Friday, March 17, 2017

Need to strengthen it

I finally saw the movie Rogue One this afternoon. It’s a pretty good addition to the Star Wars saga. There are plenty of action scenes and lots of things get shot at and blown up. It is, at its core, a story about ranking, about the Empire imposing its will on everyone else and backing it up with violence, including violence against whole planets (just don’t get me started on the impossibility of that – why ruin a story?).

I’ve got a few items related to ranking that are an addition to what I wrote yesterday in my long post about how the federal government has entire Cabinet level departments devoted to resisting ranking:

One item slated for the nasty guy’s chopping block is the Community Development Block Grants. Part of that money goes to Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to homebound seniors. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House, said he wants to get rid of programs that don’t work. Meals on Wheels is one that doesn’t work.

Kali Thomas fired back. She is a researcher who did a top quality study in 2015 on Meals on Wheels. She found a statistically significant and better difference in the seniors who had personal contact with someone delivering meals. The program allows seniors to stay in their houses, costing the government far less than housing these seniors in care facilities.

Thomas is one of many people and organizations resisting the nasty guy’s nasty budget.

Brian Kline is a cancer survivor and says Medicaid and its expansion saved his life. He pleaded don’t kick me off. Tom Price, the new Secretary for HHS, said glad to hear Medicaid worked for you, but it is having extreme difficulty meeting everyone’s needs. We need to strengthen the program.

So kicking Kline off Medicaid will “strengthen” it.

My friend and debate partner’s phrase is appropriate here: President Pants-on-Fire.

To with that Medicaid lie, Melissa McEwan of Shakesville asked her readers what healthcare lies are the most annoying.

Her choice: “patient-centered healthcare,” a meaningless phrase, certainly as long as there is a for-profit company in the mix.

Another of her choices: Comparisons of health insurance to things that aren’t health insurance. Do they not know what insurance is?

Themadkansan: None of these guys ever had to choose between gas in the car and getting those stomach pains to a doctor.

Speedbudget: If I just didn’t buy a cell phone I could afford insurance.

Aeryl: They say they don’t want to get between you and your doctor, while legislating all the things a doctor can’t do.

Moseyalong: the ACA is imploding.

RachelB offers a couple: (1) More choices = better choices. (2) Anyone who can’t pay for healthcare probably doesn’t want it very much.

Calinaponisle7: It’s a good plan because it will reduce the deficit.

Rana: If we all did the right thing and were responsible, we’d never need help.

Aqf: Buying insurance across state lines is a good thing. How will a Georgia policy help me if I’m in Connecticut and need surgery?

Tamara Keith of NPR did a piece for All Things Considered pointing out that presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton tried to eliminate Cabinet departments and didn’t succeed. Each department has developed its own constituencies. When their department is threatened they are very good at letting their Congresscritters know exactly what is at stake in their state. That means we should resist the nasty guy’s efforts all the more strongly.

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