Poll Shows Sen. Health Plan Supported by Only 12% of Voters. Happy 4th of July Recess GOP

A brief post today with links to the Healthcare poll and a study showing that thousands of Americans would die if TrumpCare is implemented. Plus at the end of the post both a New Mexican report on the City Council’s vote to stall Ranked Choice Voting and my impressions gleaned from attending the meeting.

TrumpCare Would Kill Hundreds of Thousands

A Los Angeles Times report opens with this question:  “How many people would lose their lives if the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act succeeds?” The report goes on to provide estimates of deaths resulting from lack of healthcare ranging from  about 28,000 to nearly 100,000 a year.  The most recent report on the data on the health effects of insurance coverage was published in the New England Journal of Medicine just last week by Benjamin Sommers, Atul Gawande and Katherine Baicker of the Harvard School of Public Health.

The numbers in the chart are hard to read, but the trend is obvious. Blue is the House version of TrumpCare (which the CBO indicated would eliminate healthcare for 23M, instead of the Senate bill of 22M, a relatively minor difference; red is ACA; and yellow is single payer. The numbers at left are in 100,000 increments, starting at 100,000 and the years across the bottom begin at 2017 and extend to 2026.

More from the LA Times: “The Center for American Progress compiled the CBO’s estimates of annual coverage losses from the House bill, applied Sommers’ rate, and showed that over the next decade, the repeal would lead to about 217,000 more deaths than would occur under current law — that is, the Affordable Care Act, which doesn’t eliminate uninsurance entirely but does reduce it substantially. Matt Breunig depicts this toll in a handy chart at left. He adds a line designating a single-payer plan, which by bringing coverage to all Americans would reduce the number of deaths from uninsurance to zero.”  The chart shows that even Obamacare is resulting in the unnecessary deaths of tens three hundred thousand people who can’t access healthcare. Any questions about why we need to advocate for single-payer.

To be fair, much of this analysis is derived from a study of RomneyCare in Massachusetts, research that focused on how many lives would be saved by accessing healthcare and ObamaCare can also be viewed as saving hundreds of thousands of lives by increasing care access to millions of Americans. But still there is so much more that could be done. Click here to read the full L.A. Times report. it is excellent.

Recent Poll Shows Only 12% Support Senate Version of TrumpCare:  I can’t wait to begin reading reports of Republicans being crucified by voters, their voters, during the July 4 recess. A recent Suffolk University poll found that just 12% of the US supports the current Senate HealthCare plan and that 53% want to keep ACA and work to improve it. Click here for the USA Today report. And what is particularly interesting is that it is in GOP stronghold states that ACA has had the most positive impact. Click here for the dramatic impact ACA has had in Kentucky. If you know Mitch McConnell forward this entire post to him!! The GOP are certainly going to have an interesting time at their town halls.

Apparently we have to wait two more years for Ranked Choice Voting because 4 Councilors would not accept the Mayor’s eminently reasonable plan.

City Council Faced a Tough Choice, But Failed to Vote for the Mayor’s Excellent Plan.  Roxanne and I sat through the entire hearing and heard every Councilor present express serious concerns about the risks in proceeding with Ranked Choice Voting.  Given that a critical software upgrade was not scheduled until the end of August with certification from the Secretary of State being completed by September 30 and the legal requirement to send out candidate packets by September 30, their concerns were legitimate, even with assurances from the Secretary of State that the certification was easily achievable. The City Clerk and Councilors were concerned that operating on the assumption that the software upgrade would work and certification follow, might be risky. The clerk also raised concerns that with “only” nine months til the election, there may not be enough time to educate the community on the nuances of Ranked Choice Voting.

After an hour of Councilor comments, the plan seemed doomed until the Mayor came up with the obvious solution: proceed with the assumption that the software upgrade would work and then if it didn’t cancel plans for RCV and proceed with the election as in the past. He also pointed out that RCV is simply not that complex: Put your first choice first, second choice second, etc. He suggested that any change would result in some confusion for some voters, but that the will of the voters ultimately dictated what should be done. This convinced Councilors Villarreal and Maestas, but left Councilors Trujillo, Lindell, Rivera and Harris unmoved and so the measure to delay implementation passed 4-3 with Councilors Ives and Dominquez absent. I am going to have conversations with the Mayor and a few Councilors to see if there is any hope to revisit this vote, perhaps after receiving more information from the Secretary of State reassuring the City that this upgrade should be easily accomplished with certification a near certainty.

The most distressing thing to me was that RCV was passed by the voters in 2008 and stipulated that it must be implemented when the city could afford to buy the needed equipment and install the needed software. The prices of the software had dropped from $300K to $40K and the Thornburg Foundation had offered to pay the $40,000. So cross out cost as an impediment. The Secretary of State had assured the City that the certification would occur in time. The Mayor had offered a plan that could protect the City if the certification did not occur, yet four Councilors refused to follow the voters mandate and refused to even give the software company and the state a chance to demonstrate readiness to proceed. Instead, we heard excuse after excuse, with each excuse with every one of them addressed by the Mayor’s compromise.  I was particularly unmoved by Councilor Lindell’s lament: “Campaigns are hard,” Lindell added, “and I think to ask people to go on good faith of running a campaign in one direction for a month without really knowing [whether RCV would be in place], and then having to upend their strategy possibly at the end of the month, I think that that’s unfair to a candidate to do that.” Apparently a month’s inconvenience to the candidate, trumps the will of the voter expressed nine years ago.  Click here for the New Mexican report.

In solidarity,

Paul & Roxanne

PS Sorry this is 1000 words, 350 over my promise for brevity, but I am on a grant deadline and as Mark Twain said: “I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have time.”

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