34 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-9-17

  1. This is for you, Bob Buckles. No Trump or healthcare for me today. Just a tribute to my ancestors and a neat little place you might want to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ricky,

    I’m shocked that Lowry’s running interference for Ryan and company.

    Not. 🙄

    But the fact remains, and Ryan keeps ignoring this fact, that it is terribly underfunded and destined to fail.

    That fraction of a fraction he talks about? 7 million people is a pretty big fraction.

    And that 63 day limit will affect about 30 million people making healthcare for many out of reach.


    “There are many uncertainties about this path. The health insurance market has a lot of churn, so many people may experience a gap in coverage of just a few months. One estimate, by the Commonwealth Fund, indicated that 30 million adults would have had such a gap in 2016, potentially exposing them to a surcharge or being placed in a high-risk pool. On top of that, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that 27 percent of the people in the individual market have existing conditions that would have been uninsured before the ACA.

    The AHCA eliminates cost sharing and offers a stingier tax credit to defray premium costs, likely resulting in higher overall health costs that may make insurance unaffordable for many people. (The CBO projected that 24 million more people would be without health insurance than under current law by 2026.)

    Then, if people get sick, they may suddenly find themselves for a year being priced on their illness if they live in a state that sought a waiver. Depending on the approach taken by a state, some people might find it difficult to keep up their coverage for a full year before they qualify for prices at the community rate.

    A big question is whether the funding to cover these folks is adequate. High-risk pools were big money losers and underfunded in the pre-Obamacare days, even though many had restrictions, high premiums and waiting lists. A $5 billion federal pool, established by the ACA as a bridge to the creation of the exchanges in 2013, covered about 100,000 people but was suspended when it ran out of money.

    The Center for American Progress, a left-leaning group that opposes the AHCA, produced an analysis that indicated that even with the additional $8 billion, the maximum enrollment the AHCA’s funds would cover is about 700,000 people. If just 5 percent of the people currently in the individual market ended up in high-risk pools – and all states sought a waiver – that would overwhelm the proposed funding.”

    “Avalere Health, a consulting firm, said in an analysis that $23 billion is specifically allocated in the bill for helping people with pre-existing conditions. That would cover about 110,000 people. If states allocated all of the other available funding, that would cover 600,00 people. “Approximately 2.2 million enrollees in the individual market today have some form of pre-existing chronic condition,” the analysis said.

    And here’s what the reality will be for many under this plan. Unaffordable healthcare.


    “But if the Senate keeps the waiver provision of the AHCA, cancer patients could see premium surcharges as high as $142,650, according to a report from the liberal Center for American Progress.

    The CAP report estimates premium surcharges for conditions for a 40-year old with various ailments compared to a healthy 40-year-old, based on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The surcharge is compared to an assumed $4,020 standard rate for healthy individuals.

    The study finds that “individuals with even relatively mild pre-existing conditions would pay thousands of dollars above standard rates to obtain coverage.” For example, someone with asthma would experience a premium surcharge of $4,340, while someone who suffers from diabetes would face a $5,600-per-year increase. For those with serious medical conditions, the costs are exorbitantly higher.

    Here are some of the other surcharges, based on CAP’s report:

    Condition Surcharge as a share of standard premium Surcharge in dollars
    Metastatic cancer 3,500% $142,650
    Lung, brain, and other severe cancers 1,790% $72,980
    Colorectal, breast, kidney, and other cancers 703% $28,660
    Diabetes without complication 137% $5,600
    Rheumatoid arthritis and specified autoimmune disorders 652% $26,580
    Major depressive and bipolar disorders 208% $8,490
    Drug dependence 502% $20,450
    Autistic Disorder 135% $5,510
    Seizure disorders and convulsions 179% $7,300
    Congestive heart failure 459% $18,720
    Asthma 106% $4,340
    Stage 4 chronic kidney disease 286% $11,650
    Completed pregnancy with no or minor complications 425% $17,320″

    I always thought that Democrat claims that Republicans just want to kill off the sick and old were hyperbole. But R’s seem intent on making the case for them.


  3. AJ,

    I am shocked that a Trumpkin is running interference for Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and company.



  4. I see you quoted the Washington Post and the Center for American Progress. What does the Socialist Workers Party have to say?


  5. Did you see where Jimmy Carter said he’d voted for Bernie? Interesting, and not altogether surprising. The Democratic party as a whole has swung significantly far left.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What’s wrong with us having a similar health care plan to Singapore? Why are we not able to have a rational national discussion on the issue?


  7. Debra, Don’t compare anything you are suggesting to Singapore until you reduce its cost to below 12% of GDP (the amount spent by the second most wasteful country on earth).


  8. Debra, You are a Trumpkin who is liberal on spending issues. I understand that.

    What drives conservatives like me crazy is the following:

    Trumpkins who call themselves “conservatives” who

    a. constantly refer to Ryan and other actual conservatives as “RINOs”; and

    b. whenever a substantive issue like healthcare (which involves tens of billions of dollars) arises, side with the far left.

    This is what led me to conclude that only about 20% of Americans are actually conservatives in any meaningful sense.

    Democrats and Trumpkins are all looking for government help. They just may not agree on how the federal pie is divided.


  9. Debra, Let’s discuss the key components of the Singapore system which keep it so cheap. A reader recently asked Kevin Williamson why an aspirin bottle in the hospital cost $100. Williamson responded: Why doesn’t your filling station charge you $200 for a gallon of gas?

    The key to cost control is giving consumers choices and making consumers pay for a percentage of the costs in all cases. This is the one unique thing that Singapore does.

    Who has tried to introduce these elements into the US system? Paul Ryan, and he has done it twice:

    1. Several years ago he proposed turning Medicare into a voucher program. All Democrats and the Trumpkin Gingrich threw a fit.

    2. Now, the new bill moves us ever so slightly in the direction of choice and responsibility. Every Democrat and some of our own Trumpkins are throwing a fit.

    I really don’t even know why Ryan keeps trying, but as long as he will keep trying I will support him.


  10. I am happy for Comey. He did the best he could as the FBI chief when he knew that both of the people who might become his boss were foolish and unethical. Taking orders for an infantile ignoramus can’t be much more fun than taking orders from a paranoid crook would have been.


  11. And a boy needs a mother to instinctively spot issues, problems and concerns he is facing of which his father is completely unaware. That certainly was true of this well-meaning, but clueless dad.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. One good thing about Trump’s health care plan — it has people talking sensibly about proper tax levels. The ACA was funded by a transfer of money from the extremely wealthy to the rest of the US in the form of subsidies. By removing the tax, the Republicans remove the funding mechanism and if the ACA was not viable, the new health care act will be dead on arrival.


  13. Jimmy Carter supporting Bernie Sanders over Hilary doesn’t show how far left the Democrats had moved rathe it shows how far right the Clintons are in comparison to the 1970s Democrats.


  14. HRW, The ACA is also a transfer of money from the young and healthy (who are forced to buy more health insurance than they want) to the old and sick who need those young healthy folks paying premiums so their premiums won’t become astronomically high.


  15. HRW, I think there are three things at work with Carter/Sanders.

    1. Carter of 1976-1980 did not have a real clear ideology. When his aides thought they might be running against Big Bush, they joked that their campaign slogan might be “Why change wimps in the middle of the stream?” because Carter’s ideology was fuzzy and not all that different from that of Big Bush.

    2. Carter is basically an honest, moral man. He has always been disgusted by the Clintons.

    3. Clinton has moved left over time. Kennedy was able to attack Carter from the right in 1980.
    Later, Carter invited Michael Moore to sit by him at a State of the Union speech. Sanders may even be to the left of Moore.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I don’t buy the concern for the feminization of men.

    The main evidence cited is university enrolment which is used to demonstrate a female bias. There’s other issues at play here; universities are no longer an exclusive club dedicated to abstract knowledge rather its a business churning out people ready for the job market. Nursing and education, two female dominated professions, used to be taught in community colleges or separate institution, but now a university degree is needed for both professions. Meanwhile the male dominated professions which used to be taught in community colleges, other institutions, or on the job apprenticeships have not been taken over by universities rather they have become redundant due to technology.

    I also don’t view the education system as encouraging this feminization — perhaps at the bureaucratic level and at the curriculum offices but too often teachers on the front lines still endorse the “boys will be boys” attitude. I’ve fought an off again on again battle with my current VP on this issue. He went to various male staff asking them to help build relationships with male more rebellious students as many lack fathers and a proper male role model. When I replied many of the girls also lacked a father and a proper male role model, he seemed confused. He later cautioned me to spend less time with female students since it led to “unfortunate impressions” and “charges of sexism”. Apparently my encouragement to girls to reject the toxic masculinity prevalent in my school led to his concerns. Basically I encouraged the girls not to accept inappropriate behaviour from the boys, role modelled proper male behaviour, and tried to empower the girls. Apparently I was too critical of the boys — what I termed sexual assault (improper touching) was an issue of personal space according to the VP and the female principal. We also differed on other issues — dress codes, homophobia, etc.

    My concern is not the feminization of men but rather a distorted version of masculinity which reacts against the loss of dominance by become more extreme yet less responsible. Thus, boys and young men eager to prove their masculinity, due to its perceived threat, become more violent, less mannered, more defiant, etc. Beyond the backlash against female empowerment, the mass consumption of porn at a too early age (adults usually approach porn the same way we approach horror or science fiction movies — we know its fake and enjoy the escapism/fantasy, but young boys see it has realistic) has distorted male sexuality as aggressive where a lack of consent is to be met by more coercion or a more sexual approach.

    There are two answers; a reassertion of traditional male responsibility and respect. Perhaps viable in small towns, traditional or culturally coherent communities but much of modern and urban society has moved past this. Modern health education needs to stress consent, healthy relationships, gender roles, etc. Parents need to overcome the awkwardness and discuss porn, media images, etc. Perhaps then a more healthy version of masculinity will reemerge.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Agreed on Carter. I’m too young to remember much of the Carter admin but he always stuck me as a responsible man who wanted to demonstrate good stewardship of the environment and Christian charity toward the poor. I think over time his ideological positions solidified as he responded to the neoliberal ideology of both Reagan and Clinton, both of which he saw as morally inadequate for what he felt was a Christina worldview.

    When people said they like Bush Jr (or Clinton) because they could imagine sharing a few pints together, opponents of Bush would ask which president would you want to babysit your kids, the answer of course is Carter. And then the question is who do want to run your country a man you wan to drink with or a man you trust with your children?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Trump is throwing an other person under the bus — eventually it will be him. the stench of corruption is everywhere. The question is will Mike Pence take the fall like Spiro Agnew or will he manage to avoid the bus and become president.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. HRW, good insight into male adolescents. They do need responsibility. Thank you for teaching the young ladies to respect themselves.

    Liked by 2 people

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