Republican Senate Okay With Big Cuts…

As the senate wrestles with the healthcare debacle that republicans have thrust on the country an opportunity lays in waiting. An opportunity for democratic senators and reasonable and rational republican senators to craft a bill that Americans would be comfortable with, that would control cost, AND, would not toss millions “to the dogs”.

Of course if the senate succeeded in doing this, putting America and all of its populace first (populism), the bill would need to be reconciled with the house’s “abortion” health care bill. Setting up a battle that could very well result in America going blue again in 2018 and 2020 if republicans are so foolish as to give the American people the middle finger.

If that happens America may just join the rest of the western democracies that already understand the ethical and moral issues surrounding health care and the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in or modern world.

TPM … Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) signaled that the Senate may pursue similarly deep cuts.  “We’ve got to get it under control. Right now it’s out of control”  he said of Medicaid’s budget. “It’s going to be really out of control if we don’t do something.”

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Gutting Medicaid is easier said than done, even with a Republican-controlled House, Senate and White House. Twenty of the Senate’s 52 Republicans represent states that expanded Medicaid, and Republicans can only afford to lose two votes when a health care bill finally comes to the floor.

“We have a very narrow Republican majority”, noted Cruz.  We are going to have to find legislation that can command the support of 50 senators. We need senators across the ideological spectrum, senators from Medicaid expansion states and non-Medicaid expansion states to all have their concerns heard and reflected in the final bill.”

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Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) stressed the importance of  “not pulling the rug out from under people”, but floated the idea that the a more generous system of tax credits could “pick up some of these people” that lose Medicaid.

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“Our concern is that we need a softer landing to give states time to pick up the slack and continue to provide coverage”, he said (Portman).

Full TPM article BELOW THE FOLD.

Resistance To The AHCA Energizing Progressives…

What was amusing was Trump acknowledging that Australia has a better health system than the USA. Of course what he didn’t directly acknowledge is that Australia has universal healthcare coverage.

Go figure, eh?

VOX – House Republicans successfully sent Speaker Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act to the Senate on Thursday, revealing the extent of their determination to dismantle Obamacare in the face of massive obstacles.

But in doing so, Republicans also set off a chain reaction of outrage on the other side -reinvigorating a left whose energy had recently flagged, and again demonstrating that defending Obamacare has become the central rallying cry in the post-election resurgence in activism among Democrats.

I’ve never seen anything like this. Not remotely, said David Nir, political director for the liberal fundraising/blog platform Daily Kos, about his organization smashing single-day fundraising records on Thursday amid the AHCA health vote.

Several issues animate the Democratic base right now. Liberals are furious over President Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns. They have many questions about his campaign’s ties to Russia. And thousands of protesters spontaneously erupted in mass demonstrations at airports throughout the country after his Muslim ban was announced in late January.

But for the first four months of Trump’s administration, one issue above all others has proven the real catalyst fueling the left-wing anti-Trump resistance movement: health care.

It’s not just for fundraising that the health care wars have played the central role in invigorating Democrats. The evidence is also overwhelming that the AHCA unifies the Democratic Party’s feuding factions, spurs new candidates and volunteers to enter the political fray, and perhaps most importantly tanks the popularity of the Republican Party nationwide.

Could President Tiny Hands have a plan nobody knows about?

Keep reading HERE.

GOP Proves Themselves Liars Again…

Again we see the GOP president and house promising one thing and delivering another.  They are not just little inconsequential things either. They would, if enacted into law as written, dramatically affect millions of American lives. You can rest assured the effect would not at all be positive

The American Health Care Act, passed today by the US House of Representatives, is a law that fundamentally does the reverse of what its proponents are promising.

Having run a campaign during which he promised to cover everyone, protect Medicaid from cuts, and replace Affordable Care Act plans with tterrific coverage, Donald Trump is now behind a bill that cuts Medicaid, covers fewer people, and allows states to replace ACA plans with stingier coverage. Having promised repeatedly to protect patients with preexisting health conditions from insurance market price discrimination, Paul Ryan is pushing a plan that removes existing protections and replaces them with hand-wavy and inadequately funded high-risk pools. Having leveraged public discontent with high deductibles and rising premiums, Republicans are pushing a bill that will leave most patients with higher out-of-pocket costs for equivalent plans and bring back skimpy plans with even higher deductibles.

That’s all happening because the GOP is committed to rolling back the taxes that pay for the Affordable Care Act, delivering a financial windfall to high-income families even though Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin swore at his confirmation hearings that the Trump administration would not pursue tax cuts for the rich.

The bill is currently being rushed through the House at breathtaking speed with no time for a Congressional Budget Office score or for members to hear from constituents back home. Republicans are acting like their plan cannot survive even cursory scrutiny by experts or the public for the good reason that their own rhetoric strongly suggests that they do not believe the public would find this legislation acceptable if they knew what it did.

These people are unquestionably the most dishonest and despicable representatives in my entire adult lifetime. Democrats and independent must mobilize, resist, and defeat these lying as*h*les in 2018. Followed by a crushing landslide defeat of the most unqualified, unethical, dangerously ignorant man to ever occupy the Oval Office.

More from VOX.

Conservatives Continue Their Hypocrisy…

Republicans hate the ACA (ObamaCare) and have pledged to repeal or replace it with something better. Although to date they have no GD idea just what that might be.

One thing is clear however. The parts they like they want to keep for their own. In other words congress critters and their staffers.

Republican legislators liked this policy well enough to offer it in a new amendment. They do not, however, seem to like it enough to have it apply to themselves and their staff. A spokesperson for Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), who authored this amendment, confirmed this was the case: Members of Congress and their staff would get the guarantee of keeping these Obamacare regulations. Health law expert Tim Jost flagged this particular issue to me.

A bit of background is helpful here. Obamacare requires all members of Congress and their staff to purchase coverage through the health law’s marketplace, just like Obamacare enrollees. The politics of that plank were simple enough, meant to demonstrate that if the coverage in this law were good enough for Americans, it should be good enough for their representatives in Washington.

That’s been happening for the past four years now. Fast-forward to this new amendment, which would allow states to waive out of key Obamacare protections like the ban on preexisting conditions or the requirement to cover things like maternity care and mental health services.

If congressional aides lived in a state that decided to waive these protections, the aides who were sick could presumably be vulnerable to higher premiums than the aides who are healthy. Their benefits package could get skimpier as Obamacare’s essential health benefits requirement may no longer apply either.

This apparently does not sound appealing, because the Republican amendment includes the members of Congress and their staff as a protected group who cannot be affected by this amendment’s terms.

You can see it on the sixth page of the amendment, although it is admittedly hard to spot. The Obamacare section that requires legislators to buy on the marketplace is section 1312(d)(3)(D). And if you look at the Republican amendment, and the list of who cannot be included in this waiver? It includes Section 1312(d)(3)(D).

Lets just call it straight out for what it is, goddamn hypocritical. Something that defines the GOP and Trump to a fair the well.

Full VOX article continues HERE.

Anti Planned Parenthood Law Signed By Trump…

Republicans successfully pushed a bill through congress that allows states to withhold federal money from organization that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood. Today Trump signed the bill into law,

Socially conservative republicans have long disliked Planned Parenthood and the desire to defund the organization is deep. Conservatives have argued that Planned Parenthood  is an abortion mill when the reality is that abortion is a small percentage (3%) of the services provided by the organization.

Giving states the right to withhold federal monies that will result in many women not getting the services they need because a small percentage is abortion services can only be classified as a war on women. Republicans and Evangelicals base their opposition to abortion and Planned Parenthood on religious grounds.

 

Yes the above chart (link) is 8 years old, but any changes are likely to be insignificant. For folks that might like more recent data you can follow this link.

Trump, in signing this bill into law, has signaled conclusively his support for the republican backed war on women’s health.

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump privately signed a bill on Thursday that allows states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood, a group frequently targeted by Republicans.

The bill, which the usually camera-friendly President signed without any media present, reverses an Obama-era regulation that prohibited states from withholding money from facilities that perform abortions, arguing that many of these facilities also provide other family planning and medical services.

The bulk of federal money Planned Parenthood receives, though, goes toward preventive health care, birth control, pregnancy tests and other women’s health services. Federal law prohibits taxpayer dollars from funding abortions and Planned Parenthood says 3% of the services it provides are abortions.

The signing comes weeks after Vice President Mike Pence, a social conservative who regularly touts his anti-abortion stances, cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate after two Republicans opposed the measure.
“(Women’s) worst fears are now coming true. We are facing the worst political attack on women’s health in a generation as lawmakers have spent the past three months trading away women’s health and rights at every turn,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
Full story BELOW THE FOLD.