From the 13 member Republican Health Committee that became the Senate version of Obamacare repeal, there was a cut of $770 Billion over 10 years for Medicaid. (And no matter what anybody says, it is a cut.) Senator John Thune, the #3 Republican in the Senate, is from my state (South Dakota) and is one of those members who wants these cuts. I believe that both of our Senators from South Dakota are not doing what is best for our state, just looking out for their party. Why? Take a look at how this will hurt the population.
During Fiscal Year 2013, South Dakota ranked #4 in the percentage of federal dollars as their general budget. 39.0% of the South Dakota General Budget was due to federal funds. So here we are with our United States Senators arguing that we need to have Medicaid funds slashed for the entire country. I agree that we need to cut some federal spending, Medicaid spending is not one of those things that need to be cut. In fact, it is the level of Medicaid spending in South Dakota that has allowed the economy not to follow the budgetary problems of Kansas and the failed experiment of the GOP economic arguments of lower and in some circumstances, no taxes being levied against businesses and individuals.
Talk to the people of rural South Dakota, not those in towns and cities of 15,000 or over for population. They will tell you that the economy isn’t working. They will tell you that prices keep rising, but their wages are not. They will tell you that people and businesses are not investing in their towns. They want to know what our representatives are going to do to help with their economic plight. How they are supposed to fend for their families and loved ones, while working two jobs that pay under $10/hour. They want to know how they can have a community that has enough nurses and doctors for the hospitals and nursing homes that are in that community. These cuts will not help.
Imagine that the Nursing home in your community is one of the top 5 employers in your town. You know what business gets a majority of their funding from the government, including Medicaid? Nursing Homes. You take $77 Billion in funding out of the budget for Medicaid, guess who has to make either cuts or charge more? Nursing Homes. Guess where families have to pay over $6,500 on average to have their elderly family members taken care of in small communities? You guessed it, nursing homes. Now for a family who has the husband and mother working 60 hours each week at $10/hour, they receive $1,200 per week before taxes. A month would bring in $4,800. Tell me how they are supposed to live and pay for their family members stay in the nursing home for a month? I would say government assistance. Now you are taking away some of that assistance. Where does the money that is supposed to help come from? The state of South Dakota? The state passed a state tax on internet sales because they needed more revenue this past year. So I don’t think that the state has enough money to make up what the Medicaid cuts will leave on the table.
It is crazy to think that politicians are willing to see lower-income Americans struggle even more while the wealth gap will increase by their own policies to help wealthier Americans keep more of their own money. But that is where we are. Senator John Thune sold out his own state to do the national GOP’s bidding. That goes for Senator Mike Rounds and Congresswoman Kristi Noem. Unfortunately, there will not be any backlash from the political class here in South Dakota. We are a true red state and cannot get past “culture war” issues like abortion. Otherwise, we might have a congressional delegation in Washington that looks out for their constituents. Not politicians that know they are safe from the voters.
Earlier today, the AHCA was pulled from consideration on the House floor. Republicans did not have the votes to pass the measure. And yet, instead of going maybe we should look at other alternatives, we have our fearless leader stating that Democrats own Healthcare and that he will wait until Americans experience pain from the ACA and then will get a better bill passed. Nice. Let’s let more Americans have difficulties with healthcare instead of swallowing the pride and actually reaching out to the opposing party and talk to them.
The AHCA was going to be a cluster anyway that you sliced it. You had a provision stating that you could purchase plans across state lines, but you also had a provision stating that states could state what those plans needed to cover. You had Phase II that would have eliminated all the requirements that the plans had to carry per federal law and would put people that had conditions in one pool which would be hyperinflated with prices and another for those that had said that nothing was wrong with them.
The way to fix or make the ACA better is for those in power in Washington (Republicans) to talk to those in the Democratic Party. Democrats have said that they would like to try and fix the ACA. So the onus is on the Republicans to talk to those who have said that they would like to try and fix the ACA. See what common ground is there to help reign in costs. And no, including over $300 Billion in Tax Cuts isn’t fixing the problems for those covered.
Look at what the ACA exchanges did for West Virginia and Kentucky. People really liked what the programs did there. Why not figure out how to do that on a federal level? Since it seems like the GOP cannot repeal the ACA, why not work to make it work better. Like Paul Ryan has concluded, even if a bill isn’t perfect, we must pass a good bill. So fix the law that helped millions of people obtain health insurance and did slow the rate of growth for medical spending. Otherwise, each and every Republican who doesn’t want to help those people that need the ACA just proves that the GOP cares about power only.
I just read a meme on Facebook that I shook my head at. Here is what it said:
Here are some FACTS about “TRUMP’S MUSLIM BAN”
- It’s not a “BAN.” It is a 120 day suspension in the processing of visas, intended to give the government time to emplace better vetting procedures.
- It’s not directed at “MUSLIMS”. It is directed at all individuals, Muslim or Non-Muslim, from 7 dedicated countries. Approximately 90% of the World’s Muslims are totally unaffected.
- The countries were not put on a list by Trump. In fact, these countries were designated by the Obama Administration…
Three Words – Three Lies
But let’s not let the facts get in the way of being outraged!
There is so much wrong here. Let me start with one that I am confused about. The 3 words – 3 lies thing. What 3 words? What 3 lies? If you read all 3 statements, you understand that #1 is a big lie. #2 is a lie due to the exceptions carved out of the ban. #3 I can’t label as truth or a lie, but given the current Administration’s penchant for alternative facts, I lean towards a lie. Now let me explain why the statements are lies.
#1. The President called it a “Muslim Ban.” So why not take him at his word. Hell, Rudy Guiliani said that the President wanted to pass a Muslim ban but wanted it to be legal like. But yet that isn’t why #1 is a lie. People who have valid Green Cards and other visas to get into the country were harassed, detained, and turned away in our nation’s airports. That is not a suspension in the processing of visas. That is denying people from those 7 countries entry into the country. They have went through at least 18 months of investigation and scrutiny to live here. If you want additional security information on people from various countries, great. But the fact that they decided to ignore the rights of those who should have been allowed to come into the country without harassment and in the case of one person that claims that the turning away of people caused his mother to die due to the fact she couldn’t get into the United States for life saving surgery is one big fat lie about “suspending the processing of visas”. The visas had already been given.
#2. Read the Executive Order. There are exceptions for Christians and other minorities. So, it is not directed at all individuals. And the fact that President Trump has also said that they would be willing to issue more executive orders for countries that they want to do more intrusive vetting and all information points towards other Muslim countries doesn’t make me feel like it is directed towards countries that need it like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. How about putting a couple of those more extreme vetting proposals towards Russia who at least tried to play a part in the 2016 Presidential election and towards Israel who has had more spies caught spying on the United States over the past decade than any other country?
#3. So now we are going put this at the feet of President Obama. I think not. Growing up in South Dakota, I heard from the politicians here and the general public about “personal responsibility”. A woman gets pregnant, she needs to take personal responsibility for her actions and have the child. A young person gets in trouble with student debt, they need to take personal responsibility for signing the loan papers and work harder to make those payments. A President signs an Executive Order, they need to take personal responsibility. President Trump signed the order, he needs to take ownership for everything that happens because of that action.
But let’s not let facts get in the way of the Alt-Right propaganda that we are supposed to swallow and not question. Because living in the real world has become something that not enough people are doing.