In Washington, D.C., a Medicare beneficiary filled prescriptions for 2,330 pills of oxycodone, hydromorphone and morphine in a single month last year — written by just one of the 42 health providers who prescribed the person such drugs. In Illinois, a different Medicare enrollee received 73 prescriptions for opioid drugs from 11 prescribers and filled them at 20 different pharmacies. He sometimes filled prescriptions at multiple pharmacies on the same day.
Democrats cannot limit themselves to defensive efforts to salvage the Affordable Care Act at either the federal or the state level. They need to think about a more attractive national agenda in health care that reflects the lessons of the ACA and new political realities. The coming national Democratic debate is going to focus on extending Medicare—to whom, how quickly, and under what rules will be the questions.
We billionaires just wanted to say a quick thanks for voting for Donald Trump without paying nearly any attention to what his actual policies would be. It’s the least we can do, given that you’ve already done so much for us.
Whether we enjoy restoring natural coal-flavoring to river water or seeing the cabinet stocked with our fellow billionaires and buddies from Goldman Sachs, it’s the little things — like being allowed to destroy the climate so we can be a tiny bit richer — that we appreciate so very much.
But the real dirty secret that the GOP will likely refuse ever to admit is that its plan to eliminate the ACA is also a stealth plan to gut one of the most popular things the government has ever done that didn’t involve killing Osama bin Laden — Medicaid — while laying the ground work to gut another — Medicare.
Nobody — at least nobody in the Republican Party — seems to understand that Americans love their public health insurance much better than they like Donald Trump.
If the outrage in the streets and town halls is matched by a stunning electoral defeat in Tom Price’s Georgia district, it could put the fear of getting gnawed at the polls in the mind of the Republicans who represent swing states.
The Senate voted 52-47 on Friday to confirm Representative Tom Price as the top U.S. healthcare official, putting a determined opponent of Obamacare in position to help President Donald Trump dismantle the healthcare law. Price, in his new job, will have authority to rewrite rules implementing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
As researchers David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler explain, “The biggest and most definitive study of what happens to death rates when Medicaid coverage is expanded found that for every 455 people who gained coverage across several states, one life was saved per year. Applying that figure to even a conservative estimate of 20 million losing coverage in the event of an ACA repeal yields an estimate of 43,956 deaths annually.”
As he was about to take the oath of office, Trump’s team announced plans for $10.5 trillion in cuts based on a plan devised by the Heritage Foundation — a plan that includes huge cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Defense Department.
Early optimism among business lobbyists and executives that Donald Trump’s election heralded better days has slowly given way to uncertainty as the president-elect fires off mixed and sometimes confusing messages on healthcare, taxes, and trade.
“We’re going to have insurance for everybody,” Trump told the Washington Post. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us.” Trump was also quoted as saying in the interview that he would target pharmaceutical companies over drug pricing and insist they negotiate directly with the Medicare and Medicaid government health plans for the elderly and poor.
Obamacare is a modern miracle that has expanded coverage to record levels, cut the federal deficit and expanded the life of Medicare, while adding benefits and protections for every insured American. Yet the GOP has managed to make it an entirely polarized issue, with voters who rely on the law voting against Democrats out of spite.
Back when the president’s health reform plan first passed, Republicans and their media echoes warned loudly about mythical “death panels” embedded in his legislation. Now, the voters who believed that nonsense are about to meet the real death panel — led by Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate leader Mitch McConnell, and Rep. Tom Price, the Georgia Republican slated to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
Ebenezer Scrooge may be Charles Dickens’ personification of everything that is wrong with unfettered greed. But to Paul Ryan, Scrooge — with his estimated net worth of $1.6 billion — is a proud example of those job creators that he calls “small businessmen.”
Wall Street loves Trump — as you can tell by the extended orgasm the stock market has been enjoying since he won. From his massive tax breaks for the rich to Republican plans to privatize everything from Medicare to roads to schools, the bankers won bigly.
It’s beginning to look like Donald Trump does not know how this whole president-ing thing works. And since he has the curiosity level of a pet rock, chances don’t seem great that he’ll be learning anytime soon.
Jeff Danziger’s award-winning drawings, syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group, are published by more than 600 newspapers and websites. He has been a cartoonist for the Rutland Herald, the New York Daily News and the Christian Science Monitor; his work has appeared in newspapers from the Wall Street Journal to Le Monde and Izvestia. He […]