Saturday, March 04, 2017

How Badly Has Paul Ryan Screwed Up The GOP's Chance To Repeal Obamacare?


The other day, Alex Samuels reported in the Texas Tribune that Barbara Bush, the daughter of George W. Bush, was the keynote speaker at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in Ft. Worth on Wednesday, where she insisted that the work the organization is doing is especially important after the ascension of the Trump Regime. She told the thousand guests at the Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas' annual luncheon that "In October when I was asked to speak, I said yes and I was thrilled, but I was under the assumption that history was going to go differently. That was not meant to be a political statement; I just thought the cards were going to fall in a different way. I’m so happy I said yes because this work could not matter more... Our belief that health is a human right is not reflected in today’s reality. Millions of people's potentials and futures are undermined simply because they do not have access to the health care that they deserve. We have these incredible tools to solve problems, yet health systems are weak, and we need new leaders to fix them... To me, Planned Parenthood is a one-stop-shop for everything that has to do with women’s health and all social problems that don’t have to do with women’s health. I hope you all realize the incredible investment that you’re making for both women and also their kids, their kids' education and their income level. And that is unique and incredible. It’s a silver bullet, if you ask me."

And Barbara Bush isn't the only Republican uncomfortable with their party's bizarre jihad against Planned Parenthood. The idea of tying it to repealing Obamacare looks, in fact, like a poison pill of some kind. I doubt it will matter that much among House Republicans-- from where the idea comes-- but it could kill the package in the Senate. In 2015 Susan Collins (R-ME) voted against repealing the Affordable Care Act precisely because defunding Planned Parenthood was in the bill. There's no reason to think she's changed her mind and recently she was quoted saying that she doesn't think it makes sense to link the two issues. "If the House Republicans want to bring it up, it should be in a separate bill. I would oppose that bill, but it further complicates the negotiations to have it included in this bill."

And it's not just Collins. Ever since the national GOP stabbed Lisa Murkowsky (R-AK) in the back in 2010-- supporting Tea Party sociopath Joe Miller instead of her-- she's felt pretty independent for a Republican. Miller has the official Republican Party ballot designation, but she beat him-- and a weak Democrat-- as a write-in candidate (with 39.5% of the vote). Ever since, she's been one of the half dozen Republicans most willing to cross the aisle-- thumbing her nose at Miss McConnell on the way-- and vote with the Democrats. A couple of weeks ago, she addressed the state legislature and told them she's likely to vote against repealing Obamacare for two reasons-- the rollback of Medicaid expansion that the legislature had approved and which is extremely popular in Alaska, and the defunding of Planned Parenthood.
"As long as Alaska wants to keep the expansion it should have the option," Murkowski said. "I will not vote to repeal it."

Other parts worth preserving, Murkowski said, are provisions that prohibit insurers from discriminating against pre-existing conditions, aim to ensure mental health parity and allow young people to remain on their parents’ health insurance up to the age of 26.

Murkowski also stood in support of Planned Parenthood, which she said has no place in the ACA debate.

"Taxpayer dollars should never be used to pay for abortions, but I will not vote to deny Alaskans access to the health services that Planned Parenthood provides," said Murkowski.
Planned Parenthood provides health care for 7,700 Alaskans annually. Yesterday Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) told Chris Cuomo and CNN viewers yesterday that she had been "very forceful in repeatedly saying that the expansion of Medicaid is tremendously important to 184,000 West Virginians. That is something-- every time we talk about how has it moved to change-- I am constantly talking about." When Cuomo pressed her about whether or not Medicaid expansion is preserved in Ryan's secret bill, she said "it better be." That, of course, is at odds with GOP extremist who would just as soon abolish Medicaid altogether. One more Senate Republican bails-- for whatever reason-- and Obamacare repeal goes back to the drawing board... if it even gets off the drawing board. No one knows at this point because Ryan has "the plan" under lock and key. He wouldn't even allow Senator Rand Paul-- who says he's inclined to "leave it," not take it-- to look at it Thursday.

Kansas' gigantic, empty 1st congressional district takes up most of the state-- 61 full counties and part of two others. There are no actual cities although in includes Dodge City (pop- 27,340), Salina (pop- 47,707), Manhattan (pop- 52,281), Emporia (pop- 24,916), Liberal (pop- 20,525), Hutchinson (pop- 42,080) and gets into the western suburbs of Topeka. With a PVI of R+23, it's one of the most reliably Republican congressional districts in the country. Romney beat Obama there 70-28% and last November Trump beat Hillary by an even great margin-- 69.3% to 24.3%. And at the same time they elected a new congressman, replacing radical right lunatic Tim Huelskamp with... radical right lunatic Roger Marshall. With the surreptitious help of Paul Ryan, Marshall beat Huelskamp in the primary 58,808 (56.5%) to 45,315 (43.5%).

It isn't likely you've heard of Marshall, a natural born back-bencher destined to have no impact on anything ever, unless you live in one of the farms or towns that make up KS-01. He seems right out of the 1950s, a small town obstetrician delivering babies in a 79% white district, harboring frightening and antiquated ideas about healthcare. In an interview in Stat Friday, that ugly, mind-numbing, narrow-minded ignorance was on full display.
The law’s Medicaid expansion, which Kansas has not adopted despite support from many hospitals, including some of Marshall’s former colleagues, is one of the big sticking points for Republicans. Many GOP-led states adopted it and want to see it preserved in some form.

Marshall doesn’t believe it has helped, an outlook that sheds light on how this new player in Washington understands health policy.

“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” he said. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

Pressed on that point, Marshall shrugged.

“Just, like, homeless people… I think just morally, spiritually, socially, [some people] just don’t want health care,” he said. “The Medicaid population, which is [on] a free credit card, as a group, do probably the least preventive medicine and taking care of themselves and eating healthy and exercising. And I’m not judging, I’m just saying socially that’s where they are. So there’s a group of people that even with unlimited access to health care are only going to use the emergency room when their arm is chopped off or when their pneumonia is so bad they get brought [into] the ER.”

...“Our vision was that we would look more like a hotel with customer service that delivered five-star health care,” he said. “So our cafeteria looks more like a coffee shop than it does a sterile hospital dining room. We have bright windows everywhere, and outside of every window there’s a garden. Thinking that healing is more than just a knife and a needle.”

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At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

I don't think Ryan actually screwed up - he just cannot accomplish the impossible. Basic logic is not on his side and he seems to just be finding this out, which is pretty sad and stupid of him. The Reps will never get anywhere with replacement of the ACA because their goal is to get rid of it. With all of their furious screaming about the ACA, nothing they come up with could possibly provide coverage without costs to the government, which is what they want to avoid. A conundrum! They have two options: keep most of the ACA or get rid of most of it and screw much of their base as well as many other Americans - and kiss goodbye to their careers.

I remember learning logic in math class in high school. Maybe Ryan never took high school math. There is no logic to the Reps' plans - they cannot get rid of the costs and provide decent coverage at the same time. As in his recent address, Trump's promises are empty, as usual. Another person lacking in logic. (I would LOVE to see Trump's high school and college transcripts!) As Tony Schwartz said, Trump is a balloon, a gas bag empty inside. And as New York Mayors Koch and Bloomberg have stated, Trump is a con man - a cheat and liar who is completely untrustworthy and never keeps his promises, stiffing all those who invested in any of his projects. Trump is hated by anyone who has ever worked with him. He will ruin our country the way he has ruined everyone is his path his whole life.

Logic is not in the Reps' repertoire in a wide variety of areas. Nor science, nor critical thinking, nor absorption of lessons from history. And those deplorables,who are part and parcel of their base, are also lacking in these qualities. Thanks to the American educational system, which has never been a priority for the Reps, and for good reason from their perspective. They love ignorance and stupidity, the hallmark of their followers. Why are university professors overwhelmingly Dems? Because they can think. Oh, and they have high regard for science.

At 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If "Doctor" Marshall is a typical Kansas medical professional, it's no wonder that we now know what the matter with Kansas is. One needs more than shaken chicken bones and chanting to be healed of even the slightest maladies.

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, you insist on believing that ryan is trying to repeal AND still pretend to provide care. He's not. He never cared about the health (insurance or care) of those who are poor. It's many in the R caucus who know that ripping health care from 30 million the first year and 80 million over a few years will mean voters will react badly.

Ryan just wants to kill people. That's the only "logical" conclusion one can arrive at after watching his decade-long religious crusade to prevent them from having health care.

And, 6:52, it isn't the bones (chanting, maybe), it's that they truly believe that prayer, piety and the Christian hate of nonwhites and nonchristians will curry enough favor with their misanthropic gawd such that they will never get sick, hurt or grow old. THAT is what's wrong with KS. Except for TX, the dumbfucktardiest (white) population in the nation... maybe the world.

At 10:56 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

To 7:58, yes I see your point, totally. The Reps clearly do not give a poop about people's health care and who may die. But there is the pretense of a better plan to replace the ACA, that's what the Reps have been talking about and are supposedly waiting for before they destroy it. Except they cannot possibly come up with anything. They are worried about their political lives if they just get rid of it. Hey, who knew it would be so complicated!! Ha ha.

The press should mention in every article about health care that all of Congress is covered for the rest of their lives. They have what they refuse to provide for the Americans. They are full of b.s. and so hypocritical it is beyond belief.

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Hone, yes they are engaging in a charade of a pretense of replacing it. But with nothing useful. And the public has gone from blindly believing anything they say to a default position of cynicism... well deserved.

So the Rs need to actually come up with something they can finesse as useful before they start killing 30 million people.

Ryan is not as concerned as about 100 Rs because he continues with his religious crusade to kill them all. But the 100 Rs facing electoral demise (and can K street really absorb 100 new lobbyists at once? really now...) are ... uneasy about it.

Not to worry. Their voters are stupid and gullible. Ryan doesn't really have to come up with a useful replacement. All he has to do is come up with something that sounds ok to stupid people... and convince them to give it a try. And the passage will be right before the 2018, so their stupid voters will not hold it against them until 2020... if they remember that long.

By then, the media will have fomented some new "scandal"... some D will be caught being blown by a chubby intern again... would be their best bet.


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