September 22nd, 2017

Bullied targets at risk from Graham-Cassidy bill: Act now

UPDATE: Senate leadership pulled the Graham-Cassidy bill on Tuesday Sept. 26. There will be no vote that would have shamed those supporting the heinous legislation. Still we cannot rest. Republicans have sworn to “repeal & replace” the ACA. Stay tuned. Be vigilant.

If you are being bullied at work, and part of the 60.3 million American workers affected by bullying, you have a bone in the Senate fight over the attempt to terminate the Affordable Care Act rolling toward a Wed. Sept. 27 vote.


Here’s why.

An assumed majority of bullied workers or about-to-be bullied workers have some form of employer-based health insurance. It used to be that employers provided the insurance as a benefit. They paid 100% of the premium. But over the years employers learned to shirk that responsibility by making workers pay more as their share. Then they learned to lower their premiums by dumping large deductibles on workers.

We know from a WBI target survey, that for whom the bullying stopped, 77% had to lose their jobs to stop it. Simply put, there is a high probability that once you are targeted, for no reason of your making, you will lose that job.

Either before or shortly after losing the job you once loved, your health will decline — both physical and psychological stress-related problems surface. When insured and if luck, you might have been treated.

Before the ACA, treatment for any condition branded you a person with pre-existing conditions. Insurers had the right to deny you coverage. Some insurers would deny treatment for those specific conditions. Thank Obamacare, the ACA, for stopping this practice of denial of treatment by insurers.

Now you lost your job and with it employer-based insurance. You might have the option to continue the plan for a limited time (under COBRA), but the premiums shift to a very high individual rates now unaffordable without income.

Again, thanks to the ACA, if unemployed, you do not have to go without health insurance when your health is so unstable. You would qualify for either free coverage or subsidized premiums based on your now limited income.

Free insurance —Medicaid— paid for by federal funds and your state,. Of course, if you live in a state that refused the 90-95% federal funding because your red state governor and legislature copped an attitude toward ”guvmint,” you don’t have access to this option. Remember when you vote republican. There are consequences. FYI, Medicaid is how the elderly can get end-of-life nursing home care (rates hover around $6,000 per month). Medicaid helps the disabled and children in poor families.

ACA-subsidized premiums help you get insurance on most incomes. The federal government pays insurers the difference between what you can afford to pay and the premium. Government can help its people to prevent bankruptcy from healthcare-related expenses. We are the only “civilized” nation to allow people to suffer economic devastation on the heels of expensive health crises.

By the way, somehow Trump has been able to curtail payments to insurers in order to make it appear that the ACA is failing. Not so. “Businessman” Trump is throwing the insurance market into chaos deliberately to be able to destabilize the ACA.

This short review of the ACA is to remind you about what the Republicans (U.S. Senators next week, then if successful, House members shortly thereafter) want to terminate. In their zeal to “honor” campaign promises, they are hell bent on repealing Obamacare.

Included in the Graham-Cassidy bill which has never been debated in Congress are heartless, morally reprehensible features such as:

– ending availability of insurance for 22-32 million Americans (according to CBO estimates of prior versions of this legislation)

– the end of subsidies to insurers to offset high premium costs — insurance premiums will rise by approx. 15%

– giving states “block grant” money, ostensibly to pay for healthcare for its citizens, but it is money that can be spent on anything the state desires

– allowing states to allow insurers to again deny coverage (ALL coverage) for people with pre-existing conditions

– ending all Medicaid in 2027 — no more federal support for the least among us.

Thus, bullied targets who lose their jobs and health insurance have a vested interest in sustaining the ACA and not allowing the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal it.

If you are represented by a Republican Senator or House Representative, you have to contact their Capitol offices to register your displeasure with the fact that they would even consider such an inhumane piece of legislation. Let them know you are their VOTING CONSTITUENT.

Capitol switchboard to get connected: (202) 225-3121

The Senators who once voted against similar, but less draconian, bills to repeal ACA (Obamacare). If they all vote against the bill, it will die.

– Sen. Collins, Maine
– Sen. Murkowski, Alaska
– Sen. Capito, West Virginia
– Sen. McCain, Arizona

Watch Jimmy Kimmel explain some of the details of this horrible legislation.


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This entry was posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2017 at 11:00 am and is filed under Commentary by G. Namie. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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