Flint, Podcast — June 19, 2017

Episode 37 – How to steal health insurance from 23 million Americans without anyone noticing with special guest Ben Wikler

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The show notes for Episode 37 are at http://www.eclectablog.com/2017/06/episode-37-how-to-steal-health-insurance-from-23-million-americans-without-anyone-noticing-with-special-guest-ben-wikler.html

This is the darkest moment in American history since Donald Trump became president.

Since January 20, 2016, deportations have become a tool of trauma, designed to stigmatize and terrify people who just want to be a part of this American experiment the way our did. Civilian causalities by U.S. forces have grown exponentially. The Administration is rolling back every effort it can protect the climate, civil rights or consumers.

But all of these things were promised.

When it came to health care, Trump promised America something supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. He promised something so much better than Obamacare that you’d think we’d traded it for a younger, hotter wife.

What we’re getting is a looting of the American health care system to give the rich and profitable corporations fat tax breaks they don’t need. In exchange, premiums will rise for those can afford it the least. A 64-year old who earns $25,000 a year could see her premiums rise $7,000. And as many as 23 million people, including millions eligible for Medicaid before the ACA, will be left uninsured.

We always knew Republicans had no plan to replace Obamacare, because Obamacare was the closest thing there is a to conservative plan for universal health care, but Trump figured out the way around this was to lie. That’s how we’ve ended up with the GOP jamming the shittiest possible version Obamacare that also ends Medicaid as we know it through the Senate with no hearings and as little as just two hours of debate.

And it’s working.

Mitch McConnell learned two huge things as he stole a Supreme Court seat and vetoed a bipartisan response to Russian hacking. If you can keep something out of the public eye, it basically doesn’t exist to most Americans. And if you have 51 votes in the Senate, you can do anything you want.

And it’s working. There’s been almost no coverage of how the Senate is trying to remake 1/6th of our economy in a secretive process unlike anything we’ve seen in more than a 100 years, according to the historian emeritus of the Senate. http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-republicans-obamacare-secrecy-20170616-story.html Major newspapers are barely registering this massive fraud. Even NPR’s On the Media, the most reliable media critic we have, just gave McConnell’s effective blackout of coverage a passing nod almost to shrug their shoulders. What can you do?

Ben Wikler from MoveOn.org has been a Paul Revere of the effort to inform the public what’s going on behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.

It’s DEFCON 1, says Ben. Code Red. All hands on deck time.

Ben is the Washington Director of MoveOn.org, the 8 million member strong progressive community. He’s previously worked with Change.org, Sherrod Brown and Al Franken.

We spoke to him about what we can do to stop this crime against our national soul from happening in secret.

Ben Wickler on Twitter: @BenWikler

Read this entire VERY IMPORTANT tweetstorm HERE.

David Grabowski, Jonathan Gruber, and Vincent Mor at the New York Times: You’re Probably Going to Need Medicaid

Dan Nather at Axios: Who could lose from state health benefit limits

Andy Slavitt at The Washington Post: The Senate’s three tools on health care: Sabotage, speed and secrecy

George Lakoff: A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do

George Lakoff: How to Help Trump

Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Stop yourself from repeating or rebutting Trump, or any Republican.
    Our liberal brains tell us that our fact checks solve the proof and set the record straight. Instead we just reinforce their messages. We love doing it and our followers love sharing your best Trump owns. But we’re just helping them. Do your best to ignore anything Trump or his GOP says at least until the end of June. And this also means avoid you should avoid using their language in any way possible. For instance, saying “Obamacare isn’t in a death spiral” is almost as bad as saying that it is. Instead, say something like “Obamacare is saving tens of thousands of lives and preventing hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies each year.” Make them debunk you!
  2. Repetition matters. Repetition matters. Repetition matters.
    Fill your feeds with the messages you want people to hear, primarily messages about the death and destructiveness promised by Trumpcare. Seek out the best sources and share and share and share. Assume that no one is getting any news about this because they probably aren’t. And if you annoy your friends, tell them it’s just until you can convince the GOP to stop punishing the sick to reward the rich in secret.
  3. Focus on what you can do.
    You can contact your Senator every day. You can recruit friends in key states to do the same. You may be able to join protests, sit-ins and rallies in favor of caring for our fellow Americans. You may be able to volunteer for and/or otherwise support candidates that oppose TrumpCare and will fight to expand coverage.

Jeff Johnson at Chemical & Engineering News: U.S. Chemical Safety Board faces death sentence

Gary McWilliams at Reuters: Trump’s proposal to scrap Chemical Safety Board draws criticism

More about the Chemical Safety Board HERE.

Steven Shepard at Politico: Georgia special election hurtles toward nail-biting finish

FLINT UPDATE

Eclectablog: Snyder administration officials facing manslaughter charges over #FlintWaterCrisis but Snyder himself can’t be sued

Eclectablog: Gov. Snyder faces fierce criticism after his defense of admin officials charged with manslaughter in #FlintWaterCrisis

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Intro and Outro music: Zoolookologie by Jean-Michel Jarre from the album Zoolook.

The Sit and Spin Room logo by Anne C. Savage.

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