Access to health care….should be considered “privileges” for those who can afford them

“When asked by a high school student in Wisconsin whether he considered health care a right or a privilege, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) compared access to health care to access to food and shelter, arguing that all three should be considered “privileges” for those who can afford them.
“I think it’s probably more of a privilege,” Johnson said in response to the question. “Do you consider food a right? Do you consider clothing a right? Do you consider shelter a right? What we have as rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We have the right to freedom. Past that point, everything else is a limited resource that we have to use our opportunities given to us so that we can afford those things.”
Johnson then went on to argue that the role of elected officials is not to guarantee everyone a right to health care, but to grow the economy so that more people can afford access to health care. (A)

“The ACA is safe for now. … Americans cannot afford to disarm in the fight for accessible healthcare…
The faults of the ACA have been scrutinized since its inception. Rising insurance premiums have left individuals searching for cheaper plans with limited options for coverage. But none of the Republicans’ solutions address these problems.
Instead, new problems would arise if either of the GOP-proposed bills had passed—including the loss of Medicaid for many low-income people. The Graham-Cassidy bill was thrown together so hastily that a score from the Congressional Budget Office was not available, although the office did release a statement saying that millions would lose healthcare coverage.
In addition, the government would no longer require insurers to cover a comprehensive list of benefits like prescription medicine, emergency care, drug rehab and a host of other medically necessary treatments.” (B)

“…The cruelty of the U.S. Senate’s Graham-Cassidy health care bill exceeded its failed predecessors. The question isn’t so much why the bill died, it’s why such an abomination was even born. And could it happen again?
Graham-Cassidy would have done much more than simply repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. It would have changed federal Medicaid participation from a system that matches state funding to one imposing arbitrary caps – decimating the “traditional Medicaid” predating the ACA by 45 years…
Eventually, however, every state would have lost. For all the talk of “returning power to states,” states must balance their budgets. Medicaid is frequently on the chopping block, even in relatively good times. State policymakers of both parties must reject any illusion that Medicaid “block grants” and other ideological games would make their jobs easier…
Graham-Cassidy would have shred an already-tenuous, half-century-old social safety net. It would have led to care rationing, and hastened deaths, for our most vulnerable. The threat may recur, and members of Congress must be told to resist such immorality.” (C)

“…Two senators of different parties have resumed negotiations that offer a more productive path, one that could preserve the best of Obamacare while offering adjustments that both parties can accept.
The talks between Lamar Alexander, a Republican from Tennessee, and Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, might not succeed, of course. Republican leaders scuttled a previous attempt by the two senators because they wanted another shot at repeal, an effort that failed ignominiously last week. Mr. Alexander and Ms. Murray hope to offer Congress a way out of the morass with a modest bill that could help strengthen the A.C.A.’s individual insurance markets, which are used by about 10 million people, without overhauling the whole system in ways that could deprive millions of people of subsidized care…
The senators’ compromise would also offer states more freedom than the A.C.A. now allows to attract insurers; some rural states are down to just one insurer in their marketplaces, and premiums have jumped. Democrats have resisted such changes before, fearing that any waiver from federal rules would be exploited by states to reduce mandated services like those for maternity care, cancer and pre-existing conditions. Ms. Murray is said to be insisting, as she must, that any new flexibility for states does not become a back door for watering down protections.” (D)

“Trump has picked Don Wright, who has been director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, as acting secretary in the interim. But Trump has several options for replacing Price. Trump might go with a governor, since they’re used to running large health-care programs. Or he might promote someone within HHS — most likely Seema Verma — or someone elsewhere in his administration. A few senators’ names have surfaced as possible picks, too.
Here’s a list of the top names being circulated: CMS Administrator Seema Verma; FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb; Rick Scott, governor of Florida; Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin; Former Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal; Charlie Baker, governor of Massachusetts; Rick Santorum, former senator from Pennsylvania.” (E)

(A) Republican senator calls health care, food, and shelter a ‘privilege’, by NATASHA GEILING,
(B) Health-care debate far from over after latest GOP bill fails,
(C) Commentary: As bad as Graham-Cassidy was, could it return?, by Brendan Williams,
(D) Actually, a Health Care Deal Is Possible,
(E) The Health 202: Trump could pick one of these people to replace Price at HHS, by Paige Winfield,