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Healthcare

With Obamacare expansion winning votes, did the GOP miss their opportunity to repeal it?

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For seven years, we heard that all the Republican Party needed in order to repeal Obamacare and end the economic nightmare it represents was to get them the House, Senate, and White House. In 2010, they got the House. In 2014, they got the Senate. Last year, the last piece of the Obamacare-repeal puzzle was put into place with President Trump’s victory.

The results: nothing.

The White House has taken strides in limiting Obamacare’s reach, but to make a real difference they’ll need Capitol Hill to do its job. They’ve had that opportunity throughout the first year of the Trump administration and have failed spectacularly. Now, things are turning for the worse as they always tend to do when you give the political winds enough time to shift.

Obamacare is making a comeback in the eyes of voters. This was demonstrated in microcosm Tuesday night:

There Was Another Winner Tuesday — Obamacare’s Medicaid Expansion

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/there-was-another-winner-tuesday-obamacare-n819031Democrats are hopeful their victories are a harbinger of further gains as they look to capitalize on the law’s rising popularity in polls — and repeal legislation’s deep unpopularity — with more ballot initiatives, legislative efforts and campaign messages.

In Maine, voters passed a ballot initiative that would expand Medicaid to an estimated 70,000 residents by a 59-41 margin, doing an end run around Republican Governor Paul LePage, who has vetoed five bills to do so.

A year ago today, just following election day, public disapproval for Obamacare was clear. 48.7% opposed while only 40.3% approved. As of the end of last month, the poll numbers have reversed according to Real Clear Politics, as 51% approved and 39% opposed.

Public Approval of Health Care Law

What happened? Why is the law, after seven years of dismal polling, suddenly so popular? Could it be that the GOP only knows how to sell their ideas when they know they have no chance of getting them passed? After all, this is the party that boldly passed a full repeal in 2015 and slammed it on the President’s desk knowing that he would certainly veto it. Their boldness faded quickly once President Trump won. Suddenly, the House was only able to pass a feeble “tweak and rebrand” of the law instead of the repeal and replace they promised. They still did better than the Senate who was incapable of passing anything despite four valid attempts.

Two things have caused this…

Insanely bad messaging

When the facts are on your side, you stick to the facts. The GOP declined to use this very basic logic and decided they needed to get fancy with their repeal and replacement efforts. They abandoned the fiscal conservatism they often espouse during campaign season by not acknowledging the tax-payer burden. Then, they dismissed the federalism they occasionally attempt to embrace by only pretending to give power back to the states and individuals regarding health care. Their variation of “repeal and replace” did nothing to remove the federal government from the healthcare equation. In fact, they tried to pass off false federalism through block grants in the Senate’s last attempt.

With all the power they needed, suddenly their messaging turned to crap. They hammered Obamacare when they knew they couldn’t repeal it but once that became an option, they started using fancy terminology and confusing concepts to make excuses why they couldn’t deliver on what they promised. At the core of this bad messaging is one fatal flaw…

An unwillingness to educate Americans

What Barack Obama and his cronies did to pass Obamacare was devious, conniving, and wrong. However, they did do one thing right. They attempted to educate Americans. They hit the road talking about the benefits of passing Obamacare. The President himself talked many times about how “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and other misleading platitudes. They got the messaging right even if the message itself was wrong.

Instead of taking a page out of Obama’s playbook, the GOP decided that once they had the ability to take the high road, they would instead descend into secrecy. Instead of championing their cause, they worked on it in the background. Instead of education Americans, they kept us is the dark as much as possible.

When they finally revealed each of their failed plans, they did so at the last minute to minimize critiquing of their efforts. This was a horrendous mistake. It’s a strategy you should never use in transparent governance, but even if you’re willing to stoop that low you should only do so if you’re absolutely certain you have all the votes you need. This strategy is designed to minimize the risks of representatives having their minds changed by constituents and lobbyists.

When you’re still in the process of changing minds in order to win enough votes, you take it to the public. You sell your ideas. You put pressure on anyone on the fence by getting their constituents engaged. Keeping everyone in the dark as they did set them up for failure from the start.

Is it too late?

Technically, no. However, the GOP finds itself in political limbo leading into a midterm election. If they pass something now that isn’t very popular, they’ll lose. If they pass nothing, they’ll lose. If they can somehow hit a home run, they can come out of the midterm elections intact.

The problem they’re faced with is trying to hit a home run when public sentiment is shifting in favor of keeping Obamacare. Heck, more Americans every day are buying into the false concept that we need to expand it.

In July, there was a 2.5% gap between favoring and disapproving Obamacare. That happens to be around the time when they should have been able to pass a repeal. Instead, they floundered. Now that the gap is in double digits and popularity of Obamacare is rising, they may be dead in the water. They lost the opportunity to blame the Democrats for Obamacare’s failures because they’ve done enough to hurt it. Mainstream media will blame any future Obamacare failures on the GOP’s unwillingness to nurture it. They’ll paint Obama and the Democrats as heroes for giving the GOP something to work with while simultaneously hanging every failure on President Trump and the Republicans.

The best thing the GOP can do is to take the high road, repeal Obamacare, and thoroughly explain to America why it’s the best course of action. They won’t do this. They almost certainly won’t repeal Obamacare in a meaningful way, if at all. If they pass anything, it will be something that allows them to take full ownership of the government’s overreach into the health insurance industry. Whatever losses they face in the midterms are 100% their fault.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ed

    November 9, 2017 at 2:52 am

    I think a LOT of people (politicians especially, but also pundits and media types) are misreading these poll numbers.

    I think that Medicaid expansion and Obamacare itself are no more popular than they were when they were first passed. I think that the polling and all the political jabber about the repeal efforts (including the “new” polling, etc) is all in the context of what the Republicans are doing to REPLACE Obamacare instead of repealing it.

    That REPLACEMENT threatens to find new ways into taxpayer pockets to extend the life of Obamacare. Given the choice of the Republican plans to find new funding for Obamacare which will extend it’s death spiral for a few more elections and leaving Obamacare in place to die a very natural and quickening death, I choose to keep Obamacare. Does that mean I’ve suddenly developed a liking for the law ? NOT IN THE SLIGHTEST. It simply means that the Republican alternative is so much worse that I’d rather keep Obamacare and it’s current death-spiral trajectory than have the Republicans (or Democrats) find new things to tax in order to extend or increase Obamacare’s lifespan.

    As to Medicaid expansion, that is failing in SO many states and (now that the Federal funding for the initial medicaid expansions has expired, all we need is for the Federal Government to keep their hands off (and not extend those federal tax subsidies to the states), and the states that expand Medicaid will bankrupt themselves as Obamacare (and Mdicaid) collapse under the weight of the excessive subsidy payments.

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Economy

Medicare-for-All would cost more than every penny we’ve spent on defense in the country’s history

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Medicare-for-All would cost more than every penny weve spent on defense in the countrys history

Math is hard for many Americans. It isn’t just the sad state of our public school system that keeps the people down. It’s politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who push lies and pipe dreams that keep many Americans thinking the government has unlimited money and there’s no real difference between millions, billions, and trillions.

There’s a big difference, of course, but leftists will never let the number of zeroes get in the way of promoting their ideological goals. As I posted earlier, even left-leaning news outlets like the Washington Post are calling out Ocasio-Cortez for her false statements about Medicare-for-All.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earns 4 Pinocchios over bungled defense budget interpretation

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/04/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-earns-4-pinocchios-bungled-defense-budget-interpretation/Ocasio-Cortez must have realized when she Tweeted the article that there’s no way “66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.” She was certainly playing down to her base in hopes they’d ignore reality and embrace her false notions just because she said it. The Tweet was either a bald-faced lie or she’s an absolute moron. Or both.

Washington Post, which normally supports socialist initiatives recommended by their Democratic puppetmasters, had to call this particular claim out. They gave the claim “4 Pinocchios,” a designation they save for some of the most egregious lies in politics.

It isn’t just about being completely wrong on the Pentagon’s accounting errors. This goes deeper. While fact-checking her claims, PolitiFact decided to do some math of their own. They gathered defense spending data as far back as they could – 1940 – and tallied the totals. Those who understand the difference between millions, billions, and trillions probably won’t be surprised to learn the total spent in that time is under $18 trillion, well short of the $21 trillion Ocasio-Cortez claimed she could have used to pay 2/3 of Medicare-for-All.

The also stipulated that since defense spending was much lower in the past, it’s very likely the total spent since the nation’s inception still couldn’t hit Ocasio-Cortez’ number.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrong on scale of Pentagon accounting errors

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/dec/03/alexandria-ocasio-cortez/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-wrong-scale-pentagon-acco/One tip-off is the amount of Ocasio-Cortez’s “accounting errors” is far bigger than the actual Pentagon spending from 1998 to 2015, which was $8.5 trillion. In fact, it’s also far bigger than the amount the government has spent on national security since 1940 and, in all likelihood, in the nation’s history.

Here’s a chart we assembled showing national-security spending by the federal government from 1940 to today. Ocasio-Cortez’s $21 trillion estimate exceeds the entirety of national-security spending since 1940, which checks in around $17.8 trillion. And while full data back to 1776 doesn’t exist, prorating backwards for another 164 years would almost certainly not add enough to make the total $21 trillion.

Medicare-for-All is projected to cost $32 trillion over its first 10 years alone.

Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and all their mathematically challenged supporters need to hear this information now. If you could somehow take back every dollar spent on defense from the time the nation was formed until today, it still wouldn’t be enough to pay for Medicare-for-All. This isn’t a right-wing conspiracy. This is left-leaning Politifact crunching the numbers.

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Democrats

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earns 4 Pinocchios over bungled defense budget interpretation

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earns 4 Pinocchios over bungled defense budget interpretation

Either Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is willfully trying to mislead the people through blatantly false statements or she’s a complete idiot. There’s really no room for anything in between, though both options may exist simultaneously.

Even leftist news outlets are walking away from one of her latest claims about how to pay for Medicare-for-All.

Here’s the Tweet that sparked disapproval from both sides of the political aisle:

As many have pointed out, the $21 trillion in accounting discrepancies at the Pentagon does not represent money that was just sitting there getting wasted while Medicare-for-All languished in mathematical oblivion. The figure referenced represents accounting discrepancies in both directions – money in and money out – as well as transfers between departments within the Pentagon.

Ocasio-Cortez must have realized when she Tweeted the article that there’s no way “66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.” She was certainly playing down to her base in hopes they’d ignore reality and embrace her false notions just because she said it. The Tweet was either a bald-faced lie or she’s an absolute moron. Or both.

Washington Post, which normally supports socialist initiatives recommended by their Democratic puppetmasters, had to call this particular claim out. They gave the claim “4 Pinocchios,” a designation they save for some of the most egregious lies in politics.

We can hope and pray an incoming member of the House of Representatives is simply lying to promote her agenda. If she’s not lying, then she’s an idiot, and that might be worse when we consider how many Democrats adore her right now.

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Culture and Religion

Abortion rates are going down, but Planned Parenthood’s numbers are going up

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Abortion rates are going down but Planned Parenthoods numbers are going up

It is hard for pro-life Americans to celebrate “positive strides” in the fight for life and the rights of preborn babies when there are still so many performed. Nevertheless, the latest statistics from 2015 show a decline in overall abortions performed. Sadly, this decline only brought the total down to 638,169, which is more than the entire population of Baltimore, Maryland.

Over half of those abortions were performed by Planned Parenthood, which actually increased its totals year-over-year to 328,348, as Alexandra DeSanctis reported on National Review.

Planned Parenthood & Abortion — National Rate Decreased but Planned Parenthood’s Market Share Grew

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/planned-parenthoods-share-of-u-s-abortions-increased-in-2015/At the same time, though, these new data reveal that, as the U.S. abortion rate has dropped, “women’s health-care provider” Planned Parenthood’s share of the abortion market has grown. According to the CDC, there were 652,639 abortions reported in the U.S. in 2014. That same year, Planned Parenthood reported performing 323,999 abortions.

Then, when the number of abortions nationwide shrunk to 638,169 in 2015, Planned Parenthood’s abortion business expanded. The group’s own annual report indicates that its clinics provided 328,348 abortions over the course of 2015, amounting to more than half of all the officially reported abortions in the U.S.

My Take

There are many contributing factors to Planned Parenthood’s proficiency in killing preborn babies. Many smaller clinics are closing. Planned Parenthood is the biggest pro-abortion fundraiser in the nation, and while much of their money goes directly to helping Democrats get elected, it’s still just a drop in the bucket compared to how much they actually get.

And yet, they still receive taxpayer dollars.

Even if we take away the faith-based or moral reasons to support life, we cannot abandon the Constitutional protections given to Americans or the scientific data that points to preborn personhood. Until abortion rates are near zero, we should not celebrate.

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