Thursday, December 29, 2016

Let's "save" everything by killing it dead

The Trump Presidency is going to be so much fun.  Here is how this will go. The Republicans, who control basically every branch of government at every level for at least the next two years, are going to dismantle everything they can find and sell the parts of it to the wealthiest oligarchs.
President-elect Donald Trump is considering moving the Department of Veterans Affairs toward privatization, a transition team official said Wednesday, a policy decision major veterans’ groups have said they would oppose.

Mr. Trump is considering changing the department to allow some veterans to bypass the VA heath-care system completely and get care exclusively from private-sector hospitals and clinics, the official said. It is an option that could give veterans full choice over their health care, but which many veterans groups argue is the first step toward privatization and one that will reduce the quality of health care over the long term.
Next, Trump, will bray and tweet and boast about the tremendous job he himself did of very bigly saving the VA or public education or urban infrastructure or whatever the thing is we're actually turning over to robber barons that week.  Medicare first, probably
A great many medical providers adjust their prices based on how defenseless the patient is, and bleed the weakest ones for every last red cent, often with preposterously inflated charges for things like aspirin and bandages. A 2015 study looked at the worst price gougers in the country and found 50 hospitals that charged uninsured people roughly 10 times the actual cost of care.

Key to this practice is something called "balance billing," and it's why the American Medical Association is strongly supporting Donald Trump's pick of Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees Medicare. Balance billing is forbidden for Medicare enrollees, but Price wants to allow it — thus allowing doctors and hospitals to devour the nest eggs of thousands of American seniors.
And, since we've seen this cycle play out so many times now we know that it gets followed up by a lot of "both sides" punditry and resolute decision on the part of Democrats to definitely not put up much of a fight

The only problem here is this is where we used to say, "And that keeps on going until they blow up Social Security..." but that's pretty much where we are now.  So what even happens next? 

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