As CHIP Expired Republican Says Healthcare Is An Earned Privilege

On Friday Republicans set about 9 million pregnant women, infants and children free to fend for their own access to healthcare while Americans were reacting to the cretin in the White House’s attacks on Puerto Ricans as “lazy” and demonizing San Juan’s mayor for pleading for assistance. By “purposely” allowing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to expire, Republicans inched America a little closer to being “great,” Trump style. And although the lack of action did draw some attention, Republicans were accused of being “too distracted” taking access to healthcare from about 30-million Americans to pay for tax cuts for the rich. There is no excuse for Republicans allowing the CHIP program to expire.

The assessment that congressional Republicans were too laser-focused on the so-called “Graham-Cassidy” healthcare atrocity to reauthorize CHIP funding doesn’t even sound reasonable to a stupid Republican voter. Especially in light of recent history and a pair of other stories too few Americans paid heed to the day CHIP died.

The idea that Republicans care one iota about pregnant women, infants and children losing healthcare is a giant pile of bovine excrement. It is stunning that any media outlet would pretend otherwise or base their conclusion on past Republicans.

It is true the CHIP program once had bipartisan support, but this is Trump’s America and Republicans finally see a stellar opportunity to do what they do best; punish the poor, elderly, infants and children. For dog’s sake, the so-called distraction preventing Republicans from renewing CHIP was an effort to take away healthcare from the poor, elderly, infants and children. Allowing CHIP to expire was just part of the GOP effort to deny healthcare access to tens-of-millions of Americans; adding an extra 9-million people, no matter they are pregnant women, infants and children is just part of their barbarically cruel plan.

That point was made abundantly clear on Friday when a Republican senator expressed his belief that politicians, particularly Republican politicians, are not to be concerned that Americans have healthcare. In fact, the Republican explained why the GOP has been on a seven-year tear to restrict access to healthcare to millions of Americans.

On Friday in response to a query from a Wisconsin High school student, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) provided a typically Republican response revealing just how vicious conservatives are. The student asked Johnson if he considered health care a right or a privilege. Besides referring to Rand Paul’s assertion that the right to healthcare is tantamount to slavery, Johnson said:

I think it’s probably more of a privilege. Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to freedom. Past that point, everything else is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us so that we can afford those things.”

Then Johnson argued that guaranteeing Americans have a right to access healthcare is not Republicans’ job. He said the Republicans only job is “growing the economy so ‘more people’ can afford access to healthcare.” It’s why they are intent on growing the economy by cutting funding for healthcare to provide more tax cuts for the rich who already can afford access to healthcare. Remember, Republicans claim the only way to “grow the economy” is giving the rich greater tax cuts that has proven for the past 30-plus years to be a monumental failure. It has never helped the economy or made it easier for people to afford access to healthcare. It just make the filthy rich much richer.

In addition to Johnson expressing that conservative worldview that Americans do not have a right to healthcare, on Friday Vox reported that Republican staffers sent proposals to members of the Senate Budget Committee that included slashing Medicare spending by close to a half-a-trillion dollars over 10 years.

The drastic cuts to Medicare were “released in conjunction with the 2018 Republican Senate budget resolution proposal” and the cuts match the House Republican proposal to slash Medicare funding in its version of the budget. Paul Ryan’s Republicans have offered plans every year to make severe cuts to the Medicare program despite doing so will deny healthcare access to tens-of-millions of mostly elderly and poor Americans.

It is virtually impossible to believe that Republicans “accidentally” let the Children’s Health Insurance Program lapse. Senator Johnson’s assertion that food, shelter, clothing and healthcare are a privilege reserved for those who can afford it was no accidental statement. And in a nation run by Republicans keeping the population as poor as possible, it also informs what Republicans as a party think about women, children and infants having access to healthcare. In fact, many Republicans have said, especially since 2010, that access to healthcare is a privilege. Trump even said healthcare is a privilege that had to be earned and is not a right. That concerted mindset explains why Republicans are barging ahead with all manner of approaches to take healthcare away from more Americans.

Of course this is an atrocity in any nation or society. But it is particularly so because America is not only the richest nation on Earth, it is also the only country among the 25 wealthiest nations on Earth that does not provide healthcare as a basic human right. According to their deep-seated, decades-long ideological bent, Republicans fully intend to preserve that “America exceptional” designation as a barbaric nation according to their words and actions. What really portends a bleak future with Republicans in charge is the Republican senator affirming publicly what many of his cohorts, including Trump, believe; that healthcare, food, shelter, and clothing are not basic human rights; but monumental tax cuts for the rich are.

The GOP and Trump’s proposed budget cuts to all assistance programs verify that they fully intend to make their cruel intents a reality. Over the weekend they began by allowing 9-million pregnant mothers, infants and children’s to lose access to healthcare. It wasn’t an accident, an oversight, or because they were “distracted;” they are just inherently cruel.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Under Obama Middle Class Income Reached Highest Level Ever In 2016

It should be no great revelation to any American that the racist Donald Trump has a fixation with attempting to undo everything President Obama accomplished during his 8-year tenure in the White House. Instead, all he has accomplished is shining a spotlight on everything good and right Barack Obama did for all Americans. Whether it was providing access to healthcare for tens-of-millions of Americans, protecting the environment, defending the people from corporate and economic malfeasance, or extending civil and equal rights to all the people, President Obama’s record of serving the people cannot be “erased;” not by congressional repeal efforts or executive orders.

Now there is another major accomplishment that Trump has to grieve over and since it is now part of  a federal government agency’s permanent record, there is no way the Oval Office con man can take credit for something his superior predecessor accomplished or “executive order” it out of existence.

According to the constitutionally-mandated U.S. Census Bureau,  a report details that in 2016 middle class income rose to its “highest level ever.” It is a statistic and accomplishment that dirty Don Trump can never take credit for or erase by virtue of an executive order. That wasn’t the only good news in the Census, but it is a remarkable achievement considering that President Obama inherited a Republican-created economic disaster and subsequent recession that resulted in nearly 8 million jobs lost due to Republican economic incompetence.

Today, the national unemployment rate is hovering around 4.4 percent (in August) which is approximately what it was prior to the Bush-Republican-created financial crisis and Great Recession. In July, enough jobs were generated to officially restore “national employment to where it stood in 2007” before the Republican recession started. Trump gets no credit for that employment achievement because in the same manner President Obama inherited an economic disaster put in place by the Bush administration the previous year, Trump inherited President Obama’s economic growth that is still ongoing.

According to the Census Bureau’s report on “Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States, 2016,” median household income rose to $59,039 in 2016. That is a 3.2 percent increase from the previous year (2015) and the “second consecutive year of healthy income gains” for working people. What that means is it took 8 long years to correct the previous 8 years of the Bush-Republican economic mess and it was despite a wall of Republican opposition against any and every thing President Obama attempted.

President Obama’s income and employment gains back to pre-recession levels are not the only good news. The national poverty rate also fell to about the same level it was in 2007 prior to the Republican financial crisis and Great Recession that continued to hurt the workforce for several years after the recession’s damage was done.

The 2016 data accompanied another census report revealing that “the rate of Americans lacking health insurance was at its lowest ever in 2016.” Of course that is due in great part to President Obama’s healthcare reform law, but it also strongly implies that the American people overall “were actually in a position of increasing financial strength;” higher incomes and all.  And all of these Obama-era income gains and economic growth were occurring at the same time the main stream media and conservative punditry were errantly reporting that Trump “tapped into the population’s anger about the economy” giving him a victory in November.

That narrative is blatantly false and only imbeciles ever believed it was the case. The only thing Trump tapped into was roiling racism and religious bigotry by white people; what the experts call “social anxiety.” The Census report proves that people were working more and earning more, including Trump supporters. The people who voted for Trump did so because he promised get rid of Mexicans and Muslims and empower the religious right’s theocratic crusade; it’s what they considered necessary to “make America great.”

The good news in the Census report was that the 3.2 percent income increase extended to almost every demographic group; a major factor in making the median household income the highest on record.  The previous high mark was in 1999 at the end of the last Democratic President’s administration and similarly to President Obama, Bill Clinton spent 8 years reversing his Republican predecessor’s dismal economic record with sound economic policies Bush Republicans immediately reversed; not unlike Trump Republicans are doing now.

Despite that good economic news in the Census report, there is some seriously sobering news to neutralize it. Besides reversing, or attempting to reverse the Obama-era policies that increased Americans’ income, put more people to work, reduced poverty, and provided access to healthcare coverage for more Americans, Trump intends to double down on the typical economy-ravaging policies that caused the 2007-2008 financial crisis and Great Recession. In the upcoming tax-cutting and deregulation crusade Republicans and Trump promise, they will not be erasing President Barack Obama’s legacy or accomplishments, Trump will do like his Republican predecessors and erase the economic growth and leave a gigantic economic mess for another Democratic president to repair; it is the American way.

Republicans Want To Tax 177 Million Americans’ Healthcare

 

Despite their stated hatred of taxation on general principles, Republicans always find a means of raising taxes on the poor and middle class. And they always find some absurd justification for doing so that typically translates into funding tax cuts for the rich and corporations according to their trickle down economic scam.

Based on the past 8 years, it has become glaringly evident that Republicans also detest the idea of all Americans having access to healthcare, so they are conniving to punish Americans who do have healthcare through their employer by taxing them for having a job with a healthcare benefit. As if the Republican healthcare replacement plan wasn’t detrimental and unpopular enough, Senate Republicans are embracing a Paul Ryan idea to raise taxes on the poor and middle class for having healthcare benefits as part of their employment compensation package.

Most Americans likely couldn’t imagine how Republicans could possibly punish more than the estimated 23 to 24 million Americans who would lose access to medical care under their “Obamacare” replacement plan, but Republicans found a means of punishing over half the American population; tax the over 177-million Americans who have health plans through their employer. Such an obscene idea was offered in the House version of the “Obamacare” replacement, but for some reason it wasn’t adopted. However, Ryan’s draconian plan is gaining traction in the GOP-controlled Senate and is being considered by a growing number of Republicans.

According to Republican senators’ aides, there are already a number of GOP Senators open to Ryan’s idea of taxing 177 million Americans’ healthcare, including teabagger and Mormon from Utah Senator Mike Lee. Thus far there is no consensus on whether such a draconian measure would ultimately be included in the Senate Republicans’ draft bill of a healthcare replacement plan, but they are considering writing it into the plan during their next week-long paid congressional vacation.

According to the Ayn Rand acolyte Paul Ryan, taxing an additional 177 million Americans because they have healthcare plans through their employer is only fair because the current tax code is unfair. It is curious that Republicans love the idea of institutionalized discrimination founded on religious dogmata, but where employer’s health plans are concerned, Ryan insists Republicans’ duty is to “stop  discrimination in the tax code” against people who “want to buy healthcare in the open market of their own choosing.”

His assertion is that favoring people who get healthcare insurance through their work, even though they pay for it, is cheating the people who want to go buy a healthcare insurance “plan of their choosing.”  It sounds as if Ryan’s plan has an ulterior motive of killing the idea of employer healthcare plans so all American have to seek out private insurance plans that are significantly more expensive than a “group” type policy.

What Ryan or his Republican barbarians won’t tell their stupid constituents is that the argument that employer plans aren’t fair for private buyers is precisely what the Affordable Care Act’s healthcare exchanges provided all Americans; the ability to buy the healthcare plan “of their choosing” as a member of a large group with smaller premiums.

Republicans can no longer claim they are averse to taxation, or give any kind of shit that all Americans have access to medical care. They like the idea of raising taxes on 177 million people because they have health care, even though employees and their employers alike are already paying for premiums, co-pays and other substantial out-of-pocket expenses. And, they are already being taxed on those benefits as part of their employment compensation package. There are also strong rumors that in the Trump-Republican tax reform plan, deducting the expense of healthcare is going to be abolished resulting in yet another tax hike on the middle class – because they have healthcare insurance.

It seems there is no end to the ways Republicans intend on punishing Americans to provide more tax cuts for the rich. It is bad enough they celebrated openly and reveled in the prospect of taking healthcare away from 23 to 24 million Americans to partially fund tax cuts for the rich. Now they want to punish 177 million more Americans by taxing them simply because they have healthcare that wasn’t purchased individually in the private healthcare marketplace.

No human being can say Republicans aren’t evil for evil’s sake, or are not going to be content until they take everything away from the poor and middle class to sate the greed of the richest one-percent; because that is the only reason they want to tax 177 million Americans for having healthcare, or stripping medical care from 23 million poor Americans. All told, this latest revelation means that Republicans are content, and likely pleased with themselves, at the prospect of punishing over two-thirds of the American population just to reward approximately 400 uber-wealthy families with more tax cuts.