Kochbot Governor Ducey supports harming health care for Arizonans

Governor Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, supports the zombie ‘Trumpcare” bill despite not knowing — nor caring — about what This Republican health-care bill that is the most monstrous yet.

Let’s be clear: Tea-Publicans do not care about health care — they have been trying to repeal Medicare/Medicaid since it was first enacted — this zombie bill is not about health care at all. It is about freeing up revenue to give “the biggest tax cut in history” (per our Dear Leader) to corporations and the Plutocrats whom Tea-Publicans serve. Senate Republicans Embrace Plan for $1.5 Trillion Tax Cut: Senate Republicans, abandoning a key fiscal discipline doctrine, agreed on Tuesday to move forward on a budget that would add to the already $20 trillion federal deficit in order to pave the way for a $1.5 trillion tax cut over the next 10 years.

The Koch brothers’ private political operation largely supplanted the Republican National Committee last year. It’s right-wing millionaire and billionaire donors do not give a damn about the health care of their fellow American citizens, they only care about one thing: they want the tax cuts they paid for through campaign donations to the GOP, so they can redistribute wealth from the undeserving poor to the elite Plutocrat class. Behind New Obamacare Repeal Vote: ‘Furious’ G.O.P. Donors. They want to accumulate all of the money. And Governor Doug Ducey is the loyal lickspittle servant of the Koch brothers. After all, it was unlimited  Koch dark money that got him elected governor.

The Arizona Capitol Times reported on how our clueless Kochbot governor Ducey defends support of Graham-Cassidy:

Gov. Doug Ducey is defending his support for the latest bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act even though he has no idea how much federal aid that would cost the state and how many Arizonans would lose health care.

But the governor said he remains convinced that what comes next will be better than what exists now, even without yet knowing the effect on the state and its residents.

The words “reckless” and “irresponsible” come to mind.

Ducey sidestepped a question of whether he could guarantee that none of the 400,000 people who have been added to the rolls of the state’s Medicaid program because of the Affordable Care Act would again find themselves without health insurance.

“Well, I haven’t seen the final bill,” the governor said of the legislation he has endorsed. Anyway, Ducey said he believes the measure will provide Arizona with “the longest possible transition so that we can move people from Medicaid into a superior insurance product.”

He did not say what that would be.

“Delusional demagogue” and “ideological zealot” comes to mind.

Ducey also acknowledged that the proposal by Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana would financially penalize states like Arizona, which expanded Medicaid eligibility long before there was an Affordable Care Act. That’s the result of voter approval in 2000 of Proposition 204 which guaranteed care for everyone up to the federal poverty level at a time when Medicaid eligibility was far less.

* * *

I don’t want a bill that is going to penalize Arizona,” Ducey said Wednesday despite what is in the current version of the measure. But the governor said he believes that even if Graham-Cassidy does become law and the penalty is in it, it won’t be the end of the discussion.

* * *

Ducey provided no specifics on how Arizona will be able provide care to as many people who are in the Medicaid program now with fewer federal dollars. In essence, the governor said he’s just convinced it would be better and more efficient.

“Liar” and “fool” comes to mind.

The Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) that serves our lawless Tea-Publican legislature released its analysis on Thursday, and the zombie “Trumpcare” bill will penalize Arizona. Budget analysts: Arizona to lose a third of health care funds under Graham-Cassidy:

Arizona stands to lose a third of its federal funds that support the expanded Medicaid program as early as 2020 if Congress adopts the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, according to legislative budget staffers.

The analysis released late Thursday by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee shows the state now gets about $3.8 billion in federal dollars for Medicaid expansion and the health insurance exchange. That is expected to grow to $4.9 billion by 2020.

But under Graham-Cassidy, the state will only get $3.2 billion in 2020, a difference of $1.7 billion, the report says.

That $1.7 billion difference – a 34.9 percent change compared to current law – is only part of the financial setback the state would suffer if the proposal currently awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate is enacted.

Aside from how that might affect the approximately 80,000 Arizonans now getting care under a federally funded expanded Medicaid program, legislative budget staffers say the change in federal funding could trigger a “poison pill” provision in the 2012 law that levies an assessment on hospitals.

That is significant since the $286.5 million raised through the assessment pays to provide health care coverage for about 320,000 single adults, people who were cut from the program years earlier in a budget-saving move. The state might have to pick up the cost because of a 2004 voter-approved mandate to provide care for everyone earning less than the federal poverty level.

And analysts say if fewer people have health coverage, then the insurance companies will collect less money, which, in turn, will mean they owe less to the state in premium taxes, resulting in an estimated loss of $34.1 million.

Blowing a hole in the state budget that our lawless Tea-Publican legislature and governor will close by restricting enrollment in AHCCCS and cutting the budget for health care.

More significant, what was released Thursday comes from the staffers who serve the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Despite that, gubernatorial press aide Daniel Scarpinato said none of that changes his boss’ support for the measure.

Of course not. Facts and math do not matter.  The Koch brothers and their millionaire and billionaire friends who got Tea-Publicans elected with their unlimited dark money want their tax cuts, and their loyal lickspittle servant Doug Ducey has his marching orders.

The JLBC analysis is backed by other recent analyses from other organizations.

One study from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities puts the annual loss to Arizona at $1.6 billion by 2026.

A separate report from Avalere Health which does consulting for the health care industry has cumulative losses between 2020 and 2026 at $11 billion. At least part of that is because the federal block grants to states would grow at a set rate rather than based on the number of people who enroll.

Avalere Chart

Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic sums it up pretty well. The sickening reason why Doug Ducey supports Graham-Cassidy:

We now know why Gov. Doug Ducey leaped to support the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill without waiting for any analysis of what the bill would actually do.

Without waiting for the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office to estimate how many Americans would lose their health insurance.

Without waiting for his own administration to estimate how many Arizonans would be kicked to the health-care curb.

Without waiting for any analysis of the impact on Arizona’s health-care industry, which represents 20 percent of the state’s economy.

He certainly didn’t call on the Senate to pass Graham-Cassidy by the end of the month because it was good for Arizona.

Six words explain Ducey’s support

Arizona would lose a startling $11 billion by 2026, with our share of federal funding for healthcare going to states like Texas and Utah and Wisconsin, according to an analysis released Wednesday by Avalere Health, a Washington-based health policy consulting firm.

Nope. Not good at all for Arizona. But exceedingly good for an ambitious politician who has set his sights on higher office.

Six words explain why Ducey sold his own state down the river:

Because Donald Trump asked him to.

The president called Ducey on Saturday to talk about the bill, an obvious attempt to get Sen. John McCain on board. (As if McCain really listens to Doug Ducey.)

Ducey’s spokesman, Daniel Scarpinato, wouldn’t disclose specifics of the phone call with Trump but he confirmed to The Republic’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez that they talked health care.

“They shared their mutual desire to repeal Obamacare,” Scarpinato said. “They’re both business people and are committed to action in the proper direction [???], and the president is someone, from the governor’s perspective, with high expectations, and a sense of urgency.”

Ducey can’t say he wasn’t warned

So naturally, Ducey urgently jumped to do Trump’s bidding. On Monday, he endorsed Graham-Cassidy, tweeting “Congress has 12 days to say ‘yes’ to Graham-Cassidy. It’s time for them to get the job done.”

On Wednesday, Ducey acknowledged that the bill will penalize Arizona. But he still wants it passed next week.

“Obamacare is a failure,” he told Capitol Media Services’ Howard Fischer. “It’s time for it to go.”

Never mind the dire warnings about Senate GOP leaders’ replacement bill, Graham-Cassidy, issued Wednesday by Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association.

“This proposal erodes critical protections for patients and consumers, and would lead to costlier premiums for many individuals – especially those with pre-existing conditions,” Greg Vigdor, AzHHA president and CEO said in a prepared statement. “Millions would lose coverage altogether …

“Just as troubling is all we don’t know about this bill. Because of the frenzied fashion in which it is being considered, Congress lacks even the most rudimentary analysis necessary to make an informed decision. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has indicated it won’t even have time to ‘score’ the bill in terms of its impacts to patient coverage and federal finances.”

UPDATE: The Arizona Nurses Association added its voice to other medical groups in opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill.

“This legislation threatens healthcare coverage for hundreds of thousands of Arizonans and may lead to the elimination of protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions,” according to a statement by Robin Schaeffer, the group’s executive director, and Carol Stevens, president of the board.

Ducey, however, pooh poohs such warnings, telling Fischer, “We know how to do things in the state of Arizona.”

Yeah, like how to blatantly ignore the best interests of the state in order to callously advance the best interests of the state’s governor.

For shame, Gov. Ducey. For. Shame.

Senator Jeff Flake is a useless waste of your time. He is one of the 46 seantors who would vote for a blank piece of paper, sight unseen, to repeal “Obanacare.” You can vote his sorry ass out of office next year.

Keep contacting “regular order” John McCain and demand that he not harm the state of Arizona, ignoring our malicious governor and his lying friend, Lindsey Graham.

12 Responses to Kochbot Governor Ducey supports harming health care for Arizonans

  1. “Kochbot Governor Ducey supports harming health care for Arizonans.”

    Has it ever occurred to anyone that perhaps Governor Ducey is not motivated by political concerns at all, and he genuinely thinks it is the right thing to do?

    • Frances Perkins

      No.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Doesn’t even make sense. How could letting people die be the right thing to do?

        • “How could letting people die be the right thing to do?”

          Tom, you act as if the ACA stops people from dying, but it doesn’t. People still die, many of them while uninsured. For a variety of reasons (including flaws in the Plan) there are still millions of uninsured out there that function without health insurance. The Republican Plan was as flawed as the ACA, and people were going to be uninsured under their plan; it was just going to be different people. Your insistence that the ACA is THE answer is a diservice to millions of Americans who still can’t afford health care. There needs to be a bipartisan plan developed that fixes the flaws in the ACA while retaining it’s good features.

          The problem is all the “Our Plan or the Highway” crap and the stupid game playing of trying to keep Trump from having any successes. Both parties need a swift kick in the ass and to set aside politics to arrive at a good plan for the American people.

          But that will never happen because just as we bicker at this low harmless level in our society, they do it in Washington, DC, to the shouts of approval from the members of their party. The result is what we have now: a failing health careplan and nastiness all around.

          • “For a variety of reasons (including flaws in the Plan) there are still millions of uninsured out there that function without health insurance.” Yes, red states that made a knowing choice not to expand their state Medicaid system, thanks to Justice John Roberts making Medicaid expansion optional to the states in his SCOTUS opinion, at the expense of those who would have been covered by Obamacare if their Republican state governments were not so opposed to providing health care to the poor.

  2. hired to run arizona? there was an election so the voters of arizona hired duchebag. I know saying the kochs hired douchebag sounds more reassuring then the voters hired him or saying russia put in trump and not the rust belt voters ;but reality matters no matter how unpleasant it is. in 2018 the democrat party has a chance to tell douchebag your fired! will it be able too? or will it send in the clowns again?

    • “there was an election so the voters of arizona hired duchebag.”

      As you often do, Captain, you correctly described the situation. Voters did elect Ducey and those who didn’t vote for him have a definite case of sour grapes. I was an indifferent voter for Ducey, but I have not had any reason to regret my vote. He seems to be doing an adequate job of being Governor.

      As to this healthcare issue…I am okay with keeping the ACA until a better plan comes along. I really wish that the two parties would get serious and write a decent healthcare plan that truly represented the best interests of the Country. I would also like to be 30 years old again. Given the ever worsening political climate in this country, I think my chances of being 30 again are more likely.

  3. Very slightly OT but Senator McCain has come out against the Graham Cassidy Trumpcare bill.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/mccain-no-one-last-ditch-obamacare-repeal

    This ought to make Governor Koch-Sucker’s day!

    Please call the Senator at (202) 224-3121 to thank him and say “Stay Mavericky my friend!”.

      • Ahh, the late great James Garner. One of his best movies was 36 Hours:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVG96J7apwM

        Putin could update the movie’s tagline: “Give me any Republican for 36 hours and I’ll give you back a traitor”. ;O)

      • For Sure Not Tom

        I just saw an article saying McCain is against the new TrumpCare bill, so there’s still some hope for millions of sick people.

        At least until January, when the GOP can reset the Senate rules again and will be able to avoid the 60 vote super majority.

        Sometimes I wish the GOP was competent and could run a government, for the sake of the nation, and then there’s times like these, where their incompetence is much appreciated.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          Let me frame my statement a little clearer…

          “…so there’s still some hope for millions of sick “AMERICANS”.