1

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)

1

Andrea Germanos – Obamacare Repeal = $7 Million Tax Cut for Nation’s Richest 400 People

Repealing Obamacare, which Republicans on Friday appear closer to doing, would deliver a sizeable tax cut for the rich, a new report shows. Released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the publication shows that the repeal would give to each of the top 400 highest-income taxpayers—who averaged incomes of roughly $318 million in 2014—a tax cut …

1

Larry Butler – To Kill Our Elders

If you’re over fifty, brace yourself – I’m going to scare the sh*t out of you. Have you ever looked closely at the detail on your hospital and doctor bills? Have you noticed that the amount billed is rarely the amount paid by your insurance? And aren’t you glad that you only have to pay about 25% of the amount …

1

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 …

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 …

1

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 …

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 …

Obama Admin. Unveils New Policy Easing Medical Marijuana Prosecutions

New Study Reveals Medical Marijuana Saves Over $165 Million In Annual Medicare Costs In United States

Marijuana is dramatically gaining acceptance among the American public. Recently, a new poll by Gallup revealed that the percentage of American adults who smoke marijuana has nearly doubled in three years. According to the Gallup poll published in August 2016, among the American adults who participated in the survey, one in eight – representing 13% of the respondents used in the poll – …

1

Yves Smith – Armchair General Sells Australian Involvement in Ukraine….On Behalf of Arms-Maker-Funded Think Tank

By John Helmer, the longest continuously serving foreign correspondent in Russia, and the only western journalist to direct his own bureau independent of single national or commercial ties. Helmer has also been a professor of political science, and an advisor to government heads in Greece, the United States, and Asia. He is the first and only member of a US presidential …

1

DAVID ROSEN – The Privatization of the Public Sphere

The Republican Party is consolidating behind Donald Trump and, on May 12th, House Speaker Paul Ryan kissed the ring of the party’s presumptive presidential candidate, thus sending a signal to other party hacks to get in line.  And the line is getting longer every day. Remarkably missing from the Trump-Ryan powwow was any mention of potentially contentious issues of Social …