Archive | Fuck the Poor

Charlie Pierce explains it all to Paul Ryan

Now he is out there pimping the dungheap that is the new healthcare reform bill as though Mitch and Murray from downtown were lighting his pants on fire. He even lost the suit coat and broke out the PowerPoint on Thursday. It was like watching something on cable access late at night, or a flop-sweaty rookie substitute teacher, and it was hilarious—except for the parts where people will lose their health insurance and die, of course. And this is what he said and, peace be unto Dave Barry, I am not making it up, either:

Paul Ryan said that insurance cannot work if healthy people have to pay more to subsidize the sick.

This is literally how all insurance works. If someone’s house burns down, some of your fire insurance money goes to help that person rebuild. If someone gets sick, some of your premium, healthy person, goes toward that person’s coverage. Increasingly, I have come to believe that Paul Ryan is a not particularly bright creature from another world. Let us see if we can explain this to the lad.

Let’s say that, in 1986, a 16-year-old lad loses his father to a sudden heart attack. Despite the fact that the family’s construction firm is relatively prosperous due to its generous share of government contracts, the family’s finances are considerably straitened. For the next two years, the young man and his mother receive Social Security survivor’s benefits. Of course, these came from millions of people who had Social Security withheld from their paychecks and whose fathers did not die young due to a sudden heart attack. One of them was, say, a 32-year-old sportswriter for the Boston Herald, who had Social Security withheld from what he was paid to watch the Red Sox blow the ’86 World Series, and whose father was still alive, but slipping fast into Alzheimer’s. Some of his money went to make sure Paul Ryan could complete high school and go on the college and get the BA in economics that made him the smartest man in the world.

Got it now?

Also, you’re welcome, rube.

Gov. Brownback’s tax cut ‘experiments’ have failed: $893M needed to fix schools

Slide 17 - Sam Brownback

Last week, second-term Kansas governor Sam Brownback lost a legal battle over underfunding schools. The state’s Supreme Court has ordered him to rethink his method of funding schools, further highlighting the Republican governor’s fiscal failures. Taking conservative policies to the extreme, the governor cut taxes on the wealthiest citizens in his state by a whopping 29… Continue Reading →

Howard Dean says GOP takes Medicaid from the poor and gives it to the rich

THE CONTENDERS: 16 for ‘16- Howard Dean

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean asserted on Tuesday that the Republican plan to “replace” the Affordable Care Act was going to take the biggest toll on President Donald Trump’s own voters. During a discussion on MSNBC about the House Republican’s health care bill — known as the American Health Care Act — Dean warned that 15… Continue Reading →

GOP still planning to gut Medicaid and Medicare

Medicare Card

House Republicans are now busily working to repeal the Affordable Care Act in secret. Even when the GOP plan is done and made public, the secrecy will continue. The potential impact will still be hidden from the public, as it’s likely to not have any score from the Congressional Budget Office before the House votes on… Continue Reading →

Republicans and The Great Purge

Because we all buy new iPhones every damned month.

After digging through the Republican “healthcare” bill until late last night, I can tell you it’s not meant to provide healthcare to anyone who isn’t already doing well. I’d also like to point out that this isn’t a healthcare bill at all — it’s a vehicle to gut Obamacare and use the money to fund yet another massive tax cut for the wealthy.

It will also literally will defund the Medicare trust fund by 2024.

And it may pass. Because even though four Republican senators say they won’t support it, they may have to. We’ll see.

So what “Republican” now means, flat out, is: Kill off people like us, anyone who isn’t Republican and/or well-off. Force as many black and brown people as you can out of the country by empowering border police to ignore the law and hold people in detention because they look funny.

Doctors make up one of the largest parts of the Republican base. I wonder how many of them will be able to make as much money when Medicare is no longer sending them a steady stream of people who need replacement knees and bypass surgery. Sure, rich people will get those procedures — but how many?

Like most Republican plans, they haven’t really thought this through. They don’t have to. They know under Trump, they have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to destroy it all, and they’re going for it.

Freedom and responsibility

To keep peace with Trump, Paul Ryan looks to new chief of staff

The next time Speaker Paul Ryan starts talking about “freedom and personal responsibility” instead of the ACA, or any other politician rails about “government-run, taxpayer-subsidized health insurance,” remember this:

The federal government subsidizes between 72% and 75% of a congress member’s health insurance plan, which is purchased through the ACA marketplace known as DC SHOP. They are limited to the Gold tier, which currently offers 57 plans.

Unlike state ACA exchanges, which vary premiums based on age, geography, or tobacco use, the DC SHOP varies only by age.

Current members also receive (allegedly) limited services from the Office of the Attending Physician in the U.S. Capitol for an annual fee. Services include routine exams, consultations, and certain diagnostic tests. The office does not provide vision or dental care, and prescriptions can be written but not dispensed.

According to the OAP internal website, the office provides staff with emergency treatment, first aid, immunizations, flu vaccinations and physician referrals. But members of Congress can enroll in “additional services” by paying an annual fee of about $600.

A 2001 Congressional Research Service report on the OAP noted that members of Congress who enroll in those additional services or “routine care” are also provided “laboratory, X-ray, physical therapy, and electrocardiographic services, as well as 24-hour assistance and referral.” (No referrals. No trip to a far-off facility because they take your insurance. My current insurance requires a $30 co-pay for each physical therapy visit — or $90 a week.)

The service is supposed to serve as urgent care, not primary care. But it seems like it doesn’t work that way.

They operate 10 clinics the size of small community hospitals, including in the Capitol, House, and Senate buildings. Isn’t that handy?

From a 2009 story done by ABC News:

They described a culture centered on meeting the needs and whims of members of Congress, with almost no concern for cost.

Members of Congress do not pay for the individual services they receive at the OAP, nor do they submit claims through their federal employee health insurance policies. Instead, members pay a flat, annual fee of $503 for all the care they receive. The rest of the cost of their care, sources said, is subsidized by taxpayers.

Last year, Congress appropriated more than $3 million to reimburse the Navy for staff salaries at the office. Next year’s budget allocates $3.8 million for the office, including more than half a million dollars to upgrade the Office’s radiology suite. Sources said additional money to operate the office is included in the Navy’s annual budget.

In 2008, 240 members paid the annual fee, though some sources say congressmen who didn’t pay the fee were rarely prevented from using OAP services.

Oopsies! The same people who block school lunches for kids who haven’t paid still get concierge health care they haven’t paid even this minimal amount for!

Oh, and no appointments. Walk-in service, because they’re so important and busy.

Trump ready to support ‘entitlement reform’

Job-Related Auto Accidents Toms River - 732-240-2428

Donald Trump told Rep. Mark Meadows, leader of the nuts in the Freedom Caucus, that, “The president is prepared to back entitlement reform so long as current beneficiaries don’t see their benefits cut.” This is a huge broken promise by Trump, since he repeatedly campaigned as being the only person who can save our Social safety… Continue Reading →

So predictable, ain’t they?


They’ll always go to the mat for the chance to charge poor people for living. Via The Prospect:

Republican legislators have moved to repeal a rule constraining prepaid–debit card companies before the rule can take effect, marking the latest effort in their recent campaign of widespread deregulation.

Seven GOP senators—led by David Perdue of Georgia—and four representatives—led by Tom Graves, also of Georgia—filed identical resolutions in the Senate and House of Representatives last week, invoking an obscure law called the Congressional Review Act to smother a proposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rule before it can be enacted.

The CFPB rule, scheduled to take effect in October, would provide safeguards for those who use prepaid cards, which are similar to debit cards but are preloaded with a designated amount of money by the cardholder. The rule would require providers to disclose hidden fees and protect against loss, theft, and unauthorized charges. The rule would also force prepaid-card companies to limit overdraft fees.

NetSpend, a division of the Georgia-based Total System Services (TSYS), is the only major provider of prepaid cards that has overdraft fees and, as such, is the biggest apparent beneficiary of the GOP move. The prepaid-card provider, which has lambasted the rule as “onerous,” announced in an October earnings call that it expected to lose $80 million to $85 million each year in overdraft fees, comprising 10 percent to 12 percent of its current revenue, as a result of the CFPB rule.

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