Friday, March 24, 2017

Our Health Care and our Rights

Today, the House is expected to vote on Trumpcare. Trump has wanted the Republicans in the House to agree with his nefarious proposal. He wants to repeal the ACA and replace it with his proposal. On Thursday, he didn’t have the votes to secure passage. On Thursday morning, he met with members of the far right Freedom Caucus in wanting more concessions or making the bill more reactionary and punitive. He failed to get the Freedom Caucus’ support. Many Republicans don’t support the bill, because even some of them believe that it is too harsh (which it is). House Democrats oppose the bill. There are dozens of Republican who plan to oppose the measure. Trumpcare is known as the American Health Care Act or the AHCA. Paul Ryan is desperate to support the bill too. The Trump administration is in disarray to promote the disgraceful proposal. The AHCA or Trumpcare is an attack on health care for retired human beings and all Americans. It is worse than the ACA (and the ACA has imperfections too). It or Trumpcare strips Medicaid on the federal level (which has helped the poor), it will strip millions of people of health care coverage, it removes restraints on profit gouging in insurance monopolies, and it proves massive tax cuts for wealthy people plus medical firms. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that “Trump care” will leave 14 million more people uninsured in its first year and 24 million over a decade. Like the ACA, many multinational corporations will benefit from Trumpcare. The Trump bill escalates the health care counterrevolution begun under the previous President. Since the bill was first released on March 6, it has been made progressively more brutal as negotiations within the Republican caucus have been held in an attempt to win over the most diehard opponents of health care for poor and moderate-income people plus seniors. Earlier this week, the White House agreed to amend its initial bill to allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients and receive federal funding in the form of a block grant, rather than on the basis of a cap on outlays per recipient.

Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Seema Verna, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, sent a letter to state governments last week saying they were open to granting waivers to allow states not only to add work requirements, but also to require recipients to pay premiums and co-pays for Medicaid care. Both per-capita spending caps and block grants effectively end Medicaid, which currently covers 74 million people, as an open-ended federal entitlement program, but the block grant scheme will hasten the dismantling of the program. Trumpcare cuts health care subsidies for low income people and for the elderly who are not yet eligible for Medicare. It is bad. On Wednesday, in a further attempt to win over the Freedom Caucus holdouts, the White House offered to strip its bill of an Obamacare mandate requiring insurance firms to provide essential benefits in ten areas: doctor’s visits, emergency services (such as ambulances), hospitalization, maternity care, pediatric care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, lab tests, rehabilitation, and preventive services. Trump's proposal is anti-human. “I’m afraid if they get rid of the essential benefits,” commented Dr. John S. Meigs, Jr., president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, “you’ll have meaningless insurance.” This is still not enough for the Tea Party crowd, which shows how evil and despicable the Tea Party crowd is. They are reportedly demanding even further windfalls for the insurance companies, including the elimination of language that bars companies from setting insurance rates based on a person’s sex, medical condition, genetic condition or other factors. They are also demanding caps on the amount of money insurers have to pay out on health claims, limits on the number of years a beneficiary can be covered, and drug testing of beneficiaries. We are in a battle for our health care in this generation. Both parties are infiltrated by U.S. corporate financial elites who want to cut health care (as shown by Trump’s evil proposal, which can reduce the life expectancies of many Americans). This is real. The Freedom Caucus, Trump, and the Tea Party are enemies of universal health care.

Exposing this injustice (of a New Jersey elementary school having a mock slavery auction) has nothing to do with forsaking logic and using irrational emotions. It has to do with standing up for the human dignity of black children. The hypocrites, who lecture people on respectability politics, readily ignore stories like these since they believe in the myth that showing no powerful emotion and no indignation at evil will somehow end evil. The reality is that we can only end evil by confronting it (as the abolitionists, civil rights activists, Black Power proponents used a lot of emotion, strategy, and hard work to fight oppression. That's in history) and not place such perverted events (like that mock slave auction) under the rug. The substitute teacher was heavily insensitive as young children can learn about slavery in a variety of ways excluding such an mock slave auction. People have the right to be angry at this. The substitute teacher should be fired period. There is no excuse for this. This example outlines the truth that we don't live in a post racial society. Even other teachers said that such a mock slave auction was not part of any school curriculum at all. This isn't new since that theocratic preacher and Trump supporter John Hagee did something similar to this in his church years ago. The racists have no shame for their wickedness. I feel for the black children in that school and for any child in that school. We want black children to be told the truth without the evil exploitation of their humanity. We want justice and desiring that is logical.

Yesterday was the Birthday of the legend Sister Chaka Khan. She is now 64 years old. Chaka Khan has been making records, fighting for just causes, and loving music for over 5 decades. She was born in Chicago. Chicago is home to tons of musical artists stretching many genres. Many of her relatives were involved in music and she was in a musical group as a teenager called the Crystalettes. Chaka Khan always had a powerful consciousness in her youth. She was involved in civil rights rallies. Also, for a time, she was a member of the Black Panther Party. So, she knows what the deal is succinctly. Her music is filled with beauty, power, and strength. Chaka Khan is just a glorious, beautiful black woman. She is just real with it. Back during the 1970's, she worked with the group Rufus to make records and she made her solo career. She has collaborated with many artists and she loves people. She made records like I am Every Woman, I Feel for you, Destiny, A'int Nobody, Missing You, and other records. Her music deal with love, anthems for empowerment, and grace. She looks young too. Go head Chaka with ya good self. I wish Sister Chaka Khan more blessings. Stephanie Mills  is one of the greatest singers of all time. She loves music and she loves her fans. She can sing gospel, R&B, soul , and other genres. She is a songwriter and a Sister who is a legend from Broadway. She played the character Dorothy from the Wiz in Broadway. She was born in Brooklyn, NYC. Many legends were born in Brooklyn. She was raised in the church and sang music in the churches during her youth. Her musical career is legendary. The songs of "Never Knew Love Like This Before, Two Hearts, etc. She is a great mother too. Her story is a story of inspiration, making blessings in the world, and realizing that life is more than a journey. Life is an opportunity to make life better for those who encounter you. One of the greatest things that a human being can do is to help someone else without fanfare, but out of the goodness of one's heart. Stephanie Mills always has a great heart.

This is the historic time of the march of civil rights activists and other heroes from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama (from 52 years ago). This march was a fight for voting rights. Many innocent people were murdered by racists. Their names are many like Jimmie Lee Jackson, James Reeb, Viola Liuzzo, and other human beings. Dr.King, Coretta Scott King, Frederick D. Reese, and other people were involved in the march. Selma was the apex of the old school civil rights movement of the 1960's. It was the peak of the first era of modern civil rights movement (as the civil rights movement existed in the 19th century. The Niagara movement existed long before the 1960's). After Selma, the Voting Rights Act was passed. Then, Watts happened and soon the modern Black Power movement existed. The Black Power movement inspired the legitimate expression of black culture and it gave more confidence in black youth to love Africa, love their Blackness, and to be outspoken about their identities. That was positive. Today, we are fighting for voting rights too. We have bad voter ID laws that restrict when can you vote, what type of materials can you use to vote, etc. The Supreme Court gutted parts of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. So, the journey for justice is far for over, but we will keep on moving forward in our goal of Freedomland.

By Timothy

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