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seem to like either bill on the merits, but he desperately wants a big legislative win and the ability to say he repealed Obamacare.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

 

Most Americans say Republican healthcare plan will be harmful: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Can anyone imaging this? We can for certain!

By Chris Kahn | NEW YORK  – When U.S. Senate Republicans unveil their plan to overhaul America’s healthcare system, they will face a skeptical public that already does not buy the justification for an earlier version that passed the House of Representatives, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

The June 9-13 poll shows that a majority of the country thinks the American Health Care Act would be harmful for low-income Americans, people with pre-existing health conditions and Medicaid recipients.

Overall, 41 percent of American adults oppose the House plan, while 30 percent support it. Another 29 percent said they “don’t know,” according to the poll.

“It’ll make people’s deductibles skyrocket” said Shannon Sowards, 39, of Memphis, Tennessee, a Trump supporter who took the poll. “So I’m not for this healthcare act. I’m for insurance for everyone.”

The Senate is expected to release its full plan on Thursday.

The gap between what Republicans say their plan will do and what people think it will do further complicates matters for Senate Republicans, who already have been criticized for drafting their bill in secret.

“It would be great if a politician had the nerve to be brutally honest” and tell people that healthcare costs are going up, said Joseph Antos, a healthcare expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “None of them seem to.”

 For years, Republicans have promised voters they would replace Democratic former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, which they say is too costly and intrusive.

When House Republicans pitched their health plan earlier this year, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan boasted that it would lower premiums, protect people with pre-existing conditions and improve public “access” to high-quality, low-cost healthcare. U.S.

Representative Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, who helped shape the House bill, said it “would make coverage of pre-existing conditions sacrosanct for all Americans.”

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, however, presented a different view of the bill. It estimated that under the House plan 23 million people would lose their health coverage by 2026 in an effort to cut the federal deficit.

According to the poll, nearly 60 percent of adults said they thought it would make insurance more expensive for low-income Americans and people with pre-existing conditions. Fifty-seven percent said it would make Medicaid less available, and 69 percent said it would cut federal money for Planned Parenthood.

Thirteen percent felt that the House plan would improve the quality of their healthcare, and 9 percent said it would make their healthcare cheaper.

About 28 percent of Americans said they would be “less likely” to support their congressional representative if he or she supported the House plan. Another 16 percent said they would be “more likely” to support their representative and 33 percent said it would make “no difference.”

Republican respondents were more supportive of the House plan than others. And even those Republicans who did not like the House plan said that it is probably an improvement over the current healthcare system.

Graphs BELOW THE FOLD.

The Secrecy and Hypocrisy of Republicans…

HOT AIRDo understand, this isn’t a matter of Mitch McConnell freezing out his old nemesis on what’s going on in the Senate. Cruz has been working with McConnell and others for months on drafting a plan. He’s organized numerous meetings of a Republican “working group” with participants from across the GOP’s ideological spectrum and has repeatedly proclaimed his willingness to compromise to get something done. It’s all part of a political makeover. Having alienated so many colleagues before the 2016 presidential primaries with his anti-establishment no-compromise approach, Cruz is angling to rebuild relationships before his next run in 2024. He was derided last year as a grandstander whose biggest “achievement” was ringleading the futile 2013 shutdown to block the implementation of ObamaCare. Now he’s aiming to be known as the man who midwifed an unlikely health-care meeting of the minds between conservatives like him, Rand Paul, and Mike Lee and the Susan Collinses and Lisa Murkowskis in the caucus. The principled obstructionism of Cruz 1.0 was swept away last spring by Trump along with so many other tea-party conceits. Cruz 2.0 will be more of a can-do politician willing to make the best deals, deals so great you won’t believe it. If he pulls it off, he’ll have quite a feather in his cap for his Senate reelection campaign next year.

Unless, of course, the country roundly hates the final bill that lands on Trump’s desk. But what are the odds of that?

Anyway. The point is that Cruz is a critical player in getting something through the Senate — yet here he is last night, with McConnell promising a draft bill tomorrow, telling Mark Levin that he has no idea what’s in the bill yet. Essentially he and every other Republican in the “working group” haven’t been working on an actual bill; what they’ve been working on are demands which they’ve then submitted to McConnell and the leadership team to accommodate in the form of a legislative product. If McConnell sticks to his schedule of holding a vote next Thursday, Cruz and allies like Mike Lee will have one short week to read the bill, demand changes, spend a few hours debating it on the floor, and then face a gut-check on whether to pass the revised version, assuming that there are revisions. It’s embarrassingly opaque procedural sleight of hand…

Indeed! We have a vivid recollection of then Speaker Pelosi saying that they had to pass the ACA for people to know what’s was in the bill. And now, seven years later, after no debate, no specifics, no awareness by senators, and keeping the public in the dark.  the republicans are doing precisely what they criticized democrats for. To which we say, HYPOCRITES!

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.