We’ve been here before

If you need a reminder about what happened then: “Protesters in California block busloads of immigrant children and families”; Washington Post, July 2, 2014

 
People have a way of showing their true colors. American conservatives for the most part have been doing that my whole life.

Want to change the world?

Then start by making sure your vote cancels out an opposing Republican vote and that your vote isn’t wasted…… no…….. worse than wasted……. that it doesn’t help to ensure more Republican rule at any level of government.

Because, like it or not, that’s the world we live in now, and this is how it works for now.

We’ll never get to the social, political, and economic changes we on the left want so long as Republicans are in charge. There’s only way to change that, and there’s only one Party today capable of bringing about that change.

So, let’s unify behind one strategy and the one and only Party as of now who can help us to win the war against conservative ideology by first winning the battles we actually can win like the Congressional midterms.

There are two and only two choices in November. Two.

Peaceful protesting and voting is how we’ll change the travesty that is Trump and the GOP. The question is can and will the left put aside their differences to bring about that change?

Trump supporters are a minority of the voting populace. Remember, he lost the popular vote by over 3 million.

His and the GOP’s defeat begins in November and rests solely with the rest of us uniting to replace Republicans everywhere and at every level of government.

We all have to register to vote, and we all have to show up for every election; from township boards to school boards to borough mayors, and from city and county councils to state and federal elections every time and for every office.

Hold your nose if you must, but stop being childish about the choices on offer and the reality that is the present day two-party system.

If you don’t show up to vote and if you don’t vote for Democrats, you are helping to ensure that we’ll continue to have Republican rule that is, at this point in our history more than ever, about authoritarianism.

It won’t get better – and it will only get worse – if we don’t unite to change it.

I’ll be pressing one button and one button only this November.

What will you be doing?

What every American needs to say to the GOP, and what they need to do every election day

This is exactly how I feel toward the GOP.

There can never be another compromise with them on anything. Ever.

Trump is all the proof any thinking person should need to accept the reality that conservatives and Republicans are waging a war on decency, intellect, intelligence, and the future.

The Republican Party is the enemy of everything this country is supposed to be about.

What to do?

Show up on every election day to vote against every Republican at every level of government, from school board and town council to Congress and the Presidency. If we don’t, we don’t get to complain, and we can’t be angry and outraged about the country sliding down the slippery slope toward the kind of hate-filled, corrupt, and stupid kleptocracy embodied by Trump.

Complain that the system is rigged.
Complain that there’s not enough difference between Democrats and Republicans.
Complain about Big Money in politics and anything else that bothers you.

But, stay home or throw away your vote, and you need to understand that you’re helping the GOP.

It’s that simple.

The difference between healthcare and health insurance explained (mostly for Republicans and Trump’s acolytes)

People like GA Republican Rep “Buddy” Carter and the rest of the GOP are either misleading Americans or out-and-out lying to them.

They either don’t know the difference or are intentionally obfuscating the difference between healthcare and health insurance *choices* by either unwittingly or knowingly talking about them as if they are one and the same, and that Americans are somehow being held back from making choices because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 

The only people who won’t have choices and who will be left behind by the GOP are people who aren’t covered by employer-subsidized health insurance and who aren’t poor enough to be covered by Medicaid. The so-called “free market” cannot solve this issue of access to healthcare in an affordable way for EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN.

It’s a Business – That’s the Problem

Health insurance as a business exists solely because healthcare has become too expensive to be a service one can pay for out-of-pocket.

Doctors stopped accepting chickens decades ago, and a 1.2trillion dollar industry – the insurance industry, that is, of which 55% is in the life/health side of the business – has absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose as a business by actually insuring people who need healthcare.

Why does healthcare cost so much? Lots of reasons, I think, but mostly for two reasons.

Capitalism at its Worst

The first is because we’re all just greedy enough and selfish enough in capitalist America to actually put a price tag on healthcare and on life itself.

As every good capitalist would tend to agree, the more expensive something is, the better it must be (or at least many of us have convinced ourselves of that premise).

So, if healthcare costs a lot and some people are priced out of it, c’est la vie. That’s capitalism and free markets at work, right? (“Yeah! Tell those lazy poor people to get a job!”….and all of that dysfunctional and inhumane nonsense we hear all the time from libertarians and conservatives.)

The second reason healthcare is so expensive is one that many may not realize. It’s *how* it’s paid for in America.

30% of the cost of delivering healthcare in America is tied up in “administration.” That’s a euphemism for processing claims; claims that are paid by insurers whose profit motive is to take in billions in premiums and to not pay or to pay claims as slowly as possible.

Make no mistake about it. Private health insurance companies are the real death panels.

Compounding the problem of administrative overhead costs is that every health insurer has a different way to process claims. It’s why 1 in 4 people who work in healthcare work in administration.

In 2015 there were 859 health insurance companies in the the U.S. Even if all you count are the top 25, that’s still 25 ways a healthcare provider will have to know how to process claims if they want to be paid. That, or they turn away patients who have health insurance they don’t know how to process, or they outsource claims processing to a third party. Whatever decisions they make, it all adds up.

Single payer eliminates it all.

You Had 8 Years and Trumpcare is the Best You Can Do?

As for the embarrassment that is the GOP abomination presumably 8 years in the making, “choice” is among the many lies “Buddy” Carter and the rest of the GOP are trying to sell you on now.

I worked for a company that provided technology to insurance carriers. Not agents, the insurance companies themselves. I saw it from the inside. Here’s how the industry works in a nutshell.

Insurance companies come up with products – the plans they want to sell. They have to file the products with each state’s Department of Insurance where they wish to sell said product(s). Each state decides independently as to whether they allow said product to be sold to their citizens.

One of the many Protections in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that insurers did NOT like (they only liked the mandate) was the elimination of junk insurance. It’s called that because that’s what it is.

Junk insurance were plans like the one I had to have a few years back when I was laid off, couldn’t afford COBRA coverage, and didn’t want to risk being “tagged” as uninsured by a future employer and their insurance company. I went to the open market in those pre-Obamacare days.

The plan I found and that I could afford was UnitedHealthOne Saver 70. It was $275.00 per month. It had a $12,500.00 deductible, paid only 70% after that was reached, and didn’t cover office visits or prescriptions.

That’s the kind of “choice” the GOP and insurance companies want back. A cheap plan that for all practical purposes guarantees the insurer will never have to pay benefits on because the insured will never go to the doctor because that’s another out-of-pocket expense, and they can’t afford the 12-grand anyway before benefits would kick in.

If Ryan and the GOP get their way with Trumpcare’s threat of a 30% buy-back-in penalty, junk insurance will fit the bill perfectly. It will make millions off of poorer Americans who will never file a claim but who will buy junk as a hedge against that future buy-back penalty.

Insurers Put Profits Over People. Period.

The insurers who are whining and crying and gnashing their teeth as they abandoned the Obamacare health insurance exchanges in some states didn’t abandon their health insurances business (although it must be understood that some insurance companies were so greedy they did stop selling health insurance because of the PPACA’s 80/20 rule).

The insurers who have left state exchanges did so because they couldn’t make enough money in those places and from people who were previously uninsured but who are now able to get healthcare for which the insurance company must pay.

Which brings us back to Rep Carter. He’s either an idiot or a liar or both.

I take that back. What he is is a Republican politician.

In my view, the sooner Americans come to their senses and stop voting for Republicans at every level of government, including the state and local levels, the better off we all will be, and the sooner we’re likely to move to a healthcare system that serves us better and which every American can benefit from regardless of their income.

 

Sources

INSURANCE INDUSTRY AT A GLANCE

The Reason Health Care Is So Expensive: Insurance Companies

Top Health Insurance Companies

Administrative costs are killing U.S. healthcare

Rate Review & the 80/20 Rule

 

Blogs I’ve written in the past on the topic of health insurance

More #PPACA Red Herrings: Renewals and Benefits

The ‘Protection’ in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Health insurance companies keep making the case for single payer