Tuesday, July 11, 2017

How Badly Will The TrumpCare Circus Hurt Republicans In West Virginia?


Over the weekend we looked at how well Bernie had done with Monongalia County primary voters. It's the third most populated county in West Virginia-- Morgantown is the county seat-- and on primary day last year these were the results:
Bernie- 8,096
Trump- 5,971
Hillary- 4,963
Kasich- 943
Cruz- 851
Rubio- 207
There are all or parts of twenty counties that make up WV-01 and the 5 with most of the voters are Harrison, Monongalia and Wood. In 2012 Obama was wiped out in West Virginia and lost every county in the state-- as Clinton did last year. But...local Democrats are very competitive. Joe Manchin was elected to the Senate in a landslide and took all 3 counties-- Harrison with 57%, Monongalia with 51% and Wood with 63%. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate, that year, Earl Ray Tomblin also won and was essentially tied with the Republican in those 3 counties. Last year Bernie won all 3 in the primary and then Trump romped in the general, beating Hillary 68.0% to 26.4%. She under-performed Obama by 10 points. Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Jim Justice, won all 3 counties. Mike Manypenny, a former state legislator, a dedicated populist and Bernie supporter, did better than Clinton, but still lost badly to Republican incumbent David McKinley 163,469 (69%) to 73,534 (31%). Clinton had reverse coattails for Manypenny. He came close in Monongalia but got swamped in Wood and Harrison counties. The only county he won, and just barely, was Taylor. The DCCC ignored his race entirely. McKinley spent $1,067,358 against him and he was only able to respond with $27,876.

Apparently Manypenny is going for it again and is aiming at a rematch with McKinley, a 100% rubber stamp (literally) for Trump's agenda. Including the incredibly unpopular "healthcare" bill stalled in the Senate. Sunday afternoon, Bernie did a "Care Not Cuts" rally at the Morgantown Event Center in Monongalia County. You can watch the whole thing at the video up top.

As you can see in the video, Bernie specifically called on Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito-- the most popular politician in West Virginia-- to help him kill the deadly Republican healthcare bill. Monday morning she responded in the affirmative! She had already helped force a pissed-off McConnell to postpone a vote on the bill. And now she says she's willing to be the deciding vote to kill the thing entirely!
[I]f Capito is feeling the heat in a state that Trump won by more than 42 percentage points, she isn’t showing it. Back here in West Virginia, where more than 30 percent of families rely on Medicaid, she doesn’t hesitate at the prospect of casting the vote that kills the GOP’s repeal effort.

“I only see it through the lens of a vulnerable population who needs help, who I care about very deeply,” the 63-year-old lawmaker said in an interview. “So that gives me strength. If I have to be that one person, I will be it.”

Capito’s resolve illustrates how intractable the debate over replacing Obamacare has become for a Republican Congress nearly seven months into a repeal effort that GOP leaders initially hoped would take just weeks.

Her record, meanwhile, illustrates why Republican leaders thought they could get repeal done quickly: Capito voted more than 40 times to dismantle Obamacare as a House member. As West Virginia transformed from a Democratic stronghold into a reliably Republican state, Capito won her Senate seat in 2014 by one of the largest margins in state history. The following year, she voted with virtually all Senate Republicans for a bill repealing major parts of Obamacare-- without a replacement-- that they knew President Barack Obama would veto.

Capito remains perhaps the most well-liked and politically secure lawmaker in a state where more than two-thirds of voters backed Trump for president, polls show. And yet, with the GOP on the precipice of tearing down Obamacare, she appears further than ever from budging on the Senate bill.

West Virginia has big health care problems, she said, and the GOP’s current proposal doesn’t do enough to address them, even after Republican leaders agreed to earmark $45 billion over a decade to fight the opioid crisis. Addiction experts say that sum falls well short of what’s needed to reverse the epidemic.

Capito harbors deep concerns about rolling back funding for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion amid the opioid epidemic. More than 40 percent of funding for drug abuse and mental health treatment in the state comes from Medicaid expansion covering low-income adults.

She’s also alarmed at projections that the legislation could leave thousands more in West Virginia without coverage or paying far more for it. West Virginia has long ranked among the country’s sickest states, placing near the bottom in life expectancy as well as obesity and tobacco use. But it’s what’s happened over the past few years, as heroin swept across the state and created a full-blown health emergency, that complicated Capito’s path to “yes” on any repeal bill.

In 2015, West Virginia counted 725 fatal drug overdoses, the nation’s highest rate by far. That number climbed to 879 last year, the vast majority of which involved at least one opioid.

...“We are the No. 1 state with the problem of heroin addiction and opioid addiction,” said Kevin Knowles, a Martinsburg city councilman.

Knowles became the area’s first recovery-services coordinator last year, taking on responsibility for connecting residents with rehab facilities, running support groups and serving as the primary lifeline for addicts across hundreds of square miles in the state’s easternmost region. He runs the operation on a $70,000 annual grant-- just enough to hire two additional employees.

Martinsburg and surrounding Berkeley County are among the state’s hardest hit by an opioid epidemic that’s spread indiscriminately through the community. Last summer, a candidate for Berkeley County sheriff needed to be revived twice in 12 hours from apparent opioid overdoses.

The GOP repeal effort “would affect this state tremendously, in a negative way,” said Knowles, a Democrat.

...That Capito still opposes the repeal bill, even after Republican leaders added the extra funding for opioids, has heartened those trying to beat back the crisis. And so far, even Republicans in the state are holding off going after one of their own.

“I think Sen. Capito is finding the best approach,” West Virginia GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas said, adding that he believes Capito recognizes how important it is for the state that Republicans dismantle Obamacare.

But Capito is questioning whether Republicans can pass a bill on their own. On Thursday, after a long day with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin as they accompanied Energy Secretary Rick Perry around the state, she made a case for working with Democrats on a compromise bill focused on fixing the health care system’s flaws. McConnell last week also suggested Republicans could soon turn to fixing Obamacare-- presumably with help from Democrats-- if they can’t repeal it.

“Collaborating with Democrats on the other side, to me, is not an exercise in futility,” Capito said, noting that she has spoken with Manchin and other Democrats about tackling health care together. “That may be where we end up, and so be it.”

Speculating further than that, she added, is premature. Senate Republicans could quickly strike a deal, pass a bill and follow through on their seven-year repeal pledge before the month is out.

“I think that remains to be seen,” Capito said. “That’s the eye of the needle, and I think it’s being tried to be threaded. But I’m not sure.”

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At 9:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

correction: joe manchin did get elected, but he ain't no democrat. He's what you call a "new democrap" which is synonymous with Pelosi/scummer republican asswipe.

At 7:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because the DNC denied us President Bernie Sanders, there is no level of Hell vile enough to cause them the amount of torment their corruption is causing the rest of us.


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