Trump Care Must not Pass the Senate: Building a Movement for “Medicare for All”

Statement of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) National Political Committee
May 5, 2017

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that President Trump and the Republican House majority just rammed through Congress—without subjecting the bill to review of its likely consequences by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)—poses a grave threat to the well-being of all but the wealthy few.

The bill will deny insurance coverage to far more than the 24 million Americans the CBO estimated would have lost coverage under the initial “repeal and replace” bill that the House rejected in late March. The bill that just passed the House cuts health coverage for tens of millions in order to fund a tax cut of $346 billion over the next ten years to the top five percent of income tax payers.

The AHCA will gut Medicaid, a single-payer system that covers 74 million low-income, disabled and elderly Americans. It would cut $880 billion over ten years from Medicaid, over one-quarter of the previous allocation. Not only will the ten million working adults and children added to Medicaid by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) be denied coverage at the end of 2020, but an additional 14 million more recipients will likely lose Medicaid coverage as states trim their rolls to deal with the lost federal revenue.

The bill also cuts $300 billion over ten years for premium subsidies for people who do not get insurance through employers and who must buy their own policies. This would radically increase the already excessive premiums, co-pays, and deductibles faced by many ACA beneficiaries. And by eliminating the individual mandate (which incentivizes younger and healthier individuals to buy insurance), insurance pools would increasingly be dominated by the elderly and sick.

But the above are not even the most inhumane parts of the legislation. States will now be free to deny coverage to people with prior health problems and to place them into unaffordable “high risk” insurance pools. High risk pools were tried by 35 states before the ACA and almost all failed because of state underfunding. The Republicans claim that rates could only go up for individuals with pre-existing conditions who lose their existing coverage for 63 days or more. But over thirty million people per year lose coverage for periods longer than 63 days due to their loss of employment or other changes in life circumstances.

States will also be able to opt out of the federal government’s definition of essential health benefits, thus denying millions maternity coverage and/or mental health coverage. The bill also denies all federal funding to Planned Parenthood and allows states to exclude maternity care from the list of essential benefits.

DSA has consistently argued that the ACA inefficiently expanded health insurance coverage by providing a huge federal subsidy to the private health care industry. The best part of the bill expanded Medicaid coverage to nearly 12 million working people and their children (another ten million would be added if the remaining 19 Republican states took the federal funds for Medicaid expansion). The Republican bill will end that program immediately after the 2020 presidential election.

DSA will work to pressure Senators to reject the House bill and to refuse to pass a substitute bill that would overturn the ACA, as DSA realizes that the ACA imperfectly expands health care coverage to millions. But given the inefficiency and vulnerability of the ACA, DSA will also redouble our efforts to create state single-payer systems (i.e., state-level versions of “Medicare for All”) wherever possible, particularly in blue states, including California, New York, New Jersey and Minnesota. We will join with others to build a mass movement for “Medicare for All,” a movement capable of electing those truly committed to “health care for all” to state legislatures and Congress.

DSA Queer Socialists Conference Call

May 25, 2017
· 33 rsvps

Join DSA's Queer Socialists Working Group to discuss possible activities for the group and its proposed structure. 9 pm ET/8 pm CT/7 pm MT/6 pm PT.

 

What Is DSA? Training Call

May 30, 2017
· 40 rsvps

If you're a new DSAer, have been on a new member call, but still have questions about DSA's core values/strategy/core work and how to express these ideas in an accessible way to the media, as well as to friends, family and others who might be interested in joining DSA, this call is for you. 

We will talk through the basics of DSA's political orientation and strategy for moving toward democratic socialism, and also have call participants practice discussing these issues with each other. By the end of the call you should feel much more comfortable thinking about and expressing what DSA does and what makes our organization/strategy unique. 8 pm ET; 7 pm CT; 6 pm MT; 5 pm PT. 70 minutes.

Film Discussion: Rosa [Luxemburg]

May 31, 2017
· 92 rsvps

Join DSA member Jason Schulman to discuss the film Rosa, directed by feminist filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta. View it here at no cost before the discussion. Marxist theorist and economist Rosa Luxemburg (1871-1919) played a key role in German socialist politics. Jason edited Rosa Luxemburg: Her Life and Legacy and has a chapter in Rosa Remix. 9 ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT.

Film Discussion: The Free State of Jones

June 11, 2017
· 26 rsvps

Join Victoria Bynum, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History, Texas State University, San Marcos, to discuss The Free State of Jones. STX Entertainment bought the film rights to Bynum's book of the same title. She also served as a consultant and appears in a cameo scene. What was the Free State of Jones? During the Civil War, an armed band of deserters led by Newt Knight, a non-slaveholding white farmer, took to the swamps of southeastern Mississippi and battled against the Confederacy in an uprising popularly known as “The Free State of Jones.” Joining Newt in this rebellion was Rachel, a slave. From their relationship, there developed a controversial mixed-race community that endured long after the Civil War had ended. View the film here for $6 before the discussion. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Introduction to Democratic Socialism

June 13, 2017
· 5 rsvps

Join Bill Barclay, Chicago DSA co-chair, and Peg Strobel, National Political Committee and Feminist Working Group co-chair, on this webinar for an overview of what we in Democratic Socialists of America mean when we talk about "socialism," "capitalism" and the goals of the socialist movement. 9:30 PM ET; 8:30 PM CT; 7:30 PM MT; 6:30 PM PT.

  1. This webinar is free for any DSA member in good standing.
  2. You need a computer with good internet access.
  3. Your computer must have headphones (preferred) or speakers; you can speak thru a mic or use chat to "speak".
  4. If you have questions, contact Bill Barclay, chocolatehouse@sbcglobal.net.
  5. If you have technical questions, contact Tony Schmitt, schmittaj@gmail.com, 608-355-6568.

Film Discussion: Pride

September 10, 2017
· 7 rsvps

Join DSA members Eric Brasure and Brendan Hamill to discuss the British film Pride (2014). It’s 1984, British coal miners are on strike, and a group of gays and lesbians in London bring the queer community together to support the miners in their fight. Based on the true story of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. The film is available for rent on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/5 PT.

Film Discussion: Union Maids

September 24, 2017
· 5 rsvps

 

Join DSA member and labor historian Susan Hirsch in discussing Union Maids (1976). Nominated for an Academy Award, this documentary follows three Chicago labor organizers (Kate Hyndman, Stella Nowicki, and Sylvia Woods) active beginning in the 1930s. The filmmakers were members of the New American Movement (a precursor of DSA), and the late Vicki Starr (aka Stella Nowicki) was a longtime member of Chicago DSA and the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. It’s available free on YouTube, though sound quality is poor. 8ET/7CT/6MT/5PT.