Saturday, March 25, 2017

THE BILL WAS PUSHED! THEN PULLED! WHAT NEXT?


The odd coalition (Democrats and right wing Republicans) sent the Ryan-Trump health care bill dead to the morgue in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday, 3/25/2017.

Winners:
  • President Obama and the Democrats. 
  • The poor, who’ll still be able to get insurance.
  • The pro-choice wing.
  • The far right (Koch brothers and kin), who opposed the new bill (for wrong reasons).
  • Those who believe in the sister care brother-care values expressed by Jesus and religious ethics.

President Obama and V.P. Biden, 2010, reacting to the passage of the Affordable Care Act
Photo, via Wikipedia, in the public domain


Some losers after the Friday vote:
  • Stock investors, maybe (we’ll see on Monday, 3/27/2017 how the market reacts). Hopeful sign: the stock futures market initially dipped on the “pulling the bill” news on Friday, 3/24/2017, then recovered, and now read higher, suggesting a bounce at Monday’s opening bell.  Follow the action here very conveniently (CNBC, premarkets)..
  • President Trump and his entourage. Their competence is now more questionable.

Will further Trump/Ryan efforts to blast the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") into bits have a chance? Probably not, because it’s an unlikely coalition of left wing and far right wing that defeated and these forces are impervious to Ryan’s suggestions and arm-twisting.

As a citizen and an ethicist, I propose a couple of ideas about medical costs and insurance.
                                 
  • Cut American health care costs by increasing the number of medical practitioners. Doctor incomes average $250,000 annually. Global standards are lower. This means more expenditure on pre-medical major costs and medical school tuitions with the goal of educating more medical doctors.
  • Lower medicine costs in the U.S. Increase competition and lower costs through legal reform. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/15/opinion/why-drugs-cost-so-much.html?_r=0limiting.
  • Use common sense. When a health system buys an athletic stadium naming rights (Providence Park, Portland, Oregon, named after Providence Health and Services), something seems wrong with the system.   
       

Providence Park, Portland, Oregon

Image created by Hawk00Eyed

Via Wikimedia, used here under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unportedlicense.


Some suggested goals for health care in the U.S. (to be elaborated soon):
  • Fine-tune the Affordable Care Act to guarantee universalize health care coverage. 
  • Don’t let people fall through the cracks. Eliminate the cracks.
  • Safeguard Medicaid for benefit of the elderly poor.
  • Funding: higher % taxes on mega rich.
  • Cut Congressional health care coverage to national coverage levels or let all of us join the Congressional plan.
  • Providing universal health care coverage. If you’re inside the U.S., you are covered.
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Just in: 3/27/2017: religious left awakens, emerges as a force, according to Reuters. That matches my sense of what's happening among congregations and clergy colleagues on the West Coast. Glad to see it confirmed by Reuters.


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