THE DUTY OF THE PRESS is to keep the people informed, even when the things they might learn lean towards the morbidly terrible and truly bizarre. The Republican healthcare plan is both.
You’d never know this from the way it was being reported by the larger outlets, the kind that depend upon a cozy relationship with politicians to get close to a story. The terms being discussed were enough to make one’s hair turn white, yet I never saw MSNBC or CNN get up on television and call it what it was: a rapacious, soulless attack on the proletariat, one that should be answered not with calls or letters to Senators but bullets, bombs, and fire. It was yet another black mark against the Capitalist press, and a lash of shame against every soul that bore a press pass.
Fresh from a three-day bender, it was revealed to me in a series of mystical visions by the Gods of Journalism that this humble Reporter of Fortune and soon-to-be-author had to correct this grave and mortal error. Filled with sacred duty and copious amounts of Sailor Jerry’s I have combed through the finer details of the bill and discovered they match the visions I received of what lies ahead. Brace yourself dear reader, and stare in terror at the future…
Thee First Vision
The bill encourages people to maintain coverage by prohibiting insurance companies from cutting them off or charging more for pre-existing conditions as long as their insurance doesn’t lapse. If coverage is interrupted for more than 63 days, however, insurers can charge people a 30 percent penalty over their premium for one year…
You will sit around the kitchen table, tears dripping from your eyes, as you explain to those you love it’ll be instant ramen for dinner next month because if you miss a bill or payment on your premium you will all be cast into poverty and uninsured status. Many a night will be spent awake and praying to shadowy gods over sacrificed chickens that you remain employed, dark oaths made to bloodthirsty and intangible creatures that no lapse occur in your coverage lest you never be able to afford it again.
Thee Second Vision
…some people will see their costs go up while others would pay less, depending on your age and where you live…A 60-year-old, however, would see costs rise almost everywhere, with increases of almost $20,000 a year in Nebraska. Both Kaiser and the Congressional Budget Office found that, on average, older people with lower incomes would be worse off under the Republican plan than under the Affordable Care Act.
Older citizens on fixed incomes will either need to work just to afford medical care or quietly die. Check out lines in grocery stores will swell with physical confrontations as Vietnam veterans battle it out with struggling single-parents for low paying jobs just to eat. Suicide rates will climb as the bleak void of an ever-present death looms over the cash-strapped elderly. Cults and rumors of cults devoted to Goddesses of Death will sprout up in active 55+ communities, the name Santa Muerte both a comforting benediction and blood-soaked battle cry for the legions of old people turning to kidnapping and murder just to afford medication.
Thee Third Vision
…The bill eliminates nearly all the taxes that were included in the Affordable Care Act to pay for the subsidies that help people buy insurance. Those cuts, which add up to about $592 billion, include a tax on incomes over $200,000.
Gigantic flags, bathed in gold, will fly at the gates of The Golden Triangle, Potomac Manors, and all the other rich enclaves no doubt surrounded by armed guards. They shall read, in big bold letters visible for nearly 10 miles the following words: “Fuck the poor, we’re keeping our goddamn money.”
Thee Fourth Vision
The Affordable Care Act allows states to expand eligibility for Medicaid to single, nondisabled adults with incomes slightly above the poverty line…The Republican plan would gradually roll back that expansion starting in 2019 by cutting the federal reimbursement to states for anyone who leaves the Medicaid rolls. People often cycle in and out of the program as their income fluctuates, so the result would likely be an ever-dwindling number of people covered….
Combined with the “block grants” written into the bill Medicaid will slowly be…