“Repeal And Replace”–A Slower Pace

With all the chanting during the campaigns of 2016…the one that so many want to happen over night is the “repeal and replace” of Obamacare (ACA)…..ever notice those that chant the loudest are the ones that do not need or use it?

Obamacare is hated by many….but The ACA is so  misunderstood that few know what it is……

Ask some if they want ObamaCare repealed and they’ll say yes, but ask those same people if they want the Affordable Care Act repealed and they may have a different answer. That despite the two being one and the same, the New York Times reports, a fact that apparently a “sizable minority” of people don’t realize, per a new survey by Morning Consult. Around 17% of those who participated in the poll said they believed ObamaCare and the ACA were two different health-care entities, while another 18% just weren’t sure.

Younger people (ages 18 to 29) seemed to have the most head-scratching over this, as did those making less than $50,000 a year—both groups that could be hit hard by a repeal, the Times notes. This “apparent confusion,” per Fortune, also extended into what people believed would happen if the ACA were indeed repealed, with 29% thinking incorrectly that Medicaid coverage and private insurance subsidies would remain untouched, while another 24% admitted they didn’t know.

Typical in an age of misinformation and lies……

There is a growing problem with the promise…..not as easy as anyone thought it would be……a good slogan but not so good in action…..

How goes President Trump’s plan to immediately repeal and replace ObamaCare? It seems to be getting gummed up in the realities of DC politics. Trump himself acknowledged Sunday in an interview on Fox News that things might stretch into 2018. “It’s very complicated,” he said. “I would like to say by the end of the year at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.” Related coverage:

  • In a story about the delays, the New York Times notes the shift among some GOP lawmakers from “replace” to “repair,” and points out that lawmakers are facing angry crowds of people worried about losing coverage at town hall meetings—”the mirror image of 2009, when Tea Party activists assailed Democrats who supported the law.”
  • With this shift toward “repair,” the Wall Street Journal reports on growing friction from conservative Republicans in the House worried about losing momentum. The 40 members of the Freedom Caucus are agitating to push ahead with immediate repeal, which they see as the necessary first step.
  • The Journal story has this quote from Heritage Foundation exec Dan Holler: “House action is sort of imperative to get this kick-started and going. I think the longer this drags on, the more people are starting to understand the chance of a repeal is slipping away. Certainly it’s becoming harder and harder with each passing day.”
  • But more important than timing are the tough decisions Republicans must make on substance, writes Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post. Among them: “If they are determined to get rid of the individual mandate, are they willing to defend near-universal ‘access’ instead of near-universal coverage?” Full column here.
  • House Speaker Paul Ryan promises progress, though he avoids a time frame in this update of what’s happening on Capitol Hill.
  • Supporters of the Affordable Care Act should avoid gloating, cautions an analysis at CNN. Remember that Trump already signed an executive order aimed at undercutting the law, and while Congress may seem to be softening on going further, the repair vs. replace shift may be mere semantics. “The risks to the program are very real in the coming months,” writes Julian Zelizer. “Rather than listening to what Republicans are saying, Democrats would be better served to watch what they are actually doing.” Full column here.

Such is life in DC…broken promises and wasted talk…..

The Heart Of GOP’s Medicaid Plans

After decades of trying to screw up the Medicaid program the GOP may get its wish now that we have a president and the GOP has a strangle-hold on the Congress.

They, the GOP, wants to kill any and all provisions of the ACA…when they are done fucking that up they will turn to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid…..

Let’s start with their plans for Medicaid….”Block Grants”……

It’s called “block granting.” Right now, Medicaid, which was expanded under the 2010 health law to insure more people, covers almost 75 million adults and children. Because it is an entitlement, everyone who qualifies is guaranteed coverage and states and the federal government combine funds to cover the costs. Conservatives have long argued the program would be more efficient if states got a lump sum from the federal government and then managed the program as they saw fit. But others say that would mean less funding for the program —eventually translating into greater challenges in getting care for low-income people.

Block granting Medicaid is a centerpiece of health proposals supported by House Speaker Paul Ryan and Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s nominee to run the Department of Health and Human Services. This weekend, Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway emphasized the strategy as key to the administration’s health policy.

Republican plans to transform Medicaid could help set debate on the role of government and entitlements. Here’s an explanation of how it could work.

Source: Everything You Need To Know About Block Grants — The Heart Of GOP’s Medicaid Plans | Kaiser Health News

It all sounds so idyllic…..but the GOP has never been one to really care about the health of others….plus this smells like something other than a “good deal”…..

But as with any health program….there is someone waiting to rape the people/states out of their money.

Mississippi Proves Itself Again

I live in the great state of Mississippi or as I call it, The Great American Cultural Wasteland….there should be a sign on every highway leading into the state that says “Welcome to Mississippi….Set Your Watch Back 150 years”……

Before I go any further I would like to share breakfast…..hash brown casserole, eggs, bacon and biscuits…..and about a gallon of good Sumatran coffee….now I am ready to face my adoring public….(tee hee)…..

Mississippi seems to always be at the top of every list of bad things like heath, pay, income, et al….and at the bottom of every list of good things…..recently a list was issued of the healthiest states in our great union……and we did it again!

What is the healthiest state in the USA? For the fifth straight year, the winner is … Hawaii, according to America’s Health Rankings. The Aloha State snagged the top spot for its low rates of uninsured people and obesity, though it scores above average for excessive drinking, reports USA Today. In last place was Mississippi, which fell the only place it had to go from No. 49 last year, faulted for problems including widespread childhood poverty, low birthweight, and smoking. (Iowa, at No. 17, was the most improved state.) The annual ranking relies on CDC data on a range of health and well-being measures. Here are the top five:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Connecticut
  4. Minnesota
  5. Vermont

Click for the full report.

Now this could explain their propensity to elect idiots both national, state and local…..idiocy begets idiocy……

Okay my friends….it is Sunday and time to do something completely different…..whatever that might be….

See you guys tomorrow for more stuff…..

Obamacare: GOP Has Ideas?

Repeal and Replace!  Over and over and over…..

But does the GOP have any ideas for either of those two promises?

“GOP may stall Obamacare replacement for years” reports Politico: “…GOP leaders on both sides of the Capitol are coalescing around a plan to vote to repeal the law in early 2017 — but delay the effective date for that repeal for as long as three years. They’re crossing their fingers that the delay will help them get their own house in order, as well as pressure a handful of Senate Democrats — who would likely be needed to pass replacement legislation — to come onboard before the clock runs out and 20 million Americans lose their health insurance.”

Few want Obamacare repeal, in Kaiser poll: “… one-fourth of Americans (26 percent) wanting to see President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congress repeal the entire law … many of the law’s major provisions continue to be quite popular, even across party lines…”

Trump pledge on Medicare in doubt. The Hill: “His campaign promoted the article’s headline — ‘Why Donald Trump Won’t Touch Your Entitlements’ — on its website. But [his HHS pick Tom] Price does want to touch entitlements … Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), meanwhile, tweeted an image of Trump’s promise last year not to touch entitlements, including Medicare. Sanders asked if Trump ‘has any intention of keeping the promise that he made, or has he played the American people for suckers?’”

Dems poised to fight on Medicare. NYT: “Senate Democrats intend to press Mr. Price on this subject during his confirmation hearings. They see a wide opening for political gain, given the 57 million older Americans who rely on Medicare — including many white Midwesterners with financial worries who voted for Mr. Trump … A Medicare fight is also a potential political lifeline for Democrats in red states who could be in very tough contests in 2018.”

I read some place that the GOP has at least 7 different plans….now I have not seen any of them except a take on Obamacare….which they are suppose to repeal and replace…..

Let’s be honest …Obamacare is a more conservative plan than Romneycare which was a more conservative plan that one purposed by Richard Nixon….so for 40 years their plan is a basic Obamacare…..

But what about those “other” plans, right?

If there’s one thing Republicans have been clear about for the past six years, it is that the top of their agenda includes repealing Obamacare.

But Obamacare repeal would leave an estimated 22 million Americans without coverage and wreak havoc on the individual insurance market. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Republicans can’t just repeal Obamacare — they need to replace it with something.

It turns out Republicans have a lot of choices: There are at least seven different replacement plans that Republican legislators and conservative think tanks have offered in recent years. I’ve spent the past week reading them, and what I’ve learned is this:

Source: I read 7 Republican Obamacare replacement plans. Here’s what I learned. – Vox

But since they have few ideas then maybe I can offer a plan that would work and need little start-up problems…..but I realize that I am not a general or a billionaire so the Prez will not hear a word I say…….

Eliminating private insurance and the high premiums, co-pays and deductibles will save families thousands of dollars, free up millions for businesses, increase wages for workers, and save hundreds of billions for taxpayers

Source: Repealing Obamacare? Here’s a Better Idea – Medicare for All | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Since some of you hate Obamacare with a passion………How about you….any ideas?

Drug War Has Failed

Policy choices have consequences.

Trump made many many promises during his “glorious” campaign but the one failed policy that he seem to overlook was that of the Drug War….after 35+ years of wasted money this war is far from won…..

This whole war thing needs to be reconsidered….we keep wasting billions upon billions of dollars and NO substantial results can be found.

The opiate epidemic has reached an all-time high in the United States, with drug-related deaths now surpassing deaths from vehicle accidents. Statista’s Niall McCarthy wrote, “drug-induced deaths (have) reached 49,714 while road crash deaths fell to 32,675,” in 2014. Opioid- and heroin-related deaths have reached epidemic levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (opioid pain relievers and heroin).”

With over 1 million heroin users in the U.S., heroin-related deaths are skyrocketing, made possible in part, as McCarthy says, by the cheap supply of heroin, governmental regulations, and Fentanyl-infused heroin (50 times more potent than heroin).

Source: Drug War Fail: Drugs Now Kill More People Than Car Crashes | Alternet

If Trump wants to impress more people then he needs to attack this policy and do something that will address the problem and save some taxpayer dollars……

Just a thought.

Hey! Old Farts! Listen Up!

How long have the Repubs been slobbering all over Medicare with their version of a better idea—-privatization?

For me it was with Reagan and his attempt to privatize the entire government as payback for all the support from the different industries.  Bush1 was no better.  We got a break during the Clinton years…..and then came another Bush2 and the same idea.  Obama years were pretty quite and then 2010 happened and the GOPers in Congress started thumping their chests again…..

And now we have a GOP House….a GOP Senate…..a GOP president and a SCOTUS with NO balls…..

How safe is your Medicare?

Maybe not as safe as you think……

Is Paul Ryan’s years-long dream of gutting Medicare about to come true?

With Republicans set to control both houses of Congress and the White House, Ryan (R-Wis.), who will serve another term as House speaker, “senses his moment,” as Salonobserves.

The Donald Trump transition website states that the administration will “modernize Medicare”—a euphemism, according to Jonathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young at the Huffington Post, that corresponds exactly to what Ryan has in mind.

Speaking Thursday on Fox News‘s “Special Report,” Ryan said, “Medicare is going broke, Medicare is going to have price controls because of Obamacare,” adding, “You have to deal with those issues if you are going to repeal and replace Obamacare. Medicare has serious problems [because of] Obamacare.”

Source: Is Paul Ryan’s Dream of Gutting Medicare About to Come True? | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

How will this battle play out?

Check it out for yourself…….

House Speaker Paul Ryan proposed to privatize the current Medicare system, within the earliest days of the impending Trump administration.

As Members of Congress hastily hash out their opinions and post their announcements, TPM will track what they’re saying, charting whether candidates favor, oppose or release a foggy statement on the privatization and dismantling of Medicare.

The list will be updated as members of Congress release their opinions or figure out how they really feel about Ryan’s proposal.

Source: Your Medicare Phase Out Checklist

Your stupidity at the polls has consequences…….are you happy now?

“Repeal And Replace”

Obamacare has been a thorn in the asses of the GOP for years now…..and for all of those years they have been chanting the same lame chant….”repeal and replace”…ad nauseum.

First I agree that it needs to be replaced….but with what….and now I will get the long diatribe on how they will decode….which is good but it still does not explain replaced with WHAT!?

Among those on the street that are all for this issue seems to be those people that Obamacare does not effect for whatever reason….they are on Medicare or VA or Tricare…so why is it important to them?  Maybe they are concerned about the fellow Americans….don’t make me laugh they could care less about their fellow American…..

But Trump has stated that he will “repeal and replace”…it was one of his most taunted promises…..but how will that take place on day one……

President-elect Donald Trump has promised to make getting rid of ObamaCare a priority—but he’s not going to be able to simply summon the Affordable Care Act to the boardroom and tell the law it’s fired. Instead, experts say repealing and replacing the ACA is a process that could easily take a year or more, and it’s very likely that parts of it will survive. Scientific American reports that with Republicans in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, but without a supermajority in the Senate, the party will likely use the “budget reconciliation” process to kill off as much of the health care law as it can, using a method that can’t be thwarted by a Democratic filibuster.

“Through budget reconciliation, it is possible for them to repeal and replace the bill entirely” by cutting off funding to parts of the system, analyst Ana Gupte tells NBC News. “They could choke off the blood supply to ObamaCare.” But the process will have to wait until there is a budget, and repeal may not reach Trump’s desk until late next year, with a replacement coming later still, experts say. In other coverage:

  • Analysts tell USA Today that popular parts of the law are likely to survive, including the ability to keep children on their parents’ health insurance until they’re 26. But bipartisan agreement will be tough, since Democrats don’t want people to think they’re getting rid of ObamaCare—and Republicans don’t want people to think they’re improving it.
  • The Washington Post notes that earlier Republican efforts to repeal ObamaCare included a two-year transition period before the law changed, to give health care companies plenty of time to adjust. If they were “unable to agree in two years on what will take its place, that is the nightmare scenario” that will leave millions without coverage, says Harvard School of Public Health professor John McDonough, who helped craft the law.
  • Politico predicts a long and complicated battle ahead, with ObamaCare advocates promising “total war” to defend the law, and GOP leaders expected to take “big and bold” action.
  • For now, nothing has changed, though confusion about the law’s future is growing. “This administration is going to continue to make a strong case that people should go to HealthCare.gov, consider the options that are available to them, and sign up for health care,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

What if none of that actually works?

Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise to repeal and replace “the disaster knows as ObamaCare,” has softened his tone. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, the president-elect suggested the law might be amended instead of repealed. He said he is open to keeping parts of it that he likes “very much,” including allowing young adults to be covered on their parents’ insurance and stopping insurers denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions. Trump said he had shifted position on the law after talks with Obama this week. New health policies outlined on Trump’s website have dropped mentions of reining in drug prices and now include talk of modernizing Medicare, notes the New York Times.

In a 60 Minutes interview that will air Sunday, Trump said he would never get rid of ObamaCare before a replacement was ready, CNN reports. “It will be just fine. That’s what I do, I do a good job. You know, I know how to do this stuff,” he said. The BBC notes that “keeping ObamaCare’s carrots while abandoning its sticks” could be tricky, since the popular parts are made possible by the unpopular parts, like requiring all Americans to have health insurance. In the Journal interview, Trump declined to say whether he still plans to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton. “It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve health care, jobs, border control, tax reform,” he said.

I will give him his props…..he said what I have been saying……you cannot repeal without a replacement…..

As usual….the voter fell for a con without thinking the process out…..

For those slow witted voters of Trump……repeal and replace means kill the law and find an alternative……tweaking the existing law is NOT repealing or replacing…….guess what people…if true he LIED!

Can you hear that?  HE LIED!

Will the rabble hold Trump accountable?  Or will they just brush it off as Dem obstructionism?

Do I need to ask?