Health Care: The Little Bill That Couldn’t!

Repeal And Replace!

Remember that chant from the election trail?

The House came up with a plan that is a typical GOP plan…it sucked!

Then the Senate took a shot at it……and since the Senate is controlled by the GOP….you guessed it….it sucked also!

Of course NO Dem was gonna support the plan and then a couple a Repub senators saw it for what it was….a suck ass plan and bolted……

And just like that, Mitch McConnell’s plan to repeal ObamaCare with a two-year delay appears to be doomed. McConnell announced the revised strategy Monday night, and he could afford only two GOP defections. Already, there’s three: Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said Tuesday they can’t support the idea of scrapping the Affordable Care Act unless the GOP has a replacement plan, not just the promise of one, reports USA Today.

So what now? McConnell was going to have to wait for John McCain to return before the vote anyway, which could be weeks away. But President Trump says the GOP strategy is clearer now: “I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let ObamaCare fail,” he told reporters, per Politico. “We’re not gonna own it. I’m not gonna own it. We’ll let ObamaCare fail and then Democrats are going to come to us.”

Sens. Mike Lee and Jerry Moran sealed the bill’s fate by declaring their opposition, joining Sens. Rand Paul and Susan Collins. Aides tell CNN that the two men, who opposed the legislation for different reasons, decided to announce their opposition together so that neither would be seen as the deciding third Republican vote against the plan.

While Lee and Moran were working on their statement, Trump was dining on steak, succotash, and “farm stand peach cobbler” at the White House with eight other senators while discussing health care reform. An insider tells Politico that Trump “made an impassioned pitch on why Republicans needed to do it now.” “He basically said, if we don’t do this, we’re in trouble,” the source says. “That we have the Senate, House, and White House and we have to do it or we’re going to look terrible.”

According to the New York Times, the bill failed because the GOP has failed to learn this lesson: “An American entitlement, once established, can almost never be retracted.” Conservative senators demanding full repeal of ObamaCare were unable to reach a deal with senators whose states accepted, and now rely on, ObamaCare’s expansion of Medicaid.

McConnell now plans to hold a fresh vote on repeal legislation passed by the House and Senate in 2015, which gives Congress two years to come up with a replacement for ObamaCare. But that strategy was abandoned by the GOP earlier this year because of concerns about chaos in the marketplace, and it may be a struggle to pass repeal-only legislation now, the AP reports. Trump tweeted in support of repeal after McConnell said it had become clear that the replacement bill wouldn’t succeed.

The Washington Post reports that in what appears to be a fifth nail in the legislation’s coffin, Sen. John McCain issued a statement late Monday urging fellow lawmakers to not “repeat the original mistakes that led to ObamaCare’s failure,” including crafting the legislation on a “strict party-line basis.” He called for Congress to “return to regular order, hold hearings, receive input from members of both parties, and heed the recommendations of our nation’s governors.”

When the bill crashed and burned….what would you think would be the reaction from our fearless leader?

If you said “Twitter” then congrats you are smarter than the average bear…..

The collapse of the GOP’s health care plan in the Senate quickly brought President Trump to Twitter on Tuesday to criticize the Republican defectors who torpedoed the bill. “We were let down by all of the Democrats and a few Republicans,” he tweeted, without naming names. “Most Republicans were loyal, terrific & worked really hard. We will return!” Trump also reiterated that’s he’s fully behind the new plan to repeal ObamaCare first and then replace it later. “As I have always said, let ObamaCare fail and then come together and do a great healthcare plan. Stay tuned!” he tweeted.

In an interview Trump put the blame where he always puts the blame…..on the Dems…..

President Donald Trump gave remarks to reporters on Tuesday on the second failure of a Senate GOP health care bill, blaming Democrats for not coming on board with the repeal of their signature Affordable Care Act.

Responding to a question about if he thought Republicans who declined to support the bill were disloyal, Trump noted “we had no Democrat support, which is really, you know, something that should be said.”

“It was a great plan for a lot of people,” the president continued. “We had no Democrats aboard.”

Yeah that is the reason it failed….had nothing to do with just how bad the bill was and how bad it would screw the American people….those damn Dems!

What now Bat Man? (That will be another post somewhere in the near future)…..

The Health Care Deliberation

This has been a debate in DC since MacArthur was a private…..Obama had some success (if you could call it that) and now the GOP is trying desperately trying to make good on their slogan of “repeal and replace” (and that is not going well at all)….

All this jockeying for position is just the game of political ownership……the best way to put an end to the BS is to adapt to a Medicare for all….and it looks like it is approaching……

Senators are back at work Monday, and their No. 1 priority remains trying to craft an alternative to ObamaCare. The problem is that Mitch McConnell’s task of getting the necessary 50 votes seems to have gotten only more difficult over the holiday break, and that’s raising a slew of stories about what happens if the GOP bill fails. Shoring up ObamaCare is one possibility, but another is the controversial idea of some kind of single-payer system. The long-shot concept, anathema to conservatives, is surfacing more and more in stories:

  • Definition: Under a single-payer system, “doctors and hospitals are mostly private entities, but are paid exclusively by the government,” explains a primer at Mother Jones. “Canada is single-payer, with each province acting as the sole source of payment to doctors and hospitals. In the US, Medicaid and traditional Medicare are single-payer.”
  • Tax hikes: Everybody would get core coverage regardless of income, job, or health status, explains Money, and people would no longer get insurance through their jobs. But paying for it would surely require new tax increases of some kind.
  • Sanders, and others: The concept is gaining traction among Democrats, reports the Hill. Bernie Sanders promises to introduce a bill when debate ends on the GOP ObamaCare alternative. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand back the concept, and in the House, a “Medicare for All” proposal by Rep. John Conyers has 113 co-sponsors. Warren, specifically, told the Wall Street Journal last month that “now it’s time for the next step, and the next step is single payer.”
  • Please, no: Putting bureaucrats in charge of health care isn’t the answer, writes Sally Pipes at Forbes. “Single-payer systems have endangered lives and reduced access to quality care everywhere they’ve been implemented,” she notes, citing “deplorable care” in Britain and Canada and arguing that if Republicans needed any incentive to make progress on their health bill, the prospect of a single-payer system should do it.
  • California: A bill to shift to a single-payer system stalled last month in the California Assembly, and the Los Angeles Times reports that a main reason is that it was “short on key policy specifics—most significantly, how to pay for it.”
  • Partisan divide: A Pew Research Center poll finds that 52% of Democrats support the single-payer idea, but the overall percentage in support drops to 33 when Republicans are added, reports CNN. For that reason, both sides seem to love talking about it, notes the story.
  • Senate GOP plan: It’s not dead yet, though the positions of conservatives and moderates within the GOP seem to have hardened in the last week, reports Politico. That makes McConnell’s quest for a compromise acceptable to enough senators exceedingly difficult.

Of course the biggest sticking point is just how will the program be funded?

The notion of a single government-run insurance plan — known as “single-payer health care” to wonks, and “Medicare-for-all” to advocates — has made an enormous comeback in progressive circles in the wake of the 2016 presidential election.

Bernie Sanders made this a core issue of his stronger-than-expected primary campaign, and longstanding legislation from Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) to create a single-payer system has garnered more co-sponsors than ever before. Democrats in the California State Senate mustered a two-thirds supermajority in favor of a single-payer health care system, and the New York State Assembly has done the same. Elizabeth Warren endorsed single-payer health care recently, and more senators are speaking warmly, if somewhat vaguely, about it. Sanders himself is expected to unveil legislation once the GOP’s plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act either succeed or fail.

Source: The real reason single-payer health care is hard to pay for – Vox

I have always thought that a single payer would be the best and most equitable way to health care…..nothing has changed on my thinking.

The Vote That Had No Chance

For months I have writing that the Congress needs to get off their butts and do something about the AUMF….that we have enough wars already and need to start voting on the use of military force.

Congresspeople like Gabbard and Sanders and few others have tried in the past but have come up short….then this session Rep. Lee offered up the proposal yet again……and it has a chance…..don’t that beat all?

No one was more surprised than Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday when her language revoking the administration’s war authority was unexpectedly backed by Republicans and added to a must-pass defense spending bill.

Lee for years has attempted to shutter the law passed in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, but this week’s backing reflects shifting politics and unusual bipartisan support.

Source: Surprise war vote points to shift in GOP | TheHill

In the past it has been few Dems that offered up the bill…..but this time even the GOP got in on the deal…..

If successful then Congress will take back its power……..

The war in Afghanistan — the longest sustained military conflict in American history — could soon come to an end. So could any number of “humanitarian interventions,” “kinetic military actions,” “surgical strikes,” or any other euphemisms for war that the U.S. has relied upon for the past 16 years. And it could happen because one congresswoman who saw through the fog of fear and rage in the days after the 9/11 attacks — and presciently warned of the dangers of handing a blank check to the executive branch to wage war against an amorphous stateless enemy — was able to convince her colleagues that it was well past time for Congress to do its job with regard to sending our service men and women into battle.

Source: Is Congress finally going to take back its power to declare war?

I may have found a new respect for Congress and restored my faith in the Repubs.

It is about time for Congress has relinquished its duties for far too long…..now get to work.

Congress Considers Banning Tourism to North Korea

Seriously?

There is no ban in place right now?  You mean the way that Americans keep vanishing in NK and so far it is okay to go there on a holiday?

US legislators are considering a tourism ban to North Korea. While there are many reasons not to visit the hostile country, such a restriction would be an illogical overreach in government policy.

Actually, don’t. The Kim family regime has been kidnapping American citizens and using them as leverage against the United States government—what Korean experts call “hostage diplomacy”—for years. And on the off chance you haven’t heard, earlier this month it sent University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier home with a fatal brain injury after first sentencing him to fifteen years of slave labor.

Source: Congress Considers Banning Tourism to North Korea | World Affairs Journal

Holy Crap!  How many Americans have been imprisoned in NK over the years?  And yet you can still get a visa?  Better yet, why would you want one?

First of all, what moron wakes up one morning and says “hey a trip to North Korea might be fun”?

And yet almost every year we read about an American that has gone to North Korea and then been arrested for espionage or something as lame…..and they keep coming…..exactly what is the big attraction that drives some to want to visit?

This boggles the mind that there is still a way to get a visa to visit NK…….seems like that would have been one of the first sanctions to go into place….but apparently no one thought that far ahead.

I mean…..really?

House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF

Holy Crap!

I never thought that I would live to see the day when a GOP led House Committee voted to repeal AUMF……

House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF, Ruled ‘Out of Order’| Republican leaders argue vote cripples terror war, shouldn’t count.

In a stunning move, the House Appropriations Committee today approved an amendment to the massive military spending bill offered by Rep. Barbara Lee (D – CA). The amendment, passed in a voice vote, and would repeal the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF).

Source: House Committee Votes to Repeal AUMF, Ruled ‘Out of Order’ – News From Antiwar.com

It is still NOT a done deal….but one helluva step forward.

Ethics? We Don’t Need No Stinking Ethics!

Ethics?  Now there is a shot from the past……this country use to be proud of its ethics and its moral compass….but those days are long gone….yes this country use to have a moral compass….granted sat times it was a misplaced compass….but we tried to do what was right and honorable.

The term is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition.

Ethics covers the following dilemmas:

  • how to live a good life
  • our rights and responsibilities
  • the language of right and wrong
  • moral decisions – what is good and bad?

Our concepts of ethics have been derived from religions, philosophies and cultures. They infuse debates on topics like abortion, human rights and professional conduct.

Now that there is at least a modicum of understanding on the subject of ethics…..I shall move on…..

It is time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C.,” Donald Trump said last October, before presenting his “five-point plan” for improving ethical standards in government. “This is why I’m proposing a package of ethics reforms to make our government honest once again.” On January 28th, shortly after his Inauguration, Trump signed an executive order intended to show just how serious he was about ending the cozy Washington dealings of lobbyists and government officials. Among other things, the order imposed limitations on Administration officials, preventing them from working, for two years, on issues in government that they had previously advocated for as lobbyists, and mandating a five-year hiatus from lobbying after leaving government.

Trump said that his ethics rules were even more stringent than President Obama’s. Whether or not they actually are (and that’s debatable), members of the Trump Administration seem more than willing to disregard the ethics rules that they themselves created—and their behavior around the issue seems to suggest an alarmingly casual commitment to the rule of law.

Source: What Do White House Ethics Rules Mean If They Can Be Circumvented? – The New Yorker

The previous rule was that lobbyists couldn’t be made part of agencies that they had previously made cash money lobbying at. The new Trump rule is that lobbyists can now do exactly that, they just have to recuse themselves from any specific issue they had previously been paid to advocate for.

Except that at least ten of those lobbyists have already gotten waivers from even that requirement. Oh, and it appears that if members of the administration break the ethics rules Trump will simply give them a retroactive waiver afterward.

To some ethics means NOTHING and most of those are now sitting in the presidential circle.

Personally, I have NEVER thought the people in our government are particularly ethical….but at least they tried to be as though they did….now even that pretense is gone.

Democrats! Time To Move On!

I waited a couple of years to see or read where a Repub said this with all the silly antics of the GOP in Congress….and as usual my wait was in vain.

This whole Russia-gate thing has been raging for months….all the while Dems are trying to use it as some sort of message to the American voter…they are failing.

Let’s be honest…the average person cares little about this Russian thing.  I spend time at a local college and there is very little discussion there as well.  The only places that this has any footing is the MSM and some blogs….after that no one is talking or even caring.

Even national polls show that it is not that important to the population…..

…….the latest Harvard-Harris Poll survey, provided exclusively to The Hill, which paints a complicated picture of voters’ opinions about the numerous probes that have engulfed the White House.

Sixty-four percent of voters said the investigations into President Trump and Russia are hurting the country. Fifty-six percent of voters said it’s time for Congress and the media to move on to other issues, compared to 44 percent who said the focus should stay on Russia.

But other surveys have found strong support for the special counsel investigating the Russia probe. A Harvard-Harris survey released last month found 75 percent support for former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s investigation.

There is evidence in the Harvard-Harris survey that voters are taking the investigations seriously: Fifty-eight percent say they’re concerned by allegations of obstruction of justice against Trump, with the same number worried about possible dealings between Trump and the Russian government.

But far more — 73 percent — say they’re concerned that the Russia probes have caused Congress to lose focus on the issues important to them. That figure encompasses 81 percent of Republicans, 74 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats.

(thehill.com)

In short the public is growing ever weary of the political games and the lack of Congressional attention to the important things in the voters lives.

If the prez would stop using Twitter to try and bully any opposition then the MSM would have little to report and would move on.

I am not saying remove on from the investigations just keep any news close to the vest until there is something big to report.

As long as the fixation is on this Russian thing then important issue go under-reported or not at all.

We have a health care bill that is a piece of crap, we have a budget debate coming, etc.

Source: The Politics Behind ‘Russia-gate’ – Consortiumnews

And for God sake move on from the last election!  Clinton lost…Trump won.  Trying to find someone to blame is doing no good…it definitely is not a unifying topic for the Party.

Source: Russia-gate Flops as Democrats’ Golden Ticket – Consortiumnews

Dems need to find a message that will resonate with voters and stop chasing every Tweet that comes off Trump’s thumbs…..or 2018 will be NO different than any of the last couple of elections.