Grassley Will Finally Get To Pull The Plug On Grandma

Mitch McConnell announced the first order of business for the new US senate was to take health care away from millions of citizens by destroying the ACA. By doing so it sure seems to me that McConnell has declared the Republicans in the senate to be terrorists who will do whatever they need to to destroy the American way of life.

If we have learned nothing from this last campaign it is that when Republicans lie – which is a constant – their lies are often projecting what they are doing on to their opponents or they are giving hints about what they want to do. Most of us remember six years ago when Grassley made the insane charge that the ACA would “pull the plug on Grandma.” Just in case you don’t, in the digital age the videos stay around for a long time:

Apparently Grassley wasn’t talking about the ACA pulling the plug on Grandma, but telling us what he would do given the chance. I called Grassley’s Washington office Wednesday to ask whether Grassley would be voting to end the ACA. His staffer said he was sure Grassley would, based on previous votes. When I asked what Grassley has spoken of to replace the ACA the staffer said nothing that he knew of. Then he offered that Paul Ryan had suggested some things, but he (the staffer) wasn’t sure.

Grassley ran a ‘no campaign’ campaign this fall. Since the presidential campaign took most of the air out of the room, the Grassley-Judge race was little covered. Grassley’s opposition to the ACA was little covered.

It’s a damn shame that it wasn’t covered with loud shouting headlines. Based on the chart below some 23 million Americans will lose their insurance directly, including some 190,000 Iowans. There could be another several million who may no longer be able to afford insurance as the cost rises dramatically due to much smaller insurance pools.

Lack of insurance will lead to a couple of things that Iowans as a whole may not like. The first is faster and wider spread of contagious diseases. Some may scoff at this as being inconsequential because they can get antibiotics because they have insurance. But here’s a little surprise for them. Due to our overuse of antibiotics, bacteria and viruses have evolved into superbugs that may not be susceptible to antibiotics. SURPRISE!

Secondly, the uninsured will once more revert to using the very expensive emergency room in desperation. Most likely this will lead to hospitals having to eat the huge costs of emergency room care when folks without insurance are unable to pay. Hospitals which are most likely to be badly hurt by this reversion to emergency room care will be the small rural hospitals.

Some of these small rural hospitals will go out of business because of such losses. This is incredibly ironic since Grassley has made a big issue out of saving rural hospitals. Old Chuck. The right hand doesn’t know what the righter hand is doing. Can you say hypocrisy?

So once more Grassley turns to Iowans and raises his middle finger to you and your concerns.

I also called Joni Ernst’s office to see what her position on repealing the ACA is. The staffer I talked to said that Ernst hasn’t said yet. This is really hard to believe since Ernst is well known to be in the Koch brothers back pocket. But i guess I will take the staffer at her word and will be surprised when Ernst votes to repeal.

Expect Republicans to cobble together some of their think tank talking points into a bill to replace the ACA. Of course that bill will offer nothing to those losing their health insurance, but will give tax breaks in some form to their wealthy donors.

This will be comparable to what was once the Maytag company changing their formidable washing machines to junky machines and trying to tell the public it was the same thing. It wasn’t and the public knew immediately. Expect the same reaction by the public to this sham.

Most galling of all in the taking away of health insurance from those who can’t afford it is noted by Josh Marshall at

“One more thing to consider as these people are losing their health insurance. A bit part of the equation that very few people are talking about is that repealing the money part of the bill is a massive tax cut for the wealthy. That’s the part that Ryan wants to get his hands on first. That’s the real prize.”

It took a century to expand some form of universal healthcare to the poor. Republicans look to destroy it within 5 years.

When Republicans talk about freedom, they mean the freedom of the rich to be free of their obligations to society.

In FDR’s State of the Union address in 1944, Roosevelt laid out a second bill of rights which included these statements:

“We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. ‘Necessitous men are not free men.’” ……. “We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.” This Second Bill of Rights included, he proffered:

“The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;”

“The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;”

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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