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3 reasons McConnell’s plan to ‘move on’ from Obamacare repeal is a huge mistake

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3 reasons McConnells plan to move on from Obamacare repeal is a huge mistake

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has a plan. He hasn’t made the plan public, but behind closed doors he’s let other Republican lawmakers know his intentions. To the discerning public ear, his plans are coming through crystal clear. He intends to play it safe in 2018 and avoid issues that may contribute to the GOP losing control of the Senate.

Last week on NPR, McConnell laid out a populist approach to the upcoming legislative year. He heralded bipartisanship while pushing away from important controversial issues such as Medicaid, food stamps, and most importantly another attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare.

McConnell Ready To ‘Move On’ From Obamacare Repeal, Others In GOP Say Not So Fast

https://www.npr.org/2017/12/21/572588692/mcconnell-wants-bipartisanship-in-2018-on-entitlements-immigration-and-moreSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants 2018 to be a year of bipartisanship, even if that means moving on from GOP dreams of cutting welfare and fully rolling back the Affordable Care Act.

The Kentucky Republican on Thursday broke with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on the approach to paring back spending on programs like Medicaid and food stamps. In an interview with NPR, McConnell said he is “not interested” in using Senate budget rules to allow Republicans to cut entitlements without consultation with Democrats.

He painted his reluctance to address the issue in terms of basic political math:

“Well, we obviously were unable to completely repeal and replace with a 52-48 Senate,. We’ll have to take a look at what that looks like with a 51-49 Senate. But I think we’ll probably move on to other issues.”

The reality is he’s not wanting to go into the midterm elections with the Democrats and their mainstream media partners complaining about lost insurance coverage in areas where seats are being contested on Capitol Hill. The two things he doesn’t want to tackle – Obamacare and welfare reform – are election losers in his opinion.

He is probably right about welfare reform, much to the chagrin of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who has been pushing for entitlement reform since he was a freshman representative. As for Obamacare, he’s absolutely wrong. Here are three reasons why:

Following elimination of individual mandate, premiums will rise

The tax law zeroed out the tax penalty associated with not having healthcare, essentially eliminating the individual mandate for now. Republicans will herald the move while Democrats cook up numbers to show how millions “lost” their healthcare as a result, but it’s how the insurance companies react that will make the real waves.

Premiums will go up. It’s unavoidable without further action on Obamacare. The individual mandate is one of the few things keeping health insurance costs down. By forcing young, healthy Americans to pay for insurance they rarely use, insurance companies are able to mitigate some of the financial damage of other aspects of Obamacare such as mandatory coverage for preexisting conditions. By not forcing people to buy, insurance. companies will be forced to raise premiums and deductibles on everyone else.

It would be irresponsible to drop the mandate without cutting or completely eliminating Obamacare. Now more than ever, a new plan must be put into place that does not have an individual mandate but makes up the difference in ways that do not include spiking prices.

Democrats will use repeal-prevention as campaign ammunition

If McConnell thinks repealing and replacing Obamacare will cause his caucus election pains, he’s in for a surprise. The Democrats will invoke “protecting Obamacare from the GOP” in all of their campaigns. There was a time not so long ago when Americans could stomach losing Obamacare, but support for the ACA has steadily increased since the election.

McConnell will have to peel back a few more layers on his perceptions of Democratic campaign strategy if he wants to know what will hurt the GOP more : repealing Obamacare or giving Democrats the threat of a future Obamacare repeal.

Conservatives won’t stand for it

Republicans have been making the same promise for seven years: give us the House, Senate, and White House and we’ll take down Obamacare. They got their wish. Now, it’s time to deliver.

The shifting sentiment towards Obamacare might settle well with some Republicans, but conservatives won’t be as forgiving. The House Freedom Caucus is already preparing to push for it:

House Republicans reject Mitch McConnell’s plan to ‘move on’ from Obamacare repeal

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/house-republicans-reject-mitch-mcconnells-plan-to-move-on-from-obamacare-repeal/article/2644219Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., also said Obamacare repeal was “still on the table.” He said President Trump and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. — who helped spearhead his own repeal bill with Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La. — are still on board for repealing the healthcare law.

“I think he is probably just being pragmatic, knowing he has only got 51 votes,” said Meadows, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, in reference to McConnell’s comments.

If McConnell wants an easy button, he’ll need to help his party earn a 60-seat majority. Otherwise, it’s time to get an Obamacare repeal on the reconciliation table and make it happen as soon as possible. Waiting until after the election may mean we’re waiting for a very long time if they lose their majority.

Healthcare

GOP will really, really, really repeal Obamacare if victorious in November

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Good news, America! If we give Republicans control of the House and the Senate in November, they will repeal Obamacare! No, this isn’t an old headline found in the election-year archives from 2012, 2014, or 2016. This promise is now! Today! 2018!

In an interview on Hill TV yesterday, Republican Nation Committee (RNC) spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany informed voters that if the GOP maintains control of the House and picks up a few seats in the Senate, bada bing, bada boom, the Republicans will pass the Graham-Cassidy Repeal-In-Name-Only healthcare bill—a piece of legislation that does nothing to fix the Obamacare disaster.

“We were a big proponent of Graham-Cassidy. That, of course, was a Senate bill that gave states the power and allowed each state to select what the best way forward was for them on healthcare.

“That was one vote short, and if we maintain the House as we expect we will, pick up a few Senate seats, Graham-Cassidy can become a reality.”

Besides McEnany’s sad and pathetic use of the GOP election-year playbook—make promises, break promises, repeat—Graham-Cassidy failed to pass in the first go around because it fails to do as promised concerning Obamacare repeal.

In an opinion piece on FOX News by Sen. Rand Paul at the time—he was one of the “no” votes—he pointed out how Graham-Cassidy failed to return healthcare decisions to the American people and how it instead created an even greater reliance on the federal government for our healthcare needs. And even though Graham-Cassidy eliminated Obamacare mandates—something that was accomplished in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—it “doesn’t repeal a single Obamacare insurance regulation.”

One more thing. Even though Graham-Cassidy was touted at the time within some conservative circles as a step toward Federalism and states rights, the block grants paid to the states by Washington bureaucrats as stipulated in the bill made states more dependent on the federal government, not less.

And for those partial to defending Trump by blaming Congress for the GOP’s failure to keep its promise to repeal Obamacare, the New York liberal supported Graham-Cassidy.

Clearly, the GOP has repeatedly failed to deliver on its promises. This is why Republicans engage in the politics of distraction by holding show votes on vital conservative issues like: abortion, term limits, and balancing the budget. It’s also why the RNC is recycling—for the fourth election year in a row—the promise to repeal Obamacare.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve got a feeling that repealing Obamacare will still be an issue in 2020 and will most likely be part of the GOP platform.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Healthcare

Minneapolis Police: Uses dangerous drug to sedate criminals

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Minneapolis has some creative people. Too creative for their own good. Somebody probably saw that the guys who take down large animals with tranquilizer darts use darts filled with ketamine. “Hey, if it will take down those animals, why don’t we use it on the animals our police are fighting?” And an immensely stupid program began. It was also illegal, but if we’re controlling bad guys, who cares?

Time for disclosure. I am a doctor. I do not play one on TV. Not only that, I’m an anesthesiologist and used ketamine in my practice. For certain things, it has no equal. But its proper uses are quite limited.

Ketamine comes from a class of drugs called phencyclidines. The street version is known as Angel Dust, and abusers are Dusters. Because ketamine causes profound analgesia (pain relief), Dusters are known for feats of superhuman strength. Broken handcuffs are just one relatively well-known example. At the same time, Dusters may break their own bones. The analgesic effect of ketamine keeps them from realizing the damage they are doing to themselves.

By now, it should be pretty clear that ketamine is no panacea for the problem of sedating troublesome persons being arrested. At the wrong dose in the wrong person, police can put themselves in worse difficulties than when they started. How do you control someone who feels no pain and wants to cause you harm? Flashback to the villain Renard in The World is Not Enough. He is almost impossible to defeat in a fight because he feels no pain. But I guess the Minneapolis wise guys don’t watch James Bond films.

I have to wonder if the police bothered to look at any references. Even Wikipedia would have been helpful. If they had, they’d discover that there are a lot of other problems with ketamine. The first one should have given them a real headache. The primary reason we don’t use ketamine a lot in anesthesia is that it has a high incidence of emergence delirium. In language even an inattentive civil servant can understand, that means that if you give someone ketamine, they can hallucinate. This happens often enough that we try to avoid ketamine except in those odd cases where its other effects make it the best drug available. Just to make a bad problem worse, there are a lot of times when there isn’t anything you can do to stop the delirium. Welcome to hell.

We’ve only scratched the surface. Since Minneapolis police officers obviously consulted Dr. Conrad Murray, we should expect that they got the same level of advice Michael Jackson got. That means that they missed the fact that ketamine can lead to airway obstruction and death. It releases adrenaline, so it can cause hypertension and tachycardia leading to death. Did I mention that it can kill you? And, unlike opioids, you can give all the naloxone you want and it won’t do a bit of good.

But the Minneapolis police officers are really interested in saving lives, so we can let them use this drug they simply don’t understand on patients who aren’t consenting and may suffer badly from its administration. No problem.

The track record is as bad as I suggested up front. Ketamine administration has led to multiple episodes of cardiac and breathing problems, with many patients requiring emergency intubation. Now for a skilled health care provider, intubation is generally no big deal. But you never deliberately put yourself in a position where you create an uncontrolled need for intubation. The moment you do that, you’ll find yourself looking at the impossible situation. With somewhere around fifty thousand intubations under my belt, the next one can still be the one where I have to call a partner in to give it a try. My practice had over eighty anesthesiologists and two hundred nurse anesthetists, so there was usually another set of hands available. But who is the paramedic in the field going to call? Ghostbusters has an unlisted number.

Let’s get one thing clear. Minneapolis police officers did not have a hand on the syringe. They asked the Hennepin County paramedics to administer ketamine. And if a cop asks, how is a paramedic supposed to refuse? But the paramedics are supposed to operate according to a strict protocol, and only give ketamine when a patient is “profoundly agitated, unable to be restrained, or a danger to themselves or others.” It’s clear that this guideline was violated on multiple occasions.

And this brings us to the nub of the matter. Ketamine is properly used only in the sort of situation described in the protocol. In anesthesia, we will also use it in autistic or severely mentally retarded patients who cannot be managed by breathing them to sleep with gases. In short, we mostly use it in the controlled medical equivalent of the field situation.

It’s likely that Dr. Jeffrey Ho (the director of Hennepin County EMS who happened to graduate from the same medical school I did!) is actually well aware of the proper use of ketamine. He’s a recognized expert in pre-hospital emergency care. And if ketamine is used in the very restricted fashion the policy describes, it’s probably better than most alternatives. But when police decide that they want a set of chemical handcuffs rather than doing their job, we have a problem.

Police work can be difficult and dangerous. But police are not allowed to place people in danger just to make their own life easier. Doing so exceeds the bounds of our social contract with police, and also violates a host of laws. For a paramedic to go along with such an improper request places that paramedic in violation of state laws on the practice of medicine. Their drivers’ license isn’t enough. You follow the protocol or get permission from the supervising ER doc by calling it in.

Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis have a problem on their hands. Their best bet will be to quietly approach persons who were harmed by this cavalier misuse of ketamine and buy out their legal liability. Then the EMS and police persons involved should be invited to leave. Promptly. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.

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Culture and Religion

The Context of Life

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Man #1 shoots Man #2. As a result, Man #2 dies. Is Man #1 a murderer?

Obviously, it depends. Context matters. Did Man #1 fire in self-defense? Did he shoot Man #2 by accident? Was Man #1 part of a legally appointed firing squad or under a hypnotic trance? Was the weapon a prop gun that mistakenly contained live ammunition? There are many points to consider before we can definitively say that an instance of killing constitutes murder.

Let’s try another thought exercise: protesters are gunned down by a neighboring country’s military forces. Is this murder? Is it a breach of international law? Is it a gross violation of human rights?

Again, it depends. Context matters. Are these protesters peaceful, or are they, say, planting landmines, tossing grenades, hurling molotov cocktails, and threatening to invade the country that is firing back at them? Have these protesters sworn to murder and pillage their neighbors until they are eradicated from the earth, all in the name of radical religious zeal? Are upwards of 50 out of the 62 protesters killed members of a terrorist organization?

Here’s another one: are illegal immigrants animals?

That depends; are the immigrants in question members of a ruthless gang that rips the beating hearts out of its victims? Do these immigrants peddle drugs, commit brutal assaults, and routinely rape women? Given the context and Oxford’s alternative definition of “animal” — “a person whose behavior is regarded as devoid of human attributes or civilizing influences, especially someone who is very cruel, violent, or repulsive. Synonyms: brute, beast, monster, devil, demon, fiend” — I think we can deem that perhaps too kind a descriptor.

Some people, however, seem to reject the value of context when it goes against their narrative. For instance, on the issue of calling MS-13 members “animals,” singer John Legend tweeted on Thursday, “Even human beings who commit heinous acts are the same species as us, not ‘animals’. I’m in the hospital with our new son. Any of these babies here could end up committing terrible crimes in the future. It’s easy, once they’ve done so, to distance ourselves from their humanity. … Dehumanizing large groups of people is the demagogue’s precursor to visiting violence and pain upon them.”

While MS-13 undoubtedly deserves any visitation of violence and pain upon them, the most glaring hole in Legend’s argument is that mere hours ago, he wouldn’t have considered “any of these babies” to be the same species as him (except when it’s his own baby). And as an outspoken donor and supporter of Planned Parenthood, he wouldn’t hesitate to defend the visitation of violence and pain upon them. But because of arbitrary abortion arguments, Legend and countless other Leftists ascribe more humanity to murderous villains than preborn babies.

Ironically, the one issue where Leftists insist on considering context is the one topic for which nuance is largely counterproductive — the sanctity of life.

As mentioned earlier, not all killing is murder, nor is it always unjustified. The right to life is unalienable, meaning it is intrinsic and therefore cannot be given nor taken away by man. It can, however, be surrendered through certain violations of another person’s unalienable rights. This is why many conservatives support capital punishment for perpetrators of homicide and rape. But it’s critical to recognize that this position is taken in order to emphasize the dignity of life and the severity of seriously harming and/or violating it. Similar reasoning is what justifies depriving someone of their unalienable right to liberty after they’ve committed a crime — they’ve automatically surrendered that right based on their actions.

That single caveat aside, any attempt to contextualize the debate for life pushes the dialogue further down a nonsensical rabbit hole designed to cheapen the worth of the weakest among us, or, to borrow Legend’s term, “dehumanize” them. At every turn, the argument gets slipperier and slipperier.

The Left will say that all human life is precious, even murderers, but they don’t extend this philosophy to unborn babies.

“Context!” they scream. “Fetuses aren’t fully human, and they aren’t really alive.”

Even if we gave the Left that argument, we have to ask whether fetal life, though not fully developed, is still worth protecting.

But the Left can’t give a straight answer here either, because while they celebrate a woman’s choice to terminate her unborn child, they cry for the conservation of fetuses that aren’t even human, proclaiming their inherent dignity well before birth. Eagle and sea turtle eggs come to mind, among other examples.

Next, the Left tries to establish what differentiates a human before birth and a human after birth, or rather what about birth makes someone human, but their attempts at context again fall short:

On one hand, they say it’s about viability outside of the womb, but standards of what constitutes viability are fully arbitrary. A baby born at 37 weeks is no more viable than one at 41 weeks that refuses to pop out — but because it’s still in the womb, it’s still not a living human, apparently. A baby born at 25 weeks in a big city is more viable than a baby born at 35 weeks in the boonies. My one-year-old daughter couldn’t survive without constant care from someone else, and neither could many elderly folks.

Other pro-aborts claim that if there’s no heartbeat, there’s no life, yet I don’t see many of them rushing to pull the plug on grandpa because he’s hooked up to a pacemaker.

I’ve heard some say that a baby’s first breath is what makes it human — so what about those who require artificial sources of oxygen? And if air confers humanity, then why aren’t all air-breathing animals human? If it determines life, then what happens when I hold my breath? I have the potential to breathe again, just as a fetus, left alone, has the potential to be born through natural processes.

The same goes for the sentience test. People in comas still enjoy an unalienable right to life.

Under the law, a woman can abort her baby, but if a pregnant woman is murdered, the assailant is charged with double homicide. No context can sensibly explain this double standard.

Some on the Right are guilty of it too. When asked whether abortion is murder, many engage in a similar exercise to the example I presented earlier about whether a shooting death necessarily constitutes murder: “it depends, what are the circumstances?”

There is no nuance to this question. Either the intentional taking of innocent life is murder or it is not. What difference does it make whether the baby was the result of rape or incest? I’ve stated in this very article that rape sometimes requires taking a life — but the baby is not the guilty party. Either life is sacred or it is not, regardless of how it got there.

Others cite the safety of the mother as context, but this argument is likewise flawed. Pursuing a vital cure for a woman’s ailment that indirectly harms the baby isn’t the intentional taking of innocent life but an unfortunate externality, so it’s not murder. And the case for actively terminating a pregnancy to save a mother is virtually identical to a self-defense argument, but again, there’s a problem: a baby is not an aggressor. It does not violate a woman’s rights, and a woman cannot violate the rights of her baby.

And a baby either has rights or it doesn’t. “Unalienable” means a baby doesn’t magically receive rights the moment it exits the birth canal, nor are a human’s rights any less inherent because he or she is dependent on someone or something else to sustain them. From the moment of existence, all human life has worth.

Life is the only consistent position, and it is so straightforward that it requires no nuance. Life either has intrinsic value or it does not. Context matters in almost every discussion of politics. But on the question of life, what people think is context is just an excuse to kill.


Richie Angel is the Editor at Large of thenewguards.net. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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