Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again

Petulant popular vote loser Donald Trump does not like losing. At all. He’s on day four of a tear against the Senate for not repealing Obamacare. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that there wouldn’t be any more bailouts for insurance companies OR Congress ever again, and he’s back on that theme Monday morning.

x

<

p class=”is-empty-p”>

One of those things he can do—he can seriously destabilize the health insurance markets by refusing to pay cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), payments the government makes to insurers that help reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. The other thing he can’t do—he can’t take away Congress’s health insurance. Only they can do that, and it doesn’t seem too likely that they will,

Continue reading “Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again”

Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again

Petulant popular vote loser Donald Trump does not like losing. At all. He’s on day four of a tear against the Senate for not repealing Obamacare. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that there wouldn’t be any more bailouts for insurance companies OR Congress ever again, and he’s back on that theme Monday morning.

x

<

p class=”is-empty-p”>

One of those things he can do—he can seriously destabilize the health insurance markets by refusing to pay cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), payments the government makes to insurers that help reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. The other thing he can’t do—he can’t take away Congress’s health insurance. Only they can do that, and it doesn’t seem too likely that they will,

Continue reading “Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again”

Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again

Petulant popular vote loser Donald Trump does not like losing. At all. He’s on day four of a tear against the Senate for not repealing Obamacare. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that there wouldn’t be any more bailouts for insurance companies OR Congress ever again, and he’s back on that theme Monday morning.

x

<

p class=”is-empty-p”>

One of those things he can do—he can seriously destabilize the health insurance markets by refusing to pay cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), payments the government makes to insurers that help reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. The other thing he can’t do—he can’t take away Congress’s health insurance. Only they can do that, and it doesn’t seem too likely that they will,

Continue reading “Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again”

Lies, damn lies, and fake news

In his 2007 book The Assault on Reason, former Vice President Al Gore warned about what he saw as a dire threat to American democracy. “The ‘well-informed citizenry,’” Gore fretted, ”is in danger of becoming the ‘well-amused audience.’” In a presentation on Super Tuesday 2008 (“That’s Entertainment: Politics as Theater in Campaign ‘08”), I elaborated on Gore’s alert.

When politics is entertainment, the first thing that suffers is the truth.

More than nine years later, the American people have a professional entertainer in the Oval Office. And as recent headlines have shown, the truth is suffering indeed. Despite the unified assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that Vladimir Putin’s Russia interfered in the 2016 election, only one-third of Republicans polled believe it. Other surveys found that 72 percent of Trump voters said stories about Russia are “fake news,” with 32 percent even rejecting the claim that Donald

Continue reading “Lies, damn lies, and fake news”

Trumpcare voting process in Senate should make Americans sick. Passing Trumpcare definitely would’ve

Thanks to three Republican heroes—and 48 Democratic ones—the health of the American people is a lot more secure than it looked like at a few minutes after midnight on Friday morning. Nevertheless, the past week has demonstrated something very important, albeit something not especially surprising. On health care, both in terms of the process they followed, and the outcome for which they aimed, most of the Republican Senate caucus should be ashamed of itself. They aren’t, but they should be.

Screen_Shot_2017-07-27_at_10.02.31_AM.png

Republicans spent years railing about the way Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act in 2009-10. The reality is that the year-long legislative path to Obamacare passage included multiple public hearings; a bill brought up through appropriate committees and through regular order; serious, if ultimately fruitless negotiations with members of the minority party—who, with hindsight, appear unlikely to have been willing to vote yes no matter what Democrats gave

Continue reading “Trumpcare voting process in Senate should make Americans sick. Passing Trumpcare definitely would’ve”

WE DID IT, Daily Kos community!! We saved Obamacare

WE DID IT!! Senate Republicans tried to sneak in an Obamacare repeal in the dead of night and they failed! Obamacare lives another day, along with the tens of millions of Americans who gained access to affordable health care as a result of it.

Hundreds of thousands of members of the Daily Kos community—and countless more people nationwide—produced some incredibly powerful grassroots activism to protect health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans. 

Campaign Action

This spring and summer, 574,337 of you took action via Daily Kos to block Trumpcare in the House and Senate and defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood funding, and so much more. This is how you did it:

WE DID IT, Daily Kos community!! We saved Obamacare

WE DID IT!! Senate Republicans tried to sneak in an Obamacare repeal in the dead of night and they failed! Obamacare lives another day, along with the tens of millions of Americans who gained access to affordable health care as a result of it.

Hundreds of thousands of members of the Daily Kos community—and countless more people nationwide—produced some incredibly powerful grassroots activism to protect health care coverage for tens of millions of Americans. 

Campaign Action

This spring and summer, 574,337 of you took action via Daily Kos to block Trumpcare in the House and Senate and defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions, Medicaid, Planned Parenthood funding, and so much more. This is how you did it:

Senate Democrats stepped up, and they saved Obamacare

Campaign Action

Sure, the trio of Republican defectors in the Senate—Collins, McCain, and Murkowski—are getting lots of plaudits for standing up to leadership to kill Trumpcare. But what absolutely has to be recognized and applauded is the unity of Senate Democrats throughout.

Start with the five Democrats who are all up for re-election in 2018 in states Trump won by more than 20 points: Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Jon Tester of Montana. Five more are also in states that Trump won but by smaller margins: Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Bob Casey in Pennsylvania, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Debbie Stabenow in Michigan. Not one of them gave an inch in working with McConnell to undermine Obamacare. Not one of their votes—even in procedural motions—were in question throughout the process.

Thank Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Patty Murray of

Continue reading “Senate Democrats stepped up, and they saved Obamacare”

So, McConnell—about that promise to start shoring up Obamacare markets …

Three weeks ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made what he considered his worst threat: if the Senate Republicans didn’t pass an Affordable Care Act repeal, they would have to work with Democrats on fixing it.

“If my side is unable to agree on an adequate replacement, then some kind of action with regard to the private health insurance market must occur,” McConnell said. “No action is not an alternative. We’ve got the insurance markets imploding all over the country, including in this state.”

Over-the-top rhetoric aside, it’s time to fulfill that promise. Insurance markets are NOT imploding all over the place, but popular vote loser Donald Trump is going to do his damnedest to make it happen.

Democrats are more than ready with their ideas for strengthening the ACA. Democratic leader Chuck Schumer laid out a few this morning, including resolving the issue of cost-sharing reduction payments that

Continue reading “So, McConnell—about that promise to start shoring up Obamacare markets …”

Trump responds to Republican repeal failure by threatening Obamacare

Senate Republicans failed in their latest attempt to take health coverage from 16 million people with so-called “skinny repeal.” So how’s Donald Trump responding? By lamenting the failure and promising to do what he can to blow up the system so that at least a few million people lose coverage:

x

Very presidential. So populist. What a champion of working people. After sleeping on it, Trump expressed the deep thought that “If Republicans are going to pass great future legislation in the Senate, they must immediately go to a 51 vote majority, not senseless 60”—after a 51-49 vote.

As Trump’s initial tweet makes clear, Obamacare is still not safe. But things are a whole lot better than they would be

Continue reading “Trump responds to Republican repeal failure by threatening Obamacare”

The women did the heavy lifting, the man got all the credit, or, how the Republican repeal failed

John McCain provided a crucial vote to kill “skinny” repeal of Obamacare Thursday night, and he deserves credit for doing the right thing. But we need to talk about how much credit he’s getting—and who’s being overlooked. Because this:

x

Senate Republicans originally put together an all-male panel to kill Obamacare, shutting the six Republican women in the Senate out of the process. Then that group fell apart and the repeal bills, such as they were, were crafted in secret—still without input from the very women who were making clear that their votes would be hard to get. 

Collins and Murkowski voted against Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s series of poorly thought through, cruel bills from the beginning. Donald Trump’s interior secretary

Continue reading “The women did the heavy lifting, the man got all the credit, or, how the Republican repeal failed”

Trump administration slaps Murkowski over repeal vote … she punches back

Ha ha ha. Donald Trump is on another rage bender about Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s vote against Obamacare repeal, so his interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, threatened Alaska’s energy industry. It doesn’t look like Murkowski is feeling too scared, though:

x

Probably not the response Trump and Zinke were looking for.

A conservative estimate on how much an uninsured Sen. John McCain would pay for cancer treatments

By now you know that Sen. John McCain squandered his last chance at making a real positive difference in the United States. He voted “yes” to allow the Republican-controlled legislative branch of our government to continue to pursue the human and economic disaster of repealing Obamacare. 

The fact that Sen. John McCain is a raging hypocrite is not news. McCain has always been an awful abomination of an elected official. Frankly, McCain should have gone to jail for his involvement in the savings and loan debacle of the late 1980s, so this realization is nothing new. What is new is that McCain has recently been diagnosed with a terrible disease—brain cancer. More specifically, he is battling glioblastoma, which is a very aggressive form of the disease. The prognosis for the disease, even with the less difficult placement of the tumor that was recently removed from the senator, is not a great

Continue reading “A conservative estimate on how much an uninsured Sen. John McCain would pay for cancer treatments”

Top insurance CEOs openly blaming Trump sabotage for rate hikes and empty markets

Campaign Action

While the Senate stages the world’s deadliest bit of improvisational theater in an attempt to gut both the Affordable Care Act and, now, Medicaid as a whole, the Trump administration has been openly threatening to withhold federal subsidies to the insurers that make up the Obamacare marketplaces. That would obviously decimate those markets. Already, insurance companies are openly citing the uncertainty over whether they will be getting paid for double-digit rate increases.

Now Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish is making the point even more bluntly: If the Trump administration continues to threaten to withhold those payments, his company will be leaving some of those markets entirely.

Insurance giant Anthem, which has already withdrawn from the Obamacare marketplaces in three states, will pull out of more if the federal government doesn’t take action soon to stabilize the market, CEO Joseph Swedish told investors Wednesday. […]
“If we aren’t able

Continue reading “Top insurance CEOs openly blaming Trump sabotage for rate hikes and empty markets”

Cartoon: Repeal &amp; Whatever

After trying varying degrees of cruelty with their replacement for the Affordable Care Act, it looks like Congressional Republicans may be throwing in the towel. Or not. They may try another last ditch effort that will satisfy a cold-hearted Senator Ted Cruz while at the same time appeasing a senator like Susan Collins of Maine. Balancing cruelty and extremism with more traditional conservative values sure is a difficult thing to do.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to exhibit all the legislative finesse of a MOAB. One day he wants to let Obamacare die while unleashing a tweet storm denying any personal responsibility, the next day he orders senators back to the negotiating table. (This, just one year after his “I alone can fix it” speech at the Republican National Convention.)

My guess is that Republicans in Congress won’t get their act together to pass their beloved “repeal

Continue reading “Cartoon: Repeal &amp; Whatever”

Trump’s sabotage of Obamacare runs very deep

Campaign Action

The taxpayer dollars you are sending to Washington, D.C., to help people get health insurance coverage are actually being used by the Trump administration to destroy the very program that would achieve that goal. Does that sound like something the federal government should be doing, using funding for a program to destroy that program? No? Well, it’s happening.

The Trump administration has spent taxpayer money meant to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it.

The effort, which involves a multi-pronged social media push as well as video testimonials designed at damaging public opinion of President Obama’s health care law, is far more robust and sustained than has been publicly revealed or realized.

The strategy has caught the eye of legal experts and Democrats in Congress, who have asked government

Continue reading “Trump’s sabotage of Obamacare runs very deep”

Trump levels another threat at insurers, Obamacare

Campaign Action

During Wednesday’s lunch with Republican senators, popular vote loser Donald Trump made a direct threat to insurance companies on the Obamacare exchanges—and a threat to the Senate, too. In essence, he said: If you don’t do something, I’m going to destroy this whole thing.

Being okay with Obamacare isn’t an option for another reason. Because it’s gone. It’s failed. It’s not going to be around. We pay hundreds of millions of dollars a month in subsidy that the courts don’t even want us to pay. And when those payments stop, it stops immediately. It doesn’t take two years, three years, one year. It stops immediately. On the other hand, and I have to say this, a yes vote will let senators debate the future of health care and suggest different ways to improve the bill. And we’re going to do that today.

That would the cost-sharing reduction payments to

Continue reading “Trump levels another threat at insurers, Obamacare”

Trump wants GOP incompetence rewarded: ‘We’re going to have to get some more people elected’

The Republican’s healthcare fail isn’t the GOP’s fault and Donald Trump knows how to fix it: Elect more Republicans in 2018.

“We are 52 people, we had four ‘nos,'” Trump told reporters Tuesday in a Q/A aired on MSNBC. “That’s a pretty impressive vote by any standard, and yet you have a vote of 48-4 or something like that, and you need more. That’s pretty tough. So the way I look at it is, in ’18, we’re going to have to get some more people elected.”

Wow. “Impressive,” eh? Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House, but they’re still not competent enough to make good on the promise they’ve been waving in front of voters for seven years. In Trump’s view, that’s “impressive.”

And according to Trump, that sheer incompetence should be rewarded with, not less, but more seats, because having to garner 51 votes—which

Continue reading “Trump wants GOP incompetence rewarded: ‘We’re going to have to get some more people elected’”

Trump wants GOP incompetence rewarded: ‘We’re going to have to get some more people elected’

The Republican’s healthcare fail isn’t the GOP’s fault and Donald Trump knows how to fix it: Elect more Republicans in 2018.

“We are 52 people, we had four ‘nos,'” Trump told reporters Tuesday in a Q/A aired on MSNBC. “That’s a pretty impressive vote by any standard, and yet you have a vote of 48-4 or something like that, and you need more. That’s pretty tough. So the way I look at it is, in ’18, we’re going to have to get some more people elected.”

Wow. “Impressive,” eh? Republicans control the House, the Senate, and the White House, but they’re still not competent enough to make good on the promise they’ve been waving in front of voters for seven years. In Trump’s view, that’s “impressive.”

And according to Trump, that sheer incompetence should be rewarded with, not less, but more seats, because having to garner 51 votes—which

Continue reading “Trump wants GOP incompetence rewarded: ‘We’re going to have to get some more people elected’”

Paul Ryan: Oh, hey, since we can’t destroy Medicaid, let’s go ahead and privatize Medicare

While Obamacare repeal—and the destruction of Medicaid—continues to crumble around Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s feet, House Speaker Paul Ryan is going back to his tried-and-true efforts to try to destroy Medicare. And this time around, Social Security is in his sights, too.

The proposal calls for more than $200 billion in cuts to mandatory programs. It also serves “as a vehicle for changing taxes,” CNN reports, which is “the primary legislative focus of the 2018 budget.”
 
“In past years, our proposals had little chance of becoming a reality because we faced a Democratic White House,” said House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black in a statement. “But now with a Republican Congress and a Republican administration, now is the time to put forward a governing document with real solutions to address our biggest challenges.”

The spending plan will likely face hurdles within the Republican Party: While

Continue reading “Paul Ryan: Oh, hey, since we can’t destroy Medicaid, let’s go ahead and privatize Medicare”