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Republicans Finally Unmask Their Healthcare Agenda – And It Isn’t Patient-Centered

"The only replacement plan that a majority of Americans and an overwhelming majority of those who identify themselves as Democrats support is the Medicare for all model.  No games.  No political posturing." (Photo: Flickr user Michael Fleshman)

If you have been inclined to trust in any way that the Republicans in Congress or the Trump-Pence-Ryan regime intend to make things better for you and your family in terms of healthcare policy, think again and stop wondering.  The plan is simple.  They will protect and enhance the insurance companies and other profit centers in healthcare.  No matter how many ads they purchase or how much message tweaking they do, patients are not at the center of the Republican plans.

From an article in The Hill this morning, "The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed a regulation aimed at 'stabilizing' the ObamaCare marketplace by making changes favorable to insurers…"

Just a bit lower in the article, we see the glaring, shocking reality of what the Republicans think of those in need of healthcare.  "The regulation requires people enrolling through extra sign-up periods outside of the normal time to provide documentation proving that they qualify — for example, that they really moved residences. This change is intended to cut down on sick people gaming the system and driving up costs."

What will we demand of the Democrats? So as we look toward to next week's congressional recess and Town Hall events where Republican lawmakers will all sing from the same songbook composed by their regime in consultation with the insurance giants, those of us who give a damn about our fellow Americans might want to correct their view of sick people.

Sick people are not attempting to game the system.  Sick people want healthcare. The real so-called "death panels" are being carefully constructed by the Republicans under the leadership of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and blessed by the ever present insurance industry lobby Americans Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).


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What will we demand of the Democrats?  It is not enough to have us queued up to defend individual provisions of the ACA/Obamacare.  It ought to be clear to the Democrats that there is no way to moderate and compromise on this sort of process.  Sick people in America need healthcare.  They do not need more regulations to protect one side or the other politically.  Sick people need healthcare.  They do not need delays to protect election year messaging.  On the House side, Dems would do well to co-sponsor and fight for John Conyers' HR676, and on the Senate side, they would be strengthened exponentially by working with Sen. Bernie Sanders on his commitment to Medicare for all   Sick people need healthcare.

The organization I work with, Progressive Democrats of America, PDA, has long held that this nation needs sound policy that places healthcare ahead of increased investment in a war economy.  Our Healthcare NOT Warfare campaign was launched 10 years ago, and we have yet to be able to retire it.

Sick people are not the scum of the earth seeking to game the poor, forlorned insurance companies.  The only replacement plan that a majority of Americans and an overwhelming majority of those who identify themselves as Democrats support is the Medicare for all model.  No games.  No political posturing.  No higher profits for the already profitable insurance giants.  Sick people need healthcare.  The nation needs sound healthcare policy.  Let’s get on with it.


Donna Smith

Donna Smith

Donna Smith Donna Smith is the former executive director of Progressive Democrats of America and currently a Medicare for All campaign surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders.

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