Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Will Of The Voters Be Damned-- Republicans Still Aren't Done Trying To Kill The Affordable Care Act


Republicans are hoping voters already forgot this

Kansas has mostly been a one-party state in contemporary politics. Their entire congressional delegation is Republican. All 6 statewide elected officers are Republicans and the state legislature-- blood red. Of the 125 House members, only 40 are Democrats and in the state Senate-- 40 members and just 9 lonely Democrats. And yet... Monday's Kansas City Star reported that the legislature is moving towards expanding Medicaid along Affordable Care Act lines. This is Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach's state. The legislature is ignoring Brownback in this battle. Tuesday morning he state Senate voted for expansion of KanCare-- 25-14 (two votes shy of a veto override if Brownback blocks the bill).
“I can’t believe it took this long to do it,” said Sen. John Doll, a Garden City Republican... “This is something that’s long overdue.”

House Bill 2044 would expand health care coverage to an estimated 150,000 people in Kansas. Moderate Republicans and Democrats helped push the bill through the Legislature this session in a stark contrast from past years where expansion efforts failed to gain much traction in either chamber.

David Jordan, the executive director of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, one of the main advocacy groups pushing the bill, said he thinks the “level of support in both chambers reflects the fact that a majority of Kansans support expanding KanCare… They understand what this means for keeping their local hospital open.”

Conservative Republicans tried repeatedly to change the Senate legislation before it came to a vote. All of those efforts failed, however, with moderate Republicans frequently siding with Senate Democrats in opposition to the changes.

“It’s very gratifying that people had the sense to see that we needed to not be distracted by the political games that are being played in Washington, D.C., and we needed to try to help our own people,” said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat.

Opponents of the bill have spent much of the 2017 session downplaying the legislation’s chances because of uncertainty over how health care would change under President Donald Trump’s administration.

“We’re standing at an amusement park ride that’s closed,” said Sen. Ty Masterson, an Andover Republican who voted against expansion. “It’s broken. And we’re saying we want to go ahead and get on the ride. There’s a reason there’s nobody in line behind us.”

But the opponents’ argument faded slightly after U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, canceled a vote on a bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act and effectively barred states from expanding Medicaid beyond March 1, due to a lack of GOP support.

The Affordable Care Act enabled states to expand Medicaid, which provides health coverage to the disabled and low-income families, to cover people who earn too little to buy insurance through the federal health care exchange but also earn too much to otherwise qualify for Medicaid.

...If Brownback vetoes the bill, it would take 84 votes in the House and 27 in the Senate to override his opposition.

Once he gets the bill, the governor has 10 days to either sign the bill, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.

Conservative lawmakers have said they hope that Brownback vetoes the bill, while moderates and Democrats fear he’ll do just that.
Kansas is one of only 19 states that haven't expanded Medicaid to benefit their citizens. What's interesting about what happened in Kansas yesterday is that the NY Times was reporting at the same time that Trump and Ryan are being pressured by the hard right of the party to go for a Obamacare repeal (with no replacement). Ryan won't tell anyone what's in the new iteration of the repeal he has in mind-- presumably more than the one-sentence bill Alabama crackpot Mo Brooks already introduced. "Just days after President Trump said he was moving on to other issues, senior White House officials are now saying they have hope that they can still score the kind of big legislative victory that has so far eluded Mr. Trump. Vice President Mike Pence was dispatched to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for lunchtime talks."

Brooks' bill: "Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted."
The new talks, which have been going on quietly this week, involve Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, and members of the two Republican factions that helped sink the bill last week, the hard-right Freedom Caucus and the more centrist Tuesday Group.

Any deal would require overcoming significant differences about how to rework a law that covers about one-fifth of the American economy, differences that were so sharp they led Mr. Trump and Mr. Ryan to pull the bill from consideration just as the House was scheduled to vote on Friday.

Still, Republican members of Congress said they hoped that revisiting the issue would lead this time to a solution and a vote in the House.

“I think everyone wants to get to yes and support President Trump,” said Representative Dave Brat, Republican of Virginia and a Freedom Caucus member. “There is a package in there that is a win-win.”

Representative Raúl Labrador of Idaho, another Freedom Caucus member, said he hoped the discussions would yield a compromise that brings the party together after a divisive debate that revealed deep fissures. “I think we will have a better, stronger product that will unify the conference,” Mr. Labrador said.

Mr. Trump has sent mixed signals in recent days, at times blaming the Freedom Caucus, outside groups and even, it appeared, Mr. Ryan. On Monday, for instance, he said in a late-night Twitter post that the Freedom Caucus was able to “snatch defeat from the jaws of victory” over the health care repeal. “After so many bad years they were ready for a win!”

But then he suggested that he could also cut a deal with Democrats, a move that would almost certainly make more conservative members of the House balk. “Don’t worry,” he tweeted later Monday night, “we are in very good shape!”

Mr. Ryan said House Republicans were determined to use the next version of the repeal bill, like the first version, as a vehicle to cut off federal funds for Planned Parenthood clinics.
So, this is already headed in the same dumpster fire direction as the first two failed attempts.

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At 10:15 AM, Blogger CWolf said...

Defunding Rehab Services in Trumpland would era$e about half their Federal funding.

At 12:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rs aren't just trying to kill ACA. They're trying to kill millions of the most inconveniently expensive people to keep alive.

Interesting thing about KS. You poll those who live there and they LOVE health care and SSI and the VA. But they vote like they want to kill everyone that needs all of those things.

Again, the dichotomy of what is said and what is done. fucking imbeciles.


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