A Tax Cut for the Rich

No matter what political party you belong to or if you’re an independent, you should be scared regarding the bill approved by the House of Representatives. There are numerous articles that explain the differences between the House plan and Obama care and therefore, I want to mainly focus on the underlying motive for House Republicans to pass their health care plan.

We should all quit calling the plan passed by the GOP, healthcare but instead refer to it as a massive tax cut for the wealthy and a redistribution of wealth from the poorest among us, to the top 2% in this country. The GOP plan reduces Medicaid by nearly $1 trillion. Medicaid monies are utilized to pay for healthcare that the poorest people would otherwise not be able to afford. The reason for the reduction in Medicaid and dramatic reductions in the health services provided to the number of people covered is to pay for the Trump tax plan. This diversion will further give the top 2% of the wealthiest Americans substantial additional income.

The Republican Party cannot proceed with the implementation of the tax cuts without paying for them. So they are diverting money currently budgeted for the poor and what some have called the reverse Robin Hood affect. A reduction in the provisions currently included within the Obama care substantially reduces medical costs and therefore the Medicaid funds currently utilized for healthcare, can be eliminated.

R.J. Intindola

5 Things to Know About AHCA, the New House Republican Health Care Bill That Just Passed

5 Things to Know About AHCA, the New House Republican Health Care Bill That Just Passed

The Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare narrowly passed the House of Representatives on Thursday, advancing a plan that would gut health coverage for millions of Americans while delivering tax cuts to the rich.

Obamacare Lite? New GOP Health Care Bill Has Host of Critics

Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a strong supporter of Obamacare, said it will return many Americans to pre-Obamacare days.

“This bill would strip coverage from millions of people and drive up consumer costs. It shreds the Medicaid social safety net that serves more than 72 million people, including many children, senior citizens and people with disabilities,” said Pollack. “And it once again leaves millions of people in America with chronic illness and disease at the mercy of insurance companies.”


The new GOP health care plan looks a lot like Obamacare to some

A new Republican health care plan keeps much of the basic framework set up by Obamacare, but with a conservative twist, analysts say. But it’s full of holes, with no detail on how to pay for its provisions and no estimates at all of how much it will cost taxpayers.

Rick Scott – His Record

Florida Governor- Rick Scott’s Record

If you pay much attention to Florida Gov., Rick Scott you probably know that the vast majority of his campaign promises have not been fulfilled. And according to various sources who study political issues, it is unlikely that most of his promises will not come to fruition.

According to the Tampa Bay times, 96% of the jobs Rick Scott promised have not been created. In a December, 2013 article, the Tampa Bay Times reported that, “The jobs outlook isn’t better in Tampa Bay, where Scott inked deals to create 7,251 jobs in exchange for $39 million in tax breaks. Jobs created to date: 462”. This is a sad commentary for those people who relied upon Scott’s promises.

Oddly, his current campaign literature and advertisements are littered with his excellent job creation record which at best, is deceitful. As a result of his efforts, few jobs in Florida have been created.

Tricky Ricky

Tricky Ricky

Fact Checking Scott

If you research the various fact checking organizations, the results indicate that Florida Gov. Rick Scott, does not tell the truth approximately 60% of the time. The only other Republican candidate that came close to the 60% figure was presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.  The question one could ask is how you respect someone who can’t tell the truth. Someone who is not honest with the very people they serve. On the other hand, his opponent, Charlie Crist, Scott’s opponent has been truthful slightly over 80% of the time. Furthermore, Gov. Scott has flip-flopped on various issues, including Medicaid expansion pertaining to the Affordable Care Act.

Scott on the Affordable Care Act

Prior to even taking office, Rick Scott constantly criticized the Affordable Care Act. When he had the authority to opt out of Medicaid expansion, Scott left 1.3 million Floridians without any medical coverage. He wrongfully stated it would cost the state nearly $26 billion over the next decade and was repeatedly called to task by various fact checking and research study organizations. He later admitted after being confronted with the facts, that the real number was only 5 billion over the same time frame. More than any other politician, he has been repeatedly called out for misstatements and utilizing incorrect statistics and other information.

The article published by Think Progress http://thinkprogress.org/health/2014/04/09/3424629/florida-medicaid-charlene dill/on April 9, 2014, presents a chilling story of the devastation created by Gov. Scott for not expanding Medicaid. I have culled a few of the more significant facts below taken from the article and other sources.

Florida has one of the highest number of people uninsured for medical coverage.

Nearly 1.3 million Floridians could not receive Medicaid because Gov. Rick Scott chose not to initially participate.

There are several documented cases of Florida residents dying because of Rick Scott’s decision. One case followed by the press, including the article noted above, by Think Progress involves Charlene Dill.  Dill, was a single mother of three and died in a stranger’s house trying to sell a vacuum cleaner. She had a documented heart condition for many years but was unable to receive regular medical care. With the creation of the Affordable Care Act, she hoped to receive regular treatments to stabilize her condition. She was caught in the vacuum when Gov. Rick Scott declined to accept the Medicaid expansion in the State of Florida. Her death could have been prevented had she received medical coverage under the law. Her family, friends and other people blame the governor for her death. She had three part-time jobs and barely made $9000 a year. Kathleen Voss Woolrich, Dill’s, best friend would use fundraising sites to help pay for her medication. But in the end, she used the same fundraising sites to pay for her funeral.

Until Rick Scott reversed his initial decision, approximately 300 people died each year for not having Medicaid coverage.  Until Scott changed his mind feeling the political pressure and the loss of support from hospitals and other constituents, approximately 600 people died in Florida needlessly for lack of Medicaid coverage.


V2 Cigs -stop smoking, but still smoke without all the poisons.


One Last Thing-Obama Care

The Affordable Care Act– Did you know this?


“Obamacare has also had some important indirect consequences. According to Catherine Dower of the Center for the Health Professions at the University of California at San Francisco, since the Affordable Care Act states have become more aggressive about challenging some of the protectionist laws that prevent well-qualified medical professionals — pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, emergency medical technicians — from offering some kinds of primary care. California just passed a law that will allow pharmacists to check your blood pressure and cholesterol level and to dispense prescription birth control and anti smoking drugs. Letting pharmacists perform services that don’t require seven years of medical training makes those services cheaper and more convenient, increasing the chances consumers will take better care of themselves.” The New York Times.

Some estimate the above process will result in saving nearly twenty million dollars in health care costs. It’s shame Republican Governors are not participating. They are hurting the people in their states.


The Affordable Care Act—Jobs and Costs



         The Affordable Care Act – Jobs and Costs


    This paper attempts to consolidate various nonpartisan reports regarding the impact of the Affordable Care Act in regards to jobs and costs. We will make every attempt to update the paper on a routine basis in order to keep our readers informed. In each case, we have included a link to the entire report, study, or article. Secondary links to sources are not always provided but can be obtained through the main link we provide.


Questions about the Affordable Care Act? Head to Ruskin presentations


Confused about the Affordable Care Act? Michael Van Hoek is your man.

Van Hoek, and thousands like him, are fanning out across the country this month to explain the new healthcare regulations. LINK



Minnesota likely to avoid states’ budget shock from ACA’s ‘welcome mat’ effect

by Elizabeth Stawicki, Minnesota Public Radio

June 28, 2013






Expanding Medicaid will generate over 9,000 new jobsacross Mississippi by the year 2020. This investment in health care will create more new jobs in Mississippi than Nissan and Toyota.

combined. http://msroadtoreform.org/health-care-reform/mississippi/medicaid

New Mexico

Impacts of Obamacare on New Mexico’s indigent healthcare programs still unclear

By Stella Davis  currentargus






According to the Health Policy Institute of Ohio, by 2015 Medicaid expansion will create at least 23,000 new Ohio jobs in health care and other related industries, increase the earnings of Ohio residents by at least $16.7 billion, and increase the state’s total economic activity by at least $18.6 billion from 2014 to 2022. In fact, costs to employers could total $876 million to $1.3 billion in the states that oppose, are leaning against, or remain undecided on expansion as the result of penalties for noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act. LINK http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/healthcare/news/2013/04/02/58922/10-frequently-asked-questions-about-medicaid-expansion/



According to an independent study by the University of Nebraska Medical Center,

spending by the federal government on Medica

id expansion would generate at least $700 million in new economic activity every year in Nebraska, which could

finance over 10,000 jobs each year through 2020.  http://www.nasmhpd.org/docs/publications/NASMHPDMedicaidExpansionReportFinal.pdf





If individual governors and state legislatures do not choose to participate in the new

Medicaid expansion program, foregoing the substantial federal funds associated with expansion, their states will in effect have significant lost opportunities to reduce their budget deficits and increase economic activity. States that do not participate will lose new revenues coming into their states, and at the same time, will see their tax dollars

flow to states that chose to opt in to the new expansion program. The states that opt in

will then benefit in budget and revenue gains, with little accruing to the non-participating

states. In other words, if the state chooses to opt out, citizens would be contributing

federal tax dollarsto a program their constituents would never benefit from.   http://www.nasmhpd.org/docs/publications/NASMHPDMedicaidExpansionReportFinal.pdf

The key finding is that Medicaid spending generates economic activity including jobs,
 income and state tax revenues at the state level. Medicaid’s economic impact is 
intensified because of federal matching dollars –state spending pulls federal dollars
 into the economy. Medicaid funding supports jobs and generates income within the
 health care sector and other sectors of the economy due to a major “multiplier effect.” 


Massachusetts Shows That Expanding Coverage Reduces Costs

Massachusetts’ experience with its health reform effort offers strong evidence 
that expanding  coverage under a comprehensive health reform plan can lead to
 sizeable reductions in state costs for uncompensated care.
Massachusetts enacted legislation in 2006 to provide nearly universal health care
 coverage. The legislation combined a Medicaid expansion with subsidies to help 
lower-and moderate-income residents purchase insurance, an employer responsibility 
requirement, and a requirement for individuals to obtain coverage. All of these also are
 core elements of the ACA.

Expanding affordable health insurance options and instituting an individual mandate significantly decreased spending on uncompensated care in Massachusetts. The state replaced its Uncompensated
Care Pool (also known as “Free Care”) with the Health Safety Net, which provides
financial support to public hospitals and community health centers that serve
lower-income residents who are uninsured or underinsured
or who have significant medicalneeds.

In 2008, the first full year of health reform implementation, Health
Safety Net payments were
$252 million, or 38 percent lessthan the previous year’s Uncompensated Care Pool payments. This reduction in uncompensated care costs coincided with a decline in the share of residents who are uninsured. Only 2.7 percent of residents were uninsured in 2009, compared to
5.7 percent in 2007.

 Page- 19-   LINK –The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)

 Alan G. Raymond, “

 Massachusetts Health Reform: A Five-Year Progress Report”

 Foundation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, 


The Affordable Care Act and Jobs– Just the Facts

Republicans typically state the The Affordable Care Act is a job killer. Their job killer claims is the most significant reason for eliminating the law.

We have culled the internet and provide a list of statements by non-partisan sources. In each case we provide a link to the source.

From: cnn.com

As of 2010, 97% of small businesses had fewer than 50 employees, according to the U.S. Census. That means Obamacare’s employer mandate applies only to 3% of America’s small businesses. Of companies with more than 50 workers, 96% already offer health plans, government data shows.

The ADP jobs survey — one of the largest surveys of private employers — shows that small businesses are still hiring strong.

“There is little evidence that fiscal austerity and Health Care Reform have had a significant impact on the job market,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics and a collaborator on the ADP report, in a press release with the August survey.

The case for hurting job growth: Uncertainty was the big reason economists gave for why employers might not be hiring — uncertainty over how much it’s going to cost to insure additional workers, and how much health care premiums for existing employees might go up. LINK

Center For Economic And Policy

This report may be long but well worth the read

Is the Affordable Care Act a Hidden Jobs Killer?

Written by Helene Jorgensen and Dean Baker
Wednesday, 24 July 2013 12:40
Opponents of the ACA have labeled the health care bill a “jobs killer.” It is unlikely,
 however, that the bill could have much impact on employment except among the relatively
 small number of firms that are near the 50-worker cutoff.  In a post for the 
Roosevelt Institute's Econobytes, economists Helene Jorgensen and Dean Baker respond
 to the claim that firms will reduce the number of hours per week that employees work
 to below thirty so that they fall under the cutoff, thereby incurring a penalty 
under the ACA:

An analysis of data from the Current Population Survey shows that only a small number

(0.6 percent of the workforce) of workers report working just below the 30 hour cutoff in the range

of 26-29 hours per week. Furthermore, the number of workers who fall in this category was actually lower

in 2013 than in 2012, the year before the sanctions would have applied. This suggests that employers do

not appear to be changing hours in large numbers in response to the sanctions in the ACA.

There have been numerous accounts of employers claiming to reduce employment or adjust hours in order

to avoid the obligations of the ACA.

  • If this is the case, we should have first begun to see evidence of the impact of ACA in January
  • of 2013, since under the original law employment in 2013 would serve as the basis for assessing
  • penalties in 2014.
  • The Obama administration announced on July 2, 2013 that they would not enforce sanctions in
  • 2014 based on 2013 employment, but employers would not have known that sanctions would not
  • be enforced prior to this date. Therefore we can assume that they would have behaved as though
  • they expect to be subject to the sanctions and acted accordingly.

Reducing average hours of work below 30 per week, could plausibly have an impact on employment

patterns, but the data do not indicate that this is happening.

  • Several large employers have claimed that they would deliberately keep workers’ hours below
  • 30 hours per week in order to avoid having them count toward the number for whom they would
  • have a $2,000 penalty.
  • Some surveys of small businesses also report that employers intend to reduce workers’ hours to
  • avoid the penalty, even they are not bound by the law.
  • Fortunately, it is possible to test whether employers are actually reducing hours below the
  • 30-hour threshold.
  • The Current Population Survey (CPS) provides monthly data on workers usual weekly hours.
  • We used the CPS to compare the first four months of 2013 with the first four months of 2012.
  • We looked at the numbers and percent of workers who reported working 26-29 hours a week.
  • We considered this range a reasonable cutoff for an ACA effect. Presumably if an employer would
  • have a worker put in more than 30 hours a week in the absence of ACA penalties, they would require
  • a worker to put in close to, but less than, 30 hours in order to avoid the penalties.

Table 1 shows the results.







There are two points that are striking. First, a very small share of the workforce falls into this group.

  • Well under 1 million workers, roughly 0.6 percent of the labor force, typically work between
  • 26-29 hours a week.
  • It is also important to remember that many of these workers choose to work less than a full-time job.
  • More than two-thirds of the workers who report working less than full-time jobs say that they are doing
  • so by choice.
  • If this ratio also applies to the workers who usually work between 26-29 hours it would mean that less
  • than 300,000 workers, or roughly 0.2 percent of the workforce, are working this number of hours as a
  • result of their employer’s decision.

The other striking aspect to the data in Table 1 is that the number and percentage of workers putting in between

26-29 hours per week was slightly lower in 2013 than in 2012.

  • The average percentage of workers in this category for 2013 was 0.597 percent.
  • That is down from 0.604 percent in 2012.
  • While this drop is not close to being statistically significant, the change is in the wrong direction for the
  • ACA as job-killer story.

While there may certainly be instances of individual employers carrying through with threats to reduce their

employees’ hours to below 30 to avoid the sanctions in the ACA, the numbers are too small to show up in the data.

  • It appears that in setting worker hours employers are responding to business considerations in much
  • the same way as they did before the ACA took effect.
  • While the sanctions in the ACA may provide some marginal incentive to reduce worker hours below the
  • 30-hour cutoff, other considerations in setting worker hours appear to be far more important.

Jimmy Kemmel- Obamacare VS The Affordable Care Act

Well, it’s obvious the Republicans have done a great job at distorting the truth regarding The Affordable Care Act- Or is it Obamacare?

A Jimmel Video





By Rick Staggenborg

Medical insurers around the country are announcing a new round of double-digit premium increases, belying the promise that Obamacare would reduce costs of health care. Although the “Affordable” Health Care Act is not yet fully implemented, it is reasonable to assume that the further expansion of benefits will dwarf the promised savings as detailed in the error-filled CBO report Democrats use to justify the claim. The fact is that the ACA was never meant to be real health care reform, which can only be achieved through truly universal health care in the form of a single payer, Medicare-for-All model or something similar. What it amounts to is a taxpayer bailout of a failing medical insurance industry.

People who wonder how the tremendously profitable insurance industry can be failing need only consider the basic fact that as medical insurance costs rise, fewer people can afford it and profits drop, forcing further premium increases to maintain profit margins. This is the “death spiral” that single payer proponents have talked about from the beginning of the health care “reform” debate but which was ignored by the corporate media and both major Parties. It is time that taxpayers demand an honest discussion about the one option for addressing the crisis in health care access and affordability. Congress will continue to avoid this debate if we do not force them to. We need to make them fear us more than the anger of their political patrons in the medical-industrial complex of the insurance, pharmaceutical and corporate health care delivery industries.

Democratic politicians used a very clever strategy to avoid talking about true universal health care. At the outset of the debate, they took single payer off the table, arguing the self-fulfilling prophecy that it was “not politically possible.” Knowing that many of their own members were as dependent on campaign contributions from these industries as are the Republicans, they deliberately undermined support for Medicare-for-All by presenting a classic bait-and-switch in the form of a public option that had no chance of leading to single payer. The cat was out of the bag when Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer assured the medical insurance industry that they had no intention of creating a public option that could compete with for-profit insurance.


It should have been obvious from the beginning, when Senate Finance committee chair Max Baucus was put in charge of the debate. He was the recipient of $6 million from corporations in the medical-insurance complex in the election cycle preceding the debacle. It is no surprise that he had 13 doctors, nurses and lawyers arrested during the first two days of hearings for “disrupting” the discussions with the representatives of industry by calling from the gallery for consideration of a single payer option.To assure that there would not be mass dissention in the Democratic rank and file, Rahm Emanuel cleverly convinced Democracy for America and MoveOn to make the spurious claim that there millions of members supported the public option, without questioning those members or having any sort of open debate that would have demonstrated the overwhelming support for single payer that was evident at NetRoots Nation in Pittsburgh in 2009. In the end, Democrats gave up even the pretense of universal health care in accepting what was essentially Ron Wyden’s Healthy Americans Act. The insurance exchange, the mandate and other features of Obamacare came straight from that plan, which was put on the back burner while the phony debate about the public option was going on. Democratic leaders declared victory and told their supporters to go home and tell everyone what a good job they did against the big, bad Republicans and the insurance industry that got millions of new customers at the taxpayer’s expense.

Health care costs are approaching 20% of GDP, with no prospects of improvement in sight. If Democrats and Republicans do not unite to demand their politicians have an honest debate on the merits of single payer they will continue to see personal and taxpayer costs escalate, adding to personal and federal debt in a time when Congress claims the latter is a crisis. What most Thanks to the fact that corporate interests control the terms of political debate, most Americans don’t realize that they are already paying more than the full costs of a universal health care system through taxes, subsidies and personal health care expenditures.
Taxes for Medicare, Medicaid and the uninsured alone are nearly enough to fit the bill for a system of universal health care that already exists in other countries and costs about half what we pay in the American system that leaves an estimated 23 million uninsured, mostly working Americans. Other hidden costs include medical bankruptcies, loss of competitiveness by employers who pay the brunt of the cost of insurance, lost productivity by the uninsured, failed businesses for entrepreneurs who lose their businesses when they are sick or injured and on and on.
Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has a well-deserved reputation as a fighter for the average American, but he gave in far too readily to the fallacy that we cannot afford to give Medicare to everyone because “it has (financial) problems of its own.” Belatedly, he has acknowledged that the worst of these problems is the Wyden-supported Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 that gave us an unfunded Medicare prescription benefit plan under which pharmaceutical manufacturers can name their own price and the government is not allowed to negotiate. Even now, he refuses to discuss single payer with members of Physicians for a National Health Program. I know this because I have repeatedly asked him myself. This explains why he is still ignorant of the fact that the reason universal Medicare coverage will save Medicare is that it covers both the healthy and the sick, creating a universal risk pool so that everyone pays and everyone has access when they need medical care.
A universal health care system is inevitable unless Americans choose to give up their own access to health care. Even Republicans can’t make that seem like a good thing. If Democrats don’t join third parties and independents in calling for an honest debate on single payer health care, they will follow Republicans in the ashcan of history when Americans wake up to their collective power and vote for candidates who will put their interests over corporate profit.
To hear a discussion about health care and democracy, listen to this podcast from SFPI Radio, the voice of Soldiers For Peace International on the worldwide web every Saturday.