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Don’t Let Trump Drama Distract You While Congress Dismantles Medicaid


Don’t Let Trump Drama Distract You While Congress Dismantles Medicaid

Mark Trahant

Reality TV works for one simple reason: The antics of the characters are beyond what’s believable in fiction. It’s compelling drama because normal people do not do such things. So part of watching is to find out when the story arc ends, to discover when the situation becomes “normal” again. (Even though the story does go on and on and on.)


Quite a few posters here at common dreams see no difference between republicans and democrats. To my way of thinking, tens of millions of Americans getting healthcare or not is a big deal. Thousands dying prematurely seems important. Yes, it is good to continue pushing for something better, but doing this with logic and a sense of reality is vitally important. Life and death is involved here.


Well, we need single payer immediately and to stop driving vehicles that burn fossil fuels immediately. Democrats aren’t telling the truth about these things, all needed immediately. I won’t vote Democrat because they won’t do these things immediately, but I’ll continue to blame them, and not the Republicans, the conservative media, or the millions of people voting in a way to move the opposite direction of what I want. It only makes sense. Plus, even if I eschew some progress for none, let alone to move backward, that’s the only way for people to see what’s real and a progressive revolution to occur. It’ll be easy after voting rights are curtailed and the DOJ takes an axe to civil rights enforcement.

Sounds like a good plan, right?


It continues to astound me that so many (left, right and middle) focus on this tragic circus show with Trump as phantom ringmaster (he did not appear in a vacuum) as the world burns(https://thinkprogress.org/410-ppm-carbon-dioxide-atmosphere-71aa17fef076), the biosphere deteriorates and the remaining breadcrumbs of “democracy” are gobbled up by fools, desperate to believe that another “election cycle” will solve these crises.

Most— if not all ---- life on earth could be obliterated due to the fact that the root cause of the problems we face have been and are continuing to be ignored by a critical mass.

This article raises an excellent point regarding what the “Trump show hides” when it comes to healthcare. The Trump show is hiding other rollbacks that will accelerate the death of democracy (what remains?) and ratchet up the death spiral of the biosphere including massive deaths of humans
(https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-africa-famine-un-warning-millions-starving-media-coverage-a7745931.html )

Inextricably linked to the healthcare crisis is the fact that the biosphere is in a death spiral:


The root cause of these interconnected crises is not Donald Trump:

As Hedges wrote last week (my bold):

“Forget the firing of James Comey. Forget the paralysis in Congress. Forget the idiocy of a press that covers our descent into tyranny as if it were a sports contest between corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats or a reality show starring our maniacal president and the idiots that surround him. Forget the noise. The crisis we face is not embodied in the public images of the politicians that run our dysfunctional government. The crisis we face is the result of a four-decade-long, slow-motion corporate coup that has rendered the citizen impotent, left us without any authentic democratic institutions and allowed corporate and military power to become omnipotent. This crisis has spawned a corrupt electoral system of legalized bribery and empowered those public figures that master the arts of entertainment and artifice. And if we do not overthrow the neoliberal, corporate forces that have destroyed our democracy we will continue to vomit up more monstrosities as dangerous as Donald Trump. Trump is the symptom, not the disease.”

And finally, I’m with Cornell West on this one—again, what are the root causes of the crises we face?



The media continues to feed us fake news about how Trump in the White House is preventing the GOP controlled Congress to move their agenda forward. With Gorsuch installed in Garlands’s SCOTUS seat during the first hundred days and what remains of FDRs New Deal and LBJ’s great society rapidly being whittled away, the truth is that Trump drama is providing the best smoke screen the GOP has ever had to enable them to execute their sinister agenda out of the beam of the spotlight that continues to stay fixed on Trump drama.

Recall how many times since the dawn of the 21st century the media characterized the US Congress as a “do nothing Congress”, and “paralysis in Congress” ?

True, Congress does little or nothing to benefit the 99% while somehow rising above the ir “paralysis” to give the 1% everything they want. “Do nothing paralyzed Congress” for the 99% does not apply to Congress’ serial pandering to the 1%.


I’m sure the dead ex-Medicaid recipients would agree with you if, you know, they were not dead. How do you not understand that you are living in a dream world? The majority of people do NOT want to stop burning fossil fuels immediately. In fact, VERY few want that. Slowly people are and will realize we must do better. Voting rights have been curtailed for millions for quite a long time and it does not seem to register with most citizens.


I think K is making that point. Or all those points. Sarcasm is not always obvious among posts here.


What does it mean to be with Cornel West? Where is Cornel West going?


I think you are correct. Sarcasm can get tricky.


The correct direction.


It was sarcasm. It’s wearying to read more win-by-losing, take-my-toys-and-leave arguments. We massively expand Medicaid, provide premium support for working class people, and reform the insurance market–it’s just a sellout. The world is warming so I’m voting to let the Republican Party take away renewable energy tax credits, CAFE standards, and the energy star program because Democrats didn’t ban fracking and fossil fuels yesterday. It’s all Democrats fault so I’ll focus my eye on them rather than the large, powerful coalition that is working against my interests completely. It all makes sense, if you live in fantasy world where every member of a party thinks alike, Congressional districts are all the same, and their are no political or idealogical constraints that exist. Just the will to believe is all we need.


I didn’t even read the rest of your post… cause… you are so right… fools we are … I also, cannot believe people still think that "voting in the right people … will fix this… tisk tisk tisk…


…oorrrr… in other words, we can just keep banging our head against the wall… same thing as far as fixing climate change… which, will also affect all the other issues… to the point of them going away anyway… even if we do manage to get them … the collapse … will be complete… and not to long from now.


As access to Medicaid diminishes, some with serious illness will die, but many will find their way to expensive emergency rooms. These will not be able to absorb the costs of uncompensated care that they give and will shift it to those who have commercial insurance in the form of increased premiums, co-pays and deductibles. So to those who are insured, I say don’t look now folks, but your pockets are being picked.


the msm promotes division for control…the 2 party system and choice is only an illusion


Perhaps someday that “illusion” of “choice” will mean death instead of life for you or someone you care about.


Obamacare brought insurance to 22 million adults between age 20 and 65, this reduced the uninsured from 18% to 10%, and costs $110 billion a year. Half of those eligible for the subsidies, with incomes below 138% of poverty but above poverty line, still rejected buying insurance on the exchanges and stated that they still could not afford insurance with their limited budget and incomes. In other words, the ACA was not generous enough to entice the poorer low-income Americans into it. About 15% of Americans live below the official poverty line, another 15% live under 140% of poverty line. The failure to supply health care is an ongoing tragedy, and the obvious solution is to enlarge the subsidies or create a universal care system, like public education or public housing or a guaranteed job program. All too expensive, you ask? The total private savings in this country is $92 trillion, which is about $396,000 per adult, on average. Or $740,000 per household, or $285,000 per human being. We are very wealthy, and very cheap. We can afford the social programs that would make this a livable society. My blog: http://benL8.blogspot.com, Economics Without Greed


The one missing piece to your analysis is the states that did not expand Medicaid, like Texas for example, play a big role in those numbers. Many people qualify for Medicaid and would be automatically enrolled if they showed up at the hospital here in California. In Texas, they’re out of luck.

But, you are absolutely right about deeper premium supports. That combined with states adopting Medicaid expansion would get us to almost universal coverage.


The average cost of Medicaid (children and adults) works out to be in the $3500 to $4,000 range. Seniors in nursing homes of course coast a lot more, about $15,000 a year and up. So a state could create a “basic health plan” using Medicaid as the “base”. Those who earn above the poverty level could “buy into Medicaid” for an additional monthly premium which would be based upon their incomes. States have also have the legal authority to license medical providers which means that nurse practitioners could replace primary care MD’s. States could likely also authorize pharmacists with doctorate degrees as authorized to prescribe medication.

So it is quite economically feasible for states to create their own “single payer” health care plans.


I’m one of thousands if not millions of people who people likely to die in the first year if Medicaid is dismantled, and I am terrified. The thought of the pain - and seizures - I’m likely to experience if my many medications are no longer covered is intolerable —as is the thought of having to give up the work to which I am devoted. I could much easier bear a terminal diagnosis than I can knowing that I’m denied available treatment because of the cruelty of the U.S. government.

Although chronically ill with many immune system illnesses and incapacitated about 25% of the time, I’ve worked full-time (self-employed due to necessity) for over 40 years - as an author and instructor in high school, colleges and continuing education programs. Until I got on Medicaid during the past few years, my medical bills and insurance were more than 50% of my income, which now hovers above the poverty level because so many instructors of young adults and older like me earn only a little more than minimum wage.

Many people aren’t aware too how many adjunct professors live near the poverty level, and rely on Medicaid or even food stamps — professors with PHDs, some still attempting to pay off graduate school loans.

It is difficult to decide whether to use the little free time I have taking political action in support of Medicaid (what can one do anyway?) or making final arrangement for my life, knowing how easily and quickly it could be terminated if Medicaid were to be further cut back.

As it is, the bureaucratic loopholes of having to re-apply every year, and be inevitably cut off while having to appeal so the state can save money during the months one is not covered puts unbelievable pressure on those of us who are quite seriously ill. During my last battle, I had pneumonia followed by the flu twice…and took months to recover because of all the stress involved fighting to stay on Medicaid during that time.

Many of us on Medicaid are hard-working seriously ill people who’ve been struggling all our lives to support ourselves and get necessary health care. Please, please, fight for our rights to survive.