The morally grotesque Republican healthcare plan

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There is something morally grotesque about watching Republican legislators — all of whom get free Obamacare Plus on the public dime — compete with each other over designing the most unjust healthcare insurance system for others who may rely on the public dime.

I have a simple suggestion. Let’s mandate that Republican legislators get only the healthcare insurance that they give to the most vulnerable among us including the unemployed and those employed in blue collar work. If poor people get lousy Trumpcare, Republican legislators should get lousy Trumpcare too. That’s what justice requires.

If poor people get lousy Trumpcare, Republican legislators should get lousy Trumpcare too.

How can we determine what a morally just healthcare insurance plan might look like? It’s not as hard as you might imagine. John Rawls, the greatest political philosopher of modern times wrote that if we want to know what justice requires of us, we ought to imagine the world we would want if we didn’t know the position that we would occupy in that world. In other words, justice is what we would choose if we didn’t know if we were rich or poor, black or white, brilliant or plodding, talented or talentless. Or, expressed colloquially, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Since it is unlikely that Republicans are going to create a Trumpcare that copies their high end insurance plans, the changes to Obamacare that Republican legislators propose must apply equally to them.

This is especially simple for Republican legislators who rely on the taxpayers to fund their health insurance. Justice means providing for others what legislators mandate that taxpayers provide for them. If they get government funded insurance — beef Wellington for every meal — it is immoral to force their poorest constituents to subsist on dry cereal without milk. Going forward, Republican legislators ought to get dry cereal without milk, too.

Since Trumpcare doesn’t mandate that employers provide insurance for their employees, the Federal government should not provide health insurance for Republican legislators. They should be forced to buy their health insurance on the open market. That will surely be very expensive, but it would save the a fortune for taxpayers. Of course if they think they are entitled to comprehensive health insurance, that’s what they should provide for the poorest among us.

Obviously Republican legislators wouldn’t qualify for any insurance subsidies since they make $174,000/yr, and they wouldn’t qualify for the new tax credits, either. Of course if they think that their comprehensive health insurance ought to be free from them, justice requires that it be free for everyone else.

Mandate that Republican legislators who are older be required to pay up to 5X more for insurance coverage than their younger colleagues. Not to worry, though; they could contribute up to $13,100 to pre-tax health savings accounts. That should be super helpful since self-insuring their families will cost about $6000 per year … before extras. If Republican legislators think that’s too onerous for them, it’s obviously too onerous for anyone else.

There would be no maternity benefit. That’s extra. If a Republican legislator wants to have children, he or she will have to pay for coverage with an expensive maternity rider or out of pocket, just like poor constituents. Babies might die as a result? Big deal. Republican “pro-life” legislators don’t give a damn if babies die, just so long as women are forced to give birth to them first.

Ironically, many Republicans are howling that the new plan is too generous! Surely if it’s too generous for poor people, their health insurance is far too generous for them.

If they want to exempt pre-existing conditions for others, their insurance shouldn’t cover pre-existing conditions. Child was an insulin dependent diabetic before Dad was elected to Congress? Now Dad will have to pay for insulin out of pocket.

If Republicans want to deny health insurance coverage to children between 22-26 that ought to apply to Republican legislators as well. And the same thing goes for lifetime caps. Legislator’s husband gets diagnosed with metastatic cancer? We’ll cover the first $1,000,000; after that they can pay the tab.

Don’t forget religious exemptions. No birth control on the public dime. Republican legislators and their spouses can just pay for it out of pocket.

Wait, what? Republican legislators think they’re entitled to better health insurance than their constituents who might be coal miners, factory workers, or stock boys at the local supermarket? Why? It can’t be because they are providing a more valuable service than those who work in mines, factories or supermarkets. Republican legislators just sit around and talk.

If a lousy Trumpcare plan is good enough for poor people and blue collar workers than it’s good enough for Republican legislators. Mandating that the government pay for Obamacare for legislators but not for constituents would be morally grotesque, wouldn’t it?

  • Whattodo

    OT: I have 3 small kids and one of my sisters has a baby who she “hasn’t decided” whether to vaccinate. They’ve already missed several vaccinations, she claims her baby’s doctor (a family doc not a ped) told her vaccinations do more harm then good, and she’s just read too many stories about children developing autism after 2y vaccines. I’ve sent her anecdotes of children killed or seriously injured by vaccine preventable diseases and links on the science. She responded by asking me not to send her any more facts because the stories she’s read are so compelling and much more convincing. Although she still ended by saying she hasn’t made up her mind.

    So, I’d like to crowdsource 2 things –

    1. Any one have any other ideas for helping her decide to vaccinate?

    and

    2. I’ve told her my husband and I are going to have to have a serious discussion about whether our kids can be around hers if she decides not to vaccinate. 2 of mine haven’t had the full MMR and there’s been measles and mumps outbreaks in our state recently. They live very close to us and we see them all the time. I’m just not sure what to do. I don’t want to create a huge rift in my very close-knit family, but I don’t want to put my children at risk either.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Unfortunately science doesn’t sway people like anecdotes. Anecdotes that you haven’t witnessed are also not as persuasive. It’s a hard call. I had a family member that was convinced that her daughter’s autism was caused by vaccines so she didn’t vaccinate her son. When he was also diagnosed with autism and had real regression around 18 months she realized that it was genetic. Nothing anyone said to her changed her mind before this

    • Roadstergal

      She’s already made up her mind. Missing vaccinations is like driving around with the kid loose in the car and saying you ‘haven’t made up your mind’ on seatbelts.

      I had to cut ties with an anti-vax family member. It sucks, but it’s the health of your kids – and of you. If your immunity has waned over time, _you_ can get measles or shingles or what-have-you from an infected kid…

      • Whattodo

        I had a baby less than 2 years ago, so my titers have been checked recently on whatever they test then and I’m still immune. I had my DTAP then too. But I don’t know about my husband or my parents or even if any of my kids or the cousins (also all vaccinated) failed to seroconvert.

      • indigo_sky

        You can’t get shingles from an infected kid. That’s not how it works. You could get chickenpox though, if you never had it or you are one of the unfortunates who does not become fully immune after having it so get it twice.

        Shame on ant-vaxers, as a group, they put all of society at risk. That said, the risk from any particular ant-vaxer is low enough (thanks to herd immunity making it so that most likely never be exposed to measles etc.) the you probably do things every day with your kid that put them in far more danger than occasionally hanging out with an unvaccinated person would.

    • myrewyn

      Let me guess — family doc is a naturopath?

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      I would avoid that family at least until your kids get the MMR. Try to make it not a moral thing but a health one: you’ll be happy to spend time with them again once it’s safe to, but it’s just not now.

      I don’t know if this helps any, but maybe you could point out that autism isn’t a death sentence or a sentence to a life of misery either. I’m autistic. My mother almost certainly is too, though she’s not diagnosed officially. I won’t say we never had any challenges in our lives, but we’re alive and doing well overall, autism or no. I’m altogether pleased that I didn’t die from measles or anything else vaccine preventable.

      • myrewyn

        I don’t think I would bring up anything that solidified the vaccine/autism link in any way. That’s been thoroughly disproven but I think hearing “vaccine” and “autism” in the same conversation will only strengthen the link no matter what the intention was.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          It’s a good point.

    • fishcake

      It’s unethical and non-standard for an MD or DO to say vaccines do more harm than good during an office visit. I would call the clinic and ask to speak to the manager and lodge a complaint with Quality.

      • myrewyn

        That’s why I’m wondering if the doc is not an actual MD. I believe in some states, naturopaths are allowed to be your primary care provider and if the sister has already gone crunchy, she may have picked one.

        • Roadstergal

          To be fair (ha), we have licensed, FAAP pediatricians selling vaccine exemptions in our state…

          • myrewyn

            Well you and I do live on the woo-coast. I’m sure there are a small minority of pediatricians selling that here, too.

          • Roadstergal

            It just boggles my mind that anyone who has spent a goddam day in medical school can speak this sort of bullshit against vaccines, let alone a licensed pediatrician. And the professional organizations don’t do a damn thing about it.

        • fishcake

          I bet you’re correct. If not, and the “family doc” is really an MD or DO, I hope someone will say something.

          • Spamamander, pro fun ruiner

            The DO degree is pretty close to an MD these days, they can do most everything an MD can. But WA state does allow naturopathic “doctors” so I’m sure some others do too. 🙁

          • fishcake

            Both my docs are DOs. I haven’t noticed them not being able to do things MDs do — I’m thinking they just have different approaches.
            Shame about WA allowing naturopaths to be primary care providers.

      • FallsAngel

        It’s certainly non-standard, though the medical culture is pretty loose about doctors being able to express their own opinions. Just like there are anti-climate change climate scientists, there are anti-immunization doctors. My guess is this doc (using the term loosely) is either an old-fashioned GP or as myrewyn says, not a physician at all. Board certified pediatricians and family practice docs are usually very pro-vaccine.

        • fishcake

          Which decade would a GP’s mind have to be in to be old-fashioned about vaccines? 1940s?
          Seems more like a modern trend.

          • FallsAngel

            Welp, measles vaccine, both live and killed, came out in 1963. The killed stuff didn’t work very well, which undermined people’s confidence in ANY measles vaccine. It was pulled in 1967, I believe. The current measles vaccine used in the US came out in 1968. It sometimes takes a while for things to catch on. G*d knows I saw that with chickenpox vaccine.

            Family Practice, as a specialty, came to be in 1969. This is a good article: https://www.theabfm.org/about/history.aspx Here is another: http://www.aafp.org/about/the-aafp/family-medicine-specialty.html There probably aren’t too many docs from the 60s in practice any more.

        • poppy72

          Actually Falls, my doctor is one of six in the same premisses and on the front door there is a notice stating that any child that is not vaccinated are not to enter the premisses.tad harsh? but a sign of the times

        • Whattodo

          I mentioned above, but she’s a DO who advertises as an “all natural vegan” doctor. I have absolutely no issue with that, and I was actually thrilled my sister picked an actual doctor (we had to talk her out of homebirthing, too – I posted as guest then but you guys gave me some great links that changed her mind) – but then this nonsense….

    • FallsAngel

      1. No. Unfortunately, the research has shown that the more you try to educate someone about vaccines, the more they dig in their heels (in general).

      2. If yours are 12+ months old, get them their MMR ASAP.

      • Roadstergal

        Even if her kids have gotten their MMR, it’s not a slam-dunk that they’re protected. Intentionally exposing her kids to vectors is, unfortunately, dangerous, especially since it sounds like her community is suffering from lack of herd immunity.

        This all makes me so mad. :p

        • FallsAngel

          No, it’s not 100%. However, for measles it’s about 95% after one dose and 97% after two, and the second can be given as soon as 1 month after the first. I’ve never seen any numbers on rubella efficacy, but rubella has been declared eliminated from the entire western hemisphere, with the last CRS cases in 2009. Mumps is a bit weaker, only 88% efficacy.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            A 3% chance of catching the measles after being exposed?

            I don’t like those odds. That’s why I will keep them around vaccinated people, who are less likely to be carriers in the first place.

          • FallsAngel

            Yes, that’s what it means, a 3% chance of catching measles after exposure. Very few vaccinated people get measles.

            No one really is a “carrier” for measles. However, one may be contagious for several days before the rash appears.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Very few vaccinated people get measles.

            But very few non-vaccinated people get the measles, too.

            That’s because most people aren’t exposed to the measles.

            And I like to keep it that way. Therefore, vaccinated or not, I want to avoid people who have the measles, or those who are more likely to have the measles.

          • FallsAngel

            And very few of the vaccinated get measles even when exposed to it, but 90% of the unvaccinated do get it upon exposure. The point of vaccination is to prevent the disease when you are exposed. Not that I would advocate deliberately exposing oneself, mind you.

            Dealing with families can be tricky. As whattodo said, she doesn’t want to create a rift in her close-knit family. That’s why she should get her kids immunized, ASAP. She should also avoid exposure to the cousins if there is measles in the community and there’s a likely chance the cousins were exposed. When people are diagnosed with measles, a news alert is usually sent out naming all the places “Patient Zero” has been during the time she/he was contagious, with a margin of error built in. http://www. denverpost. com/2017/01/09/measles-exposure-denver-metro-area/

          • AnnaPDE

            Except how do you do that in practice?
            Never go to the doctor’s office? (That other kid with a cough might have measles and not just the classic “little virus”.) Never go to the supermarket? (Apparently I avoided crossing paths with an infected students just by some hours at our local one, when we had an outbreak a year ago.) Not let them play with other kids in the park unless they produce a vaccination record?
            OP’s sister’s unvaccinated kids might be more likely to catch measles than hers, but at least their mother can tell her if they’re a bit under the weather, so she can avoid meeting them until things have cleared up.
            That said, what’s the point of not finishing the course of shots for a 3 yr old? It’s handy for all the situations listed above, too.

          • Roadstergal

            It’s a very, very good vaccine. Every child who doesn’t have a legitimate medical exemption should get it. But since it’s not 100%, I would consider whether intentionally exposing your kids to unvaccinated kids is worth it.

            In much the same way as getting your kid a HepB shot is a great idea – but telling them not to lick outdoor surfaces is still also good to do.

      • Whattodo

        They’re 1 and 3. They’ve each had 1 dose. My oldest is fully immunized, so I’m less worried. I did get my #2 his first MMR at 9 months because of a huge local outbreak of mumps. And my #1 got her second dose at 4 because of a local measles outbreak.

        • FallsAngel

          You do know that a dose given before 1year doesn’t count as#1? It probably gave him some protection but he needs another # 1, now. Then # 2 at least 30 days later. The 1 year old needs his/hers now and a second at least 30 days later.

          • Whattodo

            You know what, I checked and I got that wrong. But I appreciate the information anyways! They usually do MMR at 15 months at our office and they did it at 12 months instead. The 1 year old had his 1st dose at 15 months. I’m pretty sure the 2nd dose worked on my (then) 4 year old because she developed a mild rash after it.

          • FallsAngel

            Yes, a rash is pretty good evidence that it worked.

    • fishcake

      Do you know what kind of health care provider your sister’s child has? Naturopath?

      • Whattodo

        She’s a DO, but she advertises as the vegan doctor who emphasizes diet and exercise to keep people healthy.

        • Who?

          Bizarre isn’t it. I just drove past a vegan tattoo parlour. I can’t even begin to process that one.

          And don’t actual doctors advocate diet and exercise as a way to look after yourself? The idea that food and exercise can make you healthy or not, beyond the very basics of eating a modest amount and keeping moving, is pretty sketchy.

          My beauty therapist was telling me this morning that one of her clients, early 50s, is dying of breast cancer. Had always been a ‘healthy’ eater, and keen exerciser, but somehow got cancer anyway, then refused all medical treatment and doubled down on the ‘healthy’ food. The cancer has now broken through on the skin on her chest, she is desperately weak and ill and very close to death. The smell is apparently indescribable. Her niece, who is looking after her, brought her in one last time to have her nails done.

          Patients-or should I say clients-who go to that doctor have an agenda before they arrive.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            Someone I know recently died of cancer, too. Again, very healthy and keen on exercise. Lean and vigorous. Until she developed cancer.

          • Young CC Prof

            En cuirasse disease, a horrifying complication of breast cancer that timely surgery is 100% effective at preventing. Even when conventional treatment can’t save you, it can still make things less awful.

          • indigo_sky

            Vegan tattoo parlour is because tattoo ink typically has animal ingredients. People who won’t ingest gelatin or glycerin etc. often don’t want it injected into their skin either. Vegan tattoo parlours use vegan inks and their aftercare products won’t have lanolin ang such.

            Some vegans won’t get vaccines due to animal products/ grown in eggs either (and/or because of natural health woo for some). But my experience (which admittedly is not comprehensive) is that they are the minority. Interestingly, most vegans seem to advocate for vaccines due to their importance to public health. They don’t like the animal ingredients and hope for vegan versions someday, but until those exist, keeping measles away is more important.

          • Who?

            Interesting, I didn’t know that about the tattoos. Thanks!

            Good to know they don’t deprive themselves and their children of the protection vaccination offers.

    • Joan M.

      Here’s my personal story that might help her make a decision. One consequence of this anti-vaccination fad was the re-emergence of
      chicken pox “parties” in 2007. Parents deliberately
      exposed their kids to wild chicken pox thinking that was better for them than a vaccination. One of these people contaminated a grocery shopping cart with pox, causing me to unknowingly pick up the virus. I caught an almost asymptomatic case of chicken pox. It was so mild because I had the wild disease as a child in 1964. I did not realize that I was sick, because my only symptom was two small spots on my chest. I thought I had scratched myself. So what’s the big deal?

      Well, not knowing I had the pox, I unwittingly gave it to my 39 year old brother who had never had either the disease, or the vaccination, which came out in 1995 when he was 27. He was very sick, covered in terrible spots, and could have been rendered sterile had his fever not been brought down with medication at the hospital (I wish more doctors would recommend adult vaccination when new vaccines for childhood diseases become available).

      I’m not saying that vaccines are perfect, but they sure beat the
      alternative. Not vaccinating her child could cause someone else to become very ill, or even die, should her unvaccinated child catch a disease and pass it along. Her own child could die for that matter. Also, her child could later catch a disease in adulthood that she could have been vaccinated against, and become much sicker than a child with same disease would be.

      MMR is the only vaccine to ever really show any harm to children, and even then the numbers are very small. She might look into getting her child vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella separately if she wants to avoid MMR. In the past, infants were not vaccinated until they were 6 months old, and no one got autism. The only reason for accelerating the schedule was because parents started putting babies in day-care. If she keeps her baby away from everyone for it’s first 6 months, she can safely start vaccinations then as it’s immune system will be strong (especially if she breast feeds).

      • Roadstergal

        Breastfeeding does nothing for systemic immunity.

        The vaccine schedule is based on the best science available; the baby is not more ‘ready’ for the vaccines later on.* There is no benefit and significant risk to spreading out vaccinations and getting separate jabs.

        I appreciate that you’re trying to raise awareness of the severity of VPD, but please do not spread myths.

        *The exception is the birth dose of HepB. The virus has such nasty consequences for young children that they give it right away. The issue is not that the kid’s immune system isn’t ‘ready’, but more that the bolus of Ig from the placenta can interfere with recognition of the antigens. It still offers some protection, and can be boosted later to give strong and lasting immunity.

    • indigo_sky

      You do things every day that put them at far, far greater risk than exposing them to your sisters untaxed kid would.

      I mean, absolutely shame on her for not vaxing and all that. Non-vaxers as a group present a very real risk of allowing diseases we’ve gotten rid of in the Americas to come back/spreading those we haven’t quite gotten rid of yet.

      But realistically the risk of a single non-vaxed child to a healthy vaxed child is minuscule in our still fairly highly vaxed society.

      Chickenpox I suppose could happen since that’s still around, but still quite unlikely. But something like measles? Sure, 3% (or 7‰ if only one shot) of getting it from the unvaxed baby if baby gets them, but what is the chance of the baby being exposed in the first place? Well under one in a million, I would guess?

      Rule of large numbers means that of course it will happen to someone from time to time. But your vsxed catching measles or polio or such from this one unvaxed kid is less likely than the risk of them being in a serious car accident, and yet you likely still take them in a car on a regular basis.

      Whether or not it’s too much of a risk is something only you and your partner can decide. But my opinion is that if she and baby are people you want in your lives, it’s ridiculous to avoid then over this (barring circumstances of outbreak in your area or immune compromised kid). But still keep up the good fight against the woo and try to convince her to vaccinate that kid!

      • Daleth

        You do things every day that put them at far, far greater risk than exposing them to your sisters untaxed kid would.

        Uh, like what? I assume Whattodo uses car seats, doesn’t leave her kids unattended in the bath, doesn’t feed them raw-milk dairy products, keeps potential poisons out of their reach, etc.

        Risks are theoretical until they’re not. I don’t let my kids play with my antivax friend’s kids even though unlike Whattodo, I do NOT live in an area that recently had measles or mumps outbreaks. If you’ve had recent outbreaks in your area, things are a whole lot less theoretical.

        I agree that sharing more facts with her probably won’t work. Social shunning works a lot better, apparently–sending the message that being antivax makes you look ignorant and makes people not want to hang around you is far more effective, so avoiding sister is kind of a two-fer: protect your own kids, AND send the only message that’s remotely likely to work!

        • indigo_sky

          I assume Whattado uses car seats too. But you know who else uses car seats? Over half of the small children killed in car crashes every year. They are very, very important, but no guarantee of perfect safety, because perfect safety doesn’t exist. There is always some level of risk when you take a child in a car, walk near a road, let them ride a bike, takes them outside where they could be stung by a bee (what if allergic?) etc. My kids play hockey and soccer, both of have a worryingly high risk of concussion which I really don’t like, but are good for keeping them active, help them make friends, and most importantly, they really enjoy.

          More kids die every year in car crashes (again, with a majority of them wearing seatbelts/small ones in carseats) than die of vaccine preventable illness in the US. Injury statistics are harder to come by, but I would bet that there are more kids seriously injured in car accidents each year than get a vaccine preventable disease in the US each year.

          I don’t mean to downplay the importance of vaccines at all. Collectively, the anti-vax movement is a big danger to all of us, and especially to kids who really, truly can’t be vaccinated or have immune problems which keep their vaccines from being effective.

          But thankfully the great majority still vax, and so herd immunity is still pretty strong. The chance of the unvaxed child even being exposed to one of these diseases is quite small. If they were, then add to that that it would only harm the vaxed child if their vaccine were to fail (larger possibility, but still not likely), and even then they would probably have a mild case thanks to the vaccine helping some.

          To sum up: Anti-vax movement and the unvaxed as a collective are very dangerous bad news. Hanging out with a single unvaxed child when there is not a current local outbreak is a negligibly small risk to a healthy, vaccinated child in a country where vaccination rates are still quite high.

      • myrewyn

        Avoiding her unvaxed kids IS the best way to shame the antivax sister. It sends a very clear message.

        • indigo_sky

          Because shame is such a good way to convince someone to do something?

          I mean, yeah, shame on her and she should be ashamed. But in addition to methods of shame rarely being very effective, you have to take into consideration that anti-vaxxers honestly believe vaccines are dangerous/disease not that bad. So how do you expect them to react to attempts to shame them into doing something that (to their minds) puts their child at risks or actually harms their child?

          Only Whattodo can really have any idea how her sister will react of course, being the only one who actually knows her, but in my experience, shame generally does not work.

          What does work? Really hard to say. Not a lot. Gentle persistence and being around displaying healthy vaccinated children might stand a chance (along with annecdotes, which seem to be more effective than actual science, though may also be dismissed as scare tactics).

      • Who?

        Ultimately, though, Whattodo mightn’t choose to have her children participate in a game of russian roulette when she knows that’s the game.

        Her sister has made the choice she believes is right for her family. It’s entirely appropriate for Whattodo to make a choice that she believes, on balance, is right for her family. The consequence of those two decisions is that the kids lose their family closeness, the sisters have a wedge in their relationship, and both live with some regret and sadness over that.

        It’s called being a grownup.

        OT but too bad: My mum was telling us yesterday that she had the mumps-along with at that time her six or seven siblings-when she was about 11. When she was 20 or so, she was a nanny, and the boys she was caring for got the mumps, and she said she’d nurse them as she’d had the mumps before. She got them again, was sick for weeks, and had an utterly miserable time. This was the late 50s. She’s a nut for the vax.

        • indigo_sky

          I agree that it’s entirely appropriate for Whattodo to make whichever choice she believes right for her family.

          I don’t agree at all with greatly exaggerating the risk by comparing it to Russian Roulette.

          Nor the “being a grownup,” Being a grownup does mean making tough choices, yes. But the implication here seems to be that only cutting off the sister to avoid the terrible, horrible, no good danger of being in contact with an unvaxed child is the grown up option and no, either option made with thought and consideration can be the grownup option.

    • Aine

      Can you tackle the vaccines one by one rather than a general conversation? She seems to be swayed by anecdote so a few You Tube videos of a child with whooping cough might be enough to persuade her to DTAP, for example.

    • Cestrum Nocturnum

      Put your kids ahead of Typhoid Mary. If the rest of your family has any sense, they’ll agree with you.

  • Spamamander, pro fun ruiner

    Off-topic- our friend Sherry Lee Dress is back in the news :
    http://www.union-bulletin.com/news/courts_and_crime/midwife-faces-new-charges-in-washington/article_c0f932a6-036c-11e7-a9fd-a32fb092f33e.html

    Current charges include a gross misdemeanor and a felony here in Washington.

    • fishcake

      Wow. I have spoken to this woman on the phone. She is a big reason I am against homebirth.

    • myrewyn

      Isn’t “licensed direct-entry midwife” an oxymoron?

  • Roadstergal
    • OttawaAlison

      Wasn’t it emails?

      • Roadstergal

        Behghazimails!

        • EmbraceYourInnerCrone

          When they were attempting to blame everything that happened with Benghazi on the Secretary of State at the time(Hillary) instead of a combo of a breakdown in communication and the fact that Congress refused the State Depts requests for more funds for embassy and outpost security, they (the committee investigating Benghazi) discovered that Sec. Clinton had her UNclassified emails coming through a email server in the basement of her residence. (Just as an aside, Sec of State Colin Powell got his unclassified State dept emails through his AOL account…)

          The discovery of the email server was a new reason for yet another investigation. SQUIRREL!!!

    • LibrarianSarah

      I can’t help but bitterly note that the same people who went crazy about Benghazi are oddly silent on Yemen. It is almost like the whole thing was just a cynical political ploy.

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      And now Trump is proposing cuts to embassy security, which means more attacks on embassies. Watch Congress not have a bunch of hearings about that.

    • Cestrum Nocturnum
  • Jules B

    As a Canadian, I have never been able to make head nor tails of the US healthcare system (I have tried, but it still just seems so complicated), so apologies for my ignorance. My question is – will the average Trump supporter/republican be negatively affected by these changes? And if so, won’t the Republicans eventually lose a huge amount of their supporters as a result?

    • Roadstergal

      1: Yes, 2: No.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      Remember an application of democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

      This is the problem. Why do they care if 10 million people lose health insurance and 10 million more are otherwise worse off? if they can get 30 million to pay less, then they have gained 10 million supporters. Screw the rest.

      • Roadstergal

        They won’t even lose the 20 million. The ones who lose their insurance and/or pay more are happy that he’s ending Ebul Obamacare and “telling it like it is” re: the various minorities they don’t like. Objective quality of life outcomes have never mattered to Republican core voters.

      • Jules B

        Ah – this makes sense to me, yes. Thank you!

      • GiddyUpGo123

        But aren’t the 30 million who will pay less the same people who would have voted for them anyway?

        I don’t know, I guess I want to believe that they’re all committing political suicide. It’s the only way I can look into the future and not feel complete and utter despair.

    • OttawaAlison

      I’m moving to the US for a few years, and it is complicated and we have good insurance (my husband already has moved). They say all these choices = Freedom. I say not having to think about paying deductibles, who is and is not in your network and whether worrying about whether a necessary procedure is covered = Freedom.

      • Azuran

        You are courageous. The USA is honestly one of the last first world country I’d ever consider moving to.
        Compared to living in Canada, everything there looks like it sucks.

      • Jules B

        Agreed. I am just so used to pulling out my Carecard and it being done with.

    • Squirrelly

      Yes it should affect his voters quite a lot. I don’t think it will hurt his core support because they will find someone else to blame. People have too much invested to imagine he’s not the best president ever. That said, not everyone that voted for him is a hardcore believer. Real world consequences may knock off a lot of his moderate support.

      And that’s if he survives that long. I keep hearing things about Russia.

    • fishcake

      I know of at least one person who thinks he’ll benefit. Formerly on Medicaid, now has no insurance because he said he now makes too much to qualify and didn’t want to pay for a plan through the marketplace. He said, “Hopefully with Trump I won’t have to pay the penalty” (for not having insurance). Seems like a risk not having insurance, especially since he’s diabetic.

      • Amy

        He’ll benefit financially for sure. But he’ll be dead so he won’t be able to enjoy the windfall.

        • fishcake

          Diabetes is not a disease to ignore, that’s for sure. Hopefully he’s still getting his foot checks (probably not) and there are no amputations in his future.

      • Sullivan ThePoop

        He will only benefit if he never gets insurance again

    • Amy

      Answer to your first question– YES. The average Trump voter is white and lives in a red state, with significant pockets of blue-collar whites hiding even in blue states. Many of them are going apoplectic now that they realize the ACA is Obamacare is the only reason they’ve been able to get coverage for the last 8 or so years. NPR has been interviewing voters in places like Kentucky where Obamacare has been immensely popular, and of course the Trump Regrets Twitter account has been keeping track, and the cognitive dissonance is staggering. People acting like Trump CAN’T take away their health insurance because they just don’t want him to!

      Second question– if what I’ve been seeing is any indication, probably not. Their MO is blame the Democrats, the Democrats who now control NOTHING federally and only a smattering of states, for all their problems. Their lives are going to get appreciably worse under Trump, just as they did under Bush, and they’ll get MORE angry and MORE conservative in response.

    • Sullivan ThePoop

      Well, anything that affects older Americans will lose the republicans a huge voting block. A lot of the problem is that republicans have spent so much time in congress that they move the districts in a way that almost guarantees they will be reelected, but a lot of that is based on older Americans that often vote republican. They could possibly screw up all of that work with this healthcare fiasco

    • The Computer Ate My Nym

      You’re not alone in being unable to make the slightest bit of sense out of the US healthcare system. The average US American can’t make heads or tails of it either.

      Yes, Trump’s proposals will adversely effect the average Trump voter. So will his immigration policies: many doctors in the US are from other countries. If there are fewer doctors, the places that will lose coverage first will be the less desirable rural western, southern, and midwestern states that voted for Trump. Will it lose him votes? Probably not. No one voted for Trump for his economic policy. They voted for him to hurt women and minorities. And he’s doing that just fine, so I expect Bubba will keep voting for him. Though, to be fair, see above about no one understanding the US healthcare system. Trump can use that lack of understanding to his advantage and blame everything on Obama or Ryan or drug companies or liberals or whoever the heck he wants.

  • Gene

    Not Trumpcare, it’s Republicare.

    And their plan is just plain offensive. All my trump voting friends are thrilled. Even the ones who are insured under the ACA. They think they will get care because they are the “right” kind of people. It’s just embarrassing.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      The question that needs to be asked is, what is the objective of this healthcare policy?

      Besides, of course, “overturning Obamacare with anything possible”?

      One would like to think that the goal of a healthcare system would be to provide healthcare to as many possible for as cheap as possible. Obviously, there are tradeoffs and you can’t do both completely, but the goal should be to come as close as possible.

      To what extent does this bill advance those goals? Is it going to make things cheaper on the whole? Certainly not going to cover more.

      Of course, the problem is that they won’t even let the bill be run through CBO projections to see what is expected. How in the blazes can the “party of fiscal responsibility” not examine a bill to determine how much it will cost and what will be the benefits?

      I mean, aside from the obvious (“they don’t care”)

      • Dinolindor

        “How in the blazes can the “party of fiscal responsibility” not examine a bill to determine how much it will cost and what will be the benefits?”

        This is the basis for my arguments with my republican parents. The party is not what it says it is. Their so-called solutions, pretty much across the board, actually are less cost effective. That’s somehow what my well-educated parents completely missed during the campaign – that sure, Trump is saying stuff they’d like to see happen (more jobs, better national security, drain the swamp). But he’s not giving solutions, or else when he does, they’re not grounded in facts or reality. The republican members of congress are no better in that regard either, with possible exceptions every now and then on specific issues.

      • LaMont

        An objective that they will actually *accomplish* is to deny women bodily autonomy. Forcing women into poverty, abusive marriages, having huge families they can’t afford, and being blamed for all of it.

      • Azuran

        Seems to me like they are failing at both. American healthcare covers much fewer people than other first world country and is so much more expensive per capita than the public healthcare of basically every other firsts world country.

        • Empress of the Iguana People

          but Socialists!

    • Sean Jungian

      I was kind of shocked to realize that the goals Republicans have are not really “fiscal responsibility” or “smaller government” (although those are the things they like to claim). I don’t even disagree with those principles.

      Somehow, with the help of the religious right, over the past 40 years they have mutated into something I don’t even recognize as being invested in human beings anymore.

      Although I don’t always trust this source (I try to be skeptical of sources that lean left as well as those that lean right) this article today kind of opened my eyes to what modern Republicans are trying to accomplish.

      http://www.vox.com/2017/3/8/14843762/ahca-republican-lies-obamacare

      • Amy

        Not carrying any water for the Democrats, who have frequently been tone-deaf in response to the insanity coming from the other side, but….

        Yes, exactly. The Republicans made a deal with the devil back in the 1960s when they decided to go for the racist white vote in response to Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act and the Great Society. And it’s been a consistent message, from Nixon’s Southern Strategy to Reagan’s made-up welfare queen to the Contract With America to the anti-gay scaremongering that helped win Dubya a second term to the one long racist smear campaign against the Obamas (including birtherism, the attacks against Michelle, the complete refusal of the GOP to work with him, and the rise of the Tea Party) for committing the audacious crime of Governing While Black.

        Maybe not all Trump voters are out and out racists, but ALL of them were racist enough that Trump’s own overt racism didn’t keep them from voting for him.

        Similarly, not all Democrats are good guys, but all the good guys at this point are either Democrats or to the left of the Democrats.

  • Cassie

    I like your idea in principle, but so many congress people are millionaires that it doesn’t even matter what kind of coverage they have, they will never have the kind of money problems their constituents have.

  • MaineJen

    “Grotesque” is definitely the word for this plan.

    Wile E. Coyote could come up with a better plan than this.

  • Empress of the Iguana People

    My Republican dad argued this for years. Although in his case it was because he felt the taxpayers shouldn’t be paying legislators much of anything at all.

    • Roadstergal

      Members of government are public servants. That side of the aisle tends to forget that, especially the current president, who thinks the presidency is his opportunity to personally enrich himself rather than benefit the populace.

      • Empress of the Iguana People

        I wouldn’t put 45 on either side of the aisle. He’s only on *his* side and no other.

        • Nick Sanders

          I’d say he’s a perfect fit for the GOP. Keep in mind, they aren’t turning on him for his views, but because his utter ineptitude is costing them as people stop being indifferent. They are totally fine with his xenophobia, classism, and greed, but he’s being so ham handed with it that they can’t convince people to sit back and take it, and that’s unforgivable.

          • Roadstergal

            They aren’t even turning on him. He’s being fully supported by the leaders (Ryan, Priebus et al) and by the rank and file (all of the GOP congressfolk who are approving his appointees and refusing to investigate his conflicts of interest). His EOs are just what they want. They’re on a legislative ‘overturn democratic protections to poor people, wildlife, and the environment’ spree. Any talk against him by a GOPer (McCain, eg) is proving to be just talk.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            Just because the Republicans are foolish enough to embrass that old jerk doesn’t mean he actually cares about their agenda(s)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            That’s what I’ve said. Trump doesn’t care about most of their issues, only about those that will make him more money.

            But because he doesn’t care, he is willing to go along with them because he knows that will keep him popular with his base. He doesn’t care about abortion. He doesn’t care about immigration. Or LGBT. None of it matters to him either way.

    • myrewyn

      My republican dad legitimately thinks that it’s fair for there to be a double standard for healthcare. Rich people get better food, cars, clothes, why not healthcare? After all, you know those well-off individuals are successful because they’re all self made. *eyeroll*

      • MaineJen

        “If they are going to die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

        • Roadstergal

          “But preventive care saves money in the long run…”

          “It does not satisfy my bloodlust!!”

          • MaineJen

            “You must be punished for your sins!! Including the sin of being poor!”

      • Nick Sanders

        My Republican dad thinks “they didn’t change all that much”. I honestly don’t even know where to begin with him…

        • myrewyn

          How is it that we were all raised by republican dads and grew up so fabulous anyway?

          • LaMont

            #NotAllDads 😉

          • MaineJen

            Rebellion? Makes me wonder if my kids will grow up to be Republicans. Maybe I should stop taking them to protest rallies…

            *takes them to protest rallies anyway*

          • myrewyn

            My now 23-year-old son rebelled by going through a brief libertarian phase. Then he went to UC Berkeley 😉

          • Roadstergal

            My mom and dad were pacifist liberal intellectuals who went to anti-Vietnam and then anti-Reagan rallies. I grew up to be much the same. So, who knows…

          • Nick Sanders

            Weirdly, he’s the one that instilled in me a lot of my kindness and concern for others. It just feels so strange and disheartening to see a man who taught me so much about loving others to take a stance that basically boils down to “fuck ’em, I got mine”.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Weirdly, he’s the one that instilled in me a lot of my kindness and concern for others. It just feels so strange and disheartening to see a man who taught me so much about loving others to take a stance that basically boils down to “fuck ’em, I got mine”.

            See, that is the difference between your republican dad and mine. Mine has been clear about that my whole life.

            He’s also pretty racist, at least against black people. He’s not vocally anti-semitic, like my mom.

            I don’t live anywhere near my folks, and not just because there are no job opportunities there. I wouldn’t live there if I could.

            To be fair to my mom and dad, it’s not just them. It’s pretty much everyone who lives around there.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            my dad wasn’t particularly prejudiced. He liked to say he disliked everybody equally.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Even that wouldn’t work for me. I remember being young in church singing,

            “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.

            When I was hungry you gave me to eat
            When I was thirsty you gave me to drink

            Now enter into the home of my father”

            and all the other verses. Yet, as soon as we walked out of church, they clearly didn’t care about anyone but themselves.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            a part my church actually tries to practice. Which might be why it’s not doing so well in the numbers department.
            Why yes, I’m a bit cynical

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Our current church is better in this regard, but then again, it’s ELCA so doesn’t get off pretending to be all high and mighty in the first place.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            lol, mine’s ELCA, too, and our last pastor was a rebel who married a gay couple one nice summer Sunday in the middle of the usual service.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            As far as I know, the ELCA does not have any problems with gay marriage. I know our church does not prohibit it, and it’s up to the pastor (as with any couples).

            They had a bunch of meetings about it, which I didn’t attend, but I did throw in my $0.02 to the pastor. Basically, I quoted Matt 25 and said, hey, according to Jesus, if we don’t let someone get married, we don’t let him get married. He thanked me for that (he is a supporter)

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            It bothered our bishop

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            interesting

          • Eater of Worlds

            We always sang that as “to the least of my people.” I am so happy I left all that hypocrisy behind. I was 7 when I decided it wasn’t for me.

          • myrewyn

            We straight-up sang about being God’s chosen race. And they wonder why attendance is dwindling…

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            We always sang that as “to the least of my people.”

            That is because you’re a young’n 🙂

            At some point, yes, they changed it to “people”

          • Nick Sanders

            I think, or at least hope, a lot of it with my dad is because he is so susceptible to messaging. He listens to a lot of talk radio, and I feel that the rise of Rush Limbaugh and subsequent similar personalities has influenced him for the worse. I can’t say for sure, since I was just a young child when Limbaugh was coming to prominence, but I do know that he has always been fairly easily swayed by certain types of influence. My mom once told me that when she married my dad, his mother confessed to her that she was afraid that he was going to end up joining a cult. And in a way, he has.

          • Eater of Worlds

            A large part of the people who voted for Trump did so because they are attracted to authoritarianism.

          • Nick Sanders

            I don’t know if he voted for Trump or not, I’m afraid to ask. I know during the primaries he thought Trump was awful and he told me he voted for Carson.

            Sadly, now he seems willing to wave off at least some of bullshitting with “but the Democrats lied too”.

          • Amy M

            My family is (New York) Jewish and my parents have always been democrats. What I (and they) found bizarre this past election is that several of their New York Jewish friends, including women, defected to Trump. I can’t understand this at all. I mean, I can see how various segments of the population believed what Trump was saying, about what he would do for them, but what my parents’ friends expected to gain from electing the Unhinged One is beyond me.

            Meanwhile, my republican FIL claimed he wouldn’t vote HRC because “he didn’t think the presidency should be a dynasty.” I’m pretty sure it was more like he didn’t think the presidency should be held by a woman. I don’t think he is a huge Trump fan, but it bothers me that he willing to vote that way even after all the awful things Trump said during the election. The rest of his family pointed out that he has daughters and a granddaughter, but its ok with him if the president normalizes grabbing women by the genitals? I don’t think he had much answer to that. We don’t talk about politics at family dinners.

          • Roadstergal

            “Meanwhile, my republican FIL claimed he wouldn’t vote HRC because “he didn’t think the presidency should be a dynasty.” ”

            So he voted for Gore in 2000, I’m sure.
            Yeah.

          • Sue

            “he didn’t think the presidency should be a dynasty.”

            Like the Bush dynasty?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Yeah. I’m sure if Jeb Bush had been nominated, there was no way he would have voted for him. Right?

          • Amy M

            I’ve said that exact thing to my husband….I suspect if it was one dynasty vs. another (bush v clinton) he could avoid his hypocrisy by pointing out that he had no choice but to vote for a dynasty.

          • Amy M

            Yep.

          • MaineJen

            I know. My dad is very religious and still attends church regularly. He also regularly votes straight ticket Republican, because…well, that’s what he’s always done, and it just *has* to be right, goshdarnit. *sigh*

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            My mom was liberal as heck, even taking her little kids with her on protests and to walk picket lines. She was an “union troublemaker” for ages.

          • myrewyn

            My mom is one of those republican-by-default women because a) her one issue is abortion no matter how she may feel on anything else and b) I don’t think she would ever dare vote any differently than my dad.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            *eyeroll* Not only do I consistently vote differently from my husband, I even fill out his form for him as he directs, because I’m nice and moral like that. Though he did NOT vote for the orange one

          • Roadstergal

            My husband was a Berner, I was for Hillz. We managed to stay married. :p

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            I convinced him to vote for Mrs. Clinton! Took me all summer and fall.

          • MaineJen

            My husband was for Bernie, but he eventually came around to see that voting for Hillary was the right move in this election.

          • Empress of the Iguana People

            Mine was for Rubio. He was going to go 3rd party for ages.

          • BeatriceC

            MrC is an “The entire system is corrupt and nobody’s any good” flaming liberal. I’m a more moderate liberal. We managed to stay together as well.

          • myrewyn

            My mother is in her eighties now — I like to think that if she were just a little younger she would have been a proud feminist because I know in her heart she agrees with it. That rural religious upbringing in the 30s and 40s was a lot to overcome.

          • Roadstergal

            My FIL is an old-school undereducated southern white guy – and he still managed to bring himself to vote D in the last three elections. Age isn’t the excuse for racism it used to be…

          • myrewyn

            She’s definitely not racist. That’s one thing she didn’t pick up thank goodness. She says she didn’t vote for Trump this past election and that’s all I need to know. I know she didn’t vote Hillary either but at least she didn’t vote for evil.

          • StephanieA

            Do we have the same parents? My mom listens to whatever my dad says (because he’s a CEO, he must know everything about the economy). She’s very anti choice and will vote based on that alone, no matter the candidate.

    • Banrion

      My republican dad literally believes that because car insurance rates went up when boomers started driving, getting lower health insurance rates now is “payback.”

      You seriously can’t even argue with that level of anti-logic.