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As ACA enrollment nears, administration keeps cutting federal support of the law

"For months, officials in Republican-controlled Iowa had sought federal permission to revitalize their ailing health-insurance marketplace. Then President Trump read about the request in a newspaper story and called the federal director weighing the application. Trump’s message was clear, according to individuals who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations: Tell Iowa no."

"Supporters of the Affordable Care Act see the president’s opposition even to changes sought by conservative states as part of a broader campaign by his administration to undermine the 2010 health-care law. In addition to trying to cut funding for the ACA, the Trump administration also is hampering state efforts to control premiums. In the case of Iowa, that involved a highly unusual intervention by the president himself."

"And with the fifth enrollment season set to begin Nov. 1, advocates say the Health and Human Services Department has done more to suppress the number of people signing up than to boost it. HHS has slashed grants to groups that help consumers get insurance coverage, for example. It also has cut the enrollment period in half, reduced the advertising budget by 90 percent and announced an outage schedule that would make the website less available than last year."

The Real Reason the U.S. Has Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

"The basic structure of the American health care system, in which most people have private insurance through their jobs, might seem historically inevitable, consistent with the capitalistic, individualist ethos of the nation."

"In truth, it was hardly preordained. In fact, the system is largely a result of one event, World War II, and the wage freezes and tax policy that emerged because of it. Unfortunately, what made sense then may not make as much right now."

Suicides per 100k, by Gender and Age

Much of the stereotypes on suicide is that the victims of suicide are bullied teenage girls. Actually, women are much less likely to commit suicide then men, and it's usually older men -- especially those over age 75 who take their own lives. Data is suicides per 100,000 Americans in each demographic group. 2014 data.

Data Source: Suicide rates, by sex and age, United States, 2014. Page 2. CDC Data Briefs.

Who Ate Republicans’ Brains?

"When the tweeter-in-chief castigated Senate Republicans as “total quitters” for failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act, he couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, they showed zombie-like relentlessness in their determination to take health care away from millions of Americans, shambling forward despite devastating analyses by the Congressional Budget Office, denunciations of their plans by every major medical group, and overwhelming public disapproval."

Memphis Uses Data and Innovation to Curb 911 Abuse

"In a way, 911 is a victim of its own success. Most everyone knows to call in the case of an emergency, but plenty of people, and especially “frequent flyers,” use 911 as basic healthcare. The rate of non-life-threatening calls in Memphis is right at the national average, according to estimates from the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. “In the past, our model has always been, it doesn’t matter what the call is—we’re going to send an ambulance and we’re going to give you a ride to a hospital,” says Andrew Hart, division chief for Emergency Medical Services at the Memphis Fire Department."

"Since April, however, the city has been engaged in an experiment to take some pressure off the emergency dispatch system. A committee of civic, healthcare, and faith leaders launched a program called Rapid Assessment Decision And Redirection (RADAR). For weekday daytime calls that are very likely to be non-emergent in nature, Memphis partners with a faith-based organization, Resurrection Health, to steer residents away from the ER and send healthcare providers directly to them."

Shocking study finds many Alzheimer’s patients might not actually have the disease

"A major study of thousands of Alzheimer's patients has discovered that many people diagnosed with the disease might not actually have it, The Washington Post reports. Researchers at the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco found that of 4,000 patients tested for the disease's telltale amyloid plaques in the brain, just 54.3 percent of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients and 70.5 percent of dementia patients actually had the hallmark."

Republicans’ deranged health-care nostalgia

"To begin with, the perfect wisdom of the free market had somehow left 50 million Americans with no coverage at all — and the GOP health plan would get us back near that number. Then let's consider pre-existing conditions. Maybe your family has some of them; mine does. Nothing life-threatening — an old injury here, a bothersome condition there — but in the past it was enough to get us denied coverage on the individual market. If it didn't happen to you, it probably happened to someone you know. The ACA outlawed those denials, and while most Republicans claim they want to keep those protections in place, the bill the Senate is considering would eviscerate them. A provision written by Ted Cruz that was recently added to the bill would allow insurers to offer bare-bones plans that provide little if any real coverage, as long as they also offered a plan that was compliant with the ACA's mandate that insurance cover "essential health benefits" like hospitalization, emergency care, preventive care, and prescription medications. Health-care experts warn that it would create a two-tier system in which young and healthy people buy the cheap coverage and those who are sicker and older buy the more comprehensive coverage, quickly leading to a "death spiral" of skyrocketing premiums in the latter."

It bothers me that the only way that is being proposed to implement a new single payer healthcare system is to create a new tax. Why not fund single-payer healthcare out of existing taxes? Couldn’t enough fat and waste in government be cut to fund a new single payer healthcare benefit?

The United States Government, along with the many governments at the State and Local-level serve many more purposes and functions then they did in years past. While many of them are meaningful, there is also a lot of waste, fraud and abuse. Local government in particular is notoriously duplicative, when most local government functions could be provided by the state government.

I suggest radically downsizing the military and local police forces. We don’t need to be preparing against the next Soviet invasion, as the USSR is no more and cold war is history. Close prisons and jails, get rid of costly laws, like those against minor crimes and drug abuse. Allow private citizens and corporations to sue for monetary compensation, as a deterrent against property theft and minor injury or damage caused by criminals. Limit criminal appeals, replace long prison sentences with the death penalty. There is no reason to feed and clothe millions of people that offer nothing more for society.

Put spending caps on medical professionals and doctors, limit spending at both primary schools and colleges. People can make existing resources go further, there is no need for always investing in the latest technology or a fancy new building. Just make everything go further. Make everything in education and healthcare lower cost.

And remember all the savings that could be gotten by eliminating Medicaid and Medicare, along with regulations on Healthcare Companies. All that money could be put into the single-payer pot. 

I think before we propose a new tax to fund healthcare for all in our country, we should be looking harder at cutting existing spending in governemnt.

Medicaid Help Without Falling Into Poverty

"WHEN Colin Sandler was in high school in the mid-1980s, her grandparents legally separated after 45 years of marriage. This was not because their marriage was troubled, but because her grandfather had fallen ill and medical bills threatened to consume their entire life savings and all their income, leaving Ms. Sandler’s grandmother penniless."

"The separation, as Ms. Sandler recalls it, allowed her grandfather to qualify for Medicaid and her grandmother to stay solvent. Ms. Sandler, now an elder care consultant in Cortland Manor, N.Y., says that in those years divorcing was a mainstream financial planning move. Tactics to keep elderly people’s assets and income within their family’s control while still qualifying them for Medicaid were common. Loopholes were exploited."

Senate Health Bill Leaves Key Problems With Health Care System Unresolved

"NPR asked eight health care experts to tell us what they view as the biggest problems with the current health care system. Then we asked: Does the Senate bill fix them? Most of the experts we consulted (backed up by a Congressional Budget Office assessment) said that for the most part, no — the Senate bill won't solve the health care system's problems, and that it in fact could make some of those problems worse."

Just 17 Percent Of Americans Approve Of Republican Senate Health Care Bill

"Americans broadly disapprove of the Senate GOP's health care bill, and they're unhappy with how Republicans are handling the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll."

"Just 17 percent of those surveyed say they approve of the Senate's health care plan, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Fifty-five percent say they disapprove, while about a quarter said they hadn't heard enough about the proposal to have an opinion on it."