Sunday, June 10, 2018

Trump Tosses The GOP Another Live Grenade Before The Midterms: Pre-existing Conditions


As you see from the responses from the pessimistic commenters on my Friday night tweet, not everyone feels Señor Trumpanzee's decision to enable insurance companies to start denying insurance to people with "pre-existing conditions." Ending that practice was always one of the most popular pieces of Obamacare, even among people who didn't support Obamacare. I've written a lot about counties in places like, say, West Virginia, where Bernie didn't just beat Hillary on election day, but got more votes on that day than Trump did. Here's a random batch of red counties where Trump crushed Hillary in the general election but where Bernie beat both of them on primary day:
Boone: Bernie- 2,410; Trumpanzee- 1,388
Braxton: Bernie- 1,321;Trumpanzee- 861
Calhoun: Bernie- 803; Trumpanzee- 480
Clay: Bernie- 754; Trumpanzee- 568
Fayette: Bernie- 3,585; Trumpanzee- 2,683
Gilmer: Bernie- 643; Trumpanzee- 433
Lincoln: Bernie- 1,510; Trumpanzee- 1,193
Logan: Bernie- 3,201; Trumpanzee- 1,665
Marion: Bernie- 5,324; Trumpanzee- 4,035
McDowell: Bernie- 1,473; Trumpanzee- 760
Mingo: Bernie-2,425; Trumpanzee- 1,161
Monongalia: Bernie- 8,096; Trumpanzee- 5,971
Randolph: Bernie- 2,492; Trumpanzee- 2,206
Wayne: Bernie- 2,898; Trumpanzee- 2,662
Webster: Bernie- 837; Trumpanzee- 423
Wetzel: Bernie- 1,744; Trumpanzee- 1,096
That wasn't a phenomena only in West Virginia. Michigan and Wisconsin, for example, were two states that have voted for Democratic presidential nominees for years-- until Hillary lost them both to Trump. But Bernie had beaten her in both-- and in many counties had beaten Trump on primary day as well as her. The implications are stark and undeniable. These are just some random counties to demonstrate what I'm talking about in each state:
Kalamazoo Co., Michigan- Bernie 61%, Hillary 38%; Bernie beating Trump 20,145 to 9,104
Ingham Co., MI- Bernie 55%, Hillary 44%; Bernie beating Trump 22,909 to 8,056
Isabella Co., MI- Bernie 66%, Hillary 33%; Bernie beating Trump 4,024 to 2,180
Kent, Co., MI- Bernie 62.5%, Hillary 37.3%; Bernie beating Trump 43,375 to 22,742
Grand Traverse Co., MI- Bernie 65%, Hillary 33%; Bernie beating Trump 8,091 to 5,891
Dane Co, Wisconsin- Bernie 62.6%, Hillary 37.3%; Bernie beating Trump 102,585 to 20,884
Los Crosse Co, WI- Bernie 63%, Hillary 37%; Bernie beating Trump 15,139 to 8,271
Bayfield, Co., WI- Bernie 63.5%, Hillary 36.2%; Bernie beating Trump 8,315 to 5,139
Rock, WI- Bernie 60%, Hillary 39%; Bernie beating Trump 17,337 to 10,264
Eau Claire Co., WI- Bernie 64%, Hillary 36%; Bernie beating Trump 13,058 to 6,505
Portage Co., WI- Bernie 65%, Hillary 35%; Bernie beating Trump 9,348 to 5,112
Kenosha Co., WI- Bernie 57%, Hillary 42%; Bernie beating Trump 14,612 to 11,139
I spoke with top Bernie operatives in Wisconsin and Michigan last week. They all told me the same thing. Among Wisconsin and Michigan voters who knew that Bernie was committed to Medicare-For-All, he was way ahead of both Hillary and Trump. "it was the issue that motivated voters in our primary," one of Bernie's top guys in Michigan told me. "In November he would have won Michigan in a walk." And it was the same thing in Wisconsin. "Because of single payer, Bernie kicked Hillary's ass in Kenosha and kicked Trump's ass. We beat Trump by over 3,000 votes in the county in the primary," one Democratic Party operative told me. "In November plenty of our voters defected... Trump beat Hillary by a few hundred votes here. If she would have backed Medicare-for-All, she would have won Kenosha and the whole state."

Trump is opening up that can of worms again-- and congressional Republicans in swing states and swing districts are worried. If you can win without independent voters-- in places like rural Georgia and west Texas and all white districts in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas, it doesn't matter. But in districts where Republicans need independent voters to win, this is very bad news. Everyone likes that Obamacare protects people with pre-existing conditions and Trump asking a federal court to strike that down is great election news-- for Democrats in an environment where health care is either the #1 or #2 issue for voters.

On Thursday, the Trump Regime "asked a U.S. District Court in Texas to do something congressional Republicans weren’t willing to take on themselves during last year’s repeal effort: Strike the most popular part of Obamacare. Few congressional Republicans rushed to defend the administration's move Friday, instead emphasizing their support for preserving pre-existing condition protections. 'I’m not going to have to defend anything I don’t agree with-- regardless of who says it,' said Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee when asked if he would defend the administration’s request on the campaign trail this fall. He added that rising premiums for Obamacare coverage will force lawmakers to address health care policy next year."

Phil Roe represents the easternmost corner of Tennessee and was a Republican bastion as far back as the Civil War! The district hasn't elected a Democrat to Congress in 136 years. It's the most Republican district in Tennessee. Romney won with 73%-- and Trump beat Hillary 76.7% to 19.7%, her worst performance in the state. Roe doesn't need to worry. He hasn't ever had a serious electoral challenge-- not once.
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine-- one of three GOP senators who blocked the Obamacare repeal effort last year-- also pushed back, warning the administration's new bid “exacerbates our current challenges” and could undermine key patient protections. Other lawmakers pointed to past support for policies to prevent insurance companies from denying or dropping people with pre-existing conditions.

In 2017, “I introduced [an amendment that] would guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions. I think that’s a pretty essential pact with the American people,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ). “We need to let them go forward and see if it goes anywhere. Right now they’ve simply made an appeal to the court.”

And several Republicans dodged questions on the subject, saying they were unfamiliar with the legal request.

“I want to think about it before I respond,” said Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI).

Senate Democrats, who this week promised to force votes on health care during August, said the court filing proves their warnings that Republicans remain intent on repealing Obamacare through any means available.

“I’ve decided not to be surprised about anything this administration does,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). “It’s our job to make sure everybody knows who’s responsible for that, so that they can hold Republicans responsible at the polls this November.”

Within hours of the news, Democrats pounced on the Senate Republicans up for reelection this fall. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee blasted releases questioning whether those Republicans-- such as North Dakota hopeful Rep. Kevin Cramer-- back the Trump administration’s decision.

Murphy dismissed Republicans' efforts to distance themselves from the administration’s legal position, arguing that it was the GOP that fueled the case by repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate.

“Republicans and the Trump administration are working hand in hand,” he said.

During last year's repeal debate, Republicans decided to leave pre-existing conditions protections in place after they repeatedly became the subject of sometimes fiery town hall meetings with constituents.

The legal move Thursday threatens to revive those tensions and overshadow positive messages about Republican policies such as tax cuts.

“It just blows me away how dumb it is,” said GOP consultant Rick Wilson. “They really wanted to spend this summer saying the tax bill’s great, the economy’s great. But they go off the rails at every opportunity, and it just slays me.”

Texas and several Republican-led states brought the Obamacare challenge, arguing that the elimination of individual mandate penalties-- which the Supreme Court ruled in 2012 were valid under Congress’s taxing power-- invalidated the constitutionality of all of Obamacare. The Trump administration said it agreed that the mandate was unconstitutional and that the consumer protections should be wiped out, but most of the rest of the law should remain in place.

Some Republicans privately worried about having to defend the move in their districts if the court rules in favor of the administration before the November election. But others said the government needs to get out of the health insurance business-- even if the only way is to go through the courts.

“It isn’t [hard] for me because I’ve long held the position that the federal government should get completely out of the health insurance business,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA). “The last time the health insurance business worked right was before the federal government got involved. So I don’t have any problem going home to defend that.”
Medicare began in 1966. Is that what King is talking about? He'll be debating J.D. Scholten soon enough on the merits of taking away insurance from Iowans.

There were 3 Democrats vying for the party nomination to take on King. Last week, J.D. Scholten, who's been traveling the sprawling west Iowa district advocating moving towards a single-payer healthcare system, won the primary decisively:

J.D. Scholten- 14,514 (51.27%)
Leann Jacobsen- 9,055 (31.99%)
John Paschen- 4,741 (16.75%)
Yesterday Scholten told me "I believe in Medicare-For-All for many reasons. One is so that we don’t become prisoners to our jobs just because that’s the only place we can afford or have quality insurance. It would also benefit small businesses that made our Main Streets in this district. These are just two of the reasons why we need a public option immediately (to at the very least stabilize the markets) with a Medicare buy-in at 55+. Medicare-For-All is my goal. It’s pathetic that we live in the wealthiest nation in the world and we see donation boxes at almost every grocery store or gas station asking to help someone who had an accident or got sick."
The insurance industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans swiftly broke with the Trump administration Friday, warning that eliminating Obamacare’s major protections would be “destabilizing” to the market and drive premiums even higher. AHIP signaled it will file an amicus brief in the case, officially siding with the blue states that have stepped in to defend the law’s constitutionality.

“Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019,” the group said in a statement.

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At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Humankind has a long history of tyrants.

History shows us several cases where tyrants have determined certain undesirable or unnecessary populations and simply killing them.

Hitler created industrial killing to rid himself of jews, slavs, gypsies, handicapped and "feeble minded".

Stalin purged tens of millions in a manufactured famine as he converted Russian farming from human to mechanized.

Maybe this is our Nazis taking all those who they feel are too expensive to keep alive and letting them die of denial of sustenance.

As such, I don't see anyone in government DOING anything to stop it (after all, the 'craps take a lot of money from health insurance who will increase their margins by not reimbursing for the sick people); and I don't see many voters getting in the way either.

Compassion is expensive. It's also severely lacking in the American electorate, as their voting history proves.

At 9:04 AM, Blogger edmondo said...

Can we stop with the inane Bernie got more votes than Trump did on primary day meme? Of course he did, there are 50 percent more Democrats in West Virginia than there are Republicans - and it was a closed primary. Democrats could vote for only Democrats, they couldn't vote for Trump. Bernie's win only proved that the Democrats in West Virginia were so "deplorable" that they wouldn't vote for Hillary Clinton. It was a preview of what was going to happen in November but no one at the DNC was smart enough to see it - surprise. West Virginia hated Clinton, they didn't necessarily love Bernie.

At 1:39 PM, Blogger Skeptical Partisan said...

Voters need to keep in mind that life is itself a 'pre-existing condition' that *always* precedes death. Eliminating protection for pre-existing conditions opens up essentially all medical care to be excluded. Buyers and voters beware.

At 3:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

edmondo, I've also reminded DWT, wrt Bernie vs. trump primary numbers, that the Nazi vote was split between as many as 12 Nazi wannabeeeeees, while the democrap vote was either for Bernie or the banker's whore.

Of course Bernie got more than the borneo tree-ape. It's math. x/12 will always be less than x/2.

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trump is going to destroy ALL medical care in this nation. It's already teetering because of the uncertainties Trump insists on generating. But Trump will not be blamed. He's successfully set the stage to drop the bomb on that idiot obamanation, who -if he's a tenth as smart as he thinks he is- would have seen all of this coming and done things differently instead of curling up in the corner and letting the Republicans piss all over him anytime they wanted to.

I hope he chokes on that $65 million book advance.

At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

La Crosse County Wisconsin, not Los Crosse :)

At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone who thinks trump thought of this is a moron, like trump.

this likely came from ryan or mcturtle. it's looking like they are feeding their ideas to the baby so the baby can puke them up. they've discovered that when THEY put forth ideas that will kill people, people get a little testy. When trump does it, his people bow down and pray for more.

the democraps remain mute either way, so they aren't of any concern.


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