Is Single Payer a Possibility?

“My critics will say that Trump, uncharacteristically, puts too much faith in bureaucracy; a single-payer plan would generate a gigantic agency to distribute funds to doctors. I’d point out that by creating one agency we do away with hundreds of smaller ones that are hard to monitor.” —Donald Trump, The America We Deserve, 2000

My my my, apparently Trump had a right-wing epiphany over the ensuing 17 years since his 2000 position. But did he really? If Trump is nothing else he prides himself on being a winner. Irrespective of the conventional wisdom that he couldn’t win the presidency in 2016 he did. He identified the angst of millions of Americans and was able to ride that to victory.

Trump wants to win. He used conservatism and the electoral advantage the GOP has to ride to victory. He’s talked out of both sides of his mouth on multiple issues and he’s angered his own party as well as his opponents. It is clear that Trump is his own man and he doesn’t care who he pis*es off. He concern is winning and neither consistency nor ideology will he let stand in his way. He’ll do whatever he believes will make him a winner.

This also makes him a formidable adversary as well as dangerous. Why? Simply because he is a man with few, if any core values. Other than winning that is. Wish for the best but prepare for the worst. That is the position he puts us all in all the time.

Back to the opening quote. Who knows what healthcare will look like when Trump leaves office. Assuming he makes it a full term, or two. If he does it is possible that maybe the good ole US of A may actually have a civilized system that insures health care for ALL American citizens.

With Trump anybody’s guess is as good as the next. Remember, Trump likes to win. Somehow I think that may be working in the American people’s favor on this issue.

This article is an interesting read.

Is The USA Still A Functioning Democratic Republic?… As Put In Place By Our Founders?

Is America still a functioning rational democratic republic? It is becoming questionable in the era of Trump.

Excerpts from The Washington Post – …  Our political discussion is being brought down by Trump’s self-involvement, his apparent belief that he can only win if he identifies an enemy to attack, and his refusal to make extended and carefully thought-through arguments about anything of substance. Spectacle drives out problem-solving. Our national attention span, never one of our strongest suits, follows Trump down to a level that, in fairness to children, cannot even be called childlike.

The health-care debate is the obvious example. The Republican Congress spotlights “repealing Obamacare.” But this is simply a slogan. What Trump and his party said they’d create was a better health-care system — “something great,” he enthused. The actual bills under debate add more than 20 million people to the ranks of the uninsured, which is not exactly great.

A functioning democracy would grapple in a bipartisan way with how to cover everyone more cost-effectively. This is not happening. Trump will declare anything the GOP pushes through — no matter how many of the people who voted for him lose insurance — a “win.” That is all that matters to him.

If there was anything useful about the Trump campaign, it was the extent to which it forced Americans who live in thriving parts of the country to notice how badly other regions are doing and how angry many of the people who live in those beleaguered communities are.

In the brief intervals when he is not distracting us with wrestling videos, comments on Brzezinski’s appearance and the like, Trump can offer decent talking points about “workforce development” and apprenticeships. But his policies regularly undermine his promises. Nothing should be more important to Trump’s presidency than keeping his commitments to workers in states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. But these don’t fascinate the president nearly as much as his vendettas and his role as a cable-news critic.

Full story Below The Fold.

BCRA: Senate Trumpcare Bill Starves Medicaid to Feed the Rich

As we all knew the AHCA, aka BCRA, hurts all but the rich. This is of course the modus operandi of conservatives and the GOP. Trump as the titular leader of these groups bear ultimate responsibility. Given his campaign promises of no cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, and everyone would be insured he ought to be using the bully pulpit to gain support for his campaign promises. Unless; he never meant to keep his promises in the first place.

Costs more! Covers less! After the release of the CBO report on the the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the slogans wrote themselves. For the Democrats.

The headlines blared that 22 million would lose their healthcare by 2027 (15 million in the next year). After the CBO report exploded like a cluster bomb, Republican senators of nearly every stripe tried to find an escape route through the Trumpcare thicket they themselves had sown.

It’s no wonder then that Mitch McConnell bit the bullet and postponed consideration of the bill until after the week long Fourth of July recess. Hell, six senators on both the right and center opposed even putting the bill up for debate. But there was a reason why the Machiavellian majority leader kept the BCRA under wraps until the last minute and planned to put the bill up for a vote without public hearings, testimony, or full deliberation, in a mad dash to pass Trumpcare before GOP senators could get an earful from their constituents on the holiday break.

Yet the secrecy backfired, as senators rebelled enmass.

It’s not going to get any easier, as McConnell has privately warned until now. Will the CBO report lead GOP senators to the slaughter, Republican politicians fret?

According to Republican former CBO director Doug Holtz-Eakin, they’re…
…going to get beaten on the head with the CBO report like it’s a club.

Read the complete article containing hot links right HERE.

 

 

Is Tribalism Driving the Health-Care Debate Today?… According To Goldberg It Is

An interesting take on the present health care debate by conservative editor /columnist  Jonah Goldberg.

The winner take all mentality is leaving the important responsibility of governing in the best interest of the people stranded at sea. Apparently without a compass or a rudder.

NATIONAL REVIEW I’m just thinking out loud here. But it seems to me this is one of those moments in American politics where no one can simply say what they really think or want. As Yuval noted yesterday, big chunks of the GOP-controlled Congress just don’t want to deal with health care or repeal Obamacare. As both the House and Senate legislation demonstrate, they’d rather tinker with it than tear it down. But they can’t say that. So, they’re claiming this is a repeal of Obamacare. It’s not. But it is a repeal of the Medicaid expansion that was glued onto Obamacare.

This is odd in many ways. Donald Trump vowed not to touch Medicaid. He also doesn’t seem to like either bill on the merits, but he desperately wants a big legislative win and the ability to say he repealed Obamacare. So, in policy terms, the voters who believed Trump when he said he wouldn’t touch Medicaid are getting screwed, but it seems many of them — or their anointed representatives in right-wing media — don’t care, because they too want Trump to have a big political win more than a much more difficult policy win (and for the Democrats to have a big political loss).

Meanwhile, the Democrats know that Obamacare has been a huge albatross for their party and understand that the best thing that could happen for them is if the Republicans agreed to keep Obamacare in name (i.e., abandon the rhetoric of “repeal”) but do whatever is necessary to make the thing work. But the GOP is doing the opposite. It’s largely keeping Obamacare in terms of policy (at least the really popular parts) but rhetorically its claiming to destroy Obamacare utterly. So, both the Democrats and the Republicans end up claiming this is a repeal of Obamacare when it’s not. It’s all a war for the best spin, not the best policy.

In different times, a Republican president might have come in and, like Eisenhower did with the New Deal, say, “We’re not going to throw away all that stuff, but we are going to fix it and shave the rough edges off.” A mend-it-don’t-end-it rhetorical approach to Obamacare would win over enough Democrats and moderate Republicans to pass a serious health-care bill that gave Obama credit while reworking the whole thing.

Find the whole story HERE

 

As America Sleeps…

A man responsible for much of what is wrong with government in America today. He may not hold all the responsiblity but he surer as hell has been a primary driver of a failing system.

Image result for photo of mitch mcconnell

Mitch McConnell is winning, yet again.

Senate Republicans are reportedly close to voting on a bill that would repeal Obamacare and potentially strip insurance from millions of Americans. Under normal circumstances, this sort of momentous legislation would have been dominating the news cycle for weeks. Instead, it’s been virtually absent from broadcast news and become a C-level subplot on cable, thanks to McConnell’s tactically ingenious decision to skip the normal committee process and craft his party’s bill behind closed doors, before rushing it to a floor vote, likely next week. Without a public process, journalists just haven’t had much to cover—and voters haven’t been able to grok what’s at stake.

Of course, the mere fact that Republicans have decided to produce a health care bill largely in secret is itself a scandal. But unfortunately, it’s also a political process story involving arcane-sounding concepts like reconciliation and conference committees. And if there’s one thing most Americans and CNN producers are evidently indifferent to, it’s political process.

That, more than anything, is the secret to McConnell’s success as a congressional leader. Over the years he has masterfully twisted the rules of Senate procedure to the GOP’s advantage by breaking Washington norms that voters fundamentally don’t think or care much about, in part because they make for dry copy and soporific television. Our national aversion to process stories helped the Kentuckian gum up President Obama’s political agenda and deny him a Supreme Court appointment. And now it may allow him to pass a health care bill by stealth.

Before he ascended to the Senate’s upper rungs, Mitch McConnell’s political biography as a rigidly partisan fundraising obsessive did not mark him as a man who’d change history. But as minority leader, he proved himself a brilliant political strategist and tactician by waging an all-out war of resistance against President Obama, largely by using a record number of Senate filibusters in order to slow down business on Capitol Hill and jam up the administration’s nominees. As Norm Ornstein wrote for National Journal, “The rule had not changed, but the norms were blown up. Filibusters were used not simply to block legislation or occasional nominations, but routinely, even on matters and nominations that were entirely uncontroversial and ultimately passed unanimously or near-unanimously.”

Weaponizing the filibuster and denying the president bipartisan cover turned out to be extremely savvy, because relatively few Americans care much about the nuances of congressional procedure, and the public is generally apt to blame the president’s party for its frustrations (as Obama’s approval ratings at the time showed). During the heat of the health care debate in 2010, for instance, Pew found that only 26 percent of Americans knew it took 60 votes to end debate in the Senate. And insofar as people were frustrated by Congress, they may not have understood which party to be angry at; in the run-up to the 2014 midterms, for instance, Rasmussen found that more than one-third of likely voters were in the dark about which party controlled the House and Senate. (Among all Americans, just 38 percent knew who was in power on the Hill, according to the Annenberg Public Policy center.)

Suffice to say, it’s a bit easier to grind a chamber of Congress to a halt or frustrate a president when a sizable portion of the voting public has no idea what you’re doing—or how. You just have to be willing to do it.

More BELOW THE FOLD.