The Republicans War On The Poor

A lot has been written about the horrific Republican budget and health care plans, and you may already know this stuff, but in case you don't I'd like to do a refresher.
I'm going to skip right over the enormous tax cuts for the wealthy and look at where the money will come from - the poor.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its analysis for the original Senate bill in late June, and estimated that provisions in it would result in $772 billion in cuts to Medicaid spending by 2026. A later analysis by the CBO found that the cuts get even deeper by 2036.
The revised bill makes few, if any changes to its approach to Medicaid, so it is unlikely that the new CBO analysis, due out next week, will find anything different.
According to Dr. Laura Forese, COO at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, the BCRA at this point is more about cutting Medicaid than the bill's original intention of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

This is a bold class war move for several reasons, primarily because I'm sure that there is little demand from most Republican voters to gut Medicaid.

Medicaid is the government-run health program that provides insurance primarily to pregnant women, single parents, people with disabilities, and seniors with low incomes.

It's not an exaggeration to say that these cuts will target children, elderly, and the disabled.
Medicaid covers costs for 64 percent of seniors in nursing homes and almost half of all births, not to mention keeping afloat hundreds of rural hospitals.
As Politico put it, The Senate bill is the Fahrenheit 451 of health care.

“I will have to seek some charity institution and submit to the humiliation of what they call a necessity, and pronounce to the whole world that I am only a pauper, a beggar.”
- Senate testimony that led to Medicaid, 1959

There is one more group being targeted that surprisingly doesn't get talked about much in this context - veterans.

About 7 million vets, however, get their care outside of VA services. After the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, kicked in, the number of vets without insurance dropped by almost 40 percent, according to Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, and other committee members.

Republicans would reverse that trend. Tester and his Democratic colleagues said the Senate bill could:

Result in nearly 1.75 million disabled and low-income veterans losing Medicaid coverage
Impose a tax on 600,000 veterans, forcing them to pay up to five times more for health insurance
Cause more than 5 million veterans difficulty in finding services at rural hospitals
Generate increased mental health-care fees for the many veterans who suffer post-traumatic stress from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam
Result in up to 7 million veterans losing tax credits to help pay for medical care
Cause about 7 percent of veterans to lose access to care for opioid or other substance abuse problems.

The Republican committee chairman and the Trump administration had the chance to refute the data presented by the Democrats, but they did not.

How can this be? After all, Republicans like to stand alongside veterans during photo-ops so much.
60 percent of veterans supported Trump’s election.

Added Blumenthal: “Every Member of Congress who plans to support this bill needs to imagine looking a veteran in the eye and telling them why their mental-health care for PTS (post-traumatic stress) has been halted, or why they can no longer afford treatment for traumatic brain injury sustained while serving their country.”
Major veterans service organizations are taking a cautious approach to the GOP health-care proposals, if they have anything to say at all.

Even veteran organizations are putting party first, over the health of veterans. They just gotta support the Republicans, who have done sooo much for the health of veteran over the years.

A bill drafted by Congressman Phil Roe (a Republican from Tennessee), the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, would actually start charging veterans for GI Bill education benefits by imposing a $2,400 tax on their income while they’re in the service.
...In 2012, Senate Republicans blocked a total of seven bills passed by the House that would have benefited veterans. In 2014, Senate Republicans by a vote of 56 to 41, blocked a bill supported by nearly all veterans groups that would have greatly expanded veterans’ health care, education benefits, and aid to disabled vets. In 2015, the Senate cut $857 million from programs benefitting veterans in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill. In 2016, the Senate voted against a bill that would have given veterans preference in federal hiring. The list of congressional outrages when it comes to veterans is much, much longer, but you get the picture.

It isn't just poor people's health that Republicans have declared war on. They've also declared war on poor people's food.

The administration’s fiscal year 2018 budget seeks a $193.3 billion decrease in SNAP funding over the next decade, a nearly 30 percent reduction over current levels.
...The 42 million Americans—13 percent of the population—who currently receive SNAP benefits, which include low income families, the elderly, people with disabilities, and those who have lost a job are the most obvious. They receive an average of about $4.17 per day, or $1.39 per meal.

It seems Republicans think that if broad swaths of the population are hungry and sick that somehow this will make America Great Again.

Nearly half of SNAP recipients are children. That’s 20 million kids—about 1 in 4 Americans under the age of 18—and 20 million reasons to not cut SNAP funding. Another blow: the budget proposal calls for capping food aid at six people per household. In other words, if you’re a two-parent household with five kids, you only get enough aid for four of them.
...About 11 percent of SNAP recipients are seniors, or about 4.8 million people
...Among SNAP recipients that can work, most do. An average of around 60 percent of SNAP households with an able-bodied adult are working in the months they receive food aid.
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Meteor Man's picture

This journal presents an excellent overview of America's war on citizens in poverty.

It also provides coverage of under the radar successful accomplishments that are ignored by the M$M:
"Historic Tenant Victory In San Jose"

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

snoopydawg's picture

I have been reading as many articles about the republicans' war on the poor with great anxiety.
In addition to the cuts on SNAP, they also want to cut benefits for HUD. This is the program for low income housing and both of these programs have been being cut for decades.
I received a housing voucher last year and I had 90 days to find a place live that the highest I could rent was $500/month. I'll let you imagine what type of housing I found for that price.
Ben Carson, the brain surgeon was elected as head of HUD. Warren said that she voted to confirm him because she was afraid that Trump would appoint someone worse than Carson.
Gee, maybe instead of voting for him just in case, she and the other democrats could not vote for anyone until a qualified person was appointed?
Nope, instead, democrats voted to confirm many of his appointees who had a history of wanting the agencies they were elected to destroyed. Oh well, they drew the line at DeVos. Swell people.

When Clinton passed the crime bill, $17 billion was taken from social programs and given to the prison industry and police departments. Anyone who has a felony record is unable to use public housing. Or if one person in a family uses drugs or commits a felony, the whole family is kicked out of public housing. This was written in the crime bill.
Defunding social programs has continued under every administration.

The republicans cut $8 billion from SNAP 5 years ago and Obama signed the legislation. This was one area that he could have used a signing statement, but Barry was interested in bipartisanship. What a guy.
Many military families rely on SNAP too as well as other programs.
How much of the budget does SNAP take?


Trump wants to eliminate the LIHEAP which is the program that helps the poor, elderly and disabled pay their heating bills during the winter. It was cut last time it was up for review.

As long as the wealthy get to keep more of their money, everything is fine, right?

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Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents


It seems Republicans think that if broad swaths of the population are hungry, cold, homeless, and sick that somehow this will make America Great Again.

If only the media paid half of the attention to this that they pay to Scary Russia.

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snoopydawg's picture

@gjohnsit out of people's minds and while they are focused on that, the republicans overturned many of Obama's last minute legislation that hadn't taken effect yet.
There's still the Zinke attempt to reduce the size of national monuments like the Bears Ears and the Giant Staircase monuments in southern Utah.
The other agencies that are rolling back legislation that has been on the books for decades and their war on the poor, elderly, disabled and veterans.
I think you might be re-writing that statement more times.
The inhumanity of congress knows no bounds.
Whether it's wars on people in the Middle East or here at home. Both parties are just as complicit as the other.
The difference is that the republicans want women to bring their babies they can't afford into this world, but then make their lives as miserable as possible.

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Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

Meteor Man's picture

@snoopydawg or a car chase, or little lost blonde girls, or any other boogyman du jour. It requires no effort, investigation or depth. Like Cooper Anderson said the other night "shiney things".

They know exactly what the con is. Like Don Henley said in 1982:

We can do the Innuendo
We can dance and sing
When it's said and done
We haven't told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry

Is the head dead yet?

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

He's treating the President of France with no respect. Like he's some young punk he's got to school.

8 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

Veterans Health Care. Next week, I'll repost a blurb at EB about the efforts to further privatize veterans health services which began in earnest with the passage of the Sanders-Miller Bill in 2014, popularly called, 'The Veterans Choice Act of 2014.'

Bear in mind, DT did select as his VA Secretary, the 'lead privatizer' from PBO's Veterans Administration--Dr David Shulkin. As far as I can tell, he is simply following through on the Dems' and PBO's privatization efforts, only more openly.

Frankly, I would take Jon Tester with a grain of salt. He just finished co-sponsoring and passing (with Isakson and Rubio) a bill which dismantles almost 150 years of US Civil Service employee protections for both rank-and-file and SES Schedule employees--regarding adverse personnel actions such as firing, demotion and suspension.

I'm going to have to check further regarding the ACA tax credits/veterans, but a quick Google explains that a bill which is passed through the reconciliation process can't contain policy language--only spending. (This is in keeping with what I've always understood to be true.) Anyhoo, this is an interesting twist, one that I plan to check out. It would put vets on parity with Medicaid enrollees--who are also denied access to ACA Exchange premium subsidies.


"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."--Lao Tzu

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures--they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive."--Gilda Radner

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."--Old English Proverb

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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal
Obama's tenure and now it's fully off for everyone to see.
Obama appointed some very questionable people to his cabinet positions that did things that were against us, such as Arne Duncan who did a lot to pass charter schools and other legislation, but everyone who Trump appointed has history of wanting to dismantle their agency.
The person in charge of the EPA has sued it countless times.

I look forward to you report next week.

13 users have voted.

Sessions would have taken Jesus away from his homeless refugee parents

Unabashed Liberal's picture


know the full extent of the 'VA Privatization 2.0' until the bill is passed; but soon, I'll post an excerpt about the recent Tester, Isakson & Rubio legislation that strips VA federal employees of their due process rights upon termination, demotion, or suspension.

It's just a matter of time before the entire federal system adopts these punitive 'reforms.'

Hope you and 'the dawgs' have a great weekend!


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"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it."
--George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist & Socialist
"We [corporations] are the government!" Actor John Colicos (1978)

Democrats did it when it was theirs.
We are a drag on the oligarchy.

9 users have voted.
orlbucfan's picture

blown away by some NRA gun nut or (b) get booted out by the voters, this sort of blatant class war shit(e) will continue. Sadly simple fact. Rec'd!!

(@gjohnsit: you are the Energizer Bunny of excellent diaries! Smile )

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Some yahoos make me want to change species!

dervish's picture

They are literally living off of the life force of their fellow citizens.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."