, we’ll never have weed. Better living through chemistry!

          • eastcoastlib

            Weed has a well known liberal bias

    • TJ Barke

      Prosperity gospel. If you’re poor and sick, it’s because god hates you, and you deserve to suffer.

    • Latverian Diplomat

      We don’t need healthy people. We have drones to do our fighting now.

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      Why do you think they’re offshoring things as fast as they can?

    • eastcoastlib

      You don’t understand? Lemme spell it out for you. Our overlords want their damn tax cuts and they could care less how many serfs have to die in order for that to happen,

    • hudson srinivasan

      i think the goal is to create an underclass. apart from the physical suffering that a sick person undergoes personally, and the emotional stress that the entire family goes through, the entire family also suffers from financial stress and uncertainty.

      • hudson srinivasan

        otherwise there is no justification for this level of regressive thinking about health, when every other country in the western civilization has moved toward public health and many non-western countries are moving towards it.

        • eastcoastlib

          But we have the best health care. It’s bigly the best, believe me. Plus, FREEDOM!!! The tree of liberty needs to be watered by the incontinent poors. God bless the United States!!!

  • SeeTrain65

    OT: But Spectrum seems to be trying out a test run of their internet without Net Neutrality, coming to your connection soon. Page loads are taking forever.

    • theblackdog

      You would think they would be avoiding trying to prove that we need Net Neutrality.

  • Ding dang dumb libels! It is only the takers what is sick and needy. Any god-fearing patriotic ‘Merican would be satisfied with health insurance and being sick and whatever else god give ’em. Onliest libels be relyin’ on the gobment to force feed ’em us decisions what we don’t like and take all our moneys to pay for other takers to take even more from us. Ding dang dumb libels don’t know nuthin ’bout nuthin ‘xept for takin!

  • whitroth

    But wait, there’s more! Some *other* Reptilians introduced their *own* bill! http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/13/politics/lindsey-graham-bill-cassidy-health-care-plan/index.html
    and this is in competition with McTurtle’s bill!

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      Ah. I see their Great Big Plan is to kick it downstairs to the states, so that no Federal Senators or Congressmen have to take the heat for it. Nice. Hear that, state Repubs? You just got thrown under the bus by Miss Lindsay.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    And it’s five, six, seven,
    Open up the pearly gates,
    Well there ain’t no time to wonder why
    Whoopee! We’re all gonna die.

    • whitroth

      Don’t worry, they’ll start a war with N. Korea, and then… What are we fightin’ for?

      Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn.

  • Cranky Man

    Nice report Dok

  • Jackie Jones

    Immoral. I hope they fry in hell.

    • Komsumverweigerer Ron

      I’d prefer they suffer now, well before they die. Like the people who would be hurt by this monstrousity.

      • Jackie Jones

        I don’t believe in hell. Unless you mean four more years of this shit. But may they fry in the hell they claim to believe in. The eternal ETERNAL painful kind.

    • I hope they fry on Earth.

    • Jon Sussex

      Suggested Merriam-Webster word of the day: gibbet.

      • TUMBREL /ˈtʌmbrəl/

        noun

        1. a farm cart for carrying dung, esp one that tilts backwards to deposit its load. A cart of this type was used to take condemned prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution

  • marxalot

    I hear that on top of all that, the “junk” insurance plans wouldn’t actually “count” as continuous insance for the purposes of not being penalized. So you could have crap insurance for however long, want to move to a different plan, but still get stuck with high rates because you’d been “uninsured” for more than six months.

    • insurance companies win, you lose!

  • theblackdog

    I really do not want to go back to the way it was before the ACA. I tried to obtain individual coverage when I was in college (Since I was booted off parents insurance at age 19) and the insurers were more than happy to give me a quote, so long as I accepted they would never ever cover any expenses related to my kidneys. I had passed a kidney stone the year before (thanks family history!) so they all declared that I had a pre-existing condition and therefore I was going to cost them a bazillion dollars every year because I might pass another stone or something.

    Later when one of them called and asked if I was going to take the insurance and I told them I refused because of their clause and they said “Well you could appeal it.” That’s funny, there was nothing in the written paperwork that said I could appeal that decision.

    Eventually I graduated and found a job that offered decent coverage and didn’t pull any pre-existing conditions bullshit, but I knew way too many that did not have such luck. Even with that, the ACA slowed down my premium increases and gave me better insurance, plus my then-boyfriend finally had med insurance for the first time in about a decade.

  • Riley Whodat Venable

    Please, please, after you pay Wonkette send money to the Texas Democratic Party so we can throw AnnoinTed out next year.

    • Cliff Hendroval

      Are there any candidates lining up against him?

      • Riley Whodat Venable

        Rumblings only. He may get primaried. At this point I could stand a sane Republican. You know, one that doesn’t believe he is to be the King of America to fulfill the 7 Mountains Prophesy during the Pre-Rapture Tribulation.

        • under_score

          I think Beto O’ Rourke (D) is a little bit more than a rumbling at this point. He spent the 4th in Lubbock. Pretty sure you don’t do that unless you are serious about running :)

          • Riley Whodat Venable

            Let’s hope. Former Houston mayor Bill White made some noise too.

  • BreakingDeadMen

    At long last, Senator Cruz, have you no…wait, let’s see, you still carry water for the guy who personally insulted your wife, your father and you, yourself. I don’t even need to finish the question to know the answer.

  • MOG253

    The continuing assumption that young people are healthy doesn’t address maternity, softball accidents, car accidents and all the other hells you face when you have $15k deductible.

  • Vagenda and Pee-ara

    True patriots don’t get old or sick.

    Also, I’d LIKE to call my senator, but he (Tim Scott) has his phone off the hook, because he doesn’t want to hear from any of the outside agitators his constituents, who are calling him.

    • Ω cynmac will never surrender

      Use Resistbot. Text RESIST to 50409 and it’ll generate a fax to your congresscritter and both senators.

      • Unmutual Tetsu Kaba

        I second that. Burr and Tillis have their answering machines on so I faxed them via Resistbot.

        • Cool! A good, old-fashioned Denial Of Service attack! Overwhelm their fax machine so nothing else can get through! And use up all their paper and toner, too!

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        Thank you, that’s very servicey!

        • it’s great. i’ve been using it for a couple months now.

          JUST. DO. IT.

      • Vagenda and Pee-ara

        Next question: how much does this service cost?

        • Ω cynmac will never surrender

          FREE!!

          • Vagenda and Pee-ara

            Now there’s a price point I can get behind!

      • Ill-Advised

        ALL of the upvotes for this very useful info!

  • Daniel Hooper

    The bill doesn’t seem to have the votes? Feel like we’ve been down this road before during the 2016 election, and that didn’t turn out so good either…

  • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

    ““The Better Care Resolution Act of 2017,”

    Out of curiosity – is this supposed to be better cause it’s Better than Obamacare, nyah nyah nyah?

  • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

    “22 million more Americans would be left without coverage.”

    I wonder what the total number would be if you added the people who would “flock” to cheapj insurance with crap coverage…in other words “not well-covered” or “not covered as well as comprehensively as under obamacare.”

    • doktorzoom

      I’m pretty sure the CBO will continue its policy of not counting junk insurance as actual coverage.

      • TX Dept. of Space Tacos

        ah, i didn’t know they counted it that way. thanks!

    • Amy!

      I understand your point (though Dok points out that CBO won’t count it, and elsewhere Marxalot and some others have pointed out that the bill itself treats the low-coverage plans as not counting toward the “continuous coverage” requirement (that is, the bill itself classes these as not coverage, as junk)), but …

      … why would any significant number spend money on fake insurance? Speaking from experience, here; I went without insurance for fifteen years, despite being (at the time) healthy as a horse, because the low-cost insurance market was the zero-value insurance market. In fact, so far as I know, before the exchange came into being under the ACA, no one I ever knew purchased insurance on the private market. They had it from work (if they were employed or ran a small business), or they had medicare/medicaid, or they went without, because (at the time) it took no brain at all to look at $500/month and a $6000 deductible and say: “well, I can pay a quarter of my income so I have the opportunity to pay another quarter of my income so that when I get through that these sleazy insurance fuckers can come up with an excuse to throw me off the plan and I go broke and lose the house and the car anyway. Fuck that; it I don’t pay them shit, I’ll at least have the $6000 they want me to pay in premiums, if I do get sick.”

      I figured that the clusterfuck that marked the beginning of the ACA was going to continue, and the whole thing was gonna go to hell. It didn’t, and there are people who have insurance (and the security that comes from having that) who couldn’t have ever gotten it, back in the day. So maybe, maybe they’ve already gotten accustomed to the idea of insurance and would buy the crap just to have something … but I dunno. If premiums+deductible add up to half your income, and the other half isn’t enough to pay rent, food, and gas to get to work, would you buy the insurance and leave off food? shelter? the ability to make the money to pay the premium? Miss a payment, they used to increase the premium. Use your insurance (even if it all went on the deductible), your premium went up. I remember that time, but nobody’s gonna have to remember it. Either: pay real-money for monopoly-money-insurance that won’t ever pay out, or keep that real money, improve your life and your health, and don’t get sick. The argument that “I’m not gonna get sick or need fancy insurance” people are gonna spend anything on useless pretend insurance just … doesn’t convince me. I don’t know anyone who ever did that (I know that there were some people who did, but I don’t understand that, either).

  • KenHoughton

    “Kliff notes…that some experts are already saying the new version is unlikely to change the Congressional Budget Office estimate that 22 million more Americans would be left without coverage.”
    Sarah is a great reporter and ha been doing yeoman’s work on this, but I’ll take that bet. On a ten-year projection, any realistic CBO scoring should place the drop at 25MM, give or take 1MM.
    And the marginal loss is only so low because about 19MM is baked into the pieces that remain. (15MM first-year and 4MM from longer-term Medicaid cuts.) Really, the 3MM attrition should be up in the 4-6MM range now, thanks to Goldman Spouse and Zodiac Killer* Cruz.
    *Ted, after all, is following in his father’s footsteps, his dad having been one of the people who killed JFK. I first learned this from a Great Christian Man who Always Tells the Truth.

  • Ωbjectifier

    Kinda OT – Shitmuffin of the day, Butler Co (OH) sheriff refuses to allow his deputies administer Narcan.

    “I’m not the one that decides if people live or die. They decide that when they stick that needle in their arm.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/07/08/an-ohio-countys-deputies-could-reverse-heroin-overdoses-the-sheriff-wont-let-them/?utm_term=.40c82af01743

    • Alienist

      I looked into this story and have some sympathy for the sheriff. When you use Narcan to save the life of someone unconscious from opiates, they wake up immediately and are very, very not happy about it. They are in instant withdrawal (called “precipitated withdrawal” in the field) and frequently become belligerent and aggressive. If they escape, the Narcan can wear off and they can die later because the opiates last longer than the Narcan does. Therefore, to safely use Narcan, you should restrain the person before giving them the Narcan. Paramedics can humanely and safely restrain them on a gurney, but it is unclear how a police officer is to restrain them. Handcuffs? Zip ties? Wresting/MMA holds?

      Still, despite the above issues, it seems heartless to watch a man die simply because restraint options are difficult. Society should have a discussion about what forms of restraint an officer can use to save the live of one who overdosed with opiates. This may save the live of the victim (from overdose and from possible injury by the officer in self-defense) and the officer (from a suddenly disoriented and aggressive victim).

      Finally, it is atrocious to have a public servant denigrate the value of a human life by saying, “I’m not the one that decides if people live or die. They decide that when they stick that needle in their arm.” This sheriff needs a little education about mental health and substance use disorders. If I may suggest… “What we have here is a failure to communicate.”

      • Three Finger Salute

        If I lived in a state like that, I’d sign a DNR that says “please let me die rather than live another day in Ohio.”

        In all seriousness, though, are addicts eligible for a DNR? Can you waive the Narcan being administered if you really, really want to just give up all hope?

        As someone who views suicide as a quality-of-life matter and is pro-choice about it, it bothers me that people don’t have the option to just say “fuck it, we’ll do it live — or dead”. In a lot of cases, people are resorting overdoses as an elaborate method of suicide, because they literally have nothing to look forward to. There are no jobs to be had. Nothing but poverty and the shame of it (on top of the shame of mental illness) awaits these people. Some things are a fate worse than death.

        • Ill-Advised

          Lacking the wherewithal to live another day–it should be possible for even the faintest will to live to get help. And unnecessary for the rest to spend every penny dying painfully, and leave their families in debt or medical bankruptcy.

      • Geoff Richmond

        Nah, not really much sympathy for that asshole. Setting aside that he’s basically decided to play judge, jury, and executioner for OD cases in his jurisdiction, he’s also putting his own deputies’ lives in danger if they accidentally come into contact with an opiate substance- fentynl powder for example, which can be absorbed through the skin and takes very little to OD on. Also no narcan kits to protect the K9s officers in his shithole part of the world? Nah, really fuck this guy. With opiate laced votes.

        • BearDeLaOursistance

          If he doesn’t have to give addicts the courtesy of Narcan, then Wonkers shouldn’t have to give him the courtesy of votes. Son of a bitch should be in the dock at Nuremberg.

    • Carole

      I mean, there are LIBRARIANS who are trained to administer Narcan, FFS.

  • It’s hard to take anything that Cruz says about healthcare seriously, as by his Canadian citizenship, which would prevent him from being president (Source: Donald Trump), he already has excellent government funded medical care, and doesn’t care if he ruins the US system.

    • Three Finger Salute

      He relinquished his right to call himself Canadian a long time ago. Zodiac is too much of a hateful wingnut even for Alberta.

  • doktorzoom

    Article updated with an observation by Bob Casey on the effects of the unregulated plans on people who have a sudden medical need and want to upgrade their coverage: Surprise! You don’t count as having been insured, so you have to wait six months to buy better coverage!

    • Ill-Advised

      I would like to upvote this, but I’m afraid of sending the wrong message.

      • BearDeLaOursistance

        Bear would like to maul Ted Cruz, but I’m afraid of the Rules for Radicals.

  • Lefty Wright

    I know of one really quick method of shutting up all the complaints about the ACA. Any new legislation must also apply to any corporate group health plans. So all these obese 55 year olds in middle management at XYZ Corp. who just had bypass surgery two years ago can expect to be paying the same amount as the 55 year old getting health insurance under the new GOP bill. And the younger and healthier 25 year olds at XYZ Corp can get a bump up in pay by taking a cheaper plan. Basically, the company saying here’s $450 a month to get whatever health insurance you want. And explain that the GOP has determined that competition will make everything great and affordable for everybody!!! When the older guy at XYZ hears his premiums are going up by $1,400 a month he may change his mind about the ACA and health insurance in general. And the 25 year old who may get a $250 a month raise will be happy. Until he realizes the biggest pre-existing condition in health insurance is simply living another day and eventually, he will be screwed too.

    • tehbaddr

      Numbers Wonk!

      • Ill-Advised

        His numbers work, also, too. Wonder if there’s a way to make this a snappy infographic.

  • GHERKINS OF RESTIVENESS!

    Enjoy your Republican-created Butter (Emails) Care, and do try not to get older, Trumpkins! That’s gonna be expensive!

    Might I interest you in our new “Rolled Over By Coal plan,” where we squash you under a monster truck — specially designed to make Libral Snowflakes SO TRIGGERED — if your premiums get out of hand?

    • Zombishroom

      Can they still be proud to trigger us if it triggers schadenfreude?

  • IdiokraticDrumpfenResistance

    On the loathsome Steve King and the abomination of Cruz enhanced “healthcare.” http://rudepundit.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/republicans-really-want-you-to-die.html

    • Zombishroom

      I love the Rude Pundit. Lately, he also seems like angry and rude pundit (absolutely justified).

  • Bitter Scribe

    What IS it with this asshole and his pathological need to keep anyone from getting any help from their government?

    • eddi_the_Bad_Hombre

      He’s a Republican.

    • FreddieFree

      He has the same healthcare that I do, paid for by the best taxpayers in the country. Go get your own!

  • Relativicus

    I hear they chose a very nice font for it, though.

  • eddi_the_Bad_Hombre

    Hmmm. “Separate but equal”… now where have I heard that before?

  • Celtic_Gnome

    Seeing as how Rob Portman is one of my Senators, I guess I have to fire up the ol’ phone tomorrow.

    It’ll be a voicemail, because I don’t expect anyone to answer his D.C. line.

  • Gawd, you talk about shortsighted. We are being sold dirt fucking cheap so an unnecessary, unneeded, unwanted, and destructive tax break can be given to people who will never notice it being there. We are so fucked.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8fef68ac094ab55823759682f07395902b5eb6c7e23f93ee53ee9a78a5ac09df.jpg

  • Phoenixdoglover

    A prayer for Ted Cruz:

    May the Lord look upon thee and cancel thine insurance, and make thy body bring forth an abundance of boils and gout. Forever and ever, Amen.

  • Carole

    To think that I laughed when my teenage daughter referred to Ted Cruz as the Zodiac Killer.

  • toughsister

    Why do the American people tolerate the likes of Ted Cruz in government? Even at the dogcatcher level, much less in the Senate?

    • cats530

      There are a lot of religious loons in Texas and they elected him.

      • FreddieFree

        I am in Texas now and will be leaving at the first opportunity, which will be very soon. The people here are sick.

        • cats530

          A former neighbor moved there last year. Wonder how she’s liking it. She did get an IUD before she left California (a wise decision).

  • RevengeOfSmot

    He’s got the same bedroom eyes as John Wayne Gacy….

    Fucking creepy dude. Real creepy.

    • george lastrapes

      Attention classicists! Ted Cruz has the eyes of Antinous, the lips of Caligula. Look’em up if you have to, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • cats530

    I nominate Ted for the role of Jack Torrance if ever there is a remake of Stephen King’s, “The Shining.”

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