Medicaid

GOP Can’t Hear You


cjones07182017

Are you looking forward to screaming at your Republican representative at his or her town hall about their stripping health care from millions of Americans? Too bad. Congress will have a month-long August recess, but don’t expect there to be many Republican members willing to hear you out.

There won’t be very many opportunities for you to unleash your verbal Kraken at your Congressman or Senator. There’s a better chance Donald Trump will give a one-on-one interview with Lawrence O’Donnell than Speaker of the House Paul Ryan holding a town hall. In fact, nearly 160 Republicans have yet to hold a town hall in 2017.

During the July 4th break, Ryan refused to hear from his constituents. His excuse? He’s worried too many people will attend his forum that are not from his district and that they won’t be civil. What he and other Republicans are really afraid of are hearing examples from their constituents of how Obamacare has helped them, saved their lives or the lives of their loved ones, and how the GOP’s reckless plan to ditch Obamacare and cut into Medicaid will destroy their lives. A lot of people have problems with the “Repeal/Replace” only being a ruse to provide huge tax breaks to rich people.

Refusing to hold meetings with their voters will also save Republicans the trouble of lying to their constituents and reading their own plan so they’ll actually understand it. It works for Trump. They really don’t mind all the angry phone calls as they have people to take those calls for them. The stacks of post-it notes reading “Betty from Dubuque hates you” doesn’t affect them all that much.

Republicans didn’t seem to care at all when people protesting their health-care plan were arrested at the Capitol. Eighty people were arrested at the House and Senate buildings for protesting. Many of those were in wheelchairs and dragged out by police with their hands zip tied.

Republicans tend to be tone-deaf, but now they prefer to be entirely deaf to your complaints. While John McCain recently had eye surgery to improve his vision, most Republicans choose to remain blind to the real-world problems of their voters.

If you can’t get up those steps in August, or can’t even find them, don’t worry too much. We can do our own repealing and replacing in November 2018.

Creative Notes: I usually try to take Saturdays off from drawing a cartoon so I can recharge. I usually work at night, so Sunday night is the start of a new week for me (and sometimes there’s nothing really new on a Sunday to inspire a cartoon). I’m not always able to get that day off, but I did this weekend. In fact, I drew my last cartoon Friday afternoon so now it kinda feels like I haven’t drawn a cartoon in two days. Actually, it’s been three days since I’ve had to think of a cartoon because this cartoon was halfway in the can. I don’t normally save ideas. I usually hate them when I return to them. I have a folder full of outdated ideas represented by rough drawings.

I started this cartoon Thursday night, then I had another idea I felt fit the moment better. But, I still liked this one so I didn’t trash it. Most of the drawing was completed and all I had to do was tighten things up a bit and color the cartoon. I still procrastinated while working. I watched a bunch of pointless stuff on YouTube, drank some coffee, read a few articles, some hate mail, and finally completed the cartoon in three hours, which should have taken about 30 minutes.

At some point, I’ll tell you why I’m the world’s greatest procrastinator.

I want to thank everyone who has donated in the past. Your support helps me continue creating cartoons and columns with a little less stress in my life. Between competing syndicates with much larger resources, timid editors, and Trump supporters who attempt to intimidate the editors who do publish anything that criticizes their idol, it’s a challenge to make a career out of this. So your support (if you can) is appreciated. Want to help me continue to create cartoons and keep doing what I’m doing (pissing off conservatives)? Look to the right of this page and make a donation through PayPal. Every $40 donation will receive a signed print. All donations will receive my eternal gratitude.

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Death Becomes Them


cjones06262017

Ya’ know, this might be the best caricature that’s ever been drawn of Ted Cruz. I’m not patting myself on the back here as I only drew a robe with a black hole for the face. Usually, when it comes to black holes and Ted Cruz, the black hole is where his heart should be.

I wonder about the type of people who like Ted Cruz. I imagine they’re the sort who giggle when old people fall down. They probably aim their car tires at tortoises crossing the street. A little pee came out while they were laughing hysterically at disabled protesters being arrested for protesting the new Republican designed anti-health plan. There’s nothing funnier than arresting people who need wheelchairs and oxygen tanks. Republicans find that shit funnier than Hee-Haw.

Ted Cruz is a vile, evil, sinister, creepy, and all-around icky person. While the GOP’s huge tax-cut plan for the rich designed as a health plan is too mean for Republican senators like Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, it’s just not mean enough for Ted Cruz and the Republican toad from Kentucky, Rand Paul (the other senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell is an actual tortoise).

What’s in this bill from the U.S. Senate that actually became meaner than the House version (which many thought was impossible but the Senate said “hold my scythe”)? First, it strips funding from Planned Parenthood. And if you’re a Ted Cruz kinda guy who really desires to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies, you might be all right with that. Never mind the fact that there is no federal funding for abortions and all that money goes to cancer screenings and other health benefits (women stuff we guys wish to remain oblivious to). But who needs facts when you have dogma, right?

This bill will kill the Medicaid expansion that covers 14 million people in 30 states and Washington, D.C. States will have to make up the cost difference and it’ll cost them millions, and a few billion. Since states won’t actually be able to make up this difference, it will affect people in and slightly above poverty. But, Republicans have shown they really don’t give a shit about poor people.

The bill imposes a harsher federal spending cap on Medicaid. This will force states, who have to actually balance their budgets, unlike Congress, to choose between funding Medicaid, education, law enforcement, roads, prisons, etc. It will cut over $800 billion from Medicaid. Can you tell me how you can cut over $800 billion from the program without it adversely affecting the poor?

Since the fire in the states’ dumpsters won’t really start burning until most of the current governors are out of office, they’re not going to start planning ahead. Most of these people are Republicans. In case you haven’t noticed, Republicans don’t do well with budgets. Remember the budgets from Reagan, Bush, or the other Bush? Wait until the multiple bankruptcy president is through with the federal budget. We’re gonna have to rewrite the 22nd Amendment just so Obama can come back and fix this shit again.

The bill will maintain Obamacare’s tax credits but will scale back the value of those based on income and geography. It may benefit people with high premiums but it’ll also make deductibles rise. You don’t mind your deductibles rising, do you?

The Senate version will make it easier for states to seek exemptions from other provisions of the law, including the essential benefits insurers must cover, including maternity care and mental health. The House version would authorize states to apply for waivers allowing insurers to charge sick people more. Since this will have to return to the House if it passes, we can’t be sure what’ll end up in the final version. This thing could end up with a Dracula-blood-sucking-death-panel provision. Do you like leeches?

Both versions of this plan will force people to go without health coverage. How can that be predicted? When you make it too expensive and people have to choose between health insurance and little luxuries like eating, that’s the logical outcome.

By removing low-income and disabled people from Medicaid the Senate bill would fund a large capital gains tax cut for the rich. According to the Center on Budget [and] Policy Priorities, $33 billion of the tax cuts would benefit the 400 wealthiest U.S. households, so if you sell a lot of stocks you’re gonna smell goooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.

Thirteen members of the Senate worked on the bill in secret, though a few of them claimed they didn’t know what was gonna be in it. That’s like an author not knowing who-did-it in his murder mystery. It’s usually the butler and if this bill is amended to appease the bastards, Ted Cruz will probably be the butler.

Did I mention, nobody likes Ted Cruz? When I say “nobody,” I mean people who are decent individuals who don’t run over turtles on purpose and folks who don’t live in Texas.

One last thing: If you voted for Donald Trump, who promised he wouldn’t cut Medicaid, you’re an idiot.

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