Monday, September 25, 2017

Make Johnson, Walker, Ryan, et al own health-care flimflammery

[Updated from 9/25/17 - - Susan Collins, a real US Senator, schools Ron Johnson and brings down his Bribeathorn]

Of course Ron Johnson would defend shifting more taxpayer health care money at the last minute to two states - - Maine and Alaska - - whose Senators could make or break the latest version [Graham-Cassidy] of the GOP's fast-tracked-principle-free-secretely-crafted kill-Obamacare & fund-tax-breaks-for-donors bill.

The Washington Post generously calls it a 'rejiggered...Obamacare overhaul,' but this do-or-die iteration is like a death bed estate plan rewrite that settles scores and rewards a handful of suck-up relatives. 

RoJo had already seen to it that this last-ditch and totally-disgraceful perversion of the congressional legislating process included a special funding boost for Wisconsin to make up for Scott Walker's punitive yet costly refusal of Obamacare funding - - an ideologically-driven move that has forced Wisconsin taxpayers so far to shell out nearly $700 million in precious state dollars to cover, paradoxically, fewer Wisconsinites than would have received health insurance had Walker not declined full Obamacare funding, as Urban Milwaukee has pointed out.

Walker would get a boost politically should the Johnson co-sponsored bill pass because its special, Wisconsin-only formulation would help blunt or remove discussion from his 2018 gubernatorial re-election campaign whose announcement is but days away of the extra burden Walker shoveled onto state taxpayers for donor service and right-wing political correctness.

You can just imagine the Walker spin, talking points and ads to follow...'We covered everyone in poverty,' (no, you didn't - - you narrowed the eligibility rules and kicked a reported 92,000 Wisconsinites off coverage)...'and now we're going to be rewarded for our foresight' (cue fresh dog-whistling, poor-shaming, dividing-and-conquering)...'and hooray that health care decision-making is being given to the states...'(translation: more power to me, where I will use it to push more low-income people from the state while I continue to cut my donors' state taxes...).

More on Walker's history with the issue and block grant funding, here.
The Graham-Cassidy provision that has Walker licking his chops sends huge federal sums to the states as block grants. Governors like Walker could spend these billions any way they want, with little control. Somehow, having 50 different insurance systems is supposed to be better than having uniform healthcare standards and laws across the country. 
Walker has been involved in this most recent attack on the ACA from the beginning. Rather than working to help the people of Wisconsin, he has spent much of his time trying to take away our healthcare. He traveled to the White House several times since January to lobby against the Affordable Care Act. 
Walker attended an emergency White House meeting in July after a previous repeal bill had failed in the Senate. Among the attendees were HHS Secretary Tom Price, Sen. Cassidy, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and the governors of Mississippi, Arizona, and Arkansas. The far-right group soon congealed around the block-grant concept. 
In a Breitbart interview (don't worry, I disinfected my keyboard), Walker spoke about the White House meeting and the repeal efforts that became Graham-Cassidy, "I think it's awesome....What a perfect way to kick start a true repeal and replace of Obamacare by sending it back to the states where we’re definitely more effective, more efficient, and more accountable to the people.

This latest GOP bartering for votes which Johnson endorses as "nothing unusual"  - - and remember that this guy ran as a Tea Partier outsider dedicated to upending DC-insider business as usual - - prompts me to add this:

I hope to God that every time Wisconsin GOP leaders like Ron Johnson
Ron Johnson, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
and Paul Ryan and Scott Walker run for re-election, come to your city hall, speak at a high school graduation, drop by the church supper or send you an email, text message or snail mail appeal for a donation that you respond by asking for the rest of their political days why they tried once, twice, three times and more - - in Ryan's case, more than 70 - - to use the power and resources of the public offices they were privileged to hold as temporary trustees only to rip away the peace of mind, health insurance and medical care from millions and millions of American citizens - - some of whom are our friends and neighbors right here in Wisconsin - - including seniors in nursing homes, home-bound adults facing crippling disabilities, kids needing medications to survive birth defects, lower-income women about to give birth and more.

I've tried to collect some of Johnson and Ryan and Walker's words, maneuvers and spin aimed at killing Obamacare and simultaneously transferring these 'savings' compounded from withheld insulin shots, cancelled nursing home services or withdrawn pre-natal visits into tax cuts for the super-wealthy who are talking louder right now to Republicans than are the life-and-death medical needs of American citizens or petitions from every imaginable health care resource and provider in the nation.

No one knows yet if the bill will pass, though we know if it slips through that Ryan's House of Representatives will rubber stamp it for Trump's signing Sharplie in a heartbeat.

We also know that time and other issues and having to face daily discombobulations intentionally spawned by Trump's tweets and threats will dim the memory of The GOP War Against People and Obamacare regardless of the bill's approval or defeat.

But here in right-wing, red Wisconsin, where so much of the bill's leadership support is centered, and where the color red right now is one part partisan identification and two parts statewide embarrassment, let's agree as a matter of personal, principled, political practice to hold perpetually Johnson and Ryan and Walker and their ideological pals Sensenbrenner, Grothman, Duffy, Vukmir, et al fully accountable for the reprehensible, soulless life-and-death politics and punishments they have inflicted on, and would expand against tens or millions of human beings. 

Raise your voices. Raise your signs. Raise the stakes and vote them out.

1 comment:

Joy said...

I have a long memory too. Let this be done. Don't let any of these miserable people off the hook.