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Call out bad reporting but ultimately act to stop the Trumpcare train

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Health_Care_Act_of_2017#/media/File:Obamacare_replacement_brainstorming_session.jpg

Trump discussing with lawmakers on replacing the ACA at the White House, March 2017.

For months some of us have been warning that as most progressives and other healthcare stakeholders were concentrating on Trump’s Russia scandal, Republicans were silently building the political and social infrastructure to pass Trumpcare, a tax cut bill masquerading as an Obamacare “repeal and replace” law.

Many thought it was impossible that the Trumpcare bill sent to the Senate was dead on arrival. It is now likely to pass.

Tom Price sent out a preemptive email recently saying the following:

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D. issued the following statement regarding compelling data released today by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in two new reports related to Obamacare – the Effectuated Enrollment report for the most recent enrollment period and the Health Insurance Exchanges Trends report. The reports show a decline in the number of Americans who have actually purchased coverage on the exchanges, with cost being a primary concern.

“Not surprisingly, as costs continue to go up, fewer Americans can afford to pay more and get less for healthcare. Many individuals and families across the country are tired of having their healthcare options dictated to them by Washington – particularly when those limited options are unaffordable. That’s why every day we are working on behalf of President Trump on solutions that will show a little humility from the federal government, equip states to serve their unique and diverse populations, and put healthcare decisions in the hands of patients, families, and their doctors.”

Note the intent of the email is twofold. First to point out that an upcoming Obamacare pricing shock is about to hit Americans on the marketplace. Second, it pointed out that fewer people are signing up. It then spun a political message around the two statements. What was left out is that Republicans have been sabotaging Obamacare even before the election of Donald Trump. They continue the sabotage today. And then, of course, Trump ensured that fewer people would sign up as he became president. And their sabotage is accelerating.

A recent CNN article is a clear example of a failure to communicate. Was it a willful incompetence of the media trying to attain a false balance? The lack of urgency from the Democrats in the article and their inability to prepare Americans for what will hit Obamacare recipients later this year is astounding. It borders on dereliction of duty.

It is no joke what Americans will be hit with in September and October when the new Obamacare rates are released if they even have it in their respective counties. And what does CNN  tell its readers? They publish an article titled “Senate Democrats taunt Republicans: Let’s fix Obamacare together” that trivializes the severity of the pain many Americans will go through in their 2018 healthcare.

MJ Lee starts the article as follows:

(CNN)Senate Republicans say they’re not sure they can pass an Obamacare repeal bill this year, they have yet to decide what exactly will go into their legislation, and some have even suggested that the Senate should vote on a health care bill as quickly as possible — even if it fails. And now, Democrats are taunting them from across the political aisle: Come work with us. …

That fresh uncertainty is energizing Democrats. Determined to protect former President Barack Obama’s landmark heath care law, Democrats are seizing the moment to repeatedly call on Republicans to abandon their repeal efforts — and team up with Democrats on improving the Affordable Care Act instead.

The premise is that Democrats are playing some game. We are talking about people’s health and lives. It is not about saving President Obama’s landmark. It is about ensuring Americans are protected financially and insured. Democrats want what is right for the American people but they must learn how to fight in today’s environment.

The reporter’s superficiality describing our healthcare reality was palpable. She did not inquire about why Obamacare will likely be unusable for many who now are covered through the ACA marketplace. But worse is the inability for Democrats to articulate in no uncertain terms that Trump through his HHS director Tom Price is undermining ACA.

Is there any urgency in the following statements?

A Democratic Senate leadership aide told CNN on Tuesday that Senate Democrats see a growing recognition among some of their GOP colleagues that a partisan health care bill may not be able to produce enough Republican votes for passage.

“They need to be willing to completely drop repeal,” the leadership aide said, describing the message from Democrats and Republicans as: “We’re ready to sit down and work with you as soon as you guys tell us you’re off repeal. We’ll get to work on a deal.” …

“No matter what Republicans claim, they’re working as hard as they can to jam their version of Trumpcare through the Senate to deliver a political win for President Trump and massive tax breaks for those at the top,” Democratic Sen. Patty Murray said. “And the minute they get 50 votes, this bill will be on the floor.”

Why didn’t these Democrats use this opportunity to drive home the message that, had the status quo remained without Trump’s attempt to sabotage Obamacare as it stands now, this massive healthcare pain would not occur in 2018? Let folks know that Trump is killing Obamacare from within, a death by a thousand cuts.

Last week, Donald Trump had several senators over for lunch for some arm-twisting that so far has been successful for him in the House. Those who believed that Trumpcare was dead in the Senate should heed Senate Majority Leader McConnell’s statement:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said senators are closer to bringing up a proposal, and other Republicans have predicted for some time that a bill would be ready for a vote before the August recess.

HHS Director Tom Price is going around the country with Vice President Mike Pence selling Trumpcare as they disparage Obamacare. And while many were asleep, HHS populated its YouTube channel of “propaganda” with stories and disinformation designed to sway.

The time to act is now. Are you a blogger, radio or TV host, or writer? Maximize your coverage on the realities of what is occurring with both Obamacare and Trumpcare. Are you an activist? Get vocal and force the media to cover your event by all means necessary. Are you an uninvolved citizen? Get involved in your local Indivisible group, Our Revolution group, or another progressive group fighting to save the ACA or promote single-payer Medicare for all. When Americans get their new rates in September or October it will be too late.


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