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Letting Obamacare fail means letting people suffer longer

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President Trump committed a terrible act of political cynicism today when he told White House reporters “We’ll let Obamacare fail and then Democrats will come to us and say ‘How do we fix it?” and followed that up suggesting that more Republicans will be elected in 2018.

This is unconscionable, because people in America are suffering and need relief right now, not in 2019.

To listen to Democrat talking points, you’d think that America was one giant hospital and everyone had pre-existing conditions requiring expensive and rare treatment. But everyone knows that’s simply not so.

Most people see a doctor because they have a common, acute, treatable condition, like the flu. Most people can easily get the prescription medicines they require at the local grocery store pharmacy. Most people don’t need all the “health” coverages mandated in Obamacare, and most people will never need rare, expensive treatments.

But we’re all paying for it.

Premiums are increasing at an unsustainable, double-digit rate, while benefits, choice of providers, and deductibles are shrinking dramatically. That means health care is costing the average family (not on public assistance) more.

I personally know families who simply stopped buying health insurance because they can’t afford it. They make deals with doctors they know, or just don’t go to the doctor, even to treat problems that should really require a doctor. They don’t want to sign up for Medicare since that limits choice even more.

I personally use Medi-Share, a Christian medical sharing ministry, which is exempt (thank God) from Obamacare regulations. I pay about half the premium I would be paying if I bought an individual plan.

At the small business I used to work for in management (and own a stake in one of the subsidiaries), I helped craft our insurance plans. Back in the mid-2000s, we hopped between carriers to get a low initial experience rate, then when the premium jumped, we’d jump again. By the time Obamacare hit, we had moved to a hybrid self-insured/high deductible health plan (HDHP) to help stabilize premiums. We didn’t like our employees paying hundreds of dollars a month only to shell out more when they need care.

Eventually, those HDHP plans went away, because Obamacare killed them. In 2013, we sold to a large multinational corporation, and they eventually integrated the employees into their big-company plan. I left in 2015, before that happened. The people I know who still work there are paying hundreds of dollars a month only to get a huge deductible, limited network plan–or they’re paying thousands a month to get what used to be normal coverage.

These are the people who are suffering. Those “corner cases” and sob stories make for selling newspapers and getting website clicks, and they make wonderful political grandstanding, but in fact they are not the problem. The problem started when government-social-engineers like Hillary Clinton (remember Hillarycare?) and Barack Obama believed they could turn the U.S. into Sweden or Canada, neither of which have the population or economy of California.

California’s legislature just punted on its own version of universal single-payer, because even they realized that it was impossible to pay for. (SB 562 would have cost $400 billion, more than twice the entire state budget.)

Obamacare was supposed to be a hybrid–a transition to allow every American to have health insurance and supposedly obtain health care. But health insurance and the number of people enrolled is a terrible measure of who can obtain care, at what cost, and at what quality or frequency.

But the Democrat talking points keep rolling on–22 million “will lose healthcare,” or is it 23 million? What about the 150 million that will lose healthcare benefits they used to have and in fact had grown accustomed to because they can no longer afford to pay for things they never use?

Obamacare created this mess, and now Republicans, who have the opportunity we’ve been waiting for the last seven years, the opportunity every Republican lawmaker campaigned on, the opportunity Trump campaigned on, have kicked every American voter to the curb.

They’ve failed at proper governing. The president failed to lead, and Congress failed to summon the fortitude to do what is necessary.

And now we’re at the end of the dead-end road called Failure Alley, and Trump had the nerve to say we will just let people suffer for a few more years.

There’s certain issues that every president can kick down the road, like Social Security entitlements (always predicted to be 15 years away from failure), Medicare, and the national debt. As long as the Treasury can print money, we can pay bills, and the public, like frogs in slowly boiling water, don’t feel it while the pot heats up.

Obamacare is not one of those issues.

We saw what happened to Obama when the Tea Party movement hit in 2010. Watch what will happen to Congress in 2018. It’s going to be very, very ugly, and we are going to end up with people much, much more populist and less conservative than the original movement.

The Trump-GOP establishment has already begun blaming conservatives for this debacle. They would rather work with Democrats and go to a treasury-bankrupting single-payer solution than helping Americans get reasonable, free market health insurance.

This is no longer a political issue. It hurts average Americans. Republicans won’t be able to explain this away, and neither will the president, who sees himself above party (he calls Republicans “they”).

In a supreme act of political selfishness and cynicism, our elected government has betrayed the people it purports to serve and has failed to correct the injury. America will not forget.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Patrick

    July 19, 2017 at 4:20 am

    What was on the table? Revise O-Care with Democrat support. Wouldn’ that also mean letting people suffer longer?

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Guns and Crime

Border Patrol arrests 32 at San Diego demonstration

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Border Patrol arrests 32 at San Diego demonstration

SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 32 people at a demonstration Monday that was organized by a Quaker group on the border with Mexico, authorities said. Demonstrators were calling for an end to detaining and deporting immigrants and showing support for migrants in a caravan of Central American asylum seekers.

A photographer for The Associated Press saw about a dozen people being handcuffed after they were told by agents to back away from a wall that the Border Patrol calls “an enforcement zone.” The American Friends Service Committee, which organized the demonstration, said 30 people were stopped by agents in riot gear and taken into custody while they tried to move forward to offer a ceremonial blessing near the wall.

Border Patrol spokesman Theron Francisco said 31 people were arrested for trespassing and one was arrested for assaulting an officer.

More than 300 people, many the leaders of churches, mosques, synagogues and indigenous communities, participated in the demonstration at San Diego’s Border Field State Park, which borders Tijuana, Mexico.

The rally held on a beach divided by the border wall was the second confrontation for Border Patrol agents since a caravan of more than 6,000 migrants, predominantly Hondurans, reached Tijuana last month. A confrontation with rock-throwers from Mexico led to U.S. agents firing tear gas into Mexico on Nov. 25 and a five-hour closure of the nation’s busiest border crossing.

Thousands of migrants are living in crowded tent cities in Tijuana after undertaking a grueling journey from Central America to the U.S. border. Many face waiting weeks or months in Mexico while they apply for asylum. The U.S. is processing up to about 100 claims a day at the San Diego crossing, which is creating a backlog.

The demonstration Monday was meant to launch a national week of action called “Love Knows No Borders: A moral call for migrant justice,” which falls between Human Rights Day on Monday, and International Migrants’ Day on Dec. 18, the group said.

“Showing up to welcome and bless children, mothers and fathers seeking asylum from very difficult and dehumanizing circumstances is the right and humane thing to do,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano, from the San Francisco Area United Methodist Church. “How we act in these moments determines who we will become as a nation.”

The group also is calling on Congress to defund Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

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Entertainment and Sports

Latest Godzilla: King of Monsters trailer may mean it’s actually getting released next year

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Latest Godzilla King of Monsters trailer may mean its actually getting released next year

One of next year’s early blockbusters will be Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It is scheduled for May 31 after being pushed repeatedly to position it against the competition. This newest release date will give Marvel’s Avengers: End Game plenty of time to eat up audience dollars before passing the baton.

Originally slated for this year, executives kept looking for the best window for their second installment of what they hope to be a franchise similar to the successful Planet of the Apes reboot. The first installment of Godzilla in 2014 was widely seen as the first legitimate blockbuster featuring the Japanese monster after a handful of clunky attempts. It did well with a strong cast (including Bryan Cranston) and chalked up over $500 million at the worldwide box office against 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This installment features Millie Bobby Brown who has experience fighting demonic beasts in Netflix Stranger Things.

My only concern is that they seem to be putting out all the major bad monsters in this one – Mothra, Rodan, and King Ghidorah. It lends to the notion that this will be limited to a trilogy with the climax being Godzilla vs. Kong, crossing over the giant ape’s own franchise.

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Healthcare

Brett Kavanaugh punts on Planned Parenthood cases, leaving conservatives baffled

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Brett Kavanaugh punts on Planned Parenthood cases leaving conservatives baffled

Conservatives were cheering when Justice Brett Kavanaugh was finally confirmed after a tumultuous process that polarized the nation. Leftists argued that Kavanaugh’s confirmation would be the end for women’s rights to make choices about abortions, among other things, even before the confirmation turned into a high school sexual assault circus.

Instead of hearing arguments in his first major abortion-related case since taking the bench, Kavanaugh sided with Chief Justice John Roberts and the four left-leaning Supreme Court Justices to decline to review it. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch all wanted to hear the case, but it takes four.

According to Thomas, the move was political.

Kavanaugh, Roberts, side with liberal judges on Planned Parenthood case

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/12/10/supreme-court-planned-parenthood-defunding-case-845056?lIn February, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that Kansas was wrong to to end Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funding, writing that states can’t cut off funding for reasons “unrelated to the provider’s competence and the quality of the healthcare it provides.” Four other appeals courts have ruled that Medicaid patients have the right to access the provider of their choice.

But the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held that states do have the right to terminate a provider’s Medicaid contract and that residents cannot challenge that decision.

The Supreme Court’s action Monday allows the split decisions to stand in different federal circuits. Thomas, in his dissent, wrote that the Supreme Court should have taken the cases to resolve conflicting findings from lower courts.

“Because of this Court’s inaction, patients in different States — even patients with the same providers — have different rights to challenge their State’s provider decisions,” Thomas wrote.

My Take

Thomas is right. This is the type of case that is ideal for the Supreme Court to resolve the rights of individuals, who are currently bound by different laws in different states. The majority of the time, this isn’t a bad thing. States can and should act differently from one another. However, when it comes to a person’s right to challenge a federal funding, which Medicaid is in part, there needs to be clear direction from the Supreme Court.

As Thomas noted, the reasons for punting on this issue were clear.

“So what explains the court’s refusal to do its job here? I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.’ That makes the Court’s decision particularly troubling, as the question presented has nothing to do with abortion,” Thomas wrote.

This case had nothing to do with abortion, at least not directly. It was about the rights of the people to challenge how their tax dollars were spent, a fundamental right that drills down to the core of our republic. The mere mention of Planned Parenthood, even outside of the abortion issue, was enough to spook Justice Kavanaugh. He joins Chief Justice Roberts and Republicans on Capitol Hill who are so terrified of Planned Parenthood, they refuse to address the issue even at its most basic level.

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