31 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-8-17

  1. Doomed to fail. If they won’t fund it, it’s not gonna work. But like with ObamaCare, they already know this. They just don’t care.


    “Republicans are having a hard time defending the way their health care plan would weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions. They got no help on Sunday from one of their own, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    Obamacare forbids insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher rates for people because of their medical histories. The Republican plan that passed the House last week would allow states to waive those protections, paving the way for insurers to charge sick people higher rates.

    In theory, there would be what are known as high-risk pools to help cover people whose pre-existing conditions create a barrier. Trouble is, high-risk pools historically have been underfunded. The original Republican plan had around $100 billion in federal funds devoted to the pools, and an amendment designed to get more votes last week added another $8 billion over five years.

    Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about the high-risk pool plan, Kasich said it simply wouldn’t work.

    “This business of these [high]-risk pools, they are not funded. … Eight billion dollars is not enough to fund. It’s ridiculous,” he said, laughing. “And the fact is, states are not going to opt for that.””

    But then they can blame the states for not funding it.


  2. Fake news has an agenda. So does fake law.


    “Something ugly is happening to the First Amendment. It is being contorted to enable judges to protest Donald Trump’s presidency. The perennial impulse of judges to manipulate the law to achieve morally and politically desirable ends has only been exacerbated by the felt necessity to “resist” Trump. The result: Legal tests concerning the freedoms of speech and religion that in some cases were already highly dubious are being further deformed and twisted.

    Welcome to the rise of fake law. Just as fake news spreads ideologically motivated misinformation with a newsy veneer, fake law brings us judicial posturing, virtue signaling, and opinionating masquerading as jurisprudence. And just as fake news augurs the end of authoritative reporting, fake law portends the diminution of law’s legitimacy and the warping of judges’ self-understanding of their constitutional role.

    Those who try to police the relentlessly transformational projects of constitutional progressives had much to dread from the Obama administration, an inveterate ally of the legal left that did what it could to graft the aspirations of progressives onto the Constitution. But Trump’s presidency may be even worse, because too many judges now feel called to “resist” Trump and all his works—no matter the cost to the law’s authority and to the integrity of the judicial role.”


  3. AJ @ 7:01 So what is your answer?

    The truth is that virtually all Democrats, virtually all Trumpkins and even most so-called conservatives like virtually all aspects of Obamacare except for the Individual Mandate. That means most Americans want all the subsidies and regulation of insurers of Obamacare, but they want to raise the deficit even more and/or they want to raise premiums even more. As HRW and I have said before, the individual mandate is the (partial) funding mechanism. Take it away and premiums or subsidies must go up. Somebody has to pay for the goodies!

    You are right that Ryan’s efforts are doomed to fail. Americans just want others to pay for their care. We might as well turn all hospitals into VA Hospitals, all healthcare workers into VA employees, and declare all Americans to be veterans. Give expensive, bad care to all!

    This is a significant moment. When Organized Perversion won political and cultural battles over Christianity, it meant that ever increasing numbers of US children would be recruited into perversion until there is a Great Religious Revival or an apocalypse like happened in Sodom, Rome and Germany. The massive socialization of healthcare and the attendant explosion in government spending means the US is going to go bankrupt. The only question is how long will it take.


  4. Unfortunately, this is what happens when conservatives stop reading National Review, George Will, Kevin D. Williamson and Mona Charen and get their information from shallow demagogues like Limbaugh and Hannity. It is like going from Spurgeon to Osteen. We have kindergarten level conservatives, and healthcare is an 11th grade level problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michelle, It was always the goal of the Democrats. Most Republicans are just now figuring out their dilemma. Ryan actually figured out the problem, and began advocating market solutions years ago. Fifty years ago, William F. Buckley and other conservative writers would have joined Ryan and tried to educate conservatives and other Americans. Limbaugh and Hannity only wanted to blame Obama and talk incessantly about a girl killed by an immigrant.

    I understand that Trump is too dumb or intellectually lazy to grasp the issues. Hannity is also probably a lightweight, but I think Limbaugh knows better, but doesn’t want to offend his audience.


  6. Ricky, I hate Obamacare.

    I also hate hearing stories of people whose insurance companies looked for excuses to drop them once they were diagnosed with something serious and actually needed insurance. It’s completely fair that insurance companies shouldn’t have to cover the person who never bothered getting insurance until she was diagnosed with stage-four cancer . . . but they shouldn’t be allowed to drop her coverage, either. And if possible she should be able to move from Georgia to Texas to be closer to family without losing her insurance.

    Some insurance companies will not cover the pre-existing condition for a year. Thus, you can’t get maternity coverage if you are already pregnant, and you can’t sign up with insurance because the doctor tells you that you need open-heart surgery next week. But a baby with a heart murmur shouldn’t be unable to have heart surgery 60 years later.

    My father (who would have been 100 next month) said that when he was young, no one had insurance. If someone had a need, the neighbors took up a collection. I wouldn’t mind at all if we were to return to a system where a person knows up front this surgery will cost $26,000, and they can then pay $4,500 from savings, $12,000 friends and families donate, and make $150 monthly payments for the rest. Forget the crazy system where everyone pays a different amount for the same thing, where someone can be in the hospital for four days for something he might have avoided had the bill not been going to insurance and not to him, etc. I don’t think we’ll go back there, but the closer we can get, the better.

    I have a friend who avoided going to the doctor though she had quite a lot of abdominal pain, until a doctor in our church insisted she go, She had no insurance and was afraid of the cost. It turned out her appendix had burst by the time she finally went in, and she was in the hospital for several days. I don’t remember how much the bill was, but $30,000 or $40,000–and friends paid it.


  7. Ricky, I have a busy day here, and believe it or not, politics is not on my top-ten subjects I like to discuss. I haven’t read the bill and don’t intend to. I hate the requirement that people get insurance, the insistence on what insurers must cover (including birth control), etc. I think government has a right to insist that insurers honor their contracts with clients, but not the right to insist on the details of those contracts.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Cheryl, So if you don’t believe the government has the right to insist on the details of those contracts, you don’t believe the government has the right to mandate provisions in those contracts relating to pre-existing conditions. Right?


  9. I will tell you about the healthcare exchange.
    $350 per month premium
    $6,500 deductible before insurance kicks in.
    12×350=$4,200 + 6,500= 10,700 out of pocket before insurance kicked in?????

    That is close to a third of my base salary


  10. I believe it was Krauthammer who said we’d have a single-payer system within 6 years. As Michelle says, this is all just leading up to the inevitable. We’re too far down the road to turn back, unfortunately.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. “The truth is that virtually all Democrats, virtually all Trumpkins and even most so-called conservatives like virtually all aspects of Obamacare except for the Individual Mandate. That means most Americans want all the subsidies and regulation of insurers of Obamacare, but they want to raise the deficit even more and/or they want to raise premiums even more.”

    While that may be true for some, for millions of others, it’s not.

    We don’t like the Individual Mandate, or much of anything else about ObamaCare other than the preexisting conditions protections for consumers. We don’t get subsidies, don’t need birth control or prenatal care so shouldn’t have to pay for it to be covered.

    We pay for our own insurance thru a company plan. We pay for a family plan out of our paychecks. We get no subsidies to offset that cost, and really, why should we? We have reasonable co-pays and deductibles. The system works fine this way.

    What they should be encouraging is employer sponsored plans. Yet all they do is punish us with both these so-called plans. Our premiums have skyrocketed, because even if you’re not in ObamaCare, you still get to pay for it thru taxes and higher premiums. Go ahead, do the right thing, and you’ll still be punished.

    Both of these plans are $%@&. Congress should forcefully stick them both back where they came from.

    At this point I’ll be honest, single payer is starting to appeal to me, if only from an out of pocket perspective.


  12. AJ, I don’t actually agree with pushing employer-sponsored plans. I suspect that is a big part of the health-insurance problem, that insurance became a benefit, largely subsidized by the workplace. Those of us who are self-employed then have to find our own, in a system set up for those in the workplace and not for individuals. I know a family who moved to Canada since he was a pastor (he didn’t have insurance through work), and she was working in order to have insurance for the family–but with two or three young children, she didn’t want to be working outside the home. They finally moved to Canada (he was Canadian, she American) in order to get insurance without her having to work. But companies have done all sorts of things to avoid having to have insurance for all their employees, including keeping their hours under 32 a week, because insurance has become such an expected benefit of a full-time job. It would be better just to pay workers a salary and let them get insurance (or not) separately. Give what you would have contributed toward insurance as income. That’s fairer, anyway, since some employees will get their insurance through other means (like a spouse’s insurance) and thus won’t get the advantage of that company benefit. And probably the market would have done better with setting up co-op plans (like the Christian sharing plans, which are much cheaper) and high-deductible insurance, and giving people competitive options.


  13. “Those of us who are self-employed then have to find our own, in a system set up for those in the workplace and not for individuals. I know a family who moved to Canada since he was a pastor (he didn’t have insurance through work), and she was working in order to have insurance for the family–but with two or three young children, she didn’t want to be working outside the home. They finally moved to Canada (he was Canadian, she American) in order to get insurance without her having to work.”

    Not picking on the pastor, but since you used him as an example, so will I.

    First off, there are sharing plans available (like those you mentioned and many more) to help, but it may require a little work to find it. This has been the case for a long time.

    Now as to the pastor and his wife. See, this is part of the problem. They want something (medical insurance), yet they don’t want to earn it or pay for it themselves. Families make sacrifices all the time, and this is no different. They want it both ways.

    And no, going to Canada to freeload off their “free” system isn’t the answer. Where’s the “personal responsibility?” They’re their kids, and their responsibility, yet they chose to move rather than accept their responsibility. Why pay your own way when you can make someone else do it? Everyone takes this attitude, and this is what that’s got us.

    I’d say they make the case for why an “individual mandate” was required the first time around.


  14. Um, AJ, actually you are picking on the pastor. They had two young children (I think they later had a third one), and the wife wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. In my understanding of words, it isn’t “freeloading” for a mother of preschoolers to wish to be a SAHM. This was 20 years ago or so, and I have no idea what kind of co-op plans were available or what options they offered. When I first looked into such a plan 15 years ago or so, it wouldn’t work for me. One plan had a $100,000 lifetime max, which made it a bad plan. All the plans exempted pre-exisiting conditions, and so I couldn’t switch from the insurance I already had. I have no idea what the couple’s reasons were that they saw their only options as being the wife working or the family moving to Canada, but a husband moving with his family to his homeland is hardly the height of egregious behavior.


  15. AJ @ 12:11 Your last paragraph confirms all that I have been saying. The socialists have won the hearts and minds of 90% of the American people when it comes to healthcare.


  16. “Um, AJ, actually you are picking on the pastor. They had two young children (I think they later had a third one), and the wife wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. In my understanding of words, it isn’t “freeloading” for a mother of preschoolers to wish to be a SAHM.”

    No, it’s not freeloading for mom to wish to be a SAHM, and neither is it for a SAHD like me.

    But that being said…….

    In order to do so, certain sacrifices have to be made. Same goes if you want health coverage, the sacrifice might even be your stay at home status. Thankfully for us, we manage.

    My reference to freeloading was their jumping on the Canadian system, for what you stated were financial/HC reasons so mom could stay home, and nothing else. I understand the sacrifices and choices SAHP make, and I respect the parents right to make them. Just don’t expect others to subsidize them. That makes it even tougher on the rest of us SAHs to accomplish our goals.


  17. Ricky,

    They may be getting my mind, but not my heart. I don’t like it at all, but this is the way it’s turned out. One side set their plan up to fail in order to force it, the other is setting their’s up to fail by promising things it can’t possibly deliver. Single payer will be the inevitable result. Compromise was needed and lacking from both sides all along, At this point it’s about the only option left.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. AJ, if it is not morally wrong for an American to take advantage of a disability system that is in place if he needs it, then why is it morally wrong for a Canadian to take advantage of a Canadian healthcare system when his own family needs it?


  19. Cheryl,

    Part of the problem here is the CA vs. US system. It’s a little bit of apples and oranges I suppose. I guess it really isn’t freeloading if you’re paying taxes into it, as a new resident would. But it does seem money played a large roll in the decision to do so.


  20. Cheryl,

    There’s a huge difference between paying into a system for decades and then using it when necessary, and simply jumping in late and grabbing what others have been paying into for years

    I guess that’s one of the big issues here. Some people make sacrifices and buy insurance and use it when necessary. Others want to wait until serious illness strikes and then jump in and get the benefits others have been paying for, without paying extra. Still others go on Medicaid having never paid a dime in taxes, and again, others pay. Yet the person with a preexisting condition, who had insurance but switched companies, he gets hosed. It’s a broken system.

    There’s gonna be a lot of gored oxen when this is all said and done.


  21. I am better than you. I think about the poor medical personnel who will have to work under government control. Do you ever wonder if they WANT to work for a government? See, I AM better than you!

    Actually I think that most of the time we think our thoughts are better than the next guy’s thoughts. I don’t really know what is the best way to handle health care. I don’t think politics is it, though. I certainly don’t want to hear about it forever on “Face the Nation” or “Meet the Press.” Do you want to hear about Democrats and Republicans arguing about the cost of an office visit?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Bob, Since you don’t want to talk about healthcare or Trump, how about a discussion of The War for the Southern Confederacy. It is true that most of the battles were back east, but there was a battle at Picacho Pass between Tucson and Phoenix. If you climb Picacho Peak, you have a great view of the battlefield.


  23. See. I warm to single payer, and then I’m reminded of just how badly such a govt. managed program can go.


    “Over the weekend we saw another story emerge which reminds us that the lingering effects of the VA scandal are far from gone and too much work remains to be done. It’s not that we haven’t seen some signs of progress at the agency. Shortly after President Trump decided to keep David Shulkin around and place him in charge of the VA, the new Secretary begged for expanded authority to fire failing workers. That prompted the President to create what I like to think of as the Office of Your Butt is Fired inside the VA.

    That office clearly has their work cut out for them in California. As the Washington Free Beacon revealed this weekend, a recent Inspector General’s office report on one Los Angeles hospital revealed that more than 100 veterans died while waiting to be seen at the facility.

    More than 100 veterans died while waiting for care at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Los Angeles, Calif., over a nine-month span ending in August 2015, according to a new government report.

    The VA Office of Inspector General found in a recent healthcare inspection that 225 veterans at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System facility died with open or pending consults between Oct. 1, 2015 and Aug. 9, 2015. Nearly half—117—of those patients died while experiencing delays in receiving care.

    The inspector general reported that 43 percent of the 371 consults scheduled for patients who ended up dying were not timely because of a failure by VA employees to follow proper procedure. The report was unable to substantiate claims that patients died as a result of the delayed consults.

    The period in question actually ran from October of 2014 through August of 2015, and it can’t be shown that the delay in getting an appointment directly led to the deaths of specific veterans, but the results speak for themselves. Now, the period in question ended almost two years ago, so why are we just now hearing about it? Because nobody had their hand on the tiller for such a long time and there are so many VA centers around the country that it’s taking what must feel like an interminable amount of time to go through them all. But one thing has become increasingly clear and it’s the fact that the reforms put in place after the scandal first came to light have made improvements in some areas, but they weren’t nearly enough. In 2014 Congress rushed through the Veterans Choice and Accountability Act which channeled significant funding into the agency for hiring more staff and streamlining their processes for patient care, while offering veterans who couldn’t get a timely appointment at a VA center the option of going to a civilian facility.””

    Liked by 1 person

  24. “That’s who Trump is. America elected a parasite.”

    Health care — basically, the gov’t needs to do two things to make a system work, 1) cost containment 2) funding. The American system does neither — cost are allowed to increase and nobody wants to fund it — whether it be an individual mandate or a surtax on the wealthy. Single payer contains costs by being the sole payer, patent control, bulk buying, etc And funding is simple — general taxation.


  25. AJ, the person I am talking about (the youth pastor at my Chicago church) was a Canadian who came to America for college, married and got a job after college, and stayed in America a few years. He was probably 27-30 when he returned home, young and healthy with a young and healthy family. Presumably his family had been paying into the system for generations, and he and his new young family would be too, so there is no taking advantage of the system. One “could” say that when I moved to Nashville when I went freelance, that I was taking advantage of the lack of state income tax in Tennessee . . . or one could say that was a benefit I would be receiving for living there. (And in that case I didn’t even realize it until I’d already decided to live there.) If Canada wants to enact a waiting period for citizens moving back home, or brand-new residents moving there with a spouse, they’re perfectly free to do so. If they choose not to, it’s perfectly fair to take the healthcare/insurance system into account when choosing where to live. Plenty of people move TO America for the healthcare system!


  26. There’s a 90 day waiting period in Ontario.

    Healthcare and how its delivered is a factor in people’s decision making when contemplating a job offer or as a CEO when thinking where to locate a new office or factory. Similar to any other factors such as education, family, cost of living etc.


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