The Way Congress Is Handling Health Care Shows Why They Only Have A 17 Percent Approval Rating
Re-Published From The Economic Collapse Blog, June 22nd, 2017
The Senate health care bill was unveiled on Thursday, and it appears to be dead on arrival. At least four conservative senators say that they can’t vote for the current version because it doesn’t go far enough, while several moderate Republicans are expressing concerns that it goes too far in repealing popular Obamacare provisions. You can read the full text of the bill here. Since Democrats are going to be united in voting against any bill that the Republicans put forward, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell can only lose two Republican votes if he wants something to pass. I don’t know how that is going to be possible, and so in the end we may be stuck with Obamacare for the foreseeable future and that would be a total disaster.
It is astounding to me that Republicans don’t want to pass the exact same clean Obamacare repeal bill that they got to Obama’s desk in 2016. If they got that same bill to Trump’s desk, he would sign it. Instead of trying to do everything at once, just repeal Obamacare and then start working on various pieces of the health care system one at a time.
According to Real Clear Politics, Congress currently has an average approval rating of just 17.6 percent. It is an institution that has failed the American people over and over again, and we are never going to move things in a positive direction in this country until we do something to clean up that cesspool of filth and corruption.
If we truly want to fix health care in this country, we need to rebuild the entire system from the ground up based on free market principles. But of course the bill that was just unveiled in the Senate simply tries to patch up the system we already have, and that ultimately won’t work…
The bill is very similar to the version of the House bill that passed last month but with some key changes. The text released Thursday showed the Senate legislation would still make major changes to the nation’s health care system, repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate, drastically cutting back federal support of Medicaid, eliminating Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy, insurers and others. The Senate plan however would keep Obamacare’s subsidies to help people pay for individual coverage.
One thing that is good about the Senate bill is that it would eliminate Medicaid reimbursements for Planned Parenthood for 12 months, but of course this is something that would need to be made permanent as soon as possible.
A more detailed list of major changes that the Senate bill makes was posted on Zero Hedge…
- Gives subsidies illegal immigrants if they are working in the United States
- Subsidies based on 350% Federal Poverty Level, not 400%.
- Gets rid of business and consumer mandates with no penalty
- Qualified plans don’t need to provide abortion coverage unless it’s to save the life of the mother
- Each state gets 15-10 Billion for uninsurables
- Cadillac tax is gone
- OTC med tax is gone
- HSA penalty tax is 10%
- Prescription tax is gone
- Medical device tax is gone
- Business owners can deduct part d expense again
- Deductible medical expenses are back to 7.5% instead of 10% AGI
- Tanning tax is gone (ironic)
- Net investment tax is gone
- HSA deductibility will be adjusted every year for COLA
- Both spouses can now make catch-up contributions to a family HSA
- 60 day limitation to setting up an HSA account when first getting the plan for purposes of a current claim
- No coverage for abortion clinics
- Repeal of cost-sharing subsidy
- MLR set by states
- Grants for states battling opiod addiction (like mine)
- CHIP is reauthorized
- $5,000 app fee to create small business association health pool
- Psychiatric coverage is limited to institutionalized individuals only, and for stays up to 30 days but not to exceed 90 days
- The Senate draft health-care bill doesn’t currently include a provision penalizing people who don’t maintain continuous coverage
Overall, the Senate bill would be a bit of an improvement over Obamacare.
But a slight improvement over a major disaster is still a disaster.
Shortly after the bill was unveiled, four conservative senators announced that they cannot vote for the bill the way that it stands now…
However, four conservative Republican senators —Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Mike Lee of Utah— said they “are not ready to vote for this bill” because it does not go far enough in repealing Obamacare. Separately, moderate GOP Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said he has “serious concerns” about the bill’s impact on Medicaid patients.
“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor,” Paul, Cruz, Johnson and Lee said in a joint statement. “There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.”
On the other end of the spectrum, a couple of RINO (Republican in name only) senators are expected to object to the bill because it would reduce funding for Planned Parenthood…
The Senate bill would cut Medicaid funds from organizations that provide abortions for one year. It does not mention Planned Parenthood by name, but the legislation is clearly targeting the organization, which Republican leaders have promised to defund.
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, have both expressed concerns about any legislation that defunds Planned Parenthood. Murkowski said Thursday she was still reviewing the bill’s provisions.
President Trump says that the Senate bill is not a finished product and that it is open for negotiation.
But I don’t see how in the world anyone is going to be able to craft something that will be acceptable to at least 50 Republicans in the Senate.
Unfortunately, even if the Republicans pass a health care bill somehow it will not fix the giant mess that our system has become.
One step in the right direction would be to legalize the kind of national buying groups that Rand Paul has proposed…
Imagine if the tens of millions of people who belong to Credit Unions, or organizations like the NRA or ACLU, could negotiate as a group for health insurance and drug prices! Imagine the insurance executives and drug companies coming on bended knee to negotiate for the business of tens of millions of people!
I have proposed legalizing nationwide Association Health Plans. My Senate Bill 222 does just that. I have advised the President to act through his Secretary of Labor to review existing law and make it explicitly known that national associations can negotiate as one to bring down insurance prices.
And I would also like to see an expansion of direct primary care and other models that bypass the health insurance companies entirely.
The health insurance companies collectively make a profit of 15 billion dollars a year, and they are a big part of what is wrong with our current system.
There is so much that needs to be done to fix things, and both parties are failing the American people.
So let’s hope that we can remove a lot of these incumbents in 2018, because we definitely need some fresh thinking in Washington.
How Angry Will You Be If The Republicans In Congress Do Not Repeal Obamacare?
Re-Published From The Economic Collapse Blog, February 23rd, 2017
Top Republicans are now publicly saying that Obamacare will never be fully repealed. In fact, many Republicans in Congress are already using the term “repair” instead of “repeal” to describe what is going to happen to Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law. Without a doubt, the Republicans in Congress are eventually going to do something, but strategists in both parties are now suggesting that most of the key elements of Obamacare are going to remain once everything is all said and done. It will be put into a more “conservative” package, but it will still be Obamacare.
On Thursday, former House Speaker John Boehner made headlines all over the country when he said that a complete repeal of Obamacare is “not what’s going to happen”. Instead, Boehner said that Republicans are going to “fix Obamacare” and that they will “put a more conservative box around it” in order to keep their constituents happy.
Of course this isn’t what we voted for. For years, Republican politicians all across the country have been promising that Obamacare would be repealed once they got control of Congress, but now Boehner is telling us that all of that was just “happy talk”…
Earlier in the panel discussion, Boehner said he “started laughing” when Republicans started talking about moving lightning fast on repeal and then coming up with an alternative.
“In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time agreed on what a health care proposal should look like. Not once,” Boehner said. “And all this happy talk that went on in November and December and January about repeal, repeal, repeal—yeah, we’ll do replace, replace—I started laughing, because if you pass repeal without replace, first, anything that happens is your fault. You broke it.”
When the Republicans finally get around to doing something, they will inevitably declare it to be a great victory, but will it actually be that much different from what we have now?
Yes, the IRS penalty for not having health insurance will probably go. But there will still be coverage for children up to the age of 26, there will still be mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions, there will still be mandatory coverage for maternity expenses, there will still be some form of Medicaid expansion and there will still be subsidies for the poor.
In the end, we are still going to have a healthcare system where half the country pays for the healthcare for the other half of the country.
That isn’t fair, and it never will be. One half of the country shouldn’t have to pay much higher rates for their own health insurance and also pay for the healthcare of everyone else in the nation as well. Either we should go back to a free market system, or they might as well go ahead and socialize the entire thing.
The thought of sticking with what we have right now is utter insanity, but unfortunately that is what top Republicans mean when they speak of “repairing” Obamacare. The following comes from the New York Times…
“When you talk about ‘repeal,’ you have just used a word that is very polarizing,” said Representative Tom MacArthur, Republican of New Jersey, who meets weekly with moderate Republicans and Democrats of equal number. “When you go to Democrats and say, ‘Help us repeal,’ that puts them in a box. If you say, ‘Would you help us repair something?’ people start listening in a whole other way.”
How in the world do you “repair” a steaming pile of garbage?
I just don’t understand.
What the Republicans need to do is very simple. As Jim Demint has suggested, the Republicans in Congress simply need to pass the same Obamacare repeal that Barack Obama vetoed not too long ago…
Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina Republican senator, called on activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference to push their members of Congress to send to President Donald Trump the same legislation that dismantled the law and was vetoed by President Barack Obama with all due haste.
“We must and we can repeal Obamacare now,” DeMint said. “They should send that same bill to President Trump right now.”
So what is keeping Republicans in Congress from moving forward?
One thing is the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Some liberal Republicans are promising to vote against any Obamacare repeal bill that defunds Planned Parenthood…
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says she will not vote for an ObamaCare repeal bill that defunds Planned Parenthood.
In her address to Alaska’s state legislature Wednesday, the moderate Republican offered her firmest commitment yet that she will not support defunding Planned Parenthood.
“I, for one, do not believe that Planned Parenthood has any place in our deliberations on the Affordable Care Act,” she said.
Another thing that is giving some Republicans pause are the angry protesters that they are running into at town hall meetings…
U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Reps. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Tom McClintock of California are among Republicans who faced hostile audiences at recent town hall meetings.
“Republicans need to be paying attention and doing their best to understand the energy from the town halls,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of Inside Elections, a Washington-based publication that tracks congressional races.
Of course a lot of those “angry protesters” are from Barack Obama’s private army of more than 30,000 volunteers that are being deployed around the nation in a desperate attempt to defend Obamacare.
In the end, the truth is that the Republicans should be listening to the voters that sent them to Washington in the first place. Most of those voters expected an immediate Obamacare repeal, and now that it has not happened it is making for a very confusing tax season. The following comes from Politico…
Republicans’ stalled campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act is sowing confusion among those now trying to do their taxes.
Many taxpayers believe Republicans have already repealed the law, tax preparers say, and they’re surprised and upset to learn they are still subject to Obamacare’s penalty for failing to have health insurance — a charge that climbed this year to more than $2,000 per family.
Until it is repealed, Obamacare will continue to kill jobs and will continue to kill the middle class.
It was one of the worst pieces of legislation ever written, and it boggles the mind that so many Republicans in Congress are hesitant about repealing it.
Unfortunately, just as I portray in my novel, America is rapidly going crazy.
We have been given over to a reprobate mind, and our leaders can’t even seem to think straight any longer.
If Obamacare is going to be repealed, now is the time. Please contact your representatives in Congress and tell them that a “fix” will not work and that we want Obamacare to be completely repealed and replaced with a free market alternative.
The Best Thing That Trump Has Done So Far
Re-Published From The Economic Collapse Blog, May 4th, 2017
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives finally approved a bill that would repeal and replace significant portions of the law that created Obamacare. But it was a very close vote. On Donald Trump’s 105th day in the White House, 217 members of the House voted in favor of the bill, and 213 members of the House voted against the bill. Of course “Trumpcare” is far from perfect, and it actually does very little to fix our rapidly failing healthcare system, but the reason why this is the best thing that Trump has done so far is because this bill would greatly reduce federal funding for Planned Parenthood. But first this bill must get through the Senate before it can become law, and that is looking extremely doubtful at this point. In fact, The Hill is reporting that one Republican Senator has said that this bill has less than a 20 percent chance of succeeding in the Senate…
A senior GOP senator said the chances of getting 51 votes for legislation based on the House healthcare bill are less than 1 in 5.
The senator also put the chances that the House bill will meet Senate budgetary rules preventing a filibuster at less than 1 in 5, meaning portions of the legislation would have to be removed.
Lawmakers are keeping quiet about their concerns because they want to help Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whose job they fear may be in jeopardy if the House fails again to approve an ObamaCare repeal bill.
Yes, I know that Trump and the Republicans in the House were greatly celebrating on Thursday, but there really isn’t anything to celebrate yet.
The Senate is probably going to come up with an entirely different version of this legislation, and it is likely to look far different from the bill that just passed the House.
If a bill of some sort can actually get through the Senate, and that is a huge “if”, then an attempt would be made to reconcile the differences between the two bills, and then the final version would be submitted to both the House and the Senate for an up or down vote.
The problem is that the Senate is not going to pass anything like the version that the House just came up with, and conservatives in the House are likely to balk at anything that the Senate comes up with.
So please don’t think that an Obamacare repeal is a done deal.
The truth is that it probably is not going to happen any time soon.
But for the moment, I am going to applaud President Trump and House Republicans for doing something right. I have been very tough on them in recent weeks, and rightly so, but when they do something good I am certainly going to give them the praise that they are due.
The bill that the House just passed would greatly reduce federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and that fact alone more than makes up for all of the other flaws in it. The following comes from CNS News…
The American Health Care Act—the Obamacare repeal-and-replace bill that the House of Representatives passed by a 217-to-213 vote this afternoon–will temporarily and significantly reduce, but not eliminate, federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The bill will prevent Planned Parenthood from receiving funding through “mandatory” federal funding streams—primarily Medicaid—for exactly one calendar year after the president signs it.
But it does not prevent Planned Parenthood from getting “discretionary” funding through the Title X family planning program.
It is just for one year, which is far from ideal, but at least for 12 months Planned Parenthood would see their funding go down by hundreds of millions of dollars…
The pro-life bill would eliminate more than $390 million (over 86%) of over $450 million in annual federal funding to Planned Parenthood, from all mandatory spending programs. The measure also redirects funding to community health centers which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1 and offer a wider array of health care services, but not abortion.
Of course this is one of the provisions in the bill that some Republicans in the Senate want to eliminate.
It is extremely unlikely that any bill that even defunds Planned Parenthood in part will ever get through the Senate, but Trump should make an all-out effort to get this accomplished anyway.
And if Republican leadership can somehow get a bill through the Senate and signed into law that at least significantly reduces federal funding for Planned Parenthood, I will officially take back all of the negative things that I have said about the Republicans so far this year.
This week President Trump also signed a landmark executive order that does a great deal to protect religious liberty…
The order, signed during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, directs the Internal Revenue Service to exercise “maximum enforcement discretion” over the so-called Johnson amendment, which prevents churches and other tax-exempt religious organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The order also provides “regulatory relief” for organizations that object on religious grounds to a provision in Obamacare that mandates employers provide certain health services, including coverage for contraception.
All Americans, including Christians, should be free to express their political beliefs without fearing repercussions from the federal government. The Johnson Amendment was probably always unconstitutional, and that is one of the reasons why it has never really been enforced. Congress should go even farther and completely repeal it, and hopefully that will happen someday.
So once again I want to take this opportunity to applaud Trump for doing something right. This is a good executive order, although it doesn’t quite go far enough. A major war against people of faith is being waged by very powerful forces in this country, and I am thankful for a president that is at least trying to keep some of the heat off of our backs.
I tend to get criticized by both the pro-Trump and anti-Trump camps because I try to be objective.
When our politicians do things that are wrong, I am going to say that they are wrong.
And when our politicians do things that are right, I am going to say that they are right.
We lose credibility when we act as cheerleaders for politicians that are “on our side” no matter what they say or do.
In our society today, there is a desperate need for people that are willing to think critically and that are willing to cling objectively to the truth.
Because once we let go of the truth we are all in trouble…
Most of my life, I have been extremely independent. I have always been a “pull myself up by my own bootstraps” kind of guy, but now God has put me in a position where I must depend on others.
This campaign is only going to succeed if all of you stand with me. We don’t have to raise more money than the other guys, but we have to raise enough to at least be on the same playing field.
And since I am not going to get any money from special interests or the big national donors, this is going to be entirely a grassroots effort. So every single dollar is going to make a tremendous difference, and my team is going to make every single dollar stretch as far as humanly possible.
For those that have chosen to help, I could never thank you enough. Many believe that it is impossible to change Washington at this point, but if our founders had adopted that attitude they never would have declared independence from the British.
The rest of the world thought that our founders were crazy to stand up to the mighty British Empire, but because they did the United States of America exists today.
I am asking you to prayerfully consider supporting this campaign. I want to take my message to the halls of Congress in Washington, but I need your help.
If you would like to help financially, you can do so by using the donation box below…
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