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The Short, Happy Valley of Obamacare

Mother Jones

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Back in the past, about 17 percent of Americans went without health insurance. In the future, according to the CBO, about 17 percent of Americans will go without health insurance if AHCA, the Republican health care bill, passes. In between is the short, happy valley of Obamacare, when we got that number down to about 10 percent:

The CDC has precise numbers for the present if you’re interested. The Obamacare smile in the chart above is just approximate. Bottom line: if AHCA passes, not only will all the good work of Obamacare be wiped out, but uninsurance rates will actually be higher than they used to be when we had no legislation at all. I’m not quite sure how Republicans managed to pull that off, but it’s an impressive feat of callousness and greed.

Are you interested in additional detail about exactly which groups will be less insured under AHCA? The answer is: all of them. Here’s the absolutely appalling CBO estimate:

Poor people will have less insurance. Working-class people will have less insurance. Middle-class people will have less insurance. The young will have less insurance. The middle-aged will have less insurance. The old will have less insurance. Everybody will have less insurance. Except for the rich, of course, who will also get an $882 billion tax cut.1

This is what Paul Ryan calls “encouraging.” I’m not sure how he looks at himself in the mirror every morning.

1In fairness, they have to share this tax cut with big corporations.

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The Short, Happy Valley of Obamacare

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Friday Cat Blogging – 3 March 2017

Mother Jones

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Just as I thought that Hilbert and Hopper had given up on sleeping with each other, suddenly they’ve decided to occupy the pod together. This mostly happens when Hopper gets in the pod and then Hilbert asserts his ownership rights1 by jumping on top of her. In the past, Hopper would usually just vacate. It wasn’t worth the trouble of staying. But lately she’s been holding her ground. For at least a little while each day, the pod is just an adorable mound o’ cats.

1In fairness, it is his pod, by right of tenancy. Hopper never really liked the pods that much, but Hilbert has been a faithful pod companion on my desk ever since we brought him home.

This article: 

Friday Cat Blogging – 3 March 2017

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Buy American?

Mother Jones

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Apologies for the late start this morning. My alarm cat went off at 6:30 and I hit the snooze button. But instead of a ten-minute delay, it didn’t go off again until 7:55. Very unreliable, these American cats. I’m thinking maybe next time I should get something made overseas, even if there’s a tariff on it. Maybe something from Turkey or Siberia.

Source:  

Buy American?

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Map of the Day: Access to Good Primary Care in America

Mother Jones

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I’m playing around with GeoFRED again while we all wait for the next three or four shoes to drop on the Jeff Sessions show. Here’s an interesting map: the rate of preventable hospital admissions. This is based on the number of hospital admissions for “ambulatory care sensitive conditions,” such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension, which normally doesn’t require hospitalization if patients are being treated by good primary care doctors. Essentially, then, this map shows the places where good primary care isn’t widely available or isn’t doing its job.

What makes it interesting is that it doesn’t map all that closely to poverty. From Kentucky down to Louisiana, you have lots of counties with high poverty and a poor access to good primary care. But north of that you have the same thing even though poverty is relatively low. Out west, you have the opposite: a fair amount of poverty, but pretty good access to primary care. So what’s going on?

From: 

Map of the Day: Access to Good Primary Care in America

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The Republican Health Care Plan is Depraved, But It’s Political Genius

Mother Jones

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This comes as no surprise to anybody, but here is Kaiser’s analysis of tax subsidies under Obamacare vs. the discussion draft of the Republican health care plan that was leaked last week:

The difference is pretty obvious. Obamacare provides subsidies to those who need it most. The Republican plan provides subsidies to everyone, even if they’re already well off.

Politically, you can see the attractiveness of the Republican plan. One of Obamacare’s major failings is that its subsidies phase out too soon. The poor get Medicaid and the near-poor get generally decent subsidies, but the working class gets very little and the middle class is left out entirely. The Republican plan provides bigger subsidies for working and middle-class families, and does it by cutting subsidies for the poor.

In other words, it helps two groups who vote at high rates, and who often vote Republican.1 It hurts a group that doesn’t vote much, and votes Democratic when it does. It’s immoral on almost every level, but it’s political genius. Luckily, thanks to the malignity of the tea party wing of the GOP, which views even this amount of government assistance as unacceptable, it will probably never see the light of day.

1The only downside is the cut in subsidies for older working-class voters, who Republicans very much care about. But I imagine that Paul Ryan can come up with some kind of hack that takes care of that.

From:

The Republican Health Care Plan is Depraved, But It’s Political Genius

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