ACTION ALERT: Ryan’s war on the safety net condemns the non-rich to poverty and sickness – and McSally is fine with that

Cross-posted from

Here’s the call to action in case you are strapped for time. The House vote is scheduled tomorrow (Thursday) after a blitz from President Bully and the Grim Speaker. McSally is on record as voting for ACA repeal and against Planned Parenthood. She is a woman waging war on women. Go figure. So give her a piece of your mind.

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The New York Times economist explains What’s at Stake in a Health Bill That Slashes the Safety Net

Voters, pay attention. The House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, will try to sell his plan by leveraging Americans’ atavistic fear of Big Government, offering people the freedom to choose whether to have health insurance. You may want to focus instead on what the United States stands to lose.

The list is long. Examples follow.

The American Health Care Act … is decidedly about cutting people off. David M. Cutler, an expert on the economics of health care at Harvard University, put it like this: “No other Congress or administration has ever put forward a plan with the intention of having fewer people covered.”

Under the House Republican plan, 24 million more Americans will lack health insurance by 2026, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Of those, 14 million will lose access to Medicaid and “choose” not to spend money — money they don’t have — on health insurance. Millions more near-poor people in their 50s and early 60s will likewise be left without a policy they can afford.

What will happen? Millions of Americans — poor ones, mainly — will use much less health care. They will make fewer outpatient visits, have fewer mammograms and cholesterol checks. Access to Medicaid in Oregon increased use of health care services by some 25 percent. Losing Medicaid is likely to reduce use by a similar amount.

I realize this sort of speculation can sound excessively dramatic for what is ultimately a change in health insurance. Yet it is worth remembering that among advanced nations, the United States is a laggard in life expectancy and has one of the highest infant mortality rates. Men and women in the United States die younger than those in other rich countries for all sorts of causes. American teenagers have more babies. American men go to jail more often.

Better health insurance will not solve all of this, of course. But it will help some of it. As noted in a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Americans are more likely than those in other high-income countries “to find their health care inaccessible or unaffordable and to report lapses in the quality and safety of care outside of hospitals.”

So why would our representatives vote to make matters even worse? Here’s a clue. “They might pause to consider the consequences of a strategy that so openly redistributes money from the poor to the rich.”


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