Tuesday, September 26, 2017

New GOP Health Care Plan!

Wouldn't it make sense to have health care coverage depend on which State you lived in and which Senator had more clout to hold out their vote?   Makes sense to me!  And Senate Republicans seem to think so too!

Senate Republicans have announced a new healthcare plan that surely will pass Congress this time around. In case you missed it, the previous three attempts to reform, replace, or repeal Obamacare have failed, as one or two senators have balked at the half-assed attempts at repeal, and thus refuse to go along with plans that would basically leave scores of people uninsured.

This time around, though, Senate Republicans are resorting to the same old pork-barrel techniques to get people to vote for a half-ass plan.  For example, Lisa Murkowski, the senator from Alaska, objected to the latest repeal effort as the majority of her constituents are on Medicaid and the withdrawal of Medicaid expansion would leave half the state uninsured.  So Senate Republicans craft an amendment to their half-assed repeal they would exempt only Alaska.  Well, it doesn't say "Alaska" per se, but any State with more sled dogs that people.  Hey, that could be Montana, right?  We aren't singling out one State in a pay-for-play arrangement, right?

Of course, Senators from some other states saw this and wondered what they too could get out of the deal. Why should Alaska have all the fun and they don't get anything for their vote?  So the latest GOP healthcare plan to repeal, withdrawal, or whatever, has a number of interesting features tailored to each individual state.

For example, under this plan, citizens from Delaware will get free dental care but nothing else. This was the best the senators from Delaware could negotiate with their limited leverage.

Maine will continue to get expanded coverage under Medicaid, but only for injuries related to the lobstering industry.  Similarly, in Georgia, citizens will be covered for any injury related to barbecuing accidents.

John McCain finally caved in and agreed to vote for the plan, provided that citizens in Arizona were 100% covered for melanomas due to excessive sun exposure.  Texans, on the other hand, are completely covered for gunshot wounds, but nothing else.  Oddly enough, so are residents of Chicago.

Of course, with this new GOP healthcare plan, each citizen in each individual state will have a different level of healthcare depending on what their Senator or Congressman held out for.  Many speculate that this will result in folks declaring citizenship in various different states in order to obtain healthcare under this new plan.  For example, if you can claim a PO Box address in Delaware, you can have your wisdom teeth removed.  Then, move to Alaska for that coronary artery surgery.

Congressional Republicans defend this patchwork technique of healthcare as a sane and rational alternative to Obamacare, which attempted to provide the same level of coverage for citizens in all 50 states.

House Speaker Paul Ryan stated it succinctly, "This is the way legislation gets done, through pork barrel politics. Everyone holds out for a little taste of something for their own constituents.  That was the problem with Obamacare, it didn't follow the rules. You can't provide equal coverage for everybody, every state has to fight their own little slice of the pie."

No truer words were ever spoken.  What a sane and rational way to legislate!