Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Another Day, Another GOP Attempt to Destroy Health Care in America

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

There will be another vote in the United States Senate today on a Republican attempt to take health care away from millions of Americans.    Today's vote is "procedural," one that clears the way for the Senate to proceed on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a law popularly known as "Obamacare." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is using this vote to engage wayward senators in the process that he hopes will ultimately lead to the end of the Obamacare.  McConnell's argument to his reticent colleagues is that they should support today's vote because it doesn't actually do anything other than let the legislative process proceed.  They can always vote against repeal later if Mitch and the boys fail to convince them to drink the kool-aid.

Republican senators who have some actual concern for the medical plight of their constituents - people like Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Dean Heller of Nevada, and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia - won't actually be bringing physical harm to anyone with today's vote.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), an organization representing over thirty-eight million old farts in this country, myself included, is calling bullshit on McConnell's sleazeball tactic and encouraging senators to vote against today's "procedural" vote - and to vote against the ultimate effort to repeal Obamacare as well.

The AARP is right to oppose McConnell's effort to bring his entire caucus into the process of repeal through supporting this seemingly harmless and innocuous maneuver.  If Mitch can win this vote, he will be emboldened to begin bribing and arm-twisting with unbridled ferocity - and eventually some version of zombie Trumpcare will stumble across the legislative finish line and be signed into law by a president who has absolutely no concern for the health and welfare of his fellow citizens.

I telephoned Senator Roy Blunt's Springfield office yesterday regarding today's vote and spoke with a very pleasant lady who assured me that my concerns would be relayed to the senator's Washington, DC, office.  I told her who I was and that I am a member of the AARP.  I also explained that defunding Medicaid, something that seems to be central to all of the GOP "replacement" plans, would cause clinics and hospitals in rural areas to close because much of their revenue streams come from Medicaid.  Then I closed with this:  "If clinics and hospitals in my area close, Roy Blunt is going to own that situation."

And Congressman Jason Smith will own it also!

When clinics and hospitals close health issues will go unchecked and worsen, emergency rooms which are able to remain open will see increases in walk-in clients with non-life-threatening medical issues, more potential revenue for hospitals will be siphoned off by collection agencies trying to collect on those ER bills, and lots and lots of good people - medical professionals, technicians, office staff, and housekeeping personnel - with be unemployed.

Taking affordable health care away from millions of Americans is going to have catastrophic effects.  It's going to be a colossal mess - and Roy Blunt, and Jason Smith, and their hard-headed and hard-hearted colleagues are going to own that mess and all of the suffering it generates.

If ever there was a time to put your senators and members of Congress on speed dial, this is it!

Call Congress today - and keep calling!

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