Our March for Healthcare drew a dozen-plus citizens to Aberdeen’s Main Street to march and demonstrate our support for sensible (i.e., not Noem/Trump) health care policy. We had a great time waving to the rush-hour traffic at South 6th and Main, reminding them that our Congress and White House are assaulting one of our basic rights.
Thanks for joining us, neighbors… and keep those signs handy: we’ll probably need to march again when the Senate takes up the CBO-scored House plan!
To many, health coverage for children seems like a bipartisan no-brainer. Research increasingly shows the economic benefit of investing in children’s health early. The government recoups much of its investment in Medicaid for children over time in the form of higher future tax payments, a 2015 study published by the non partisan National Bureau of Economic Research found.
Children who had been on Medicaid also collect less in the Earned Income Tax Credit and the women who were on Medicaid earn more money by the time they are 28. Children who were eligible for Medicaid also live longer and are more likely to go to college, the report found.
“From a cost-benefit perspective, investments in children have enormous payoffs,” says John Graham, who was rule-making chief at the Office of Management and Budget in the George W. Bush administration. “But children don’t vote and are not politically organized, so it’s not as easy to defend their interests in the political process as it is for senior citizens” [Jayne O’Donnell and Ken Alltucker, “Obamacare Replacement Threatens Kids’ Health Coverage,” USA Today, 2017.05.13].
Noem is on break right now, but she has scheduled no town halls to hear voters’ concerns about health care policy or explain why she thinks taking health coverage away from millions of low-income kids is good for kids, the economy, or the budget. She’s headed back to Washington this week, but perhaps she’ll at least send some staff to Aberdeen to take notes on what participants in the March for Healthcare want for Medicaid and broader health care policy.
In the undercard to Donald Trump’s idiotic “prime the pump” interview, that man in the White House invents another expression to explain his health care policy… or lack thereof:
But ultimately, you know I use the expression, “If you have a bad knee, I would rather have the federal government focus on North Korea than fixing your knee” [Donald Trump, interview, The Economist, 2017.05.11].
While he prefers to focus on North Korea, Trump still insists everyone will have “absolute guaranteed coverage,” and he thinks insurance should cost $15 a month:
Insurance is, you’re 20 years old, you just graduated from college, and you start paying $15 a month for the rest of your life and by the time you’re 70, and you really need it, you’re still paying the same amount and that’s really insurance [Trump, 2017.05.11].
If Donald Trump can get me health insurance for $15 a month, fine, he can ignore everybody’s busted knee and focus on North Korea.
The AHCA’s passage in the House serves as a news peg for us to move a number of Republican-held House districts into more competitive rating categories. That doesn’t mean the AHCA will be an anchor on GOP incumbents next year. It’s just too early to know, for reasons we’ll get into. But broader historical patterns suggest that the Democrats have a chance to win the House next year, and health care could be part of a potential winning message. This weeks’ changes align our ratings with our overall belief that the House is in play, even while noting that the true level of danger Republicans face is as yet unclear [Kyle Kondik, “House 2018: Health Care Vote Gives Democrats Another Midterm Argument,” Sabato’s Crystal Ball, 2017.05.11].
South Dakota’s at-large seat is not one of the shifters; it’s one of the 276 districts—141 Republican, 135 Democratic—that Sabato’s team considers ungettable.
It is within the remaining 159 districts, which make up about 37% of the House’s total, where majorities are won and lost. Of these districts — which includes Peterson’s even though his district is technically outside of the range specified above — Republicans control 100, and Democrats control 59. Putting as many of those 100 “on the table” is [DCCC chair Rep. Ben Ray] Luján’s goal. Democrats need to win about a quarter of those seats, 24, to win the House, while not losing any of their own seats in the process [Kondik, 2017.05.11].
But hey, Chris Martian, or other enterprising South Dakota Democrat, if you want to put South Dakota’s House seat into Sabato’s gettable column, Kristi Noem and Donald Trump are writing your campaign script for you.
Dakota Free Press Podcast #10 is ready for your earbuds! Aberdeen City Council northwest district candidate Tom Black sits down to talk with the blog. Black talks the city’s wise choice to choose long-term planning over public sentiment and avoid signing up for rural water. Black rejects fear of immigrants and says new residents have already boosted our workforce and economy and are essential to Aberdeen’s future growth. Plus, Black talks about bringing films and culture to Aberdeen and getting pigeons out!
But first, co-host Spencer Dobson and I also talk about chickens and swastikas and Aberdeen, Jackley and Krebs at the Rapid City hate fest, and how the only people who stand to benefit from Trumpcare are the rich people who get the tax cuts and the smart Democrats who campaign to protect everyone else from this awful, awful bill.
Do you think you’re safe from Noem/Trumpcare just because you get your health insurance from your employer and thus haven’t had to deal with the Affordable Care Act marketplace to get individual coverage? Think again. Kristi Noem voted last week for a plan that could cause your employer-based coverage to fail the Jimmy Kimmel test:
Under the House bill, large employers could choose the benefit requirements from any state—including those that are allowed to lower their benchmarks under a waiver, health analysts said. By choosing a waiver state, employers looking to lower their costs could impose lifetime limits and eliminate the out-of-pocket cost cap from their plans under the GOP legislation [Stephanie Armour and Michelle Hackman, “GOP Health Bill Jeopardizes Out-of-Pocket Caps in Employer Plans,” Wall Street Journal, 2017.05.04].
Wow—so not only does Noem/Trumpcare make life worse for self-insured folks who got affordable coverage thanks to the ACA, but it also goes after the much larger class of employees who’ve counted on their job-based plans to protect themselves and their families.
I’m telling you: smart Democrats can construct entire campaigns around this single issue, the GOP’s mad support for this completely destructive health care plan. Run to go to Congress and fight Trump’s self-serving tax cuts. Run to keep Kristi Noem out of the Governor’s office. Run for Legislature to block any gubernatorial attempt to enact any of the terrible provisions that Daugaard thinks deserve consideration. Run on the simple promise to protect everyone’s health insurance—everyone’s! employees, self-employed, kids, women, older workers—from the Republican effort to take it away.
Kimmel: Senator, since you mentioned this test, since I am Jimmy Kimmel, I’d like to make a suggestion as to what the Jimmy Kimmel test should be. I’ll keep this simple: The Jimmy Kimmel test, I think, should be no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it. Can that be the Jimmy Kimmel test, Sen. Cassidy, or am I oversimplifying it?”
Cassidy: “Hey man, you’re on the right track and if that’s as close as we get, that works great in government. Now we’ve got to be able to pay for it. and that’s the challenge. So all those middle-class families right now, paying $20 to $30 to $40,000 a year for their coverage, we have to make it affordable for them, too.”
Kimmel: “I can think of a way to pay for it is don’t give a huge tax cut to millionaires like me, and instead, leave it how it is. That’s my goal.
Cassidy: “Tell the American people to call their senators and endorse that concept.”
While Celebrity Apprentice Donald Trump signs a budget that helps his millionaire family, celebrity Jimmy Kimmel says don’t cut my taxes—help everybody else! Hmm… not every celebrity is an arrogant, selfish jerk trying to raid the public treasury.
Senator Mike Rounds appears to think that the only way to sell the Republican plan to take health insurance away from millions of Americans is to keep shouting “Obamacare!”
I think the American Health Care Act, which recently passed the House of Representatives, is a step in the right direction. Removing the mandates, eliminating the taxes, providing more flexibility for states and clearing a path for the free market to work again are all good steps toward reducing premiums for families and employers.
But, it’s not perfect and I would like to see improvements, including a transition plan for folks closing in on retirement, clear assurances on how we’ll handle pre-existing conditions and stronger promotion of group insurance plans because that is the most effective delivery system we have.
Should the House bill be improved? Absolutely. Is it still better that Obamacare? Without a doubt [Senator Mike Rounds, weekly column, 2017.05.05].
The problem Mike Rounds and his Republican word-warpers are going to hit is that Barack Obama is no longer in office to take the blame. Millions of Americans don’t look at their coverage as Obamacare; they look at it as their health coverage, as decent services that they and their children are going to lose because of Donald Trump, Kristi Noem, and Mike Rounds. Even some Rounds voters will be less scared of Rounds’s tired old bogeyman argument about retired Obama and more scared of losing their basic health benefits.
The House Republican repeal bill narrowly approved Thursday lets states opt out of much of Obamacare — but not a single governor has stepped up to say they want to take advantage of that leeway.
Officials in a dozen states surveyed by POLITICO weren’t eager to embrace opt-outs that would let states skirt key insurance provisions, including safeguards for people with pre-existing conditions and a set of basic, required health benefits.
That reluctance is striking given that “state flexibility” has been at the top of the governors’ health care wish lists for years. It shows the political peril of endorsing a concept that could spike premiums and risk coverage for the sick, including some with life-threatening or disabling conditions [Rachana Pradhan, “Even Red States Are Wary of Ditching Obamacare Protections,” Politico, 2017.05.06].
Do you go to the doctor? Does someone you love go to the doctor? Are you worried that Kristi Noem and Donald Trump are trying to take away your insurance so you can’t afford to go to the doctor? Well, then we’d like to have you come march with us and tell your story at the March for Health Care here in Aberdeen May 19!
When: Friday, May 19, 5 p.m.
Where: Meet at South First Avenue and Main, outside the Ward Plaza and Bar, downtown Aberdeen.
Our plan right now is to march and protest outside, then convene at the Ward Bar for a short program with speakers talking about the importance of health care and the gross deficiencies of TrumpCare compared to the status quo. I’ll report more details about the evening as they become available. Come march, come talk, come learn!
Now TPC analyzed the March bill that failed. TPC and CBO may provide updated figures next week, when everyone has had time to read the bill that Noem hastily yea’d yesterday.
But 40% of $765 billion is $306 billion that’s currently doing good for millions of Americans that Kristi thinks should be redistributed up the ladder to Donald Trump and the other richest one percent of Americans.