Monday, June 26, 2017

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon Tosses California TrumpCare Victims Overboard


Remember how the first version of TrumpCare in the House wasn’t quite good enough for the far right savages in the Republican caucus? So they called in Freedom Caucus lunatic Mark Meadows to work with spineless south Jersey multimillionaire Tom MacArthur and they came up with a far worse and more deadly version that the radical right could-- and did-- get behind. That same process is playing out in the Senate now. You have the off-the-cliff extremists like Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson and Mike Lee threatening to tank the bill if it doesn’t kill more people than the bill already worse than the House version will kill. And your have jellyfish Republicans like Rob Portman, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski and Dean Heller whining that the bill is already too extreme but… ready to make a deal with Cruz, who’s father was implicated in the assassination of JFK, as you know-- just ask the obese orange baboon who took a moment out from obsessing about his role as Putin’s cockholster to tweet some nonsense over the weekend about Obamacare being dead. In any case, soon after Pence was summoned into the Koch presence Friday, Koch operative Tim Phillips, went publicly bonkers that TrumpCare 3.0 isn’t “conservative” enough, describing it as an “immoral… slight nip and tuck” in the far right’s war against healthcare for working families. “This Senate bill needs to get better,” drooled the well-paid fascist Koch mouthpiece. “It has to get better.” By “better,” they want to see higher projections for likely annual deaths, thousands apparently not sufficient to sate their bloodlust.

In line with Trump’s bogus claim-- terrorism, pure and simple-- that Obamacare is dead, The Hill reported yesterday that “One of the primary arguments from Republicans for repealing ObamaCare is that the healthcare law is ‘collapsing.’ But experts warn that the GOP’s legislation might destabilize insurance markets even more over time” and drive premiums through the roof.
The Senate’s ObamaCare repeal bill, released Thursday, would abolish ObamaCare’s mandate for people to have insurance, but it would still bar insurers from denying people coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Experts warn that arrangement would allow people to wait until they get sick to buy insurance coverage, likely driving up premiums.

  On top of that, the GOP bill cuts back on ObamaCare’s tax credits, providing less financial assistance to help people afford a plan. So in addition to the lack of an enforcement “stick” to get healthy people to enroll, there would also be less of a “carrot,” in the form of financial assistance.

This combination could lead to more insurers pulling out of the market or spiking premiums, experts say, exactly the problems under ObamaCare that Republicans have talked about solving.

“A combination of repealing the individual mandate and diminishing premium subsidies would tend to destabilize the market,” said Larry Levitt, a healthcare expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Rodney Whitlock, a former Republican congressional staffer now a healthcare consultant, wrote on Twitter that the lack of a mandate combined with lower financial assistance “is pretty much the definition of a death spiral.”
The GOP seems to have rigged the bill to trigger a real collapse of the healthcare system to kick it in 2022, so after Trump or Pence theoretically wins the White House. So we were all waiting for California to offer the alternative, right? The state Senate passed a single payer bill and the state Assembly has a massive super-majority so… no brainer, right? Wrong. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who often pretends to be a progressive-- I realized he wasn’t when he endorsed uber-corrupt conservative Isadore Hall over progressive reformer Nanette Barragan last year-- killed the bill for at least a year by locking it up in the Rules Committee, claiming SB 562 is “woefully incomplete.” The L.A. Times explained what Rendon had done, aside from committing career suicide:
Liar? Coward? Both?
Rendon announced late Friday afternoon that the bill, SB 562 by state Sens. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), would not advance to a policy hearing in his house, dampening the measure’s prospect for swift passage this year.

“SB 562 was sent to the Assembly woefully incomplete,” Rendon said in a statement. “Even senators who voted for SB 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump Administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation.”

Rendon took pains to note that his action does not kill the bill entirely-- because it is the first year of a two-year session, it could be revived next year.

But the move is nonetheless a major setback for legislation that has electrified the Democratic party’s progressive flank.

The California Nurses Assn., the bill's sponsors and the state's most vocal advocates for single-payer, blasted Rendon's decision as "cowardly."

"Acting in secret in the interests of the profiteering insurance companies late Friday afternoon abandons all those people already threatened by Congress and the Trump administration," Deborah Burger, the union's co-president, said in a statement.

Burger continued: "The people of California are counting on the Legislature to protect them now, not sometime next year, and as polls have shown Californians support this proposal by a wide majority. A solution to this health care emergency could be at hand; Speaker Rendon is standing in opposition."

In a joint statement, Lara and Atkins, the measure's authors, said they were "disappointed the robust debate about healthcare for all that started in the California Senate will not continue in the Assembly this year."

"This issue is not going away," they added.

Gov. Jerry Brown, who had signaled wariness about the proposal's costs, said in a statement that Rendon "made the case that there’s clearly more work to do before anyone is in a position to vote on revamping California’s healthcare system."

"I recognize the tremendous excitement behind the measure, but basic and fundamental questions remain unanswered," Brown said.

Many Democrats are embarrassed. Ro Khanna spoke up first, tweeting that Rendon should reconsider his decision. But he wasn’t the only one. Newly elected Democratic Party chairman, Eric Bauman, a former nurse, who is committed to single payer, has been politically close to Rendon. But that didn’t stop him from blasting him in a statement to the media:
"Today’s announcement that the Assembly will not be moving forward on single-payer, Medicare-for-All healthcare for California at this time is an unambiguous disappointment for all of us who believe that healthcare is a right for every Californian. We understand that SB 562 is a work in progress, but we believe it should keep moving forward, especially in light of the widespread suffering that will occur if Trump and Congressional Republicans succeed in passing their cold-blooded, morally bankrupt so-called healthcare legislation.

I call upon our Legislative Leaders to work together to find appropriate and acceptable solutions to enable SB 562 to advance as soon as possible.

Hundreds of thousands of people in California stand to lose their health insurance if Trumpcare 3.0 is signed into law. Countless Democrats passionately believe that Medicare-for-all healthcare is a bedrock principle of the Democratic Party, and I stand with them. Our message to our Legislative Leaders is clear: SB 562 must be given the chance to succeed.”

UPDATE: All Fingers Point To The Governor

Today’s bullshitter was yesteryear’s visionary, as you can see in the 1992 video clip below. But, alas, Jerry Brown seems to have changed his mind-- and Anthony Rendon’s mind. Will he now take the whole California Democratic Party down with him? Imagine him shrieking menacingly at Kevin De Leon: "Don't you dare let that bill hit my desk," with KDL stomping out of his office, unphased, not blinking, muttering, "Let the 562 veto be his legacy." He passed it through the Senate… and then Rendon blinked-- just as the details of the TrumpCare tax giveaway were hitting.

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At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the kochs or some health care lobbyist got in to see Rendon and made him an offer he couldn't refuse.

Sounds like the democrap party isn't the answer in CA either.

If the southern racists pass death for 22 or 40 million, is anyone talking about secession? Let the southern racists kill southern racists. Let the coasts and the odd other state form their own union where people matter and corporations ain't people.

Anyone hear even a whisper?


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