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Alternative Visions – Deconstructing the Republican House/Paul Ryan Obamacare Repeal Bill – 03.10.17

Jack Rasmus dissects the Republican/Ryan proposal of this past week to repeal and replace the Obamacare Act. The proposal is first and foremost a $500 billion a year tax cut for corporations and the wealthiest 1%, as they no longer have to contribute anything to the plan. Other provisions of the proposals are described, including the freeze and dismantling of the Medicaid elements, the end of all mandates, the sliding scale of in come for credits, etc. This is a tax cut bill and a further privatization bill, and should be viewed as the first of a sequence of medical related bills that will make everyone ‘pay more for less’. Next target: Medicare. Rasmus reviews the plusses and minuses of the Obama ACA, and why it was doomed from the start due to inability to control health cost increases. The show concludes with an analysis of the origins of escalating health costs since the 1990s, which have their roots in health insurance companies’ and drug companies’ drive to buy out competitors and Wall St.’s penetration of these companies to require more profitability in exchange for loans to buy up their competitors. The trend for a quarter century has been increasing privatization and rationing of health care costs and services. And it’s about to become worse. (Next week: The Federal Reserve’s next interest rate hike next week and its impact)

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Deirdre Fulton – Quietly, Trump and Republicans Are Gunning to Destroy Medicaid

Medicaid, the nation’s healthcare program for the poor and disabled, is on the chopping block under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress—and it will take “intense focus by progressives” to ensure it doesn’t meet a dire fate. In fact, former National Economic Council director Gene B. Sperling wrote Sunday in a New York Times op-ed, “if Democrats focus too much of …

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RALPH NADER – Trump Trumpets His Real Plans

Even for a failed gambling czar, Donald Trump has been surprisingly quick to show his hand as he sets the course of his forthcoming presidency. With a reactionary fervor, he is bursting backwards into the future. He has accomplished this feat through the first wave of nominations to his Cabinet and White House staff. Only if there is a superlative to the word …

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MARK KARLIN – Big Pharma Is Getting Ready to Celebrate Gluttony at the Expense of Health

I recently wrote about how Big Pharma largely drafted the Medicare Part D legislation signed by George W. Bush in 2006, which resulted in billions of dollars in windfall profits for drug companies. How was this fleecing of seniors in need of medication accomplished? The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) engaged in the customary DC practices of big …

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Obamacare’s 2017 Insurer Rate Requests Are Starting to Stream in, and the Figures Are Scary

It’s been more than two years since the Affordable Care Act, which you probably know better as Obamacare, went into full effect for individual consumers, and in that time the new health law has enrolled about 12.7 million people. Note that this doesn’t take into account the millions of Americans who’ve been able to get health insurance through the expansion …

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Doctors Agree With Sanders on Universal Health Care

Presidential hopefuls have their own ideas on what to do with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature legislation, when they move into the White House. Sen. Bernie Sanders thinks it should be replaced with a single-payer health plan of the kind Europe and Canada have. This federally administered universal health care program would eliminate copays and deductibles. There’s …

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CHARITY CROUSE – Right Out in Plain Sight: Dona Hillary and the Clinton Cartel

Politics in the U.S. has long been accepted as dirty business, especially when it comes to U.S. relations with Latin America. But a new standard has been set with the ascendance of presidential contender Hillary Clinton. The March 3, 2016 assassination of Lenca leader Berta Carceres is a direct result of policies enabled and supported by Clinton and her criminal …

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Wendell Potter – Is Crony Capitalism a Big Reason for America’s Dental Health Care Crisis?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wendell-potter/is-crony-capitalism-a-big_b_8433768.html For an example of how Big Money in politics is causing real harm to average Americans, look at the practice of dentistry in this country. The United States is facing a dental care crisis for a number of reasons. First, dental care has become so expensive many of us can’t afford to go the dentist. More than 130 million …

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One-Third of Seniors with Dementia Are Being Given Antipsychotics

—even though such toxic drugs are not approved to treat dementia! A report [1] from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that nearly one-third of older adults with dementia who spent more than 100 days in a nursing home were given antipsychotics through Medicare’s prescription drug program in 2012. We previously reported that a similar situation exists with brain-damaged veterans [2]—and even with infants and young …