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Home > Politics
Cory Gardner's 'Better Care' Betrayal
by Bob Powell, 6/27/17
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Liar-in-Chief Trump: "You're going to end up with great health care for a fraction of the price and that's gonna take place immediately after we go in. OK? Immediately. Fast. Quick."

Jump to my letter to Gardner

Added 7/8/17: Aetna undermined the PPACA

U.S. judge finds that Aetna deceived the public about its reasons for quitting Obamacare by Michael Hiltzik

Aetna's about-face on the ACA came less than a month after the Justice Department sued to block the company's $37-billion purchase of Humana. 1/23/17Aetna claimed this summer that it was pulling out of all but four of the 15 states where it was providing Obamacare individual insurance because of a business decision - it was simply losing too much money on the Obamacare exchanges.

Now a federal judge has ruled that that was a rank falsehood. In fact, says Judge John D. Bates, Aetna made its decision at least partially in response to a federal antitrust lawsuit blocking its proposed $34-billion merger with Humana. Aetna threatened federal officials with the pullout before the lawsuit was filed, and followed through on its threat once it was filed. Bates made the observations in the course of a ruling he issued Monday blocking the merger. ...

Aetna executives had moved heaven and earth to conceal their decision-making process from the court, in part by discussing the matter on the phone rather than in emails, and by shielding what did get put in writing with the cloak of attorney-client privilege, a practice Bates found came close to "malfeasance."

Aetna tried to leverage its participation in the exchanges for favorable treatment from DOJ regarding the proposed merger.
- U.S. District Judge John D. Bates

The judge's conclusions about Aetna's real reasons for pulling out of Obamacare - as opposed to the rationalization the company made in public - are crucial for the debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act. That's because the company's withdrawal has been exploited by Republicans to justify repealing the act. Just last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) cited Aetna's action on the "Charlie Rose" show, saying that it proved how shaky the exchanges were.

Bates found that this rationalization was largely untrue. In fact, he noted, Aetna pulled out of some states and counties that were actually profitable to make a point in its lawsuit defense - and then misled the public about its motivations. Bates' analysis relies in part on a "smoking gun" letter to the Justice Department in which Chief Executive Mark Bertolini explicitly ties Aetna's participation in Obamacare to the DOJ's actions on the merger, which we reported in August. But it goes much further.

Smoking gun? Aetna threatened to quit Obamacare if the government blocked its Humana merger

Among the locations where Aetna withdrew were 17 counties in three states where the Department of Justice asserted that the merger would produce unlawfully low levels of competition on the individual exchanges. By pulling out, Aetna could say that it wasn't competing in those counties' exchanges anyway, rendering the government's point moot: "The evidence provides persuasive support for the conclusion that Aetna withdrew from the on-exchange markets in the 17 complaint counties to improve its litigation position," Bates wrote. "The Court does not credit the minimal efforts of Aetna executives to claim otherwise."

Indeed, he wrote, Aetna's decision to pull out of the exchange business in Florida was "so far outside of normal business practice" that it perplexed the company's top executive in Florida, who was not in the decision loop. ...

Added 7/6/17: PPACA repeal will kill 10s of thousands/year

How many people will die from the Republicans' Obamacare repeal bills? Tens of thousands per year By Michael Hiltzik, LA Times, 6/26/17

How many people would lose their lives if the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act succeeds? Estimates of this inherently murky statistic vary, but the range is from about 28,000 to nearly 100,000 a year.

That's a shocking toll from an effort that is essentially aimed at gifting the wealthiest Americans with hundreds of billions of dollars in tax cuts by slashing healthcare. So no one should be surprised that Republican and conservative supporters of the House and Senate repeal bills have spent a lot of time claiming that nothing of the sort will happen. The effort moved into high gear this weekend, following Thursday's unveiling of the Senate GOP's version of ACA repeal.

"No one loses coverage," Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Penn., said Sunday on "Face the Nation." "We would not have individuals lose coverage that they want for themselves and for their family, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said on CNN's "State of the Union." ...

Toomey and Price are lying ... for hundreds of billions of tax cuts for the wealthy.


U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner said Thursday that he was taking his first look at the Senate's version of the replacement for the Affordable Care Act, which he helped craft, and that the bill "deserves serious debate, not knee-jerk reaction."

The Senate bill passes and. of course, you'll be happy that more than 22 million more Americans will be uninsured. The Senate bill passes and 210,000 Americans will die over 10 years.

What is YOUR SHARE of those deaths?

June 27, 2017

Mr. Cory Gardner
102 S. Tejon Street, Suite 930
Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Mr. Gardner,

This is letter is addressed to Mr. Gardner. But mainly my goal is to address the staff who work for this moral monster. Yes, that's correct: You. Working for a moral monster makes YOU a moral monster.

I know it's not "politically correct" to say such a thing, but we don't have to be that anymore, correct? Yes, I know you need a job and are just "following orders", but that makes you complicit in killing Americans. The Republican Party is the Enemy of the American People (includes YOU).

The C.B.O. Did the Math. These Are the Key Takeaways From the Senate Health Care Bill By HAEYOUN PARK and WILSON ANDREWS, NY Times, 6/26/17

The bill would reduce the federal deficit by $321 billion over 10 years.

  • The federal government would save billions, mostly by making deep cuts to Medicaid. Much of the savings would come near the end of the next decade.
    [my note: cuts are more toward the end because Republicans don't want the public to see the destruction until much later.]

  • 22 million more Americans would be uninsured by 2026. The budget office projects that by 2026, 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million people if the current law remained in effect. (The total increase is 22 million due to rounding.)

  • 15 million fewer people would be enrolled in Medicaid by 2026.
    The largest group to lose health insurance coverage would be people with Medicaid. In 10 years, the C.B.O. projects, there would be 15 million fewer Medicaid enrollees.
    By putting Medicaid on a budget, the bill saves $772 billion over 10 years.
    [my comment: This is how republicans scheme to provide enormous tax cuts for the wealthy.]

  • Average premiums would decrease by 20 percent in 2026. But, there's a HUGE after-tax-credit catch (see chart next page). Premiums people have to pay would go UP!

Republican lawmakers cite rising premiums as a main reason for repealing the Affordable Care Act.

"The C.B.O. estimates that average gross premiums would initially rise under the Senate bill, then drop by about 20 percent, compared with what it would be under the current law, in 2026.

This would largely be achieved by offering skimpier plans with higher deductibles, and by pricing the old and the sick out of the insurance market.

The Senate bill would make financial assistance for premiums less generous than under the current law. That means that average deductibles for the plans would be much higher. For many low- and middle-income Americans who currently receive subsidies, their share of premiums would rise.

For EVERY case the Red Republican premium after tax credit is higher.
I thought Republicans see too high premiums as a problem???
The new subsidy structure would require older people to pay a larger share of their incomes for coverage, reducing the amount they get to help pay for premiums.

Changes in rules about insurance prices would also cause big premium increases for older Americans who don't qualify for subsidies.

Even though average premiums would decrease, the amount that many Americans spend on health care over all would increase as deductibles rise and plans cover fewer benefits in many states.

You do nothing to improve the lives of Americans. You make things worse.

Global Warming just won't kill people fast enough. Your "Tax Bill", disguised as a "Health Care Bill", will result in 210,000 Americans deaths when 22M lose coverage. Many others will be bankrupt after going, as Republicans recommend, to the emergency room.

[reference: "Here's how many people could die if Trumpcare becomes law -- If an army did this, we would call it an atrocity."

On the Republican Budget Compassion for the Wealthy

Mick Mulvaney, Trump's Director of the OMB (Office of Management and Budget), says Republicans want more "compassion" for wealthy taxpayers, instead of compassion for those who in poverty, homeless, and sick. The Republican mantra is that those are the "takers". Mulvaney said, "you have to have compassion for the folks who are paying" taxes.

From: Harsh Tradeoff at Core of GOP Health Bill: Keep Medicaid Expansion or Cut Taxes for Wealthy? Tax Cuts for 400 Highest-Income Households Exceed Cost of Maintaining Expansion in Most States, CBPP, 6/21/17 BY BRANDON DEBOT

My article reveals the U.S. already has enormous "compassion" for the wealthy "takers" who have cultivated a "culture of dependency" ... for themselves.

See Tax Expenditure Entitlements to see that Tax Breaks for the Top 1% are 1/6th of Tax Expenditures (which are 10% greater than Discretionary Spending) and Tax Breaks for the Top 1% are 2.7X SNAP (food stamp) benefits. Thieves!

You are no representative of mine, nor of the vast majority of the American people, instead you represent your wealthy donors whose taxes you'll cut.

I'll not say anything about you that Trump hasn't said about journalists. I will say about you what he's said about them.

You are "crooked", "lying", "thieving", "dishonest", "disgusting", "corrupt", "scum", and "Enemy of the American People".

The Republican Party is the Republican Party of Death. Republicans are moral monsters who support a moral monster: Thug Troll Tweeter Trump.


Robert E. Powell, Ph.D. Physics, MBA
Continuous Improvement Associates
6992 Blackhawk Place
Colorado Springs, CO 80919


PS. The PPACA isn't simply "failing". You Republicans sabotaged it.

First by eliminating "risk corridors" funding. Second now by threatening to stop paying subsidies. Both these caused health insurance corporations to pull out of markets. Republican liars are killing it. The loathsome Republican legislation allows eliminating "essential health benefits", which is what allows purchasers to actually have meaningful health insurance. Republicans don't give a damn about the Patient Protections aspect of the PPACA.

Republicans say, people should "not have to buy coverage they do not want ?" "Want or not want" should not be an option if the health insurance system is not to fail totally because of adverse selection. I describe what that is here.

Health insurance corporations' business model was failing, which is why they supported the PPACA for more customers.


Sent to
Gardner at https://www.gardner.senate.gov/contact-cory/email-cory
and to 
Andy Merritt

URL: http://www.exponentialimprovement.com/cms/bettercaregardnerbetrayal.shtml

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