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Monday, March 27, 2017

FEATURED QUESTION: The Demise of the AHCA (Bumped to the top)

Friday afternoon, because there were not enough votes to pass the House of Representatives, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan pulled the bill for Phase One of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Ryan stated:
"I don't know what else to say other than Obamacare is the law of the land. It'll remain law of the land until it's replaced," he said. "We're going to be living with Obamacre for the foreseeable future."
Some members of Congress, particularly members of the House Freedom Caucus, maintain that the proposed AHCA was a lie. Representative Louie Gohmert stated:
"It is not what any of us promised we were going to do, and it is built on a false premises that the parliamentarian was not going to allow what we promised we would do."
For his part, President Trump and others maintain that ObamaCare is imploding.

On the opposite side of the aisle, Democrats maintain that the GOP health bill is worse than letting Obamacare implode.

Additional reading: Fiasco – Ryan’s from start to finish.

FEATURED QUESTION, in three parts: (1) Were the provisions of the AHCA any improvement over ObamaCare? (2) Did the Congressional GOP elites, many of whom despise Donald Trump and are still seething that he won the 2016 National Election, deliberately design a bill that would fail so as to promote the downfall of the Trump Presidency? (3) Is ObamaCare, as it is now configured, doomed to implode?

55 comments:


  1. The watered down reconciliation approach killed it.
    What precludes another try at a more conservative bill?

    Is there some rule that forbids the introduction of another, better bill?
    Why do I keep hearing it's this or nothing?
    And once again, screw the three phase approach. (I work with three phase every day. It'll kill ya.)
    Do it in one lump and nuke it through.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some items I've gleaned from Facebook. All information about these lobby contributions has substantiating links from OpenSecrets.org.

    Rand Paul:
    #2--Health Professionals
    #10-Insurance

    Tom Price:
    #1--Health Professionals
    #2--Pharmaceuticals/Health Products
    #3--Insurance
    #6--Health Services/HMOs
    #10-Hospitals/Nursing Homes


    Paul Ryan:
    #5--Insurance
    #8--Healthcare Professionals
    #11--Pharmaceuticals/Health Products
    #13--Hospitals/Nursing Homes


    Looks like crony capitalism to me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ed typed in:

    Is there some rule that forbids the introduction of another, better bill?
    Why do I keep hearing it's this or nothing?


    I, too, want answers to those questions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only un the case of Paull Ryan. Rand Paul and Tom Price are bothLEGITIMATE members of the Medical Profession.

      Of the two, however, I much favor Rand Paul who is a TRUE Conservative-Libertarian. I'm afraid Price, who has the face of a flagrantly fatuous Baptist or Methodist Minister, may be just another RINO.

      Delete
    2. FT,
      What concerns me is the pressure exerted by political lobbying and how it impacts healthcare legislation.

      Delete
  4. I'd like to think that the Freedom Caucus torpedoed the bill because healthcare isn't in the purview of the federal government; but I know that it's simple squabbling amongst the Right, on how to manage a Leftist program.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can only add this corollary to your comment:

      We are already a socialist nation, we just refuse to accept it and pay for it.

      One of many examples:

      In 24 States, 50% or More of Babies Born on Medicaid

      The lowest state, New Hampshire had only "only" 27% of births paid by medicaid.

      Delete
    2. Whatever the reason (who can fathom the motives of Louis Gohmert), the Republicans spent seven years moaning about the ACA and their intent to repeal it.
      Now with control of both branches of Congress and the presidency they prove totally unprepared and end up eating their tail.

      They were more interested in an upward wealth transfer than addressing insurance and cost questions.

      Look for more similar success from the Trump regime.

      Delete
    3. Ducky,
      Simple Answer: Like Democrats, Republican politicians spout all the ideological pieties to get elected and gain power, but turn to piss-warm tea once in power.

      There is a paucity of thought, principle, courage and critical self-analysis on both sides.

      Delete
    4. Having said that, we must give the Democrats their due: They know how to govern--It must be the strong dictatorial streak that all progressives are possessed of.

      The Democrats also know how to employ propaganda and how to get out there and explain what they are doing (that such explanations are shamelessly mendacious is beside the point)

      Democrats know how to plot, how to rule and how to communicate. Republicans should study up.

      Maybe they could pay Bill Clinton to speak to their caucus. He is a brilliant politician.

      Delete
    5. SF,
      Democrats know how to plot, how to rule and how to communicate. Republicans should study up.

      No kidding!

      The GOP: ever able to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

      Delete
    6. When will you RECOGNIZE, fully ACKNOWLEDGE and DEAL EFFECTIVELY WITH the profound SCHISM ithat occurred long ago in Republican Party?

      The GOP is not ONE party at all. It is at least THREE –– i.e. the RINO SELLOUTS. the MOUSEY, MAUNDERING, MODERATES, and the legitimate CONSERVATIVE-LIBERTARIANS representing the ideals of the Founders, espoused by the TEA PARTY and the FREEDOM CAUCUS in House of Representatives?

      There IS no GOP –– only a fractious, fractured assemblage of noncompops at war with President Trump and with each other.

      The public elected Mr. TRUMP, who is decidedly a maverick, in the hope that his larger0than-life personally and booming show of self-confidence might be able to overcme the admittedly VILE status quo.

      I for one believe it to be foolish to abandin that hope. he degeat of Paul Rfyan's LUSY bill means we have really dodged a bullet.

      Had that stupid, ill-conceived bill gone through, we would have lost ALL HOPE of EVER ridding ourselves of the CURSE of OBAMACARE.

      It is PAUL RYAN –– and all the represents of whom we need to rid ourselves now.

      Paul Ryan is obviously all too eager to play Mark Antony to Donald Trump's Julius Caesar.

      Delete
    7. FT,
      There IS no GOP –– only a fractious, fractured assemblage of noncompops at war with President Trump and with each other.

      Long before Trump, the GOP became a mishmash of those who (1) believe that the Democratic Party has moved too far left, (2) are of the George H.W. Bush New World Order variety, (3) know that they cannot win elections in their region if they identify as Dem, and (4) true Conservatives.

      Had that stupid, ill-conceived bill gone through, we would have lost ALL HOPE of EVER ridding ourselves of the CURSE of OBAMACARE.

      I agree. But I'm not sure that we can ever fully be rid of ObamaCare -- unless the entire thing collapses. Once an entitlement is granted, the people will not rid themselves of that entitlement. The principle of boiling the frog.

      IMO, ObamaCare was never the intended end, but rather a means to something else: socialized medicine (single payer).

      What is driving more and more Americans to be willing to accept ObamaCare? The costs of healthcare! Not only the cost of premiums but also the cost of the healthcare services themselves. As things now stand, few people can actually afford to self-pay.

      Delete
    8. FT,
      Have you read Seven Business Solutions to Reduce Health Care Costs.

      SF left us that link a few days ago, but you may have missed it.

      Delete
    9. This paragraph from that link is the hideous truth:

      The biggest omission in the drafting of the Affordable Care Act is that it did not address the true challenge facing all Americans – the escalating cost of health care. While health care was once unaffordable for a small portion of the population, it is now getting to be unaffordable for virtually every American.

      Can the clock be turned back, given the state-of-the-art medical care today?

      As one who had sight-restoring retinal surgery a few years ago, I have great regard for state-of-the-art medical care. Just a few years before I had that surgery, such a surgery with a record of 95% excellent outcomes was impossible.

      My kidney surgeries didn't turn out so well, though. Planning yet another consult with my urologist/surgeon on April 28.

      Delete
    10. "Have you read Seven Business Solutions to Reduce Health Care Costs."

      Yes, good stuff and I particularly like #7.

      Delete
  5. Apparently Trump thinks he can say "oh Well' and move on to something else. He is nuts. Nothing more precious to people than healthcare so why congress thinks it can jerk around with other matters, they just inserted an IED up their you know what for the mid term elections. Bye Bye GOPers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bunkerville,
      Apparently Trump thinks he can say "oh Well' and move on to something else.

      I'm not so sure that he's actually so casual about it.

      IMO, tax reform is just as big a priority as healthcare reform -- or should be, anyway.

      Delete
    2. It wasn't Trumps job to provide the solution
      Just to promote it and sign it.

      Delete
  6. I don't understand what this was all about. None of this looked right to me from the beginning. Where was the debate? Where were the GOOPers out explaining this to people?

    It seems like Ryan ambushed his own party with this and then got Trump to join him in threatening everybody to get in line.

    This was the GOP version of the dictatorial Obamacare suppository cram, only the GOOPers are too inept to get it done. Perps in their own gang flipped on the bank lights before they could get the safe cracked.

    So much for Paul Ryan's vaunted status as master politician and astute policy wonk... He's just as dumb as his colleagues. He should be replaced with a circus chimpanzee. It would be just as effective, but we could enjoy some laughs in between episodes of GOOPers shooting themselves in the face with cannons...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SF,
      It seems like Ryan ambushed his own party with this and then got Trump to join him in threatening everybody to get in line.

      Or was Ryan's primary motive to ambush Trump?

      Delete
    2. Who knows? I harbor such thoughts in the dark folds of the conspiratorial recesses of my mind...

      Despite President Trump's absurd blather blaming Democrats, the GOOP totally owns this one. It was a self-inflicted wound.

      I've been excoriating the GOOPers for years, but even I am stunned at this tragi-comic display of amateurish ineptitude.

      They've been beating this drum for six years, flamboyantly pleasuring themselves with serial and useless Obamacare repeal votes... and this is all they can come up with?

      I'm glad I didn't give any money to those people.

      Delete
    3. And Obamacare was ALSO done through reconciliation.

      Delete
    4. And Ed, Zeke Emanuel says this failed cuz Trump didn't work with Democrats. You can't make this stuff up, the hypocrites! Nobody picked up on it, either....amazing

      Delete
  7. Recent comment at another web site:

    As described at TheConservativeTreehouse. . .Paul Ryan (as is every elected politician) is just an elected salesman for the legislation which is actually written by lobbying interests.

    Fox Segment in which Louie Gohmert also addressed this point with Lou Dobbs
    .

    ReplyDelete
  8. Lost in all of this is the distinction between health care and insurance.

    A smart government (which we do not have) would first seek to make the health care market rational and transparent and seek to bring down costs.

    I recommend this short, informative article to everyone:

    Seven Business Solutions to Reduce Health Care Costs

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Number 6 on that list is so important! Many times, I've tried to find out in advance what certain costs are. No dice! WTH?

      Delete
    2. will probably blog that tomorrow..excellent article.thanks, SF

      Delete
  9. If Trump can stick it out while ACA continues to implode, at some point the out-of-control Congress will [have] to act with a chance of us getting a better deal. DEAL, that's what he does! I don't know, however, how he can lower taxes before the ObamaCare nightmare is fixed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You really think they're going to lower your taxes?

      Dream on.

      Delete
    2. The problem the R's have now is that the replacement bill was a tax vehicle. It had little to do with health insurance but was simply a vehicle to remove subsidies from the poor and pass that on to the wealthy as tax cuts.

      Now they're stuck with limited means to cut the highest tax bracket without generating higher deficits.

      Might have to focus on his ham fisted immigration policy. He should be able to really mess up the agricultural and restaurant sectors.

      Delete
    3. Lowing taxes without a concomitant reduction in the budget is not conservative.

      If the GOOP can't grow the brains and the balls to cut government waste, they have no business reducing the federal government's revenue stream.

      * * * * * *

      Despite my incendiary rhetoric aimed at the GOP, I still believe they have a natural advantage over the Dems.

      The Democrat establishment herded their sheep back in the pen, and their dogmas are stale.

      The GOP has some healthy rebellion going on, and they are the only party with any intellectual ferment.

      Delete
    4. SF,
      Despite my incendiary rhetoric aimed at the GOP, I still believe they have a natural advantage over the Dems.

      The Democrat establishment herded their sheep back in the pen, and their dogmas are stale.

      The GOP has some healthy rebellion going on, and they are the only party with any intellectual ferment.


      I agree.

      It remains to be seen what will resonate with the electorate in 2018 and 2020. Too many Americans merely glance at headlines and listen to short sound bytes generated by the mainstream media.

      Delete
    5. From the same WaPo essay:

      Democrats face a potential disaster with 25 of their seats up in 2018 and only eight of the GOP incumbents campaigning. The urgency to find a fix to Obamacare’s collapse should be on Senate Democrats.

      25 Dem seats up for re-election in 2018? WOWZER!

      Delete
    6. "It had little to do with health insurance but was simply a vehicle to remove subsidies from the poor and pass that on to the wealthy as tax cuts."

      You actually believe that...wow

      Delete
    7. What's your impression of the bill?

      Delete
  10. Excerpt from this recent WaPo opinion piece by Hugh Hewitt:

    The pulling of the GOP health-care bill this week was a big loss, and perhaps significant beyond its own costs, as it may signal that the “Area 51” sub-caucus within the Freedom Caucus is made up not so much of conservative Republicans as parties of one with no interest in an agenda shared beyond whatever exists in the space between their own ears.

    But it was still, the record must show, a very good week for the conservative cause generally and President Trump specifically. He promised a worthy successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, and Judge Neil Gorsuch proved to be that in his hearings. Gorsuch also seems to have triggered the return of the now-Charles E. Schumer-led political madness of the Harry Reid era. Schumer, the Senate minority leader, has promised a filibuster of Gorsuch, which will oblige Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to invoke the “Reid Rule” — which allows the Senate’s rules and precedents to be changed by a simple majority vote. The first application of the Reid Rule allowed Democrats to avoid supermajority confirmation of life-tenured federal appellate and district court judges and executive branch nominees. The second application would break the rule about supermajority confirmation of Supreme Court justices. Originalists have long wanted this result. Now we will get it, along with a great originalist justice in Neil Gorsuch.

    So Trump had good reason to shake off the rebuff from the Freedom Caucus and the pulling of the health-care bill, and despite his Oval Office aside about being surprised by the lack of loyalty in the caucus, he was loyal to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, as was Ryan to Trump. This bodes well for the party and for governing over the next 18 months.

    [...]

    This is the good week that could have been much better. Putting a 30-year-plus originalist on the court would be a history-maker. A legislative loss is an inevitability. The latter is disappointing, but the lessons learned along the way are invaluable to everyone, even the Republican members who will be punished in ways large and small in the weeks, months and years ahead.

    I would have preferred the best of weeks. But I’d take a likely SCOTUS confirmation over a one-house-of-Congress win any day. The real pain millions will continue to feel from the accelerating collapse of Obamacare could have been avoided, but as the president and others have noted, “collapse and replace” may have political advantages over “repeal and replace.” I’d prefer real reform, but the political benefits are not bad consolation prizes....


    Read the rest at the link.

    ReplyDelete
  11. As long as government is involved with healthcare it will suck.
    Maybe medicare should be privatized too.

    Saw this at Adrienne's.. massive fraud in healthcare/medicare

    And Delete the VA and send vets to private doctors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kid,
      Very informative link!

      It appears that it's not the patients who are bilking the system, but rather the providers. And that figures. We patients have to jump through hoops every time we access healthcare: "Bring your photo ID and your insurance cards," over and over again. Never mind how many times a provider has seen me!

      Delete
  12. We've all heard the saying: Rome wasn't built in 1 day. It just shows the repeal of 0bamacare will take several attempts to be successful. The liberal Emperor 0bama inflicted pain and suffering when his sockpuppets Nasty Pelosi and Hairball Reid shoved that stinker down our throats, making us sick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YUP! That's IT in a nutshell.

      The Devil may be in the detals, but too often the detals act like a patch of eel grass in a body of water that impedes the safe, smooth passage of boats. In other words the details ARE the Devil. ];^}>

      If we do not comprehend and abide by basic morivating PRINCIPLES, all the details int he world will only act to ensnare us, confuse us, drag us down, and choke the life out of anything we try to do.

      As my piano teacher at the conservatory often said, "You cannot build a house starting with the roof."

      Delete
  13. Trump merely wants to keep Obamacare but call it Trumpcare instead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TC,
      I don't know if that's true. I've read somewhere that he has an EO to eliminate the individual mandate, one of the cornerstones of ObamaCare.

      The AHCA bill originated in the House.

      What ticks me off: for 7 years, various GOP members of Congress have been bragging about and voting for measures to repeal ObamaCare. Then, when it counted, no dice.

      Delete
    2. No dice, as yiu say,today, BECAUSE Obamacare has been given enough time thanks to Obama's VETO power to become ENTREN?CHED.

      Once an "entitlement" takes hold, those who benefit frm it feel –– well ENTITLED – and anyone who tries to take their ENTITLEMENT AWAY suddenly becimes a MONSTER. No po\litici]an wants to be regarded as The Bogey Man, so they CAVE.

      Obama may not have been "our" cup of tea, but no one should say he wasn't incredibly SHREWD and CRAFTY.

      Obama knew perfectly well what he was doing as he was doing great injury to the USA as founded.

      Commies are unbelievably capable at the art of long-range SCHEMING, PLOTTING and incessant MANIPULATION that works the the advancement of THIER rotten agenda.

      Why else do you think we are where we afre today? It's been more than a CENTURY in the planning.

      Joe McCarthy, of course, was CORRECT. Too bad the Commies who run Hollywood, the ENEMEDIA, and the PROFESSORIAT were able to do him in, and blacken his reputation as they mostassuredly did with consummate skill.

      Don't EVER make the mistake of letting yiurself think that MARXICRATS are not SMART. They are DEMONICALLY clever, and decent, God-fearing, good-hearted Christians don't stand a chance when put up against their wit and wile.

      Disbelieve that at your peril.

      Delete
    3. FT,
      Once an "entitlement" takes hold, those who benefit frm it feel –– well ENTITLED – and anyone who tries to take their ENTITLEMENT AWAY suddenly becimes a MONSTER. No po\litici]an wants to be regarded as The Bogey Man, so they CAVE.

      Yes, that is the hurdle.

      ObamaCare has been, in varying degrees, in force for seven years. And once ANY government program has been in force, there is basically no way to get rid of it. Trim it -- maybe. But eliminate it? Never has happened -- with the possible exception of Prohibition in the 20th Century.

      The healthcare reform hurdle has to be dealt with in a manner so that any who propose and enact healthcare reform is no longer The Bogey Man.

      Delete
  14. I think you are mistaken, AOW.

    Repealing Obamacare would pass Congress in a heartbeat, and has. (Obamacare vetoed it).

    Where the bottleneck occurs is this new sick fascination of REPLACING Obamacare with some other centrally planned social welfare boondoggle with Trump's name on it.

    Repeal Obamacare. Replace it with Notagoddamnthing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From this essay at Infidel Bloggers Alliance:

      Obama has won his bet with society in making health care a right. The last poll I saw (within the week) on this specific subject showed about 2/3 of the US people now accept this argument. This means the sales job the Republican party has to do is monumental.
      In fact, impossible IMO....I think the equilibrium has slipped past the return to a private system that will have lower premium and better heath care.


      Do I like that scenario? NO! Is it realistic? I think so.

      The drumbeat that healthcare is a right has been beating for some 50 years and has taken its toll.

      Delete

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