Author Archives: Elizabeth

They Learn Early

Last night the preschooler told us a complex story about a giant who was carrying a baby. The giant got tired and put the baby down, but the baby still wanted to be carried. So the giant carried the baby longer. That went on for a while until the giant ate the baby. So he could get bigger. And the giant ate more babies. He kept eating babies until he got really, really big. Much bigger than a house.

It’s like the kid reads the news. He’s caught on somehow.

Politics today: compassion compassion compassion until the giant eats you.

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AHCAWUUUUUT: ACA AHCA Showdown

The National Academy for State Health Policy created this helpful chart comparing the ACA and the March 2017 version of the GOP’s repeal/replace bill. This 18-page chart will scratch your wonk itch when you’re like “What about delivery system reform?!” and “Whither CHIP?”

The Kaiser Family Foundation created a more user-friendly interface for much of the same info plus bonus options to compare ACA, AHCA and other repeal/replace proposals.

Wonk away!

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ACHAWUUUUUT: Block Granting Medicaid

Yes, the list of preconditions that states may adopt to limit health care coverage astonish in their cruelty. That’s covered (and fact checked), as is the reverse Robin Hood jujitsu that should not surprise us from an Administration whose only principle is endless expansion of profit. Covered less is the AHCA’s devastating impact on the Medicaid system. So here are a few pretty good analyses of how block-granting Medicaid might work. Research!
Indeed, AHCA curbs spending, which sounds great to small government folks. But it does so by simply not paying for health care for people who need it most–low income people with disabilities and chronic conditions. People with health problems and an inability to pay for care on their own. Gutting Medicaid will blow up emergency room costs as well as indirect costs in the criminal justice system, special education, welfare, and other places that people with no health care end up.
AHCA’s Medicaid provisions will set up a tiered society in which health care is a privilege reserved for those who can pay for it. Health care austerity will cost our society in ways comparable to climate change: pervasive, universal, tune-outable for the less vulnerable and willfully ignorant, and devastating for the rest of us.

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AHCAWUUUUUUUT

My phone alerted me to today’s AHCA garbage while I was listening to one of my favorite Sappy von Feelingston podcasts, Strangers. Intrepid podcaster and Danish immigrant Lea Thau has launched an intellectual suicide mission: to interview, up close with the dandruff and drool, Trump voters. The series attempts to bridge the emotional and moral partisan divide by putting Lea–a Scandinavian/Angeleno liberal–into these Voldetrump homes. Thau is trying to heal us. To understand what the cluck happened to our country. And, a tinch, to assuage some understandable but frustrating guilt about her insular, coastal, creative class liberalism.

Two broad problems with Thau’s project:

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On the Other Hand

Reading the news still feels too much like reading Harry Potter books 6 & 7, in which Voldemort consolidates his power as a racist dictator supported by a puppet bureaucracy and by a few chosen favorites forever squabbling with each other.

However, unlike our current figurehead, Voldemort is capable of choosing words sequenced in an order that effects a generally understood and accepted meaning. 

 

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