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After months and months of our patient waiting, the mountain has delivered to us a mouse.
Donald Trump has presented his health care “plan,” if you could call it that.
Like all things Trump, it is 99% bluster and rhetoric, and 1% (if that) substance.
You can click the above link to see his entire one-page proposal. Here are some of the “highlights”:
On day one of the Trump Administration, we will ask Congress to immediately deliver a full repeal of Obamacare.
Of course. Obamacare has provided healthcare to many thousands of people who otherwise would have difficulty paying for it, or more often, do without it.
Republicans hate it for two reasons: It helps the poor, and it’s “Obamacare.”
It used to be “Romneycare,” but Republicans don’t like to talk about that.
Anyway, to be fair, no sane person would eliminate the program, and throw those many thousands of people into destitution and sickness, unless there was a good replacement. Right?
So here is the replacement offered by the #1 Republican:
As we allow the free market to provide insurance coverage opportunities to companies and individuals, we must also make sure that no one slips through the cracks simply because they cannot afford insurance.
We must review basic options for Medicaid and work with states to ensure that those who want healthcare coverage can have it.
Folks, believe it or not, that is the essence of Trump’s plan: “Review basic options and work with the states.”
Allow individuals to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). Contributions into HSAs should be tax-free and should be allowed to accumulate.
Health savings accounts already exist. They can be set up only when an individual or employee has a high-deductible health plan in place.
HSAs do not solve the basic problem Obamacare (Romneycare) addresses: Millions of people cannot afford to make contributions to HSAs. The Republicans know this, but concern for the poor never has been a Republican priority — certainly not the priority of billionaire Trump.
Block-grant Medicaid to the states.
Nearly every state already offers benefits beyond what is required in the current Medicaid structure. The state governments know their people best and can manage the administration of Medicaid far better without federal overhead.
States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse to preserve our precious resources.
“Block grant” is just a term that means: “Give the states some money, and let them pay for Medicaid.”
The federal government already pays for 90% of Obamacare (Romneycare). Many Republican states have refused this massive support.
Unfortunately, under a Republican administration, “block grant” will be code for: Much less federal support than states currently receive via Obamacare.
Although the federal government cannot run short of dollars, the states, being monetarily non-sovereign, are very much short of dollars. So Trump wants to ease the non-existent burden on the federal government, and place a real burden on the states.
As for “state governments know their people,” this is part of “small government” nonsense.
Does your state government know you? Does even your city government know you? The notion that somehow, state governments are wiser or more honest than the federal government is silly at best and deceptive in fact.
The federal government has had to force state governments to allow equality in education, equality in voting rights, equality for women in athletics.
States have had the most bigoted of governments, that try to place burdens on their poorest people. Even today, states enact voter ID laws, the real purpose of which are to subvert federal voting rights laws and to cheat the poor of their vote.
Oh, and by the way, remember Trump’s plan to allow HSA’s (which already exist)? HSAs are a federal law.
Trump says the states know best, but his program is based on a federal law. He is too lazy to learn what he’s recommending, because he feels he doesn’t need to offer real plans to his followers.
As he says, he could shoot someone in the street, and they still would follow him. That is how stupid he believes his followers to be.
The final part of the above recommendation is most laughable of all: States will have the incentives to seek out and eliminate fraud, waste and abuse. Oh, yeah, states are known for eliminating fraud, waste and abuse.
Think of your state. Has it eliminated fraud, waste and abuse?
And what is the “incentive”? The block grants will be too small, so the states will have to cut payments to the poor. That’s the so-called “incentive.”
Remove barriers to entry into free markets for drug providers that offer safe, reliable and cheaper products. Congress will need the courage to step away from the special interests and do what is right for America.
Though the pharmaceutical industry is in the private sector, drug companies provide a public service. Allowing consumers access to imported, safe and dependable drugs from overseas will bring more options to consumers.
Remove which barriers? You already can purchase many drugs from overseas suppliers. The main problem is overseas drugs may not be subject to FDA approval and inspection, which is why some drugs cannot legally be purchased.
Would you prefer to purchase all your drugs — including those that have not been inspected — from overseas pharmacies? What will Trump do to prevent you from being poisoned or from receiving mislabeled drugs?
No comment on that.
By contrast, Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” would provide free, federally paid-for and federal inspected drugs. So you get your choice: Discounted drugs from say, Haiti, or free drugs from the USA.
Which do you prefer?
Providing healthcare to illegal immigrants costs us some $11 billion annually. If we were to simply enforce the current immigration laws and restrict the unbridled granting of visas to this country, we could relieve healthcare cost pressures on state and local governments.
It’s the usual Trump BS about a hu-u-u-u-u-uge cost. His $11 billion would amount to $1,000 a year for each man, woman and child, a wildly inflated number (most estimates are less than 1/2 Trump’s claim). But even then, the people already are here.
To save the federal government’s money would require deporting everyone. Trump never has said how he would do that.
He said he will get Mexico to pay for a wall. Somehow.
Will he also get Mexico to pay for the gigantic increase in federal marshals necessary to round up and incarcerate 11 million people and then ship them to camps or wherever?
To reduce the number of individuals needing access to programs like Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program we will need to install programs that grow the economy and bring capital and jobs back to America.
What a great idea: “Install programs to grow the economy and bring jobs back to America.” Why has no one ever thought of that, before?
Finally, we need to reform our mental health programs and institutions in this country.
Another great idea from Trump: “Reform mental health programs and institutions.” As usual, he seems to think that if he just says it, somehow it will happen, because . . . well because of his greatness.
What “reform”? Who knows. But doesn’t the word “reform” sound great?
In short, Trump’s “plan” is a gauzy, magic fairy tale, — a carnival barker’s description — designed to fool people who he hopes are short of intelligence, and who hate Obama so much they are willing to turn off their remaining brains and follow the piper.
As with all Trump offerings, his “plan” is long on hyperbole but short on thinking and actual planning.
It is a “plan” a high school freshman would be embarrassed to propose. I’ll bet, when Trump was in school, he always tried to BS his way through his written assignments, so he wouldn’t actually have to learn anything.
He still is doing it.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Ten Steps to Prosperity:
1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)
2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)
3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.
4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here
5. Salary for attending school (Click here)
6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)
7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually Click here
8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)
9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here and here)
10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)
The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.
10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)
1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..
2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.
3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.
4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.
5. Cut financial assistance to the states.
6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.
7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.
8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.
9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.
10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt
No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.
1. A growing economy requires a growing supply of dollars (GDP=Federal Spending + Non-federal Spending + Net Exports)
2. All deficit spending grows the supply of dollars
3. The limit to federal deficit spending is an inflation that cannot be cured with interest rate control.
4. The limit to non-federal deficit spending is the ability to borrow.
THE RECESSION CLOCK
Recessions begin an average of 2 years after the blue line first dips below zero. A common phenomenon is for the line briefly to dip below zero, then rise above zero, before falling dramatically below zero. There was a brief dip below zero in 2015, followed by another dip – the familiar pre-recession pattern.
Recessions are cured by a rising red line.
Vertical gray bars mark recessions.
As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.
•Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
•Any monetarily NON-sovereign government — be it city, county, state or nation — that runs an ongoing trade deficit, eventually will run out of money.
•The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes..
•Liberals think the purpose of government is to protect the poor and powerless from the rich and powerful. Conservatives think the purpose of government is to protect the rich and powerful from the poor and powerless.
•The single most important problem in economics is the Gap between rich and the rest..
•Austerity is the government’s method for widening the Gap between rich and poor.
•Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
•Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the Gap between the rich and the rest..