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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)

Advertisement Hidden Distress Among Well-Off Women in America

We’ve written regularly about the how death rates have been rising among some large segments of the US population. One troubling finding was the Case-Deaton study that reported how lifespans have shortened among less educated white Americans aged 45-54. As co-author and Nobel Prize winner Angus Deaton said earlier this year, “Many areas of Appalachia and Mississippi Delta have lower …

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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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Liza Bayless – In One of the Nation’s Unhealthiest Places, This Hospital Prescribes Fresh Food From Its Own Farm

Five years ago, when Lankenau Medical Center was confronted with evidence that it was serving the unhealthiest county in Pennsylvania, the hospital decided to embrace the findings with an unconventional approach: building a half-acre organic farm on its campus to provide fresh produce to patients. The teaching and research hospital just outside Philadelphia was in the midst of its own …

BETH MOLE – Hospitals warn Trump: Price’s plan to repeal ACA will cost us $165 billion

Leading hospital groups teamed up to warn President-elect Trump this week that repealing the Affordable Care Act could spark an “unprecedented public health crisis,” and cost the hospital industry billions of dollars. The two hospital trade groups—the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH)—even commissioned a study by an outside economics consulting firm to put real …

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 13: Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., speaks as Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Elmendorf testifies to the House-Senate budget conference committee on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

LAUREN FOX – Rep. Tom Price Reveals Republicans Eyeing Medicare Overhaul In 2017

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the chairman of the budget committee, told reporters on Thursday that Republicans are eyeing major changes to Medicare in 2017. Price, who is being floated as a possible Health and Human Services Secretary in the next administration, said that he expects Republican in the House to move on Medicare reforms “six to eight months” into the …

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Bernie Sanders – Build an Independent, Democratic Socialist Left

It seems obvious to me that there is no way that we can deal with the enormous economic, social, and environmental problems facing this country without making radical changes in the economic system, and we’ve got to be honest about that.  I believe that democratic socialism is the appropriate framework for making those changes, and we should be upfront about …

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Marcia Angell – How to provide Medicare for all

Obamacare, aka the Affordable Care Act, became law six years ago. The intention was to ensure that nearly all Americans have health insurance, while controlling costs. How did that work out? When the law was enacted, about 16 percent of Americans were uninsured. That has dropped to 10 percent. So instead of 50 million uninsured Americans, there are now about …

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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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U.S. Chamber Works Behind the Scenes to Gut Whistleblower Protections

Efforts to gut the federal False Claims Act backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce got a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday. The federal push builds on previous back-door Chamber efforts through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to discourage states from pursuing fraud claims. The False Claims Act (FCA) allows the government to recover from businesses that defraud government programs like …