The Senators Strike Back
September 21, 2017 3:31 PM   Subscribe

The Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act has returned, in the form of the Graham-Cassidy bill. Think Progress reports that the bill, will, among other things, gut Medicaid and throw 32 million people off of insurance. The Center for American Progress says that premiums for those with preexisting conditions will skyrocket: for instance, a $17,320 surcharge for a "preexisting" pregnancy and a $142,650 for a 40-year-old with metastatic cancer. Graham-Cassidy seems to have a good chance to pass. Or maybe it can still be stopped, says Politico. Late night host Jimmy Kimmel is fighting the good fight against the bill. There is still time to contact your Senators and Representatives.

The bill would repeal individual and employer mandates and turn Medicaid expansion into a block grant program, benefitting states that refused to expand Medicaid. (That is, GOP-led states.) Republicans are attempting to use "reconciliation" mechanisms to get the bill through, before their authority to do so expires on September 30. The American Medical Association is opposed. The bill will likely go to vote next week.
posted by migrantology (268 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
 
“Greatest country on earth!”
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:40 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]




Latest news I've seen: GOP leadership is trying to bribe Murkowski into supporting this Obamacare repeal bill... by promising that Alaska can keep Obamacare.

Also, CNN is airing a healthcare debate between Graham/Cassidy and Sanders/Klobuchar on Monday night.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:43 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


Also also, the Jimmy Kimmel link in the FPP is just round 2 in his savaging of the bill; here is the full clip from the night before.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:44 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Should I say "fuck these assholes" here or in the current Trump thread?
posted by radicalawyer at 3:46 PM on September 21 [12 favorites]


It's an evergreen sentiment.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:48 PM on September 21 [44 favorites]


I think that should be the new official tag for political threads.
posted by mochapickle at 4:00 PM on September 21 [11 favorites]


Latest news I've seen: GOP leadership is trying to bribe Murkowski into supporting this Obamacare repeal bill... by promising that Alaska can keep Obamacare.

Ah, yes. Obamacare is a terrible disaster, the worst possible thing--modern slavery! communism! And everyone knows it! Yet we can't get all the GOP senators on board with a repeal unless we promise a couple of them that they can hold on to it.

Not unlike a previous repeal effort which would have stripped basic protections from everyone in the country except members of Congress, who got to keep them. It's almost like they aren't being entirely honest.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:06 PM on September 21 [32 favorites]


They are explicitly trying to pass this before the CBO can score it. That should tell you everything you need to know.
posted by lumpenprole at 4:15 PM on September 21 [28 favorites]


Jimmy Kimmel broke it down in three minutes what the whole of cable news is incapable of, and they have 24 hours a day to do so. Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel.

I don't see this getting past Congress. Christ, I hope it doesn't.
posted by zardoz at 4:21 PM on September 21 [12 favorites]


You know how else Murkowski can vote for Alaska to keep Obamacare?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 4:28 PM on September 21 [80 favorites]


Red Senators from purple-to-blue states, or even full red states, that signed onto Medicare Expansion, are beginning to defect. It screws Colorado and Kentucky as much as it screws New York and California. No wonder Rand Paul is finding "principled conservative" reasons to reject it.

All politics is local.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:29 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


Slap*Happy, do you have any links to that effect?
posted by leotrotsky at 4:38 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


you'd think that congress trying to murder them whenever the republicans think no one's looking would re-invigorate the american people's interest in civic participation
posted by murphy slaw at 4:49 PM on September 21 [18 favorites]


Wait, is this thread just the ACA, or is this the new catchall politics thread?
posted by Chrysostom at 4:57 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


The stress of watching this swamp creature of a repeal effort rise from the murky depths yet again is just demolishing my emotional AND physical health...
posted by twsf at 4:57 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


Should I say "fuck these assholes" here or in the current Trump thread?


Anytime...dinner...literally anytime.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:58 PM on September 21 [18 favorites]


Not when congress and every "trustworthy" media source swears up and down that repealing Obamacare has to happen.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 4:58 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


I mean, at this point Republican senators are admitting out loud that they're gonna do it just because they said they would, regardless of whether it hurts their constituents. Despite this naked admission, they seem to be getting roughly no push back from within.

The Republican base at this point would slit their throats if their leaders said it was just an unavoidable policy.
posted by tocts at 5:11 PM on September 21 [10 favorites]


The Republican base at this point would slit their throats if their leaders said it was just an unavoidable policy.

Hmm...
posted by Sangermaine at 5:15 PM on September 21 [10 favorites]


You know how else Murkowski can vote for Alaska to keep Obamacare?

is it fire and blood bc i support that
posted by poffin boffin at 5:25 PM on September 21 [9 favorites]


is it fire and blood bc i support that

Brief question on the rules of proper order: Is the correct plural "Wicker Men", "Wickers Man" or...?
posted by mrgoat at 5:29 PM on September 21 [28 favorites]


We just got new healthcare, and I'm currently abusing the shit out of it: new glasses, IUD insertion, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist, whatever I can, because if this happens, I'm terrified of the possibilities. I've also been thinking about going back to therapy for my mental health, but if the pre-existing condition mandate is dropped, I'm worried that using my insurance for that will destroy any future chance at affordable health care coverage. I think my mother paid out of pocket when I was younger, which is expensive as hell. I think she knew that if she told her insurance company I was depressed, I would've been screwed for health care for life(this was pre-ACA). I'm amazed at the logic behind this; only those with good enough genes to never get sick deserve to live and be happy? Eugenics at its finest.
posted by ProtectoroftheSmall at 5:33 PM on September 21 [17 favorites]




It's stupid, it hurts everybody, everybody is voting for it out of a weird sense of inevitability... I guess Trump did say that he would be a "Mr. Brexit".
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM on September 21 [4 favorites]


We just got new healthcare, and I'm currently abusingthe shit out of it

You ain't abusing anything.
posted by howfar at 5:38 PM on September 21 [87 favorites]


Mans Wicker.
posted by tivalasvegas at 5:41 PM on September 21 [9 favorites]


Republicans do this because they know they will never get called on it. As a bonus, they all get to be venal assholes now, and in the future they can look forward to "senior staesman" status where the media fawns over them and they regret all those horrible things they did when it actually mattered.

(Whatever I did about three years ago to bring all of this on, I'm really sorry.)
posted by maxwelton at 6:07 PM on September 21 [7 favorites]


From the Lovett or Leave it podcast:
"Graham Cassidy sounds like a neoconservative American Girl doll."

She'll steal your heart and your health insurance!
posted by leotrotsky at 6:08 PM on September 21 [36 favorites]


Andy Slavitt: BREAKING: The bipartisan Medicaid Directors from all 50 states just issued this negative statement about Graham-Cassidy.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:21 PM on September 21 [16 favorites]


Oh yeah, like _that_ matters. Jesus Christ himself could come down all trumpets and angels and denounce it and they'd still run ahead with it because $$$.
posted by Kyol at 6:29 PM on September 21 [27 favorites]


Jimmy Kimmel and Juggalos are two allies I did not expect to have in 2017.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:30 PM on September 21 [129 favorites]


Soooo

what are we going to do if this shit passes? I mean, yes I'm calling and calling but ultimately both my Sens are blue, and it's in the hands of the three. So if it passes? Are we going to descend somewhere? Is anyone? Where? What's the plan?

If it were ever time to hit the streets, that would be the time.
posted by Miko at 6:40 PM on September 21 [6 favorites]


I may just be getting old and cynical, but perhaps 30 million people losing their insurance and untold numbers dying because of lack of proper care will finally drive home that there are consequences to electing these vicious profiteers into office. Then again, who am I kidding? They'll just blame brown people.
posted by pleem at 6:52 PM on September 21 [19 favorites]


pleem, nah, it'll be someone else's fault. My uncle's wife died because their insurance didn't cover all her cancer treatment and he yet still thinks Obama is the devil and my branch of the family are a bunch of commies for believing in socialised healthcare.

He threatened to shoot me if I stepped foot on his property so unfortunately I can't go to Texas to tell him in person what I think.
posted by kitten magic at 7:00 PM on September 21 [26 favorites]


While it may not seem like it, I try not to catastrophize about this shit. That said, it won't change minds. The GOP already has their party line down -- "Obamacare has been a disaster, and these deaths and losses of coverage are because of the damage it did before we could reverse it!"

They've been planting that seed for years, and their base is primed to believe it over believing their voting is the cause.
posted by tocts at 7:08 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Try not to catastrophize? I mean I'm not running around screaming, but if this passes then I'll likely lose coverage. I have three kids and a spouse, and we'd simply be unable to afford medicine and basic doctor's visits any more. That's just...A fact?
posted by odinsdream at 7:26 PM on September 21 [55 favorites]


So I did a quick skim of the Graham-Cassidy bill and below are a some highlights:

Section 101: If a person's income unexpectedly changes for the better through the year, they may end up receiving a bigger premium subsidy than intended. Under the current ACA law, people above 400% of poverty level must pay back all of the excess at tax time. People under the 400% poverty level may have to pay back only up to $2500, with lower limits for lower income. This section repeals all limits on excess subsidy paybacks. No matter how poor you are you have to pay all of it back at the end of the year. This is in response to the angry Republican fear that somewhere, some place, some one in the country is getting a dollar they don't deserve. It really doesn't amount to that much money for the Treasury. This is the very first paragraph of the bill so it certainly sets the tone that this bill is sticking it to the poor.

Section 102: Completely eliminates ACA subsidies for individual health plans by 2020. But as an extra stick in the eye, it immediately eliminates subsidies for any insurance plan that pays for abortion starting two years earlier in 2018. Waiting another two years as for other health plans was just too much to stomach.

Section 103: Eliminates subsidies for small business health plans similarly to the previous section. It also eliminates subsidies two years earlier for plans that cover abortions.

Section 104: Doesn't repeal the individual mandate, because that modification would violate the Byrd Rule. Instead it sets the individual penalty to $0.00. Oh, they are clever. Incidentally this is retroactive to 2016 so those aggrieved folks who didn't buy insurance can amend their tax returns and get their penalty back.

Section 105: Similarly to above, this sets the penalty for the employer mandate to $0.00. They aren't repealing it, as that would violate the Byrd Rule. They are just setting the penalty very, very low. This means there is no longer any incentive for your employer to provide health insurance for employees. They can stiff their employees penalty free.

Section 106: This is the one that defines that block grants to the states to replace the previous subsidies and Medicaid. It severely cuts funding and all funding magically disappears in 2026 because that is the 10-year horizon permitted by the reconciliation bill. It eliminates the requirement for essential benefits and allows insurers to charge any amount they like for pre-existing conditions. This is the section that seems to me to be most likely in violation of the Byrd Rule. It remains to be seen how the Parliamentarian rules.

Section 109: This is the Orrin Hatch Dubious Health Supplement provision. It allows all over the counter drugs and supplements to be eligible for payment from a Health Savings Account. Hatch has been a long time shill for the shady health supplements racket.

Section 110: Repeals the Medical Device Tax. This is a payback for the generous campaign contributions of device manufacturers. The origin of this tax is that device makers would be getting a windfall with the expansion of Medicaid and deserved to give some of it back. With this repeal, they just get to keep it all.

Section 117: Makes any high-deductible health plan that covers abortions ineligible for a Health Savings Plan (HSA).

Section 118: Follow me on this. Forbids any federal grant money going to a "prohibited entity" where a prohibited entity is defined as:
(1) it is designated as a not for profit by the IRS;
(2) it is described as an essential community provider that is primarily engaged in family planning services, reproductive health, and related medical care;
(3) it is an abortion provider that provides abortion in cases that do not meet the Hyde amendment exception for federal payment; and
(4) it received more than $1 million in Medicaid expenditures (both federal and state) in FY2014.

Gee. I bet there is only one non-profit entity in the country that fits that definition. What, oh, what could it be? Well, whatever, they are never getting a government dollar again. Poor women will just have to go without breast exams, pelvic exams, HIV tests, STD tests, pregnancy tests, cancer screenings and birth control.

Section 119: End Medicaid expansion as of the end of 2019. That isn't quick enough, so it prohibits any wobbly Republican states from even thinking about starting Medicaid expansion effective immediately.

Section 122: Work requirements for Medicaid eligibility. If you are non-disabled, non-elderly, and non-pregnant, get a job or get lost. No health care for you.

Section 203: Allows individuals to buy cheap "catastrophic" plans and makes them eligible for subsidies. Requires that these cheap garbage plans be included in the rest of the insurance pool so that other people paying for good plans effectively subsidize them.

Section 204: In one last shot at women everywhere, they establish a daily penalty for any insurer that funds an abortion. That's four sections of this bill dealing with abortions. I think Republicans have an obsession.

Section 205: Permanently repeals the cost sharing reduction provisions of the ACA. Trump won't have to go to court to kill Obamacare by stiffing insurers.

Well, that's the highlights. Took Republicans seven years to come up with this pile of crap.
posted by JackFlash at 7:30 PM on September 21 [121 favorites]


Try not to catastrophize?

That was self deprecation / preface to my comment, not an injunction towards others.
posted by tocts at 7:37 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


This is the hill they've chosen to die on? This pile of absolute shit? This?

If I weren't crying, I'd be laughing, because it's really laughable.
posted by Sphinx at 7:37 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


Slap*Happy, do you have any links to that effect?

Yes, I do!

For one: Rand Paul being a disingenuous twit on CNN!

For another, count the votes.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:44 PM on September 21


A poll just came down [PDF] that shows this thing is a pile of crap. So naturally expect them to speedily ram it through in the dead of night.
posted by msbutah at 7:46 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


...the Jimmy Kimmel link in the FPP is just round 2 in his savaging of the bill...

Jimmy Kimmel round 3.
posted by LeLiLo at 7:53 PM on September 21 [9 favorites]


> Doesn't repeal the individual mandate, because that modification would violate the Byrd Rule. Instead it sets the individual penalty to $0.00.

How does that sidestep the Byrd Rule? Setting the penalty to $0 is clearly going to decrease revenue, and making it retroactive moreso.

Are in a situation where, at an appropriate time, a point of order can be raised, and the this amendment can be struck? (Unless 60 votes can be found to support it.)
posted by fragmede at 7:57 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


I keep expecting to wake up and find this has all been a nightmare fueled by indigestion.

Dog knows when I read about this shit it starts making my gut churn.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:58 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Stupid question: what does "block grant" mean?
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:00 PM on September 21


Basically, "here's a bunch of money, use it how you want."
posted by Chrysostom at 8:04 PM on September 21 [5 favorites]


1. I believe this will eliminate block grants to community health centers. The only people that care for uninsured (yes there are still some under ACA). Among the rest of the fallout (human tragedy, death, etc), uninsured people will flock to ERs for care and hospitals will sue the shit out of the Feds and spend every penny of their considerable lobbying power to undo this shit. Also, I'll be out of job which is fine because I'm all about to quit over this shit anyway. If I get laid off, I'm going to sit on my ass and collect unemployment for as long as I humanly can.

2. I'm already seeing a tidal wave of people on the Medicaid expansion over utilizing health care to take care of elective things or getting things checked out with expensive tests *now* because they're afraid of their access disappearing.
"Yeah you don't really need this knee replacement just yet, but I'd do it now too because you might not get to later."
My fear is that at the end of the year when the numbers are totaled up, the Republican stupids will point out "Look at these Medicaid costs! This is hella unsustainable!"

3. The very best part of this is the argument that the ACA isn't fair because some states are getting way more Fed money than others. Because republican states refused to participate in the law and take the money.

These vile, stupid, entitled, evil fucks have no idea what they are doing, they don't give enough of a shit to even know who or what is inside the house they are about to torch down.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:09 PM on September 21 [50 favorites]


Crucially, for Republicans block grants are code for spend less on health care (or food programs, etc). If it isn't enough because a recession hit or drug costs went up, too bad states are on their own.
posted by postel's law at 8:14 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


Because republican states refused to participate in the law and take the money.

The usual pretext was, the Federal money is temporary, and they said feared they will be left with an unfunded mandate. That is not prima facie absurd, but, I assumed they were lying, or significantly misrepresenting the facts.
posted by thelonius at 8:17 PM on September 21 [2 favorites]


How does that sidestep the Byrd Rule?

The Byrd Rule allows changes to revenue, but prohibits changes to legal mandates. Back in July, remember round 1, the BRCA? The parliamentarian ruled that they could not repeal a mandate requiring coverage using reconciliation. However they could change the amount of penalty associated with that mandate. So in this iteration, the mandate to have health insurance remains. But the penalty for non-compliance just happens to be zero.
posted by JackFlash at 8:20 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Is there anything in here to let folks import cheaper medicine from abroad? I understand there are limits on govt state/federal negotiating better terms with the providers. Has that been removed?
posted by asra at 8:26 PM on September 21


What are the odds that Republicans campaigned to make it possible for states to refuse the medicaid expansion, and that they're some of the same ones that are complaining about the unfair distribution of government funds now?
posted by Zalzidrax at 8:28 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


What are the odds that Republicans campaigned to make it possible for states to refuse the medicaid expansion, and that they're some of the same ones that are complaining about the unfair distribution of government funds now?

oh, 100 percent, for sure
posted by thelonius at 8:36 PM on September 21 [12 favorites]


I'm amazed at the logic behind this; only those with good enough genes to never get sick deserve to live and be happy? Eugenics at its finest.

this honestly makes sense from the standpoint of traditional insurance and it's the same reason that flood insurance is tricky (and is also subsidized by the federal government). It's pretty obvious which houses are going to flood. It's very obvious when certain conditions will cause increased medical costs. These aren't risks; they're certainties. The insurance company already knows you will cost a certain amount of money, at minimum, and they have no desire to insure you unless you pay in more than that.

The risk pooling function of insurance is a real social good and arguably part of the foundation of modern capitalism. But it's designed for risks, not certainties. And it's designed to preserve financial health. It really genuinely is not a good way to deliver healthcare when the goal is to actually improve the health of the population.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 8:37 PM on September 21 [12 favorites]


I just read this Axios piece, and my jaw is on the floor: Repeal First, Ask Questions Later.
The bottom line: The repeal-and-replace bill sponsored by Sens. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy is gaining steam because it has the appearance of gaining steam — not because of the changes it would make. "If there was an oral exam on the contents of the proposal, graded on a generous curve, only two Republicans could pass it. And one of them isn't Lindsey Graham," a senior GOP aide told Caitlin.
posted by purpleclover at 8:43 PM on September 21 [26 favorites]


Does having a foot shoved up your ass count as a pre-existing condition covered by the congressional medical plan?
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:13 PM on September 21 [1 favorite]


Striking tweetstorm from MoveOn's Ben Wikler, lightly edited for readability:
All the talk about financial winners and losers (and eventually everyone loses) under Graham-Cassidy misses a core point: Money does not instantly and magically transform into health care. You have to set up systems. Which is hard. Takes time, investment.

The ACA was the biggest change in health care in a generation. Implementing it was incredibly complex. Not smooth, at first. Took years. Graham-Cassidy would be a *bigger* change than the ACA. And not a stable one, either. Two years to make a new system. Funding ends eight years later.

Graham-Cassidy is like taking 50 functioning cars, melting them down into a block of metal, cutting away a third, and handing out 50 chunks—and saying, here, make a car out of this and drive it around for a few years. Make any car you want! Aren't you happy now?

That's what a block grant is: money without systems to administer it. And a lot of states are not good at building health systems.

Think about the states that turned down the Medicaid expansion but will get a big check now. They don't WANT to expand coverage—they chose not to! So what happens to the money they get? They'll cut existing state health funds and replace them with federal dollars. Say, to fund tax cuts for rich.

Policy outcomes mirror who holds power in a society. Almost by definition, the powerful make the policies. Unequal power, unequal policies. In states where the poor already get screwed, Graham-Cassidy money won't flow to the powerless poor. This is as predictable as gravity.

This was obvious pre-ACA with Medicaid eligibility levels, which were set by states. In Alabama in 2009, parents had to earn less than *$4,394* to qualify for Medicaid. This is obvious in the ACA era too—with who expands Medicaid, and also how states implement the ACA.

It's a truism: Policies reflect the priorities of power. State governments—any governments—don't always act in citizens' best interests. But the backers of Graham-Cassidy elide this. Look at this quote from a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
Not everyone will like the reforms states pursue. But what Graham-Cassidy creates is a competition of ideas. The best programs would be emulated and the worst discarded—which is how policy making should work in a federalist system.
This is just laughably false. Some states are trying to create great health systems. Others—well, others rejected the Medicaid expansion. So even to the extent that states set up health systems with their temporary G-C block grant funds, there won't magically become altruistic.

And more to the point, many are unlikely to turn those hunks of melted metal into functioning cars. Especially not in *two years.* This is incredibly tricky stuff. Many states demonstrably have neither the expertise nor the intention. As @sangerkatz wrote: building health systems from scratch is hard.

Along with everything else vicious and destructive about Graham-Cassidy, it's unworkable on a fundamental level. It's a bad bill. Let's kill it.
And the kicker:
Ben Wikler Retweeted ☪️ Charles Gaba ✡️
Update: it's now even worse in Alabama. A single parent of 2 earning more than $2,654.60 is ineligible for Medicaid.
Note that that's $2,654.60 per year. $221 per month. Seven bucks and change per day. A single parent of two with the magical ability to find a grubby tenner in the gutter once a day is considered too princely by half to deserve Medicaid in my back-asswards state.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:47 PM on September 21 [105 favorites]


It's amazing how the GOP relentlessly serves evil.
posted by Beholder at 10:24 PM on September 21 [30 favorites]


Vox has an article from today about the Graham-Cassidy bill and the Bryd rule which states that the GC bill still needs to go before the parliamentarian before it can come up for a vote.

Not seeing anything that prohibits the parliamentarian from declaring that a $0 penalty effectively waives the mandate and to require 60-votes on that section, however.

(I was only able to find an incomplete determination from the parliamentarian on the BCRA.)
posted by fragmede at 10:26 PM on September 21 [3 favorites]


It's amazing how the GOP relentlessly serves evil.

It's not gotten a lot of attention but there's a reason behind their madness & disinterestedly "serving evil" isn't it. The Kochs are cutting off the firehose of money until they get it done. Tax cuts too. How much is at stake? $300-400 million in campaign cash. Koch network 'piggy banks' closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform.
posted by scalefree at 11:43 PM on September 21 [34 favorites]


It's not gotten a lot of attention but there's a reason behind their madness & disinterestedly "serving evil" isn't it. The Kochs are cutting off the firehose of money until they get it done.

So, to be precise, it isn't evil directly.

Money. Mammon.

I seem recall a Bible passage about the relationship between money and evil, and I hear Republicans like to at least pretend they care about the Bible.
posted by wildblueyonder at 11:51 PM on September 21 [6 favorites]


The Kochs are Republicans and relentlessly serve evil, not much separation.
posted by Artw at 11:51 PM on September 21 [14 favorites]


OK but seriously, how many times can they repeat this fight? They got screwed out of using budget reconciliation for their last attempt, but it appears they've fiddled with this one enough to be able to try it next. Is this just what is gonna be happening now? Every couple months they come up with another idea to create a bill that fucks over healthcare in a way that's just different enough that they can put it up for reconciliation?
posted by schroedinger at 12:03 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the only way to prevent this stuff coming up over and over again is to have fewer than 51 Republicans available to vote for it in the Senate.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 12:27 AM on September 22 [15 favorites]


i don't think public policy is about public policy anymore. or even really about money. i mean, AHIP is against this and yet it still might pass with like 2 weeks of back-of-the-napkin type prep. remember when obama went around for a year trying to bribe the insurers? nowadays, they cant even get a repub senator on the damn phone.

sorry, got off track. public policy in this media environment isn't about money or access, much less actual planning or expertise. it's about just one thing: propaganda. and yeah, money helps with that somewhat, but just as a means to an end.
posted by wibari at 12:40 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


I don't understand this. Will people be left to die, or just with huge bills they will never repay, preventing them from ever owning anything larger than a fridge?

Also, I understand the Republicans would like to run the country like a corporation, and in this case they just decided to sack the sick, but where do they expect the sacked will go? For medical care, to Mexico, I guess, but are they really suggesting that if you are sick, you should earn more to afford health care?

And re: > protectorofthesmall: I'm amazed at the logic behind this; only those with good enough genes to never get sick deserve to live and be happy? Eugenics at its finest.

It's actually survival of the fittest, nothing to be amazed at, natural all around us. It's just that many of our human societies decided to provide solidarity-based shelter to the weakest to counteract the evolutionary pressure. Except, apparently, the greatest nation on Earth.
posted by Laotic at 12:55 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]


It's amazing how the GOP relentlessly serves evil.

There are no good republicans. Honestly. Saying you're a republican in 2017, of whatever "never _____" stripe, is saying you support this stuff. You CANNOT pretend this is a temporary fling and you are really a good person and it's just that them libs want your (potential future) art collection or (potential future) third Bentley or whatever (how are those credit card balances doing, kinda nice that the boss got a huge bonus but not much for your department this year, eh? Next year! You can be the boss one day, and then it's YOUR bonus).

When I was a kid, I used to wonder how the Roman empire fell...I mean, how do you go backwards? To whatever supernatural entity overheard me: It was a rhetorical question, I didn't want to actually live through it to find out the answer.
posted by maxwelton at 1:23 AM on September 22 [47 favorites]


Midterm elections cannot come soon enough.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 1:39 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]


Koch network 'piggy banks' closed until Republicans pass health and tax reform.

They're quitting the politics game if this doesn't pass? Bullshit.
posted by rhizome at 2:22 AM on September 22 [16 favorites]


I seem recall a Bible passage about the relationship between money and evil, and I hear Republicans like to at least pretend they care about the Bible.

The Bible is the Literal Truth, unless it's about poverty, inequality or wealth, and then Jesus is just joshin'
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:28 AM on September 22 [18 favorites]


How does someone from the UK, who loves people in the US that will be affected by this, help the fight? Is it a matter of donating to e.g. Resistbot and other good organisations or can I get involved in contacting senators, arguing and debating, etc?
posted by giraffeneckbattle at 2:58 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


> It's actually survival of the fittest, nothing to be amazed at, natural all around us. It's just that many of our human societies decided to provide solidarity-based shelter to the weakest to counteract the evolutionary pressure. Except, apparently, the greatest nation on Earth.
I think that compassion has its origin in the evolution of the human species, and it has been gained through countless generations of mothers and fathers selecting each other for suitable mates. As such, compassion is not only a rational choice, but also a force of nature.

It is possible to contravene a force of nature. But a force of nature is one which, when contravened, will ultimately bring retribution to the trespasser.
posted by runcifex at 3:18 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


They're quitting the politics game if this doesn't pass? Bullshit.
Heh, no. They'll primary the failures who couldn't get the job done.
posted by xyzzy at 3:19 AM on September 22 [8 favorites]


This is the hill they've chosen to die on? This pile of absolute shit? This?

They won't die on it. The Senate is a lock at least until 2020 and the House has been gerrymandered to all hell. If they repeal it now Democrats won't be able to do a damn thing about it and the electorate and its goldfish like memory and sports team mentality gives them a pass in 2022.

There's no conceivable way that Democrats can pull back without a wholesale shift in America's mentality.
posted by Talez at 3:21 AM on September 22 [10 favorites]


It's actually survival of the fittest, nothing to be amazed at, natural all around us.

Yeah, "fittest" it says, not "strongest". Took me a while to figure that out, you know: fittest as in best adapted.
posted by Mister Bijou at 3:33 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


I don't understand this. Will people be left to die

Yes.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 3:47 AM on September 22 [12 favorites]


The evolutionary success of humans is due, in great part, to the development of effective social groups and cooperation, isn't it? As isolated individuals, perpetually competing in a war of all against all, we are pretty screwed.
posted by thelonius at 3:49 AM on September 22 [20 favorites]


> Mister Bijou, that is what struck me too, looking back on the two more recent major wars in Europe - the strongest and bravest probably died in the first waves heroically colliding over the trenches, and the sleazebags and cripples made off with their widows : )

> runciflex, from what I read, compassion had relatively severe limitations (e.g. in-group/family/tribe/nation only). How would you explain the fairly permanent state of inter-group violence and animosity throughout humanity's history?

At present, we can keep alive those who would certainly not have survived maybe just decades ago, thanks to advances in medicine. We are (sort-of) beating evolution at its game, and it may seem that it always was and should be so. I believe this is a dangerously complacent fallacy and looking back at the OP very little is needed to crash the system and send it careening back to prehistory.

I'm just amazed at how some people apparently deeply wish for this to happen. It is abhorrent and disgusting.
posted by Laotic at 4:35 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


Also, I understand the Republicans would like to run the country like a corporation, and in this case they just decided to sack the sick, but where do they expect the sacked will go? For medical care, to Mexico, I guess, but are they really suggesting that if you are sick, you should earn more to afford health care?

Going overseas for medical care ("medical tourism," among other names) is really something where unless you are at least lower middle class, you aren't likely to have the funds to travel to a foreign country, pay cash for medical treatment, stay in a hotel for days or weeks, and travel back. (It's easier if you live right on the border and can cross for day visits, obviously.) So yes, that is one of the pseudo-safety nets that will be available, but it won't be of much use to most of the people who will either lose their insurance or have much crappier/more expensive insurance.

They are trying hard to structure the repeal to hurt blue states much more than red states, but inevitably it will impact a lot of the people in Trump's base. I guess the plan is that a) those impacts will be a year or more down the road, and b) they will blame it on Obamacare, such that the gamble is that it won't actually hurt their support, which I think is likely a safe bet.

And yes, it is interesting how the insurance and medical industry and associations seem to have very little voice in this, whereas in the past they appeared to carry huge weight in congress. I don't quite get what made that change (maybe simply the extent of gerrymandering?) but it is changing the debate significantly.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:05 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


sleazebags and cripples

It would be awesome to have this conversation without throwing veterans under the bus and using ableist slurs.

Evolutionary arguments about contemporary society are often highly flawed, in general, and I'd hate to see us chase this trail a whole lot further.
posted by Miko at 5:05 AM on September 22 [23 favorites]


Whatever medicine and social protections we have and use to survive are products of evolution and help make us better adapted to our environment. The poisonous idea the goal is "strength" *is* fascism and patriarchy and is an internal counter pressure to our natural evolution. The world doesn't prefer "strength" of the kind Randian objectivists fetishize over "weakness." If anything, those pressures naturally prefer species that play nice (adapt).
posted by saulgoodman at 5:06 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


And yes, it is interesting how the insurance and medical industry and associations seem to have very little voice in this

That when the insurance companies get cut out of the political process we get this, instead of single payer, is one of those little American ironies that make me want to run headlong into a wall.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:18 AM on September 22 [9 favorites]


Universal healthcare might change US economy significantly, and if ones compares with Western countries with universal healthcare (all of them) it seems like it might be a huge boost in terms of innovation and productivity. But for businesses who hate change, who prefer to pay the absolute minimum and offer no benefits apart from health insurance, that future might look scary. I don't know enough about American industry and commerce to see if that might be a driver behind the R donors.
posted by mumimor at 5:23 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


I don't understand this. Will people be left to die, or just with huge bills they will never repay, preventing them from ever owning anything larger than a fridge?

Yes to both. Some people will wind up dying and others will have a lifetime of medical debt. Just depends on the circumstances.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:48 AM on September 22 [9 favorites]


I should clarify that the above is happening right now as well. Obamacare is an improvement but it didn't solve all of our problems. There are still people who can't afford the care they need. And they still die or wind up with mountains of medical debt. Just fewer than before.
posted by soren_lorensen at 5:49 AM on September 22 [9 favorites]


What's weird is how few people are aware this is even happening. My hyper-politic workplace was about half unaware. I don't know if information is disseminating badly or if the Eternal Repeal is tiring people out.
posted by corb at 6:07 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]


If I weren't stuck living through it, I'd be laughing. The GOP legislates themselves into a majority and then can't pass any bills. They can have judges appointed that undo things or push progress backwards but they can't actually respond to crises.

And the Koch idiots want to add more zealous morons to the mix via successful primary attempts? It's like they're dogs, they can't associate an effect (this shit pile government we're with) and their actions (constant ousting of people who were capable) because the cause happened too long ago.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:11 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]


Axios lays out why everyone is worn the fuck out.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 6:19 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


I am worn the fuck out. It just feels like a group of people so hell-bent on destroying the ground the rest of us are standing on really just can't be effectively opposed. They're going to just keep trying and trying and trying and trying forever and I don't know how you deal with that.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:39 AM on September 22 [32 favorites]


Since Trump was elected I have never felt so relieved that I have a passport to a country that isn't the United States.
posted by Talez at 6:42 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


I mean, at some point, less than legal options are going to begin to look like the most ethical for preventing the GOP from being physically able to continue to kill people. They're opening a box I'm seriously afraid of.
posted by odinsdream at 6:46 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]


I knew I should have let Lindsey Graham die at the Battle of Antietam. Stupid time machine.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:54 AM on September 22 [7 favorites]


Iowan Mefites: the Des Moines Register has Ernst as "leaning yes" on this bill, flood the phones and push for a no! I got through to a staffer, and personal stories about the effects of this bill seemed to connect.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:58 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


Joni is having a town hall in Iowa City today. That should be fascinating.

I don't think she's really "leaning yes," though. If she doesn't vote yes, I will personally bake cakes for every single Iowa Mefite.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:00 AM on September 22 [8 favorites]


Since Trump was elected I have never felt so relieved that I have a passport to a country that isn't the United States.

I hired a French tutor to increase my score on the Canadian immigration test. Seriously. I don't like where any of this is going.
posted by Automocar at 7:29 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


I mean, at some point, less than legal options are going to begin to look like the most ethical for preventing the GOP from being physically able to continue to kill people. They're opening a box I'm seriously afraid of.

I honestly think we're already there. The Republican party is doing its best to make clear to all of us that they will not participate in society and that they will not allow us to have a society while they are around. They're sitting there sharpening their knives and trying to kill us every time they think they see an opportunity, and telling us over and over again that if we let our guard down for a moment they'll do it. We know the legal system won't punish them; the cops are on their side and are eagerly participating in the violence. They've moved past "massaging" election results into outright stealing them, and there's no reason to believe that we'll ever have a fair election as long as there are Republicans in the federal government. Realistically, what are our options?
posted by IAmUnaware at 7:32 AM on September 22 [12 favorites]


The thing that keeps me up at night is the fact that we are losing faith in our democracy. We've already had two presidential elections in living memory where the loser of the popular vote was inaugurated, and we're currently being governed by a party that captured less than half of the vote in 2016. A majority cannot be continually governed by a minority forever. At some point something is going to break down, and I don't know that I want to be here when that happens.
posted by Automocar at 7:55 AM on September 22 [20 favorites]


It seems likely that by 2019 we'll have:
  • An illegitimate President, having been given the office despite a massive loss in the popular vote, who was also aided by foreign enemies
  • An illegitimate Senate, wherein sparsely-populated red states hold majority over Senators representing many more Democratic voters
  • An illegitimate House, with gerrymandering producing a majority of GOP reps despite a majority of voters voting for Democratic reps
  • An illegitimate Supreme Court, where a stolen seat will tip the balance in favor of dismantling any positive agenda for at least a generation
The United States cannot credibly claim to be a democracy at that point. It's closer to the founders' vision of government determined only by white land-owning men than to any modern conception of democracy.

The illegitimate government is trying to roll back decades' worth of social progress, and people will die as a result. It's not time for a revolution yet, but you can't claim it wouldn't be justified.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:17 AM on September 22 [47 favorites]


This is far bigger than healthcare. If this bill passes - despite the cloud of lies, & despite opposition from nearly every expert & health care organization - American democracy is doomed.
posted by twsf at 8:20 AM on September 22 [4 favorites]


Y'all I'm not sure what to do other than march. I'm pretty sure they'd arrest me if I challenged Cassidy to a fist fight. EH Norton is lovely but her vote counts for nothing and she's already on our side anyway.

These clowns are going to get people killed.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:21 AM on September 22


The thing that keeps me up at night is the fact that we are losing faith in our democracy.

I've already lost all faith in our Democracy. Democracy shouldn't run on faith, it should run on the rule of law and the consent of the governed. The first of those is being trampled on and the second barely exists.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:25 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


> I hired a French tutor to increase my score on the Canadian immigration test. Seriously. I don't like where any of this is going.

Speaking as a Canadian, I wish there were a lot more separation between here and the U.S.. When and if things really hit the fan in the States I have very little confidence that the problems will not spill over the border.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:31 AM on September 22 [7 favorites]


And the Koch idiots want to add more zealous morons to the mix via successful primary attempts? It's like they're dogs, they can't associate an effect (this shit pile government we're with) and their actions (constant ousting of people who were capable) because the cause happened too long ago.

AFAICT the Kochs and people like them are primarily in politics to hobble or destroy the state, as it's the only competition and check on the power of their extreme wealth.

Lower or eliminate taxes on capital, make the state ineffective where possible and beholden to them where not. That's the game. Where "effectiveness" of government registers on the radar, it's actually a threat: for example, an effective public health care system would be politically popular and require tax dollars, so it is absolutely the worst thing in the world, literally as bad as Hitler from this point of view. So the fact that makes the government shit for normal people is a feature, not a bug. And frankly, if you were worth listening too, you'd be running a prosperous business too, right?
posted by wildblueyonder at 8:40 AM on September 22 [15 favorites]


it is interesting how the insurance and medical industry and associations seem to have very little voice in this

They have little voice because they have little interest in the outcome. They might raise some mild objections but they aren't going to war over it.

That's because Obamacare repeal affects a relatively small part of the market and a part that is not particularly profitable for them. The individual market is only about 7% of the country. The bread and butter for the insurance companies and doctors is the employer market and senior Medicare and those are relatively unaffected by Obamacare or not Obamacare.
posted by JackFlash at 8:43 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Except, JackFlash, if it serves as a counterexample or triggers a crisis that leads some states to pursue single-payer. Just this week several major health insurers came out in explicit opposition (PDF direct link) to this bill.
posted by twsf at 8:55 AM on September 22


Speaking as a Canadian, I wish there were a lot more separation between here and the U.S.. When and if things really hit the fan in the States I have very little confidence that the problems will not spill over the border.

Yeah, we're not safe by a longshot. When climate refugees start fleeing North in earnest, plus political refugees, I think it's reasonable to expect that the total population of Canada will double (at least) in the next few decades. This is, of course, based on the somewhat optimistic assumption that Canada still exists as a political entity and hasn't simply been annexed. We shouldn't be holding on to the naive hope that this won't happen, but aggressively preparing infrastructure and supports for when it does happen.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 9:12 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]




I honestly think we're already there.

We're not already there. The moment to ask if we're already there is when you look around at your friends, and say, "It's worth one out of every five of them being injured, maimed, or killed, to change this." We may get there, but we are not there yet, and fuzziness about when it's appropriate makes it harder. The ask is enormous and should not be undertaken without cause.

Right now, we can still fix this with largely nonviolent means. And the unrelenting misery that would result if we tried it any other way is not outweighed by what we would gain. That calculus may change, but at the moment, it hasn't.
posted by corb at 9:21 AM on September 22 [11 favorites]


That second amendment really needs some wording on acceptable levels of tyranny.
posted by Artw at 9:30 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


The 2026 CBO landmine in Cassidy-Graham (Thanks to tonycpsu in the other thread.)

Yes, this was a curious thing I noticed in the Cassidy-Graham bill that had me wondering at first. After consideration I realized it is yet another diabolical move by Republicans to get their tax cuts and more than that, make them permanent.

Previous Republican repeal bills had about $1 trillion in healthcare cuts which was matched by about $1 trillion in tax cuts for the rich. The curious thing is that the Cassidy-Graham bill doesn't have much in the way of tax cuts. Even more curious, all spending for health care stops in 2026.

What Republicans have been worrying about is how to get their tax cuts and make them permanent with just 51 votes. Under filibuster-exempt reconciliation rules, if the tax cuts increase the deficit beyond the 10-year scoring window, the tax cuts must sunset, just like the Bush tax cuts of 2001.

But under the Cassidy-Graham law, as the law is written, all spending on health care abruptly stops in 2026. This conveniently offsets the cost of tax cuts after 2026, allowing tax cuts to be permanent under reconciliation rules and requiring only 51 votes.

Now everyone is assuming that the 2026 abrupt cut off for health benefits is just a placeholder and that new funding will be authorized some time before then. But in the mean time, and by meantime I mean just long enough to pass the upcoming tax cut bill, by the rules of CBO budget scoring, health spending goes away in 2026 according to the G-C law, offsetting tax cuts after 2026. That allows the tax cuts to be permanent, even though everyone assumes health spending doesn't really expire in 2026.

This explains the curious observations that there are no tax cuts in the G-C bill and that spending for health care abruptly stops in 2026 in the G-C bill. It's a parliamentary trick in order to allow their deficit busting tax cut bill to become permanent using 51-vote reconciliation.

Never forget. It's always about tax cuts.
posted by JackFlash at 9:41 AM on September 22 [29 favorites]


It's always about tax cuts.

Maybe we should amend Marco Rubio's "If you want to live in a socialist country, move to a socialist country" to be "If you want to live in a country without taxes, move to a country without taxes." I hear the Caymans are quite nice, plus you can be closer to your grandkids money!
posted by melissasaurus at 10:05 AM on September 22 [11 favorites]


I mean, America pre-1913 wasn't exactly a dystopian hellhole - and if we had to levy new taxes on people every time we got into a war, I bet people would be a lot less eager to start new ones.

There are a lot of ways you can handle taxes and still bring in enough revenue for necessary programs - each country does it differently, and having many ideas about that is normal. However, the situation we are currently in with reconciliation forcing all sorts of insane shenanigans is not normal. How can we stop this abuse in future permanently?
posted by corb at 10:15 AM on September 22


How can we stop this abuse in future permanently?

The answer is pretty straightforward. Never, ever vote for a Republican for any public office. They are the source of the abuse.
posted by JackFlash at 10:22 AM on September 22 [14 favorites]


I mean, America pre-1913 wasn't exactly a dystopian hellhole

For whom?
posted by melissasaurus at 10:29 AM on September 22 [36 favorites]


@mediamatters:
Fox News: Jimmy Kimmel isn't qualified to talk politics

Also Fox News:
posted by Rhaomi at 10:35 AM on September 22 [8 favorites]


I mean, America pre-1913 wasn't exactly a dystopian hellhole

Did someone stick some magnets on Mark Twain's corpse and wrap him tightly in copper wire? If not we're missing out on a hell of a lot of clean energy, here.
posted by Talez at 10:38 AM on September 22 [14 favorites]


I mean, America pre-1913 wasn't exactly a dystopian hellhole

The year 1913 isn't an arbitrary choice. That is the year the 16th Amendment was passed authorizing an income tax. In the joyous Gilded Age before the 16th Amendment, magnates like Ford and Rockefeller and Carnegie and Vanderbilt could accumulate their fortunes without paying a dime of income tax.

Republicans pine for those halcyon days and want to take us back to them. No income taxes and unfettered Jim Crow where everyone knew their place. What's not to like?
posted by JackFlash at 10:52 AM on September 22 [14 favorites]


McCain says he's voting no on Graham-Cassidy.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 10:54 AM on September 22 [15 favorites]


McCain says he's voting no on Graham-Cassidy.
posted by the turtle's teeth


Eponyperfect. Because clearly the turtle has no teeth.

I'm glad Mitch threw all his weight behind this to land face-first in the dirt again.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:57 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]


The man baffles me.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:57 AM on September 22


In fairness, McCain says he can't vote for it "in good conscience." Whether that means he's voting no is an exercise for the reader.
posted by kelborel at 11:00 AM on September 22 [32 favorites]


Damn. Genuinely did not imagine "the turtle's teeth" would ever be epony-anything, but by god if leotrotsky hasn't gone and done it (with some pinch hitting from Mitch of course).
posted by the turtle's teeth at 11:01 AM on September 22 [5 favorites]


McCain is going to milk every one of these for maximum drama.
posted by Artw at 11:11 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


Even though McCain has said he's a no, we have to keep up the pressure until October 1st. Keep calling, faxing, emailing, protesting, visiting. Keep asking your friends and family to as well. This damn thing keeps coming back the second we let up. No letting up this time.
posted by mcduff at 11:16 AM on September 22 [12 favorites]


I'm really getting why horror movies were such a big genre in the Reagan eighties - that whole "you spent all this effort frantically killing something and you are just pausing to catch your breath and cry, but it's not dead" thing is really resonating, plus the "one error of judgment and evil forces eviscerate you", plus the "we hate women" thing, plus the "people of color exist as cannon fodder" thing.

Think about It, if you like - the kids defeat It once and they think they're okay, and then - just like basically the entire Trump administration's worth of shitty people who were discredited twenty years ago - it comes back to kill again.
posted by Frowner at 11:24 AM on September 22 [19 favorites]


> When climate refugees start fleeing North in earnest, plus political refugees, I think it's reasonable to expect that the total population of Canada will double (at least) in the next few decades. This is, of course, based on the somewhat optimistic assumption that Canada still exists as a political entity and hasn't simply been annexed.

I look to the south and to the west, see two huge, aggressive military powers sandwiching a large, sparsely-populated country with vast reserves of water and other valuable natural resources, and I get nervous.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:27 AM on September 22 [6 favorites]


Washington D.C. Sept 29th, 8:30 P.M.
GOP: "Hey everybody! We've got a new GOP Healthcare Bill, we call it the Strange Moran bill! 
US: "Oh, hell, not again."
GOP: "No, it's totally different this time! It solves all the problems with the previous bills! Look!"
*GOP carries out package wrapped in butcher paper, poorly tied with twine, labeled "TOP ƧEKRIT"*
US: "Uh, that's great, but how's it do that?"
*GOP glances about furtively*
GOP: "Uh... there's no time to explain!  You just have to vote yes!"
posted by leotrotsky at 11:30 AM on September 22 [8 favorites]


*GOP carries out package wrapped in butcher paper, poorly tied with twine, labeled "TOP ƧEKRIT"*
You forgot the "dripping in blood" part, unless that was meant to be implied by the "wrapped in butcher paper."
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:35 AM on September 22 [2 favorites]


I look to the south and to the west, see two huge, aggressive military powers sandwiching a large, sparsely-populated country with vast reserves of water and other valuable natural resources

>open mailbox
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:37 AM on September 22 [24 favorites]


soooo, I guess now is not a good time to read Sander's S.1804 - Medicare for All Act of 2017. I waited a week since that NYT OpEd for him to publish at congress.gov.

It's got no related House bill. I wonder, if a Republican will introduce one.

S.1804 eliminates Medicaid for everyone not in long-term nursing and establishes premium paid "Medicare Transition Plan" (essential PPACA "silver plan" coverage) for everyone 20-34 years of age. It preserves PPACA income-based premium subsidies and market competition for "participating" health providers. So there's that, cause, yanno, millennials will always be with us even after Y4 of the act when everyone 35+ years old is enrolled in "Medicare for All."
posted by marycatherine at 11:39 AM on September 22


There is a bill in the House for Medicare for all - HR 676- not sure if it ties into S1804? It's been around for years, though; introduced multiple times. Cannot hold back my eyerolls that people (general people, not anyone here) think Bernie Sanders was the first in Congress to introduce a bill on this. Talk about leading from behind and taking all the credit.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:45 AM on September 22 [9 favorites]


Yeah, Conyers submits the House bill every year since 2003.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:53 AM on September 22 [3 favorites]


I look to the south and to the west, see two huge, aggressive military powers sandwiching a large, sparsely-populated country with vast reserves of water and other valuable natural resources
>open mailbox

Opening the small mailbox reveals a leaflet, a bottle of self-tanner, and a covfefe.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:54 AM on September 22 [19 favorites]


The latest classic in the "leopards, faces, eating, etc." genre: "Brown, the Trump supporter, will be watching in fear, sincerely concerned his beloved president might send him to his death. Trump, he said, “just wants to pass it so it makes him look good.”

That's the only reason Trump does *anything*, bro, but hey...at least you can die knowing you sacrificed yourself to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:05 PM on September 22 [20 favorites]


Even Chili's knows.

@subtlerbutler: my co-pay at my primary care doc is supposed to be $0 but then I always get charged more money later even for regular checkups. WHY CHILIS

@Chili's: If your deductible hasn't been met, your copay is how much it costs to simply leave your doctor's office. They can charge way more later.

posted by Guy Smiley at 12:20 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]


Every couple months they come up with another idea to create a bill that fucks over healthcare in a way that's just different enough that they can put it up for reconciliation?

Well, the game changes next year - a lot of them are running for reelection, and it's a lot harder to do that if you're not willing to have meetings in public. Dodging town halls is one thing; trying to stay away from crowds while you're also trying to convince them to vote for you is much, much harder.

It used to be that it only took one bad answer to a question to kill a career; that's no longer the case (sigh), but they still really don't want to give their opponents viral-meme fodder like "well, I guess some children born with disabilities wouldn't have coverage." Right now, they're all trying really hard to avoid having to say that directly.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:22 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]


The latest classic in the "leopards, faces, eating, etc." genre: "Brown, the Trump supporter, will be watching in fear, sincerely concerned his beloved president might send him to his death. Trump, he said, “just wants to pass it so it makes him look good.”
WASHINGTON—Bruce Brown, a Donald Trump devotee in rural Pennsylvania, thinks that Hillary Clinton should be “shot or put in prison” and that liberals have a “mental disease.”

He also thinks Trump’s latest health-care plan might kill him, at least leave him homeless.

Brown, 58, has severe diabetes, and he is awaiting a leg amputation. He and his 11-year-old son, who has autism, get health insurance from Medicaid, the program the new plan would subject to major cuts.

“I barely make it month to month as it is,” said Brown, who is unable to work. “I saw how many billions and billions they want to cut from Medicaid. I depend on Medicaid. Without Medicaid, I have nothing. I couldn’t afford any insurance.”
F@#U(TRFHWQ()OASIDHVSIO@#HR)(!@IQ#HNFAOP)I(HFPI@WAYHU#@)O(Q

THE LIBERALS YOU THINK ARE MENTALLY DEFICIENT ARE TRYING TO MAKE SURE YOU STILL HAVE HEALTHCARE YOU FUCKING MORON!

Holy shit I just... like... HKFWEHY*(O@I#H%TR@ this fucking football team mentality.

Like if you're a Cowboys season ticket holder and the Cowboys show up with M4s in hand ready to shoot you, if the Eagles are showing up to defend you then you de facto support the fucking Eagles, don't you?
posted by Talez at 12:46 PM on September 22 [33 favorites]


It just pisses me off that so many people are just "fuck liberals" and then when we poll Americans on what they want government to do THEY ARE STAUNCHLY IN FAVOR OF LIBERAL IDEAS.
posted by Talez at 12:48 PM on September 22 [37 favorites]


F@#U(TRFHWQ()OASIDHVSIO@#HR)(!@IQ#HNFAOP)I(HFPI@WAYHU#@)O(Q

My reaction exactly. I feel like a Star Trek robot with smoke coming out of my ears right now. And of course he's from rural fucking Pennsylvania.
posted by octothorpe at 12:51 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suspect that the part that was left out of the article is that he wants healthcare/medicaid for himself and his kid, but not for "those people" who don't deserve it.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:53 PM on September 22 [30 favorites]


But why don't reporters ever confront these people with the fact that Democrats are trying to secure benefits and Republicans are trying to remove them. It's that simple. And then the guy would have to come up with his racist garbage or whatever it is.
posted by mumimor at 1:04 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]


Empathy, everyone.

/Would chip in to send a "LIBERAL TEARS" mug.
posted by Artw at 1:05 PM on September 22 [3 favorites]


I'm gonna go out on a limb here and suspect that the part that was left out of the article is that he wants healthcare/medicaid for himself and his kid, but not for "those people" who don't deserve it.

I heard an interview once with someone who was on welfare (not sure what programs exactly he used). He is conservative and doesn't think there should be welfare. The interviewer asked why he doesn't choose not to access it. "I don't know how I'd survive." "But you still think welfare should be dismantled?" "Yes. I should be able to make a living on my own."

This man had children who relied on his benefits to survive. If that doesn't make him think it's a worthy cause, I don't know what would.
posted by Emmy Rae at 1:10 PM on September 22 [5 favorites]


Bootlickers. All of them.
posted by asteria at 1:42 PM on September 22


A Hospital Crisis Is Killing Rural Communities. This State Is ‘Ground Zero.’ It's Huffpo but it is serious, there is a lot of relevant knowledge in the (relatively) long article.
posted by mumimor at 1:56 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]


But why don't reporters ever confront these people with the fact that Democrats are trying to secure benefits and Republicans are trying to remove them.

Sometimes, it's because they want the interview to continue, and they suspect the person would just stop talking to them if they confronted them directly.

However, nothing stops them from putting a followup note in the article - "Mr. Doofus did not seem to be aware that [name]'s health care plan covered exactly those features that he was concerned about." They don't need to be confrontational with their interviewees in order to relay relevant info to their readers.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:10 PM on September 22 [9 favorites]


Oh, that would interfere with the flow of bipartisanism and moderation.
posted by Artw at 2:21 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]


Both sides!
posted by asteria at 2:26 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Maybe next time they can get a nazi with a limp.
posted by Artw at 2:26 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


A Hospital Crisis Is Killing Rural Communities. This State Is ‘Ground Zero.

A lot of this is self-inflicted. That story is about Georgia which failed to implement Medicaid expansion using free federal money out of Obama spite. And they complain that they are being put out of business by $8.5 million of unpaid medical bills. Well, if you cared enough about poor people to give them free federal Medicaid, then you wouldn't have any unpaid bills.

They complain about having to drive 30 to 40 minutes to a regional hospital. But for non-emergency visits, that's typical of a daily commute to work for most people.

For emergencies, it would make more sense to pay a helicopter crew to be on call 24/7 at a regional hospital to go fetch emergency patients than to spend millions a year keeping an under-used rural emergency room staffed.

An urgent care center or doc-in-a-box makes more sense for walk in rural customers than a full service hospital.

Too many rural people seem to have a dislike of cities and the people who live in them but want all the benefits of living in a city provided in their rural town at the city person's expense.
posted by JackFlash at 2:53 PM on September 22 [13 favorites]


Too many rural people seem to have a dislike of cities and the people who live in them but want all the benefits of living in a city provided in their rural town at the city person's expense

We subsidize country areas because they're necessary for the survival of the country. Even when you have a primary industry like farming you still need tertiary services like grocers, bank tellers, mechanics, and those people need other tertiary services like healthcare, teachers, police, and fire.

For us to complain about subsidizing country areas at the expense of rich cities is just as bad as Republican leaders complaining that they shouldn't have to cover pregnancy because they're men. We're all in this together. We have enough. The target is the 1% who are hoarding not city vs country.
posted by Talez at 3:22 PM on September 22 [14 favorites]


We don't try to murder them.
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]


And fuck giving them extra votes on top of the extra money. That shit has to end.
posted by Artw at 3:25 PM on September 22 [8 favorites]


John McCain gets disproportionate credit for occasionally doing the right thing. I like people who do the right thing more consistently.
posted by orange swan at 3:29 PM on September 22 [14 favorites]


Even money on him deciding he's not gotten enough of a handjob for this one and going the other way on the next one. After appropriate drama, of course.
posted by Artw at 3:30 PM on September 22


We're all in this together.

Yes, that is what Democrats say and do. Which is why we offered these poor rural areas free Medicaid which they refused and then they complain that they aren't getting enough subsidies for their rural hospitals.

But these rural whites aren't in this together with the rest of us. They want government largesse as long as they make sure the wrong sort of people don't get it.
posted by JackFlash at 3:36 PM on September 22 [24 favorites]


But these rural whites aren't in this together with the rest of us. They want government largesse as long as they make sure the wrong sort of people don't get it.
For what it's worth, the article doesn't say this, but I've read elsewhere that the rural areas that are being hit hardest by hospital closures are areas with a higher percentage of black residents. Not all rural people are white, especially in the South, which is the region this article focuses on.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 4:12 PM on September 22 [11 favorites]


I doubt they are the ones trying to murder us all or getting the extra money and voting power for trying to murder us all, TBH.
posted by Artw at 4:29 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Wheeler County which is featured in the story is 65% white and coincidentally went 66% for Trump. I think we know what the problem is, and it ain't poor blacks. It's that 65% that voted to refuse Medicaid to keep the other 35% from getting any free medical care. And then they complain about their hospital closing.

The target is the 1% who are hoarding not city vs country.

Uh, the 1% are just 1%. It's whites and especially rural whites that are are allied with the 1% that enable them to win elections and control government.
posted by JackFlash at 4:40 PM on September 22 [8 favorites]


WASHINGTON—Bruce Brown, a Donald Trump devotee in rural Pennsylvania, thinks that Hillary Clinton should be “shot or put in prison” and that liberals have a “mental disease.”

He also thinks Trump’s latest health-care plan might kill him, at least leave him homeless.


Sometimes I think stories like this are astroturfing intended to make me think "well, say what you like about the Graham-Cassidy-Satan bill destroying all forms of civilization in the US, at least Bruce Brown and friends would be dead".
posted by the agents of KAOS at 5:50 PM on September 22 [5 favorites]


PinkSuperHero: No. H.R. 676 is not related to Sander's bill. (CLICK THE NAVIGATION TAB "Related Bills") You see, the clerk has not been informed of any related bill in the senate; no senator has adopted it for corresponding legislation in that chamber.

Obversely, no one in the House has adopted Sander's bill.

676 is Conyer's bill, first introduced in 2013, re-introduced 23 Jan 2017. It has 118 co-sponsors, all Democrats. If you read it, the text has no resemblance to Sander's bill. 676 is the model "Medicare for All" bill that PHP has hosted ever since senate Democrats sandbagged Dingell's "Medicare for All" version in 2009 for the Baucus-Emanuel gift to insurers. 676 is a radical, full-bore "nationalized" health service. Margaret Flowers wouldn't have a political career without it, and Sanders wouldn't have a ride.

Sander's introduced the S.1782 - American Health Security Act of 2013 in 2013. No sponsors, no related bill. S.1804 is a re-retread incorporating some PPACA features.
posted by marycatherine at 6:19 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]


Medicaid Expansion a/o 15 Sep 2017, the usual suspects.

MedicaidX: WA, OR, CA, NV, AZ, NM, ND, MN, OH, KY, WV, MD, NY, NJ, DE, CT, MA, RI, NH, HI, D.C., IN, PA, MO, IA, VT, IL, MI
No MedicaidX: MT, ID, WY, SD, NB, KS, OK, TX, LA, WI, TN, AL, MS, GA, FL, VA, NC, SC, ME, AK, UT
undecided: AR, NC

PS: Baucus Democrats trashed Kennedy-Dingell "Medicare for All" which had passed the House. It wasn't Conyer's version, but it was a damn sight more generous than what we got.
posted by marycatherine at 6:29 PM on September 22 [2 favorites]


This is, of course, based on the somewhat optimistic assumption that Canada still exists as a political entity and hasn't simply been annexed.

I have said this here before, but not to worry too much as Canada would be a huge poison pill for the US. The only way this would play out would be if it was full-on open and direct disenfranchisement and a Handmaid's Tale style government.

If the US system stays even vaguely in current form, Canadian annexation would provide ~18 more liberal senators to ~2 repubs, and add +30 million supporters of universal healthcare, gay rights, etc etc.

Even with the winds shifting as they are these days we are still really tolerant, open, fair people. We would destroy the current political balance in the Greater USA.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:43 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]


Medicaid Expansion a/o 15 Sep 2017, the usual suspects

Montana has an expanded Medicaid, though it looks like it may have been an alternate plan or something. Also Arkansas and Louisiana according to the map on that page. Maybe more.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 6:50 PM on September 22


Don't kid yourself.
current.healthaffairs.org
The idea of a public option within a state-based health insurance exchange was initially set forth in a proposal known as CHOICE. This was part of California’s Health Care Options Project (HCOP),1 an initiative to update and develop ideas and options on how to expand coverage in California, and was funded by a federal planning grant to the state Health and Human Services Agency.


Have you been keeping track of what bills Republicans are pulling through congress --besides DoD appropriations? We'd need Mao Supersize to clean it up.
posted by marycatherine at 6:54 PM on September 22


If the US ever tries to annex Canada, they will have a fight on their hands.

A conventional war would be over pretty quickly, but these are people who will wait for a bus In Winnipeg in January. It will make the first Red Dawn look like a cheezy '80s vehicle for a bunch of flavour-of-the-month brat-pack actors.


Also, it worked out so well the first two times you tried it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:08 PM on September 22 [7 favorites]


Medicaid Expansion a/o 15 Sep 2017, the usual suspects
Montana has an expanded Medicaid, though it looks like it may have been an alternate plan or something. Also Arkansas and Louisiana according to the map on that page. Maybe more.
Alaska has had ACA Medicaid Expansion since September 2015.
I'd be very skeptical of that list.
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:39 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


If the US ever tries to annex Canada, they will have a fight on their hands.

Well, for one, it's now American Tire, and if you're hard up, it's totally legit currency, eh?

And! For another, we all know you have a bunch of warm places where the pond never freezes over, but if there's an NHL team in Florida and Tex-us and Loss Angelina (Blessed be Gretzky), well, then, there needs to be a team in Port-or-rickow, and Huh-why-yeee. Also the Hartford Whalers need to come back, we need to score on them and some. Also, now every child needs to learn French and Newfie in lementry schoolin' longside Ahnglish.

In return, every conquered Hamerican gets to go to the doc when she needs 'er, an all the kiddies get to go at the Vocational School once they pass a test, unless they have the misfortune of scorin' aye enuff where they have to go to a college and learn advanced-like shit and things.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:39 PM on September 22 [1 favorite]


Part of the problem is, rural areas white and black have been so chronically neglected by political, economic, and cultural elites, they'll support pretty much anybody famous or rich who gives them any personal attention and takes the time to meet them and chat with them about their lives. It's a codependent relationship rural areas have with the Republican party (and for that matter, shows like Duck Dynasty). Dems and Hollywood stars could win them over in a heart beat if they could get over their resentment and snobbery long enough to just stand shoulder to shoulder with them a little more often.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:06 PM on September 22 [6 favorites]




But why don't reporters ever confront these people with the fact that Democrats are trying to secure benefits and Republicans are trying to remove them. It's that simple. And then the guy would have to come up with his racist garbage or whatever it is.

For what it's worth, the reporter of the Bruce story, Daniel Dale, did break through to his subject a little bit. Related: A quick Twitter conversation with another reporter on what to do when your subject lies constantly. I'm not saying they're taking the right approach here, but there's definitely some thought put into what a reporter's duty is to the subject versus the story.
posted by chrominance at 6:50 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]


Which is why we offered these poor rural areas free Medicaid which they refused and then they complain that they aren't getting enough subsidies for their rural hospitals.

I will never understand why people who support, say, EBT cards rather than literal food stamps, because dignity, somehow find themselves completely unable to understand the need for dignity when it's the rural poor.
posted by corb at 7:23 AM on September 23


When the people getting the EBT card throw it back in supporter's faces, it decreases the level of sympathy.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:30 AM on September 23


Dale's "Dignity" is bullshit. Stop trying to kill us, Dale.
posted by Artw at 7:34 AM on September 23


The ACA was a huge effort to provide dignity for low-income people by allowing them not to have to choose between food/rent/living expenses and MEDICAL CARE.

It's undignified to have to declare bankruptcy because you got in a car accident, or developed cancer.

It's undignified to have to sit and wait for hours, sometimes days, in the ED at the understaffed, underfunded county hospital because you don't have insurance.

It's undignified to have all your teeth pulled because they rotted in your face because you never got to see a dentist.

It's undignified to have to pick up the phone at work to find that another bill collector has tracked down your place of employment.

It's undignified to have to beg friends and strangers on the Internet for money to pay for your medications.

These are the indignities that the ACA works to address.

These are the indignities with which Republican Party is threatening the poor -- urban and rural.

People who say that conservatives are for 'dignity' are liars or fools.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:36 AM on September 23 [18 favorites]


saulgoodman: Spare me the hillbilly elegy. The people you are talking about have a persecution complex, they love the narrative that they're looked down upon by the "elites". We've been engaged with their actual material needs for years and all the Repubs have to do is come in and go, "haha, policy nerrrrrrds!" They love being persecuted so much with their 'lost cause' and their 'war on christmas' that there is literally nothing we can do to break through the delusion. Except maybe condone racism and misogyny.

I'm tired of this apologia that says "it's our fault they hurt us because we just make them so mad." The resentment and snobbery isn't in our hearts, it's in theirs.
posted by Horkus at 7:40 AM on September 23 [8 favorites]


These arguments are essentially the same as Victorian arguments for only helping the sufficiently grateful poor, and granting them only the dignity the wealthy benefactors feel they deserve. If you're down with that, well, go with God.

But it doesn't make me think you actually care about these people enough to listen to what they are saying are their needs. They want work, not handouts. All of the handouts in the world aren't going to make them feel good about taking it. Bring them steady, stable work in the communities they already live in, the towns that are dying, and they will love the party that either gives it to them or tries. Give them healthcare tied to something they feel they have to earn and they will line up in droves. That party could be Democrats just as easily as it could be Republicans. In fact, that party used to be Democrats.
posted by corb at 7:45 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]


You know, I've never heard a rural person complain about the assault on their dignity that's presented by subsidized crop insurance. I'm not sure that I understand why it's fine for the government to protect them from misfortune in the form of bad weather but a soul-crushing indignity for the government to protect them from misfortune in the form of ill health.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:50 AM on September 23 [20 favorites]


$Diety you thought the insurgent war in the mountains of Afghanistan is tough; try it in BC (with mountain access to Washington, Oregon and California) against people with a documented ability to shoot the bad guys with a rifle from 3.5 kilometres away.

corb: "Give them healthcare tied to something they feel they have to earn "

Ya, no. Every other first world country treats government funded healthcare as a right not something that has to be earned. The narrative has to change not somehow figuring out a way to make poor people happy they had to earn healthcare.
posted by Mitheral at 7:52 AM on September 23 [4 favorites]


These arguments are essentially the same as Victorian arguments for only helping the sufficiently grateful poor, and granting them only the dignity the wealthy benefactors feel they deserve. If you're down with that, well, go with God.

What part of this guy being an asshole that wants to murder us do you not get? We want healthcare for everyone, he wants healthcare for some people and everyone else to die. He's an asshole. We tried to help him and he rejected it because he wanted to kill us. Turns out he wasn't part of the "some people"? Boo hoo, fuck him.

Dale has no dignity because he is an asshole and a moron.
posted by Artw at 7:56 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]


I mean do the same people also complain that they don't have to pay to send their kids to public school, or get a monthly bill from the police department?
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:57 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]


Probably.
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on September 23 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure that I understand why it's fine for the government to protect them from misfortune in the form of bad weather but a soul-crushing indignity for the government to protect them from misfortune in the form of ill health.

Largely presentation, which is why it makes this so ridiculous.

What I think of most around this stuff is when I was seriously dating rural guys, and if I made more money than them I would pay in the restaurant, but I would never put my card out on the table - I would slip them my card quietly so they could put it on the table so they had the appearance of being the man providing. And like - it was still the same money coming from my same checking account! But they didn't have to lose face.

Similarly, if the ACA was pitched as "An insurance program for RESPONSIBLE citizens" and required you, I don't know, to do eight hours of community service a year to access it, just some hoop that felt just difficult enough to be meaningful but wasn't onerous for people who didn't have a lot to give, people would preen and tell themselves that THEY were the responsible ones, and they DESERVE this healthcare, dammit. It could be essentially the same program - you could fund it through existing taxes rather than through making everyone else buy insurance - or it could even be an effectively single-payer system. But they would save face, because they wouldn't feel they were taking GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS for the POOR.
posted by corb at 7:58 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]


Give them healthcare tied to something they feel they have to earn and they will line up in droves.

Bullshit.

That's all this claim deserves. Because it is not just a lie, it is a lie that you know is a lie.

And this earlier part:

Bring them steady, stable work in the communities they already live in, the towns that are dying, and they will love the party that either gives it to them or tries.

Nope. That's also bullshit. As soon as a Democrat says, "Okay, how about coding?", they add a comma: "Well, we didn't just mean 'in the communities we already live in,' we also meant 'comma and that isn't one of those weird jobs we don't understand.'"

And if Democrats say "Okay, we'll offer skills training too", they say "Well, we didn't just mean 'and that isn't one of those weird jobs we don't understand,' we also meant 'comma and that makes us feel better about ourselves'" or somesuch nonsense.

Your party, your Republicans, your sober and thoughtful conservative pro-dignity voters proved over the last two years that literally anything is better than letting a Democrat -- or, even worse, a black Democrat or a woman Democrat -- do something for them. Stop bullshitting us about what they really want, because it has become Glaringly. The. Fuck. Obvious.
posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM on September 23 [12 favorites]


It's really goddamn weird to me that some hypothetical asshole's working class pride is more important than millions of people right to fucking live.
posted by codacorolla at 8:06 AM on September 23 [25 favorites]


I will never understand why people who support, say, EBT cards rather than literal food stamps, because dignity, somehow find themselves completely unable to understand the need for dignity when it's the rural poor.

You realize that Medicaid literally gives them a healthcare card which is exactly the same size as an EBT card. I'm missing the dignity angle about a Medicaid card.

I'm also missing the angle about why people are so hateful and spiteful and racist that they want to make sure no one else can get a Medicaid card. Is it other people's dignity they are trying to save, because I'm not buying it.
posted by JackFlash at 8:07 AM on September 23 [6 favorites]


Here's the thing about the whole "Republicans, are they morons or assholes?" debate - they're all both.

The ones you think are just assholes seeking advantage make everything worse for everyone and by extension, themselves.

The ones you excuse as morons are seeking the same advantages at the expense of others, they're just really fucking bad at it so it boomerangs in their faces.

(There are no non-moron, non-asshole Republicans)
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on September 23 [5 favorites]


UBI is coming. If we don't figure out a source of human dignity other than the puritan work ethic then we're going to end up with a bunch of pantomime industries operating at a net loss for the secret/not secret reason of giving people hard work so they can feel good.

Like coal.
posted by Horkus at 8:13 AM on September 23 [4 favorites]


and required you, I don't know, to do eight hours of community service a year to access it, just some hoop that felt just difficult enough to be meaningful but wasn't onerous


Due to historical inequitable wealth distributions, any hoops to jump through at all are white supremacist in function. I know this, you know this, and I know you know this - because you are the one who taught me.

I am totally unsurprised that you are yet again arguing in favor of functionally white supremacist policies.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:18 AM on September 23 [4 favorites]


Malignant self pity, a desire for handouts without calling them handouts, and white supremacy - the cornerstones of the Republucan party.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on September 23 [5 favorites]


There is no way that rural people would see doing community service in exchange for health care as anything but humiliating. Government-supervised community service isn't something you do because you're a responsible citizen: it's something you're sentenced to if you get pulled over for drunk driving. And I'm pretty sure that "An insurance program for RESPONSIBLE citizens" would be read as racial code.

Healthcare is like K-12 education: it's something that we need to provide to everyone in order to have a functioning society. Having access to Medicaid is not different from sending your kid to public school. It should be routine. And if we can ever get a working universal healthcare system, it will be routine and unstigmatized within a few years.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:22 AM on September 23 [22 favorites]


I mean, people who wanted to volunteer in order to "earn" their benefits could just do so...voluntarily. Ya know, freedom and all that. You don't need permission to volunteer in your community. You don't need to be coerced with your healthcare. You can just do it. Today. Right now.
posted by melissasaurus at 8:26 AM on September 23 [5 favorites]


Healthcare is a basic human right just like public schools. Are public schools beneath their dignity?

Oh, wait. It seems that during the early days of school integration that parents pulled their children out, closed the public schools and put their own in private schools.

Was that because of the indignity of free public schools? Is that what you mean about the indignity of free healthcare?
posted by JackFlash at 8:35 AM on September 23 [14 favorites]


These people think Betsy DeVos is good and not a moron, there's no arguing with them about schools.
posted by Artw at 8:44 AM on September 23


Nerd of the North: AK in the wrong column is my mistake. Thank you for pointing it out.
Rufous: MT in the No MedicaidX is moot, in my opinion. It could be in "undecided" too. Like AR, UT --and some other in-and-out, purple-coded or dark-grey! states that opt for "waivers" and alt-plans that failed since 2010-- legislature-gov commitment has been precarious. The map for fed- or state- or mixed-run ACA plan exchanges was even crazier.

It ought not be that way. Ain't nobody got time to keep "updating" de jure human rights.

Everybody in! That is what government is for.
posted by marycatherine at 8:55 AM on September 23


I know we all like to dogpile on corb, but please take a moment to consider what she's saying.

I too live in a rural area. Many rural people are very concerned with appearances, consider individuality and privacy and keeping-out-of-other-people's business paramount, and are not well educated enough to understand that many of the things they do and opinions they hold are contradictory. They have never honestly even considered what it means for schools to be publicly funded or agriculture to be subsidized when health care is not. They hate public things because they are perceived as an admission of weakness (never mind that it makes their community stronger) or a violation of privacy (never mind that they give up all their personal information to Facebook). They fight so hard for the GOP because of tribalism and brainwashing, because, again, appearances are so important and having such an identity is necessary in order to avoid ostracism.

Yes, it's dumb. Yes, it's a problem. You can hate it all you like, but don't shoot the messenger.
posted by ragtag at 9:45 AM on September 23 [8 favorites]


I think it's unlikely we'll see much forwards motion in the point-counterpoint of "being a dumb asshole is good" versus "no it isn't and these fuckers are killing us". Other than that I'm not sure what you're looking for.
posted by Artw at 9:51 AM on September 23


Many rural people are very concerned with appearances, consider individuality and privacy and keeping-out-of-other-people's business paramount, and are not well educated enough to understand that many of the things they do and opinions they hold are contradictory.

This is not an accident. And it's not "shooting the messenger" to point out that it's happening, that it is happening because of intentional actions taken over generations by a particular group of people, or that that particular group of people is trying to use it as an excuse and the messenger in this case is putting it forth as a reason to... I don't even know what, to be honest. To restart the Civilian Conservation Corps, I guess, except I think we all know how well that shit would fly these days, given what happened the last time the government tried a stimulus program.
posted by Etrigan at 10:03 AM on September 23 [4 favorites]


I know we all like to dogpile on corb, but please take a moment to consider what she's saying.

C'mon now, people are interacting with her idea by critiquing the specifics of it. That's not a dogpile, it's a disagreement.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:08 AM on September 23 [4 favorites]


What you are calling "dignity" is just old fashioned "southern pride" also known as white supremacy. The indignity is having to share things with people of color who they see as beneath them. Public schools were fine until they had to share them with African-Americans. The indignity of Medicaid is that they see it is a program for African-Americans. If they were to accept Medicaid they would be just as low as the colored people they look down on. That's what they are indignant about.

This "dignity" is all about racism and white supremacy and white status in the social order. They are fine with government programs as long as they primarily serve white people, without the sigma of being a program that also serves minorities.
posted by JackFlash at 10:08 AM on September 23 [20 favorites]


the messenger in this case is putting it forth as a reason to... I don't even know what, to be honest. To restart the Civilian Conservation Corps, I guess, except I think we all know how well that shit would fly these days, given what happened the last time the government tried a stimulus program.

Yeah, I (perhaps naively) think that another CCC - hiring people from rural areas to fix infrastructure in rural areas - would have the effect of peeling off all the people who voted for Trump out of pride or feeling like no one else cared (even though he patently didn't care and only gave the thinnest pretense of doing so), leaving only the ghouls behind.

But it's also worth noting that I'm not, myself, from an American rural family, I just married into one, saw a lot in the Army, and have some sympathy for them. Because we all exist as a product of our cultural upbringing, it's totally possible that I may be overlaying uniquely Hispanic or immigrant or military values onto a frame that doesn't work too well for it, or missing some points of American history that don't translate well into books.
posted by corb at 10:11 AM on September 23 [4 favorites]


What I think of most around this stuff is when I was seriously dating rural guys, and if I made more money than them I would pay in the restaurant, but I would never put my card out on the table - I would slip them my card quietly so they could put it on the table so they had the appearance of being the man providing. And like - it was still the same money coming from my same checking account! But they didn't have to lose face.

Given that "dignity" in this story is entirely indistinguishable from misogyny, why do you think it would convince anyone that "dignity" with regards healthcare is anything but racism?
posted by howfar at 10:20 AM on September 23 [20 favorites]


I am not American, and I live in a country with universal healthcare. But these days I'm struggling with my mum, who refuses to admit nurses into her home and tries to avoid going to the doctor while I suspect she is terminally ill. I really hope we'll be going to her doctor on Tuesday but she cancelled an appointment this Thursday. And I can recognize some of the thinking corb is describing. We didn't have universal care forever, and I co-paid for some things just 10 years ago. We all still pay for the dentist when we are over 18.
My mother is suspicious of "government", she doesn't want "government" in her house and she is worried the doctor might somehow IDK, restrain her? It's literally absurd, and I don't know where my mother is getting all this from. But I do know that she feels the care offered to every single human being here is somehow a hand-out for the poor and that by accepting it she will be degraded and humiliated. What works a bit is to explain to her that her parents (who she was estranged from) received care from the state and municipality. But she is strongly committed to all sorts of falsehoods/fake news. And this in a country where there is universal healthcare for everyone supported by all political parties.
posted by mumimor at 10:31 AM on September 23 [3 favorites]


And we should also point out that Barrack Obama, who knows a little bit about indignity, purposely created a new Medicaid expansion program to eliminate the indignities of having to apply for Medicaid.

Before Obamacare, people were required to prove they were disabled, to prove they were pregnant, to prove they didn't own a car worth too much money, to prove they didn't have some secret bank account, to prove that their home was not worth too much, to prove they couldn't find a job.

Every state had their own rules for Medicaid eligibility and frequently had humiliating hurdles to get coverage. For most states, if you weren't disabled or pregnant, you got nothing, no healthcare, no matter how poor you were.

Obamacare eliminated all of that. It replaced the disparate and onerous state rules with one simple, universal standard across the country. If your income is below the poverty level, you get Medicaid, no other questions asked. No questions about whether you were pregnant. No questions about whether you had a live-in boyfriend. No questions about if you tried hard enough to find a job this week.

That is what real dignity is about -- not having to beg for a little assistance when you need it. Instead, Republicans have refused to implement these new dignified rules because they want Medicaid to be as undignified and humiliating as possible. Georgia, in the article cited, is one of those Republican states refusing Medicaid expansion.
posted by JackFlash at 10:41 AM on September 23 [55 favorites]


That is what real dignity is about -- not having to beg for a little assistance when you need it.

I like this.
posted by Horkus at 10:55 AM on September 23 [7 favorites]


They are fine with government programs as long as they primarily serve white people, without the sigma of being a program that also serves minorities.
Socialism for white people, Chris Ladd
Like most of my neighbors I have a good job in the private sector. Ask my neighbors about the cost of the welfare programs they enjoy and you will be greeted by baffled stares. All that we have is “earned” and we have no use for government support. Nevertheless, taxpayers fund our retirement saving, health insurance, primary, secondary, and advanced education, daycare, commuter costs, and even our mortgages at a staggering public cost. Socialism for white people is all-enveloping, benevolent, invisible, and entirely reserved for the “deserving.”

My family’s health insurance costs about $20k a year, of which we pay only $4k. The rest is subsidized by taxpayers. You read that right. Like virtually everyone else on my block who isn’t old enough for Medicare or employed by the government, my family is covered by private health insurance subsidized by taxpayers at a stupendous public cost. Well over 90% of White households earning over the white median income (about $75k) almost universally carried health insurance even before the Affordable Care Act. White socialism is nice.

Companies can deduct 100% of the cost of their employees’ health insurance. That results in roughly a $400bn annual transfer of funds from the state and federal treasuries to insurers to provide coverage for the Americans least in need of assistance. America pays about as much to subsidize my private healthcare as we spend annually on Medicaid. This is one of the defining features of white socialism, the most generous benefits go to those who are best suited to provide for themselves. Those benefits are not limited to health care.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:09 PM on September 23 [40 favorites]


Given that "dignity" in this story is entirely indistinguishable from misogyny, why do you think it would convince anyone that "dignity" with regards healthcare is anything but racism?

Here's how it's different from misogyny: if it was misogyny, they'd care a lot more that corb was making more money than them, despite being a woman.
posted by Merus at 5:24 PM on September 23


The frustrating thing about these discussions of dignity (and in many previous healthcare debates, freedom) is that there's nothing objectively dignity- or freedom- denying about creating, living in, and supporting a society that supports all its members. Some people get a sufficient sense of dignity from supporting themselves, while others feel no dignity in having plenty while others go without, and do get a strong sense of dignity from feeling that they are contributing to and helping to strengthen the society they live in. Some people want to feel that their dignity is deserved on account of them having earned it; other people feel that human dignity is and ought to be inherent and that any government, to be legitimate, must recognize the inherent value of its citizens. Some people feel that freedom is not being required to pay insurance for healthcare, or paying for it in a roundabout way through their employer. Other people feel that not being dependent for one's health on an employer or on having a high income is what gives you freedom: you can far more easily become self-employed, start your own business, move to a different state, have kids, or hold out for a better job if you know that no matter what your basic health needs are going to be affordable.

So given that these positions are not objectively true, where do they come from, and what informs the mentality that it's not just right and proper to hold on to them to the death, but wrong to do otherwise? The thing that is way beyond frustrating is when these positions are taken as beliefs that must not be questioned, and definitely never in any kind of pointed manner. How much of the insistence that universal healthcare is a handout, and therefore an assault on dignity, is the result of really painstaking deliberation and trying to see things from the side of, for example, people in countries with universal healthcare who feel that their dignity rests intact - versus the result of endless tirades on right-wing media that insist, repeatedly, that to even consider the alternative is to be un-American, or socialist, or communist, or "globalist," and that anyone expressing disagreement with your convictions must necessarily be doing it out of a lack of respect and because they think you're stupid?

It's frustrating because a democratic society can only be functional when people make choices that are thoughtful and informed factually, and furthermore informed by a sense of responsibility for the whole of that society. But it feels like a large part of the political spectrum is both actively touting the value of making choices based on an unquestioned and primarily self-concerned gut, and insisting that any objection to that approach stems from nothing more than lack of respect. It's a disingenuous mentality, and if you don't step around the eggshells carefully enough you have no hope of communicating with it.

Which doesn't mean it's not extremely important to make that effort. So yes to trying to grok the mentality of people who don't care too much about yours, and finding ways to speak to their concerns; but also yes to not placing them on any sort of pedestal, and to recognizing the serious emotional labor the work involves and the pain, frustration, and actual harm the "woo me over personally" attitude has caused. And finally yes to recognizing how extremely difficult and how much of an uphill battle it is to communicate with people who simultaneously spend hours daily listening to furious insistences that everything you have to say is un-American, dishonest, and a trap.
posted by trig at 5:44 PM on September 23 [7 favorites]


(This feels like a derail, but it's misogyny, among other reasons, because it requires that everyone uphold a worldview where a woman paying shows a man to be weak and makes him lose face. It insists on strict gender roles that have to be preserved unquestioned - even as façades - and definitely never considers that a woman breadwinner might take the same psychological pleasure in, or have the same psychological need for, being acknowledged as such.)
posted by trig at 5:53 PM on September 23 [13 favorites]


(Basically, it requires a zero-sum attitude toward power as related to gender and sex: if the woman is strong that necessarily subtracts from the man's power; there's no room for two equals at the table.)
posted by trig at 5:59 PM on September 23 [9 favorites]


Joint statement against Graham-Cassidy from pretty much everyone in healthcare: American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, America's Health Insurance Plans, and BlueCross-BlueShield Association.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:09 PM on September 23 [4 favorites]


My mom died when she was 46 years old because she had heart disease and no insurance. I pay 39 percent income tax and would gladly pay more if it meant living in a nation where people don't die for lack of an insurance card.
posted by missjenny at 7:45 PM on September 23 [25 favorites]


From here it looks like the right-wing propaganda argument is basically the Kautsky-Luxemburgian one, "but in reverse": We must vote for barbarism, otherwise we may end up with socialism!
posted by runcifex at 12:57 AM on September 24


Dems and Hollywood stars could win them over in a heart beat if they could get over their resentment and snobbery long enough to just stand shoulder to shoulder with them a little more often.

Way upthread, but I'm not down with this framing. It completely denies any agency or rationale on the part of rural voters, and in the same breath as criticizing the Dems/Hollywood "elitists" it essentially reasserts that these voters are simply rubes who will vote for any shiny thing that comes along.
posted by aspersioncast at 7:15 AM on September 24 [7 favorites]


I also don't think it's true. Ashton Kutcher is probably the most famous current celebrity from Iowa, and he maintains really strong ties here and is generally respected here. He's white and grew up working-class and spent part of his childhood in Cedar Rapids and part of it in a very small town in Iowa County, where his mother still lives. He's a huge University of Iowa football fan, so much so that the local newspaper quoted his tweets in a story on fan reaction to the team's loss yesterday. He's like the walking embodiment of everything that Iowans think is Iowa. And he has genuinely done the lord's work stumping for Democrats in Iowa, but it doesn't seem to make much difference. People like and respect him, and they recognize him as a local kid who hasn't forgotten where he came from, but they're not going to vote for someone just because he says they should.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:32 AM on September 24 [5 favorites]


Give them healthcare tied to something they feel they have to earn and they will line up in droves.

Actually it turns out that if you just give them healthcare they will sign up in droves, and the reason they haven't done so with the ACA is because republicans are evil and have refused the Medicare expansion that would make it available. Check out Kentucky one day to see how fast people will sign up for healthcare if you let them.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:01 PM on September 24 [6 favorites]


Check out Kentucky one day to see how fast people will sign up for healthcare if you let them.

And if you rename it so they don’t think it's the Democrats giving it to them.
posted by Etrigan at 2:06 PM on September 24 [5 favorites]


corb's story is a great illustration of the most important point about the dignity of conservatives: it's entirely reliant on the appearance of the "traditional" power structures remaining in place, meaning that it will always require that white men are seen as superior to and in control of people who are not white men. Sure, you could argue that we could all just pull a "quietly slip them my credit card" and forever act like these conservative dudes are always in charge of and responsible for everything while the rest of us silently do all the work and take none of the credit, but... oh right, that's already what was happening and it's the thing that almost everybody wants to change.

The answer to rural conservatives being obsessed with appearances and their singular idea of what is acceptable isn't for the rest of us to all get really good at appeasement. Yeah, some people in this country are going to have to get used to being seen as less important than they'd like. As long as they equate "being the most important person in every room" with "dignity", then yeah, they're going to lose their dignity. And it's going to have to happen anyway, because it's what's best for all of us, including them... unless they kill us all over their hurt feelings first, of course.

We're not already there. The moment to ask if we're already there is when you look around at your friends, and say, "It's worth one out of every five of them being injured, maimed, or killed, to change this."

You do understand that a significant swath of Americans have already seen one or more out of every five of their friends injured, maimed, killed, or wrongfully imprisoned (for future injuring, maiming, and/or killing) by conservatives, right? Representing that threshold as some kind of far-off hypothetical future betrays a serious disconnect from reality.
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:55 PM on September 24 [12 favorites]


The idea that rural conservatives are some kind of noble savage stereotype is so offensive and tiresome.
posted by winna at 3:00 PM on September 24 [11 favorites]


Ah, looks like Ted Cruz is not supporting the bill. I don't trust him, of course. We should not relent on the pressure. This bill has momentum and would pass the House due to absolute chickenshit fear on the part legislators needing a win even a pyrhic one.
posted by jadepearl at 3:08 PM on September 24 [3 favorites]


If Ted Cruz being downvote #3 (or #4; it's not clear how we're counting any more) gives a few more senators cover to announce their own dissatisfaction, the bill is toast and I don't really care if he means it or not.
posted by jackbishop at 3:33 PM on September 24 [6 favorites]


And now the Washington Post says Cassidy and Graham are revising the bill to give more money to Alaska and Maine. By a wild coincidence, these are the home states of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, opponents to the bill. I'm interested to see how much more blatant the bribes can be.
posted by dannyboybell at 7:27 PM on September 24 [3 favorites]


If they're fool enough to do that, I hope every other GOP senator suddenly discovers that they, too, have reservations about the bill which can only be assuaged by throwing money at their states. It's what I'd do in their shoes.
posted by jackbishop at 7:54 PM on September 24 [8 favorites]


And thus the "strip all blue states for parts" act is born.
posted by Artw at 7:57 PM on September 24 [4 favorites]


Ted Cruz is going to vote no, because there is no language in the bill that would prevent the States, working alone or in concert, to present a modern and functional health-care system, maybe even going for Medicare For All on a regional-basis.

Cali, Oregon, Washington, NV, CO - a co-operative system with single-payer or similarly nice arrangement.

Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, once Christie goes NJ, New York State, Connecticut, Vhow Dylun, Assachussetts, New Hamster, Vermont and Maine once Le Page goes.

Each system is like two Germanies and a Netherlands for a Bingo in terms of population, far more in terms of wealth.

"Come to Texas! We have no corporate taxes, and all of your employees will go broke dying of cancer! Or pay reasonable tax, and have to never again pay HR to keep screwing your employees over with ever more expensive private plans!" - that should play well in recruiting companies to HQ in TX.

Also New Mexico is totes on-board with the Pacific States healthcare alliance as a firmly raised middle-finger to AZ and TX, and a warm hug to its citizens.

Cruz is a no.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:10 PM on September 24 [2 favorites]


I've heard about the fear that States will create Medicare for All once they have the block grants, and honestly, with the payroll dollars for healthcare and the block grant, that's quite a bit of money and after your enumeration of the possibilities, it's very likely. But yeah, when it comes to States' Rights, they love the idea, but the actual implementation? Not so much.
posted by mikelieman at 10:20 PM on September 24


Here is the wapo link to the whip count I am feeling dread that bad crap is going to happen. Only Cruz is up in 2018. I take the advice from Dune where I don't count my enemy dead until I see the body. We have to see this through to the bitter end even if it means waiting for vengeance in later years. Never relent against these people, they want to see you and yours ground down. I am appalled that for supposed super Patriots that they would see fellow citizens live in fear, hunger, strife and suffer undignified death. I recall that Yiddish saying, "don't piss on my back and call it rain."
posted by jadepearl at 11:10 PM on September 24


There's nowhere near enough money in the block grants for any of these states to implement MFA. They're taking existing money from the Medicare Expansion states and distributing it among all 50. They're not including the money that would be given to any non-Medicare Expansion state who changed their mind. It's what they currently have, split up. So yeah, it would be screwage.
posted by schroedinger at 12:22 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]


corb's story is a great illustration of the most important point about the dignity of conservatives: it's entirely reliant on the appearance of the "traditional" power structures remaining in place

"Entirely" overstates the case. Appearances might come into play, but I think there's something going here besides.

"Dignity" isn't a very precise term -- to be honest, I think it's a dysfunctional term when it comes to discussion of inherent value in people, for some of the same reasons that "privilege" is a dysfunctional term that actively impedes communication about the concepts behind it, but that's a digression. We're roughly trying to get at the concept that every person has value but it's possible that people have different conceptions of where that value comes from and that matters.

I have a theory that the core value for many conservatives is might be best captured with the word "conscientious." If you're a conscientious worker and user of resources, you're an asset, not a liability. You're dutiful, dedicated to doing The Right Thing™. They value that in themselves and it may even be the chief way they know how to reassure themselves they're valuable to others. Show up, do your job, soldier through, keep the boat steady. It might not even be a matter of aculturation, it's possible that for many people it's a fact of their temperament.

This has some hazards and limits but within those limits it's a fairly reasonable way to see the world. I mean, be honest, if you're doing a group project in school or at work, you don't want the slacker who's letting everybody else turn in work with their name on it on your team unless they're so damn brilliant that they toss off key insights that would take everybody else hours to arrive at (and even then *somebody* is going to have to do the work of transforming that into some final acceptable deliverable). Conversely, if you happen to be in the middle or even slightly on the left side of the bell curve of brilliance, well, you are going to need to both put in the time to actually make useful output to others AND signal to people that you're doing it in order to remain valued and relevant.

Can't do that? Well, maybe it's temporary and you can work your way out of it. In the meanwhile, keep up appearances -- you don't want people to think you're not a contributor. Let corb slip you her card, it burns a little, but not having it be obvious takes some of the sting out of it, and you can work hard to make sure later you return the favor fourfold.

(Also possible that the person is not conscientious but is aware of the way the status landscape works and is happy to take advantage of people. If this upsets you, you value some measure of conscientiousness too.)

I think my Dad is super conscientious like this. He ended up with a life threatening health emergency and after brutal lifesaving surgery received support from neighbors and church folk while he was mostly helpless in the form of casseroles and people showing up to rake the leaves up on his lawn. He was visibly uncomfortable with this. I get the underlying impulse but this is one of the places I think this passes into pathological, where you can't accept that people value you enough to love, help, and nourish you when you're down as well as when you're strong, where maybe you can't even accept that you've already been so conscientious you've built up a high balance of good will in your community that would take a long time to draw down on.

Personally, I don't think people's value comes from their conscientiousness alone. I think there are a lot of ways to contribute to the world and I think many people don't make their only or even their most important contributions on the labor market, which increasingly doesn't need the entire potential labor force anyway. And even though I want to work with contributors when I *am* working there are situations where market driven solutions make no sense to me. Managing health insurance risk pools is one of those. So I'm not saying progressives need to buy into this system of values and sell out the rest.

But I think one of the reasons why Republicans win the elections that they do is that they know how to talk to other people whose values are built around the idea that dignity is significantly founded in conscientiousness (some because they share that value, others because they know how to speak the language even though all they really want is tax cuts).

And I suspect that progressives will be more reliably able to win votes and elections if we can better learn to speak to people who have a temperament like this but are also interested in civilization. corb's idea about community service requirement for the able bodied who aren't currently employed might not be the right one, but it invokes the relevant language, and it's worth studying if not adopting for that reason.
posted by wildblueyonder at 1:02 AM on September 25 [4 favorites]


To really test this idea we'd need a good experimental setup for measuring conscientious behavior, and then run the groups of stockbrokers and kindergarden teachers through it.

And, if you ask modern conservatives and/or Trump voters, "what kinds of people aren't 'conscientiousness'?", what answer would you get?

I haven't made a deep study of it, or a prolonged shallow study for that matter, but isn't this just another damn place where American conservatism is entangled with racism - conservatives get to claim "conscientiousness", right where it was on the shelf next to "patriotism", just so it can be used manufacture a threat to conservatives'/racists' identity and privilege by alleging their "conscientiousness" is exploited by people not playing fair:
Reagan also trumpeted his racial appeals in blasts against welfare cheats. On the stump, Reagan repeatedly invoked a story of a “Chicago welfare queen” with “eighty names, thirty addresses, [and] twelve Social Security cards [who] is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.” Often, Reagan placed his mythical welfare queen behind the wheel of a Cadillac, tooling around in flashy splendor. Beyond propagating the stereotypical image of a lazy, larcenous black woman ripping off society’s generosity without remorse, Reagan also implied

another stereotype, this one about whites: they were the workers, the tax payers, the persons playing by the rules and struggling to make ends meet while brazen minorities partied with their hard-earned tax dollars. More directly placing the white voter in the story, Reagan frequently elicited supportive outrage by criticizing the food stamp program as helping “some young fellow ahead of you to buy a T-bone steak” while “you were waiting in line to buy hamburger.” This was the toned-down version. When he first field-tested the message in the South, that “young fellow” was more particularly described as a “strapping young buck.” The epithet “buck” has long been used to conjure the threatening image of a physically powerful black man often one who defies white authority and who lusts for white women. When Reagan used the term “strapping young buck,” his whistle shifted dangerously toward the fully audible range. “Some young fellow” was less overtly racist and so carried less risk of censure, and worked just as well to provoke a sense of white victimization.
source: 2014 salon article I skimmed

I grant that conservatives may self-identify as conscientious in sociology surveys, but my gut tells me this that when this conservative cultural identity stuff was constructed it was deeply entangled with race and contempt for the Other, and that it still is unless we're all post-racist after electing a black man to the Presidency.

See also: Conservatives value "law and order", "traditional families", etc. etc.

Walking back the cynicism a half-step, I think you're right that conservatives value "conscientiousness" and that there's conservative/liberal brain scans that prove it, but I think this unfortunately just means they're a bit more rule-oriented and prone to fear and disgust at a time when the rules happen to be tilted against the Other. So it's sort of like asking their hindbrains 'do you like the rule set that's propping up what we just started calling "white socialism"?'

corb's idea about community service requirement for the able bodied who aren't currently employed

Maybe the WPA worked out, but in this day and age, the corporations that would administrate this coerced labor pool would "make bank", in modern parlance. Unless we're just re-inventing the idea of the government job, and not building a world where that your assigned manager at the assigned recycling plant can get really handsy knowing that if you walk away from your assigned place on the line you lose your health care and all other government services.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:41 AM on September 25 [4 favorites]


And now the Washington Post says Cassidy and Graham are revising the bill to give more money to Alaska and Maine. By a wild coincidence, these are the home states of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, opponents to the bill. I'm interested to see how much more blatant the bribes can be.

Not that anyone here imagines Republicans argue in good faith, but remember how Republicans complained about the so-called "Cornhusker kickback" and other measures used to sweeten the ACA and get the needed votes?

Because apparently NPR doesn't. Heck, they were speaking to Senator Johnson this morning, who kept repeating "make funding more equitable," without the NPR interviewers noting once that the funding is "inequitable" because Republicans refused the Medicaid expansion.
posted by Gelatin at 5:16 AM on September 25 [3 favorites]


The Republican Party is a death cult. Trying to talk about their attitudes towards healthcare without putting this front and center is disingenuous. The only way to parse what they want requires acknowledging murder as their primary principle. Some previous posts have addressed this reality, but I feel compelled to state what is going on as baldly as possible.

What does the Constitution list as the basic goal of governance? Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It's obvious why life is first, because you can't pursue anything if you are dead. The Republicans are degrading access to liberty and happiness, and now they are going after life itself.

Although money and greed are clearly motivations for the Koch (i.e. Cock) brothers and their ilk, I think it is wrong to say that economics are the primary motivation and ill health and death are side effects. It's the other way around: death is the goal, and greater wealth is an added benefit .

In the end it's all about the extermination. That's why there are real life Nazis strutting the streets during the Trump Presidency. That's why there is #gasthesynagogue. White supremacists smell the scent of crematoriums in the political winds and it's causing them to crawl out from under the rocks.

It's very mentally difficult to accept this situation. It's frightening and painful and no one wants to live in a time when genocidal forces are on the rise. Unfortunately, both 20th and 21st century history make it clear that denying the possibility of mass murder increases the odds it will happen. It's only a matter of degree if the mechanism is destroying the healthcare system or murderous attacks on vulnerable populations. If gutting healthcare occurs then it is just a matter of time until overt violence becomes routine.

I know I'm advocating an extreme point of view but these are not normal times. Being vigilant requires considering the worst possible scenario. I think that as citizens and ethical human beings we have a positive duty to oppose the current Republican stance and it's not completely covert white supremacist agenda.
posted by Metacircular at 5:19 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]


What does the Constitution list as the basic goal of governance? Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

That's the Declaration of Independence. But the Constitution, in its preamble, lists its goals as (emphasis added): "[F]orm a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity

Funny how so-called "constitutional conservatives" always seem to forget everything except the "provide for the common defense" part.
posted by Gelatin at 5:22 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]


In the end it's all about the extermination. That's why there are real life Nazis strutting the streets during the Trump Presidency. That's why there is #gasthesynagogue. White supremacists smell the scent of crematoriums in the political winds and it's causing them to crawl out from under the rocks.

I in no way want to deny that these are very real forces threatening democracy and life itself today, and they must be defeated, and all of my energy from now until the Nazis go back under their fucking rocks will be spent on it. But sometimes, to not be wallowing in existential despair, I need to think ahead to what will happen after we have defeated the Nazis. What will we do? How will we deal with it?

And that's why I think it's important to split off those who, as wildblueyonder notes, have a value system built on conscientiousness, but who are decent people - who may vote for the guy who speaks their code, but would just as easily vote for someone else who speaks their code but also isn't a skinsuit full of bees.

We need to defeat the skinsuits full of bees. We can't defeat 44% of the American people, not really. But we can defeat 19%, or whatever the Nazification factor is, if we get the remaining 25% on our side. And it would have the effect of making our political system much less like a close football game people are betting on, and more like a system for governing our country.
posted by corb at 6:52 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]


Their code is white supremacy, corb.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 7:01 AM on September 25 [6 favorites]


To extend the metaphor even farther, that 25 percent knew he was a skinsuit full of bees. Not only that, but they knew he was a skinsuit full of bees who didn't really mean any of the values or conscientiousness or political positions he was spouting -- hell, most of them knew damn well that he didn't even understand them.

Fuck the remaining 25 percent. They don't get to be paperclipped back into respectability after the last bunker falls. Focus on the majority of people who don't or can't vote.
posted by Etrigan at 7:08 AM on September 25 [3 favorites]


The Nazification factor is equal to or greater than the number of people who voted for Trump. There's no difference between Nazis and people who are ok with Nazis being in charge.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:12 AM on September 25 [4 favorites]


I mean, I get what you're saying, I do, but - this isn't a fully formed idea, but - I'm not white, and yet I was able to advance to being a delegate to Cleveland, beating out a ton of white people. And the impression I got from rubbing shoulders with those people was that it's more about the acculturation and good feelings that they associate with America than the actual skintone.

Like, my speech to get elected was the most bland, content-free, "I love America and want to serve it, freedom justice and pie," that you could ever imagine. I think it was entirely full of buzzwords and had absolutely zero content. I was actively an infiltrator who had no intention of doing anything that might help Trump even a tiny bit. But I was wearing heels and a strand of pearls and did my hair and wore makeup and seemed to fit their social values.

There is definitely real racism in the world, but I think going side by side with real racism is...I don't know, culturism? Where people are judging based on these time-warped white Protestant values and just aren't aware that other cultures have different values and they even can be equally valid?

Like I think of when gentrification happens and the gentrifiers call in noise complaints over drum circles or teenagers being loud on the block. Is that racism, or is that a cultural mismatch on the acceptability of noise? Or when I encounter my super-WASPy in-laws, and they look kind of quietly astonished every time I mention anything real and then never mention it again in case it was a horrible error? Or when they all wear pastels and are kind of uncomfortable if I wear any shade even a tiny bit bright or have earrings larger than a dime?

And maybe this is naïve, but I do think we can reach those people. Maybe it is because I can't stand staring into a void devoid of humanity, but I don't think so. I think those people could be kind if they could understand what it was they were doing, and that the things they were subconsciously judging on weren't actually the things that were important.
posted by corb at 7:22 AM on September 25 [3 favorites]


I mean, I get what you're saying, I do, but - this isn't a fully formed idea, but - I'm not white, and yet I was able to advance to being a delegate to Cleveland, beating out a ton of white people. And the impression I got from rubbing shoulders with those people was that it's more about the acculturation and good feelings that they associate with America than the actual skintone.

I guarantee you that at least one of those people said you were One Of The Good Ones at some point out of your hearing. And that most of them thought it.
posted by Etrigan at 7:24 AM on September 25 [11 favorites]


There is definitely real racism in the world, but I think going side by side with real racism is...I don't know, culturism? Where people are judging based on these time-warped white Protestant values and just aren't aware that other cultures have different values and they even can be equally valid?

Their culture is white supremacy. I know, from personal experience, that it's hard to realize that the entirety of one's cultural upbringing consisted of learning how to support and propagate white supremacist patriarchy. To paraphrase JFK - we have to choose to dismantle white supremacist patriarchy, not because it is easy but because it is hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
posted by melissasaurus at 7:34 AM on September 25 [5 favorites]


And maybe this is naïve, but I do think we can reach those people.

I have spent a life time in the company of these people. And, as Etrigan says, they will always, eventually show their stripes. During a conversation, they will somehow forget you’re not white, say something about “those people” and then claim they didn’t mean you because you’re “different”. Or, if you don’t buy that, that it was all just a joke, can’t you take a joke? Don’t fall into their trap of believing in and promoting exceptionalism and respectability politics. You will never be exceptional enough or respectable enough to transcend race and become white. That’s how white supremacy works. Culture is race for them and there is no, and never will be any assimilation for you.
posted by skye.dancer at 7:40 AM on September 25 [6 favorites]


There is definitely real racism in the world, but I think going side by side with real racism is...I don't know, culturism? Where people are judging based on these time-warped white Protestant values and just aren't aware that other cultures have different values and they even can be equally valid?

I'm going to dissent from the panel here and suggest that this is tribalism, not white supremacy specifically. You looked like one of the tribe, you sounded like one, you might have been not-white but they knew what you were about, as surely as they know what Herman Cain is about.

(The confusion is that white supremacy is one of the values of the tribe, because most of the institutions they value are borne out of white supremacy. There's a reason it's the Southern Baptist Convention. But tribalism is not a sin specific to the American conservative.)
posted by Merus at 7:41 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]


I mean, I get what you're saying, I do, but - this isn't a fully formed idea, but - I'm not white, and yet I was able to advance to being a delegate to Cleveland, beating out a ton of white people. And the impression I got from rubbing shoulders with those people was that it's more about the acculturation and good feelings that they associate with America than the actual skintone.

Sure, but like you said, you're not white, so how can you be sure you're getting unfiltered realness when interacting with white strangers in a public forum? As a non-white person, I know I'll never get to experience how white people talk when only white people are around. I mean, I can watch secret videos or whatever, but if I'm in a public place with a bunch of white people who I don't know, it's likely that I'm going to get a filtered view of their experience.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:44 AM on September 25


CBS News poll has extremely bad numbers for Graham-Cassidy all around. Topline approval only 20%, only 46% among Republicans.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:17 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]


CBS News poll has extremely bad numbers for Graham-Cassidy all around. Topline approval only 20%, only 46% among Republicans.

I'm pleased, obviously, but the only poll that matters is the Senate whip count.
posted by Gelatin at 8:22 AM on September 25


I'm am glad that Corb and sometimes other MeFis make the arguments they do, and give us the opportunity to spare. I think I know one missing link in the "face eating leopards" theory that allows republicans, rural and suburban, to believe what they are advocating for isn't simply screw everyone else but me or everyone else that doesn't look like me and go to the same church. *I am not saying that they also don't think that way, and many of them openly confess it and preach the 'fuck you, i got mine' racist, mysoginistic, xenophobic patriachal capitalist bullshit* it just that they have a bought into a false model of poltical economy.

If you have bought into the idea that the government is an ineffective, or counterproductive parasitical leach that is strangling the economy and sucking the financial and motivational blood out of real american working folks... then
1) starve the government of tax money
2) end government regulation of the economy
3) * * magical invisible hand of freedom and self-interested business ** will make the economy flourish
4) everyone who deserves it will have health-care, housing, food, dignity, opportunity, etc.

Republican voters will certainly accept charity from charities (they do all the time and they solicit charity from friends and family). They won't take it from democracts because they think that government is the problem. Republican voters (well,some of them) aren't consciously happy about good people being kicked off medicaid, but they think you have to get to the root of the problem ... namely that the government is doing it.

It is a model of political economy that is tragically wrong, intentionally deceptive, and preached for the benefit of the 1%, but the people who have bought into it can vote for the Leopard Eating Faces party and be Surprised when releasing all those leopards doesn't just float all the boats with a rising tide!

If the believers in that ideological fallacy took the time to compare other economies and policies to evaluate the results, or to consider the activities of real companies when unregulated or what not, to look at the conditions in this country in the past, or other countries in the present, they might not be so gullible.

But who would you target if you had to sell some portion of the population a theory that acts against their own interests but tells them it will actually help. You would target gullible people.

And where would you find gullible people? My apologies, this is my honest list.
1) I would look for some gullible people in special houses where they think they talk to magic beings that make planets in under a week, or send instructions through flame-retardent shrubberies etc. Houses that always ask them for money because an all powerful being needs some spare change to complete a 2000 year old to do list.
2) I would look for them among the people who got the least formal education.
3) I would look for people buying magic herbal pills, signing up for super secret insider news letters, buying gadgets the TV people said will make their life better.
4) I would look for people who think that having a dick, or pale skin, or speaking a broken version of a crummy anglo language makes them better than everybody else.
5) I would try to sell it to everyone, and then preach loyalty to which ever suckers took the baited hook.

That's about 35%-40% of this country. And they are so convinced that if we could only unburden the economy of all this medicaid spending, then the economy would grow and they would all reap the benefits and they wouldn't need medicaid.

They are voting to be saved by a fucking Unicorn, and no democrat on a horse, with an actual practical plan will be accepted as a substitute. And if a Rino rides up, they look suspicious, because they want the fucking Unicorn.

Civil war and deprogramming: lets find a way to fix this mess before those become our only way out... because those would be horrific.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 9:13 AM on September 25 [3 favorites]


If you have bought into the idea that the government is an ineffective, or counterproductive parasitical leach that is strangling the economy and sucking the financial and motivational blood out of real american working folks... then

...low-tax, low-regulation states like Alabama and Mississippi would have the highest standards of living as opposed to, say, California and New York. In reality, not so much.
posted by Gelatin at 9:20 AM on September 25 [7 favorites]


>Where people are judging based on these time-warped white Protestant values and just aren't aware that other cultures have different values and they even can be equally valid?

>Their culture is white supremacy.


Exactly. It isn't that white people are so conscientious or dignified that they can't accept welfare. They can accept welfare fine if it is framed as white welfare and not black welfare. But to accept black welfare would be to lower themselves to the level of those they look down on.

In the example above, the white people were fine with asking for millions of dollars of government welfare money to keep their hospital open as long as the money went directly to the hospital. What they opposed was the same millions of dollars going to Medicaid so that both poor whites and blacks could pay their hospital bills to keep the hospital open. That's black welfare and beneath their "dignity".

Why is it that only poor whites that have the "dignity" and "conscientiousness" that prohibits them from accepting Medicaid? You are implying that blacks don't have "dignity" and "conscientiousness" because of their different culture and that's damned racist.

It's poor whites' blindness to their cultural racism that locks them into these bad choices that caused their hospital to go broke. Democrats can't fix that for them by coddling to their racial anxieties.
posted by JackFlash at 9:29 AM on September 25 [6 favorites]


Anchorite_of_Palgrave: it just that they have a bought into a false model of poltical economy.


From a short essay I wrote back in 2013:
“Fitness Calvinists” are those people with a particular mindset about fitness and weight loss. Central to their viewpoint is “total depravity”, a Calvinist religious concept saying that says since the Fall of Man and our expulsion from the Garden of Eden, everyone is enslaved to the service of sin. Without the grace of G-d, we cannot refrain from evil. We are, by our own natures, committed to nothing but selfish desire.

However, with the Grace of G-d, true belief in the gospel and their repentance, they can be saved!

Consequently, if you’re not saved, you either don’t really believe or aren’t really repentant.
posted by mikelieman at 9:44 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]


And to be clear. Its not "just" that they have been sold this economic myth. They've been sold myths about crime, myths about pollution, myths about race, myths about night-owls vs hard workers, etc. etc. And boy-howdy racists can convince themselves their not racist, their just realists in a meritocracy that is chock full of inferior people sprinkled with "a few good ones". So i'm not saying these tribal, white supremist, patriachical forces aren't real. Heck, they are probably deeper and more honestly the cause. But the old dividing line between the far-right and the 'moderate' right was: open racism was all you need to recruit the far right. The moderate right needed fiscal and social ideology that masked from others, and often from themselves, how their policies are just white supremist patricarchail cis-norm chauvanisnism etc. They needed the mask for others and for themselves. They drink their own cool-aid.
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 10:03 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]


The thing about people who are reachable is that they tend to get reached, because they're ready to get reached. I know some white people from Indiana, for instance, who are not exactly going to be out there at the next Black Lives Matter march, but they will vote for Democrats, Medicaid and most kinds of racial justice projects, and they are pretty down on the police. The classic position for these people is to profoundly disapprove of pot smoking but to support drug legalization.

Their racial politics are not the same as the racial politics of white people who grew up in diverse areas and also had access to racial justice discourse, and they certainly will pop out with "but why do people have to be so militant", but the way you can tell that they are "reachable" white people is that when they have to pick between "obviously unfair thing that advantages white people" and "thing that helps everybody", they pick the latter. I think, actually, that feelings about Medicaid expansion are a really great litmus test for "reachable".

My point is that there are "reachable" white people out there, but you don't need to bend over backwards to reach them. The ones you need to do backflips for are never going to change, or might conceivably change in the long, long term but certainly not right now.
posted by Frowner at 10:18 AM on September 25 [4 favorites]


but the way you can tell that they are "reachable" white people is that when they have to pick between "obviously unfair thing that advantages white people" and "thing that helps everybody", they pick the latter. I think, actually, that feelings about Medicaid expansion are a really great litmus test for "reachable".

I'll buy that.
posted by JackFlash at 10:24 AM on September 25 [1 favorite]


Why is it that only poor whites that have the "dignity" and "conscientiousness" that prohibits them from accepting Medicaid? You are implying that blacks don't have "dignity" and "conscientiousness" because of their different culture and that's damned racist.

Black Conservatism in the United States.

I don't know who "you" is in that sentence, but since I'm touching on ""conscientiousness"", maybe it's me, and I think it's worth making several things clear:

(1) I don't see any evidence that conscientiousness is limited to poor whites.
(2) I don't think believe dignity==conscientiousness is the only value that sorts people politically, and I'd totally believe that actual racism (or suffering from it) is a giant factor. But yeah, I think it's a pretty damn good guess that conscientiousness does sort some significant number of people at the margins and it's illuminating about certain cases.
(3) This should already be obvious to anybody who's actually reading the discussion, but I'm not suggesting it's best to found conceptions of value primarily in conscientiousness, only that's how some people work. And maybe it's worth thinking about how other people work when you're trying to win elections, particularly if it isn't conveniently true that there's a wave of would-be voters just waiting to throw in their enthusiastic support if you just move far enough in a progressive direction.
posted by wildblueyonder at 10:59 AM on September 25 [2 favorites]



Although money and greed are clearly motivations for the Koch (i.e. Cock) brothers


For the love of God's green apples can we not? Here are some liberal principles for you: Don't make fun of people's names. That's what bullies do. "Cock" isn't even an insult - and when it's part of an insult it's usually homophobic, like cocknozzle. Their name is pronounced "Coke" anyway. None of that is funny or clever or illuminating or insightful.


And where would you find gullible people? My apologies, this is my honest list.
1) I would look for some gullible people in special houses where they think they talk to magic beings that make planets in under a week, or send instructions through flame-retardent shrubberies etc. Houses that always ask them for money because an all powerful being needs some spare change to complete a 2000 year old to do list.


Another liberal principle: Don't insult religions. Churches are, ideally, vehicles to serve their communities. The money they collect is to do that. You can phrase this sentiment to insult scam artists and megachurches without insulting plain normal community churches.
posted by Rainbo Vagrant at 11:43 AM on September 25 [9 favorites]


To get back to pragmatics, as spelled out by a pal:

COPY: PASTE: SHARE! JAM THEIR PHONE LINES! IT AIN'T OVER TIL THE VOTE ACTUALLY HAPPENS!
These 6 Republicans say they’re not ready to support the Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal the ACA (ObamaCare). YOU WILL BE ABLE TO LEAVE A MESSAGE, YOU DO NOT HAVE NOT SPEAK TO A LIVE PERSON WHO WILL ARGUE WITH YOU OR GIVE YOU GRIEF. You can simply leave a message.
Susan Collins R-ME — (202) 224-2523
John McCain R-AZ — (202) 224-2235
Lisa Murkowski R-AK — (202)-224-6665
Dan Sullivan R-AK — (202)-224-3004
Shelley Moore Capito R-WV — 202-224-6472
Cory Gardner R-CO — (202) 224-5941
State you are against the Graham-Cassidy bill. Ask the Senator to vote NO on it as it eliminates protections on preexisting conditions and kicks 20-30 million off healthcare...
posted by twsf at 12:16 PM on September 25 [5 favorites]


It seems like HuffPo is doing a series on the many dimensions of medicaid in red states, and specifically, the direct and indirect costs of saying no to the expansion: Rural Maternity Wards Are Closing, And Women’s Lives Are On The Line. I don't know that it will reach the relevant audience, but there are links for the Trumpist uncles and aunts there.
It's interesting to me as a European, because the diminishing wealth is rural areas is the same everywhere and many countries are downsizing healthcare in those areas, exacerbating the problems by removing a significant group of well-earning cultural leaders (and consumers) from the already poor communities on top of removing their easy access to care. It's just so much more extreme in the US, because people don't have a universal right to care.
posted by mumimor at 12:36 PM on September 25 [4 favorites]


Since the hearing on Graham-Cassidy is being live-blogged in detail over in the catch-all politics FPP, maybe this dedicated FPP has run its course.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 12:57 PM on September 25 [1 favorite]


Rainbo Vagrant.. Agreed, it was a poor decision for me to lump all the religious together (or some of them, at any rate) and to turn a battle about healthcare, and it's connection to the tragic voting habits of some Medicaid recipients into a broader attack on religion. Both because we must pick our battles and divide our enemies (tactical) and because #notallreligiouspeople.

Derail Alert:
I'm agnostic as to what churches are 'ideally' for, though we have enough different founders and sects to have a variety of answers to that one. But even with the very lax reporting rules that religious groups have to comply with compared to secular groups, "serving the community" is not what churches collect money for. As a percentage of spending.. It just isn't where the money is going.. Not even close.
/Derail
posted by Anchorite_of_Palgrave at 12:59 PM on September 25


I have a theory that the core value for many conservatives is might be best captured with the word "conscientious." If you're a conscientious worker and user of resources, you're an asset, not a liability. You're dutiful, dedicated to doing The Right Thing™.

It is insane to pretend this is a plausible core value of people who voted for Donald Trump. Can we keep our theorizing at least loosely or tangentially related to actual reality here?
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:12 PM on September 25 [6 favorites]


It is insane to pretend this is a plausible core value of people who voted for Donald Trump.

Sure, I think it's self-evident that he isn't dutiful or dedicated to doing the right thing.

But Trump doesn't have to be an ideal of conscientiousness in order to either speak the language or even to symbolize a relatively positive alternative.

Particularly for people who might hold a market-merit point of view, and it's not hard to imagine that conscientious people might assume that.
posted by wildblueyonder at 1:41 PM on September 25


The existence of Black conservatives does not negate the fact that "conscientiousness" is associated with Whiteness. Black conservatives are way more likely to push respectability politics, i.e. code switching permanently and constructing one's life and preferences in a way that, funny enough, just happens to make them more appealing and less threatening to white people.

(which is not to say I'm making the argument that all black conservatives are self-hating. But in the current political environment if you identify as conservative and ally yourself with the GOP then it inevitably means swallowing loads of bullshit about race or being completely marginalized.)
posted by schroedinger at 1:54 PM on September 25


I don't know, using the word conscientiousness to try to get at what's going on here is rubbing me the wrong way, profoundly. Because if conscientiousness were the true factor then you would expect to see immense respect from the right specifically toward those elements of leftist thought (or toward elements stereotypically associated with the left) that are most informed by a conscientious approach to the world, even if the right disagrees with the specifics of the approach. You might expect a conscientious right-winger, for example, to truly respect people working to save the environment or work against climate change. You'd expect conscientious right-wingers who might feel that their own work is undervalued, or that they too often have to pick up the slack for others, to be deeply opposed to moves by the government that limit its own ability to even study wage inequalities in the workplace, and to truly respect the fight for equal pay. You'd expect a person who hates the idea of a society where sometimes the wrong people get rewarded and the good people get shortchanged to be horrified by all those studies about how a resume that can be pegged by name as belonging to a female or minority candidate gets significantly less attention from employers than an identical resume with a stereotypically white male name.

If conscientiousness takes pride in moral, responsible action and recoils at people who game the system such that they benefit while others are left holding the bag, then you'd expect a political faction driven primarily by conscientiousness to have a lot more time for leftist arguments about the inequities and inequalities in America's economy and society. You'd at least expect those arguments to get a serious hearing.

I would, anyway. I think that the idea of conscientiousness as the core driver of disaffected Republicans is a poor fit, even though it's appealing. If conscientiousness were the true basic factor, then most Democrats and Republicans would already be speaking the same language.
posted by trig at 8:24 PM on September 25 [5 favorites]


The answer to rural conservatives being obsessed with appearances and their singular idea of what is acceptable isn't for the rest of us to all get really good at appeasement. Yeah, some people in this country are going to have to get used to being seen as less important than they'd like. As long as they equate "being the most important person in every room" with "dignity", then yeah, they're going to lose their dignity. And it's going to have to happen anyway, because it's what's best for all of us, including them... unless they kill us all over their hurt feelings first, of course.

Gods, yes, thank you.

I'm sick and tired of appeasing people who are more concerned with appearances than with joining the rest of civilization to try to make it better. I'm OVER it. Their hurt feelings do not matter more than the right everyone has to not die over some asshole's hurt feelings.

"Tradition" doesn't cut it, conservatives. Either get with the program or get the fuck out of the way so the rest of us can move the country forward and make life better for everyone, not just the people you think are "deserving".
posted by MissySedai at 6:13 AM on September 26 [3 favorites]


Let's just laugh at the idea that conservative are "moral" through their "religion" for a bit too. Fucking evil-ass death cultists.
posted by Artw at 7:58 AM on September 26 [5 favorites]


It's dead, Jim. (For now. I'm sure they'll try again.)
posted by MissySedai at 11:59 AM on September 26 [3 favorites]


HAHHHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHHAHHAHAH

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HGHAHAHAHHA

HHHAHAAHAHHA

O CRUEL TURTLE Y U SO SAD
posted by lalochezia at 1:47 PM on September 26 [9 favorites]


This is getting very little coverage, arguably because it's minor, however given the context of, well, this thread, it's monumental for actually happening.
The Senate yesterday unanimously approved a bill to give Medicare providers ― including accountable care organizations, Medicare Advantage plans, and clinicians ― more flexibility by delivering care at home or using telehealth or team-based care to manage beneficiaries' chronic conditions.

The Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic Care (CHRONIC) Act of 2017 was put together by Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee's Chronic Care Working Group, and it received the backing of every senator in a floor vote.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/886256
posted by fragmede at 3:25 AM on September 29 [1 favorite]


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