Friday, March 24, 2017

DAY 64: More Aches & Pains + Mom Tax = Shit Sandwich

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DAY 64: 
President Trump still has not released his tax returns.  Moreover, despite his continuous efforts, his golf game has not improved. That's what people are saying.  Many people.

We Just Need To Screw You a Tiny Bit More...

Today is the big day.  Seven years and one day after the Affordable Health Care Act became law, making sure at least 16 million more people had health insurance, and making sure your health insurance plan covered prenatal care, other chick issues, mental health care and a few other needless bells and whistles, the Republicans are voting on their repeal and replace bill.

Yesterday morning, the replacement bill floated by the House was designed to kick 24,000,000 people off of health care.  Republicans explained that those numbers were misleading, as they only applied to poor people. But if you are a Trump supporter, this is good news.  Because it is more likely that you are one of those people who the bill is designed to push out of health care.  In other words, you are the center of attention!  The original GOP disaster was going to reduce the deficit by about $350 billion over 10 years. That's good, because Trump is planning on reducing taxes for all those rich people that the GOP's repeal and replace law is going to help.  We'll need those savings to help make up for all that lost revenue.

The Republicans LOVE this bill.  At least two of them.  And both of those guys are Tom Price, Secretary of HHS.  The rest aren't so happy.  A lot hate the fact that medicaid is still getting a few dollars, and hate the fact that the original bill keeps the requirement in that your healthcare insurance cover maternity issues, mental health issues...  But don't worry.  In order to get those guys to vote yes, Trump offered to change the bill, so that insurance companies don't have to provide these services.  Because why should I, a healthy, mentally stable man, have to pay premiums to cover some freeloading pregnant woman?  Or some snowflake working in the post office who just purchased a AR-15 on E-bay and is pissed off because off all the corrupt taxes he has to pay to the Jews?

Now the House Freedom Republicans are a little happier.  But the moderate republicans, not so much.  They worry about little things, like the health and welfare of their districts and re-election - not necessarily in that order.  

Oh, and now the "savings" on the deficit have shrunk to $150 billion.  That's not so good, given Trump's desire to give companies and the rich big tax breaks.  We kind of need that $350 billion in savings to help make up for those massive top 1% tax cuts.

And those essential health benefits that the bill has now removed?  That is your "Mommy Tax."  If you need a plan that provides for all those women problems we white men don't know about, you're going to have to pay a lot more it.  We men realize this might be a hardship for some people (I forget how many voters are women, but I'm sure it is a significant number). That's why we are committed to over tipping our waitresses. We all have to do our part. 

It's a shame that Hillary didn't win.  Then, instead of having seven years to come up with a plan that they like, the Republicans could have had 11 or 15.  I mean, how can you expect a party that has spent only 7 years, and at least 60 bills to repeal ObamaCare, come up with a plan to replace it that they actually like?

Why the rush, anyway?  Why not wait until after the Easter recess and address the issues in a way their own party can get behind?  Because when they go home for spring break, it won't be all keggers and wet-tshirts.  It's going to be a lot of town hall meetings and screaming.  ObamaCare is pretty damn popular right now.  A majority of the nation likes it.  

Good luck, Paul Ryan!

We Need To Talk About Price
Tom Price - excuse me, Doctor Tom Price, the Sec. of Health and Human Services, promises you that you will have the health care you want.  And you can take that to the bank. So don't worry.  When Tom Price says it's a good idea, it's a good idea. The Republicans have the House, the Senate, and the Presidency, and the day of the liberal is over!  Things are going to change, bigly.

That's what makes conservative reaction to this healthcare reform so strange.  Dr. Price is getting crucified in conservative media. Why? Because he's come out and said that repeal and replace is better than just repeal.  


When Obama was in the White House planting listening devices in all the microwaves, Republicans put repeal bills in front of his desk, like sixty times. And were vetoed each time. Now they have a president will pass anything that is put in front of him, as long as he can look like Mussolini while he's doing it.  So why not just repeal the wildly popular ObamaCare?  Just put that 61st bill on his desk.  Easy peasy.

It's almost as if, now that they know they can kick tens of millions off of healthcare, they are afraid to do it.  If I was a cynical person, I might say that the republican party has been full of shit for the last seven years and that they are ready to bitch, but not to govern.  Some conservative republicans don't like that.  And they are letting Price know how much they don't like it.

So what does the former conservative congressman from Georgia think about just repealing Obamacare? "What that does is place vulnerable people at risk, and that’s not something that the president’s willing to do; it’s not something that he said he would do.”  

Price is a cautionary tale for every Republican who pretended to embrace pure conservative values. Now that he has the chance to make it happen, he's hemming and hawing.  That's good.  I certainly don't want a successful revolution that results in killing the old and sick and veterans. But it highlights how the Republican party during Obama's two terms was pretty much a scam.  It's easy to promise things you know someone else is going to make impossible for you to keep.  


There's an old saying in Washington:  "You can't talk about Tom Price without talking about his crimes."  

When Price had his confirmation rubber stamped, Democrats were calling for an investigation into Price's probable violation of federal laws that prohibit members of Congress from engaging in insider trading.  It turns out that Doctor Tom's dating profile says he enjoys romantic comedies, long walks on the beach, and buying and selling shares in health care companies while taking actions on Capitol Hill that could boost their profits. Price traded more than $300,000 in medical company stocks. CNN reported that he invested in medical device manufacturer Zimmer Biomet. Then, about five days later, he thought it would be fun to introduce a bill that would delay regulations that would have hurt the company.  Because, why not?

When confronted with this questionable, or to use the technical term, "illegal" trade, Tom Price took full responsibility and blamed his broker.  

Fool me once....

During his confirmation hearing, we learned that Dr. Tom invested in six pharmaceutical companies.  These six companies were about to take a financial hit by an Obama administration demonstration project designed to cut Medicare costs. Here is how Congressman Tom represented his district: After buying shares in the companies, Price led the congressional charge, getting 242 fellow House members to sign a letter opposing the Obama project. This resulted in something that no one could have possibly predicted -- four of the six companies Dr. Tom invested in saw their share values rise. 

Dr. Tom again took responsibility for his insider trading by blaming his broker. You can read the Salon article here .

We all understand, that given the administrations collusion with Russia, our president's daily ethic violations regarding using his office to promote or make money for his business, the rampant nepotism, etc., a little insider trading is small potatoes.  Still, a potato is a potato.

Yeah, yeah.  We all know that Trump got to where he is today by pretending to be a great negotiator, and by colluding with Russia to coordinate an attack on the Clinton campaign.  And there's plenty of commentators spending time talking about how this is the first major test of Trump's ability to close a deal.  But that's not where the focus should be.  

The focus should be on the fact that the president doesn't know what the bill says, hasn't read the bill, doesn't understand what he has read, and has no fucking idea if the current plan is good, a tremendous disaster, or just a disaster.  He doesn't know and he doesn't care.  He just wants to sell something.  That's it.  He doesn't care if you lose healthcare.  He doesn't care that the bill is going to hurt the people who voted for him a lot more than the people who didn't.  He's said as much.

Campaign Trump promised universal healthcare.  He really did.  He said everyone was entitled and everyone was going to get health care.  We weren't going to let anyone wander the streets without medical treatment.  But last week, while playing footsie with Fox News' Tucker Carlson, Trump readily agreed that this health plan was going to hurt the people who voted for him.  So if you love Trump, and you have been ignoring all the stories about his campaign working with Putin, his lies about wire tapping by Obama, or any of the rest of it, all you have to do to keep loving your president, is pretend that he isn't pushing for a health care bill that will cost you thousands of more dollars a year and reduce your health care benefits.  If you still loved Trump last week, this should be easy.  Keep the faith Uncle Ralph. 

Kellyanne Conway is making the rounds today, reminding the "no" votes that they will have to explain to their constituents why they killed a bill designed to defund Planned Parenthood. She probably won't remind them that there is already the Hyde Amendment in place, that says Planned Parenthood does not get any federal funds for abortion.  

Essentially, what the new plan will do is make it so that Planned Parenthood can't accept medicaid.  So if your poor, and you can't afford to eat for one, don't worry.  This bill will make it so that you'll be not eating for two in no time.

Kellyanne probably will also fail to mention that the majority of people - Republicans and Democrats - like planned parenthood.  

Okay, that's it for today.
It's 10:28 a.m.
Good Morning!

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