Archive for the ‘Healthcare’ Category

It isn’t surprising that Chuck Schumer is dishonest. He’s been dishonest for a decade. It’s who he is. After listening to his prepared speech, which was filled with dishonest statements and outright omissions, I had to sit down before writing this post because people shouldn’t write angry. I haven’t always done that. When I’ve written angry, I’ve written poorly. Trust me. I can tell the difference.

One of the things that Sen. Schumer said during his dishonest criticism of the Senate Republicans’ health care bill was that Democrats had committee hearings on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. While that’s technically true, it’s intentionally misleading. Democrats had hearings in multiple committees. After those hearings, though, the various bills were collected and brought up to Harry Reid’s office. That’s where a handful of Democratic senators, led by Max Baucus, wrote the final bill. Only committee chairs were allowed into the inner sanctuary of Sen. Reid’s office during the writing of the final bill.

Further, while it’s true that the Senate held hearings on the bill, it’s impossible to honestly say that they listened to the American people. This is video of one of those town hall meetings:

That certainly isn’t listening to the people. Neither is this:

If Sen. Schumer wants to say that Democrats held hearings, that’s fine but if he wants to say that Democrats listened to the people, then he’d better expect to hear tons of criticism during the 4th of July recess. Further, I’d caution Sen. Schumer against insisting that Democrats care about the policy. They’ve said repeatedly that getting the ACA passed was their goal. They didn’t say that making health care affordable and options plentiful was their goal in any meaningful way. (They mouthed the words but they were lying – think if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.)
This video should instruct the American people on how little Democrats care about health care policy:

Almost 6 minutes into the video, Sen. Schumer talked about how Republicans are like a driver who spots an accident and wants to help but, since they’re not doctors, they don’t know what to do. With all due respect, Sen. Schumer isn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier. Sen. Barrasso, Sen. Cassidy and Sen. Rand Paul are each doctors. In fact, 12 of the 14 doctors in Congress are Republicans.

If Sen. Schumer isn’t taken seriously, it’s the epitome of chutzpah for Sen. Schumer to say that Democrats are experts on health care policy. If they’re experts, why are insurance companies either raising premiums or getting out of the exchanges? That doesn’t sound like much of an expert to me.

This morning on Outnumbered, Sandra Smith asked #OneLuckyGuy Rep. Jason Chaffetz if failure to pass health care reform was an option politically. With all due respect to Ms. Smith, that’s the wrong question. With people getting hit with unaffordable health insurance premiums and skyrocketing deductibles, the question that should be asked of Democrats is whether people can afford the Not That Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The lead-in to the segment on health care was video of Sen. Ed Markey playing the scare tactic card, saying that Republicans wanted to throw Grandma and Grandpa out of the nursing home (with Alzheimer’s) to give tax cuts to the rich.

First, the media should stop obsessing over the non-issue of Russia working with President Trump to win the election. It’s time for the MSM to start asking important questions about issues that people care about. That means starting with asking Democrats why they haven’t offered anything substantive to fix Obamacare. Thus far, all they’ve done is employed scare tactics to win points politically for 2018.

The truth is that Obamacare is collapsing. Insurance companies are leaving exchanges on a weekly basis. This week’s exit is Anthem leaving “the Obamacare exchange in Ohio next year.” The result of that is the “move would leave participants in 20 counties without any insurer.”

Here’s the video of Sen. Markey’s blather:

Next, it’s time for the media to start doing its job by asking tough questions of Democrats about the ACA. Third, it’s time that the MSM to stop pretending that the ACA just needs a few tweaks to fix things. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. It’s time Democrats started coming up with substantive improvements ASAP.

Fourth, it’s time for Republicans to bury their differences and to settle on a sensible plan that fixes what’s wrong with the ACA. It’s beyond time to fix what’s broken. It’s time to eliminate differences, set aside egos and fix this disaster for the good of the nation. That’s the only thing that matters at this point.

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When Mary Katherine Ham debated Chris Cuomo about health care, things got more than a little heated. Cuomo essentially insisted that these coverages needed to be part of the ACA because states weren’t requiring health insurance companies to cover things.

Mary Katherine Ham questioned whether it was essential to require single men with no children to buy a health insurance policy with “pediatric dental”. Cutting to the chase, it isn’t important for single men to buy health insurance for pediatric dental. It only drives prices higher. It doesn’t provide anything essential to single men. The better term might be ‘required health coverage’ because intrusive government requires this coverage.

The definition of essential is “absolutely necessary; indispensable.” The definition of required is “to ask for authoritatively or imperatively; demand.” It’s clear that required is the better choice for this situation because the government is demanding that single men buy policies that have pediatric dental coverage.

Mary Katherine got justifiably upset with Cuomo during the interview:

Suffice it to say that Mary Katherine got the better of the exchanges.

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Since this session of congress started, the Democratic Party has been the Resistance Party. Their special interests have forced them into that identity rather than being the loyal opposition. Part of the Democratic Party’s identity crisis is caused by their lack of new ideas.

When the Democratic Party stopped thinking of fresh ideas, they stopped appealing to people. That’s how they lost PA, MI and WI. This session, it’s impossible to identify the Democrats’ pro-growth policies because they don’t have any.

We’ve just suffered through 8 years of, at minimum, substandard economic growth. Thus far, Democrats haven’t offered a single constructive idea to get America’s economy going again. Their ‘economic package’ thus far has been income inequality and the push for a $15 minimum wage. That isn’t an economic plan. That’s a complaint list.

Another illustration of the Do-Nothing Democrats is how they’ve said that Obamacare “isn’t perfect”. (That’s an understatement.) Still, Democrats haven’t offered a single amendment to fix the bill that they say isn’t perfect. Democrats have rationalized their doing nothing by saying that they won’t offer amendments until repeal is taken off the table. That isn’t an excuse for fixing what Democrats broke in 2009-2010.

Adam Schiff is on TV virtually every day complaining about the fake Trump-Russia scandal. He hasn’t offered a single amendment to fix our ailing economy or our broken health care system. He’s a total whiner.

Why elect Democrats when all they want to do is continue Obama’s economic stagnation?

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Especially when it comes to health care, Democrats can’t help but wildly distort the truth. First, the basics: the CBO scoring of the House bill says that approximately 22,000,000-24,000,000 fewer people will have health care if the American Health Care Act is signed into law.

Simply put, that’s BS.

According to the Democrats, the people most affected by the AHCA will be people with pre-existing conditions and the elderly. Again, that’s an outright lie. The elderly won’t lose coverage if the AHCA is signed into law because Medicare is still the law of the land. People with pre-existing conditions won’t lose coverage because of high risk pools.

Minnesota had a high risk pool prior to the ACA. In 2007, the Kaiser Health Foundation reported that 92.8% of Minnesotans were insured. With nearly everyone insured, it isn’t a stretch to think that the majority of seniors and the majority of people with pre-existing conditions were insured. In fact, it’s a pretty safe assumption that high percentages of those demographics were covered.

In short, whenever people hear Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton complain that millions of people will get thrown off of their health insurance, let’s remember that these are the same people that said that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

Those of us who are old enough will remember this everlasting moment:

Whichever memory you choose, the results are the same. The Democrats’ primary tactic is to fabricate answers in the hopes of frightening people. It’s always been that way.

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This article highlights some questionable activities during the SEIU Healthcare’s organizing drive. If these PCAs can get an investigation into SEIU Healthcare started, look for that investigation to thin out SEIU leadership. Several statements in the article are important for the readers to hear about.

First, Russ Brown, who is helping with the law firm’s investigation, said “We had about three teams of canvassers, we started doing postal mailings, we started doing phone banks and a website. That was based on a list that we believed to be mostly good. We were thinking the list might be off by as much as fifteen to twenty percent. As it turned out the list was mostly bad.”

The next paragraph states “Some addresses led to empty lots where there was no house. Others led to homes where people lived that didn’t match the name provided on the list. The questionable list, however, wasn’t the only thing amiss. The campaign also alleges identity theft, unlawful due deductions, and voter disenfranchisement of those opposed.”

Then there’s this:

“There was just a lot of different weird things going on,” Brown said. “At the places where we would find people we would hear stories about how all of a sudden their dues were being taken out of their Medicaid payments and they specifically told the union they were not interested.”

Then there’s this, too:

“One woman believes very strongly and provided evidence that the union forged her signature on an authorization card,” CWF Executive Director Matt Patterson told InsideSources. “The basic picture this paints, in my view, is that the election was highly suspect, and there was possibly identify theft.”

“She is absolutely certain the union forged her signature in order to take money from her,” Patterson said. “You wonder how many people this happened to that just never noticed or they just didn’t complain about it or whatever. We suspect the number is fairly high because if they did this to one person, it probably wasn’t just one person.”

This isn’t the first time that a public employee union did questionable things. After the DFL legislature passed a forced unionization bill, reports started popping up from in-home child-care providers that the union organizers told them that the cards they were signing weren’t cards asking for a unionization vote. The organizers instead said that they were cards saying they wanted more information on the bill.

When the vote finally happened, AFSCME was defeated, losing 1,014-392.

Does this sound like SEIU Healthcare is on the up-and-up?

“At one point they turned over a list that had nothing but names on it,” Brown said. “There was no other information at all. It was just names. So we cross referenced that list with the [other] list, and we found they didn’t match. And that took place about two weeks before we got the actual supposed real list, which we cross referenced, and it didn’t match that list. It was like the state was making up names and throwing them at us.”

Finally, there’s this:

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota has hit back against the decertification campaign. The union alleged the campaign has coerced members into signing cards to authorize the decertification vote. SEIU organizer Phillip Cryan sent a letter listing 12 members who claimed to have been coerced by the canvassers. Brown notes only two of the names listed were on the membership lists the state provided.

“He sent us a letter stating that our canvassers coerced the PCAs,” Brown said. “So I got these ten cards supposedly signed by people where my canvassers went to their door, which is impossible because if we never had their name or address, we just wouldn’t do that. If we don’t know they’re there, we didn’t know they existed.”

That’d be a nifty trick … if it was possible, which it isn’t. SEIU better hope a full-fledged investigation doesn’t get started. If it’s launched, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota might be in trouble.

Freshman Sen. Matt Klein, (DFL- Mendota Heights), isn’t catching on to things that quick. According to this article, Sen. Klein got upset when Sen. Carly Nelson of Rochester said “And so today we are sitting here trying to right the ship. The ship that was sailing along fine until government intervened. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t sinking like it is now.”

Klein replied “To narrate that health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago, before the government intervened and destroyed it, is a false narrative.” Dr. Klein, your statement is an exercise in the improper use of straw man arguments. Sen. Nelson didn’t say that “health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago.” She said that it “wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t sinking like it is now.” Nowhere in Sen. Nelson’s statement did she hint that “health care was fully covered and idyllic in Minnesota 10 years ago.”

What’s interesting is that Sen. Klein voted for SF1 after his mini-diatribe:

What’s interesting, though not particularly important, is the fact that 19 DFL legislators in the House and 19 DFL senators voted against SF1’s final passage. It’s interesting because the vast majority of these DFL legislators are from the Twin Cities. It’s interesting because a majority of these DFL legislators think single-payer is the right health care system.

Fighting back tears, the Senate architect of the rescue package spoke directly to families facing economic distress. “To the farmers and small business owners, to the entrepreneurs on our main streets who are worried, we are listening. We are doing our very best to get you help today,” Health and Human Services Chair Sen. Michelle Benson said.

Sen. Benson got the job done. Sen. Lourey, the chief author of the Senate bill that created MNsure, voted against premium relief for farmers and small businesses. Put differently, the person who created this crisis voted to not fix the crisis. The person who’s now in charge of the Senate HHS Committee voted to fix the crisis that the DFL and Sen. Lourey created. Unfortunately, that isn’t surprising.

Republicans and the DFL found a way to compromise this week. Republicans accepted Gov. Dayton’s plan to provide premium relief for people buying health insurance on the individual market but made too much to qualify for federal premium support. Gov. Dayton accepted the Republicans’ reforms. In the end, neither side got everything they wanted, which was anticipated, but everyone got something that they wanted.

Shortly after the House passed the conference committee report by a vote of 108-19, Republicans issued a statement, saying that their bill allowed “for-profit HMOs to operate in Minnesota (like most states) which will increase options for consumers, modifying stop loss coverage to make it easier for more small businesses to offer affordable insurance to their employees, providing greater transparency for proposed insurance premium changes by requiring earlier disclosure of proposed rates, allowing Agricultural Cooperatives to offer group health insurance to their members so farmers and their families can get better access to care and more affordable coverage, ensuring Minnesota employees can benefit from the recently passed federal 21st Century Cures Act which allows employers to make pre-tax contributions toward employee health insurance costs, network adequacy reform that will assist in ensuring more options for residents in rural Minnesota while prohibiting surprise billing to protect consumers from previously undisclosed costs.”

The Senate voted 46-19 in favor of the bill.

DFL State Party Chair Ken Martin issued this statement:

Today, we saw compromise prevail. After working with Gov. Dayton, the House and Senate passed a bipartisan solution to the current health insurance premium crisis. Although the bill is nowhere near perfect, this compromise helps Minnesotans now and keeps the door open for Minnesotans’ input on further health care reforms in the future.

Minnesotans could have seen relief 3 months ago but Republicans in the legislature wanted to get something out of the deal for themselves. Instead of working to get more to help Minnesota’s families, they showed their true colors and prioritized big corporations and big profits.

While I am pleased that our legislature was able to pass this relief that so many Minnesotans are counting on, I hope that for the rest of the legislative session, Republicans remember that Minnesotans are expecting their legislature to work for them, not against them.

Earlier this week, Gov. Dayton proposed a ‘reform’ that would inflict single-payer health care on Minnesotans. That bill is all but officially dead despite Martin’s statement that this compromise “keeps the door open for Minnesotans’ input on further health care reforms in the future.”

As for Martin’s whining statement that “Minnesotans could have seen relief 3 months ago but Republicans in the legislature wanted to get something out of the deal for themselves”, the truth is that Gov. Dayton insisted that the bill not include any reforms. Gov. Dayton insisted that it just provide premium relief. Republicans insisted that there be substantive reforms because, without them, they’d be right back here next year with another bailout.

Today’s bill is a first step in a session-long effort to address the problems created by Obamacare and MNsure,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown. “As the first month of session comes to a close, Republican majorities have shown an ability to get things done for Minnesotans and to work productively with the governor.”

Gov. Dayton will sign the bill.

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If ever there was a reason why progressive spinmeisters should steer clear of getting interviewed by Tucker Carlson, Jonathan Gruber’s interview offers the biggest reason to avoid Carlson. During the interview, Carlson caught Gruber in his spin at least half a dozen times. Throughout most of the interview, Dr. Gruber came across as elitist and intellectually outmatched.

When Carlson asked Gruber why recent polling showed fairly strong disapproval of Obamacare, Dr. Gruber replied “I think they feel that way because there’s been a lot of misinformation about what the law has done.” Carlson immediately picked up on that, inquiring “You once famously said that the law got passed because of the stupidity of the American voter, not understanding the intricacies of the funding of this law. You since apologized but it seems as though you still feel that way. You just said people don’t like it because they don’t understand it. But I mean, it’s their health care. Are they that dumb that they don’t understand how great it is?”

That led to another misstep by Dr. Gruber when he said “Tucker, that isn’t what I said. What I said was inartful. That’s why I apologized.” Let’s get honest about something. What Dr. Gruber said wasn’t inartful. It was intentional. It was repeated:

Something that’s repeated that often isn’t off-the-cuff. It’s intentional. It’s elitist, too. Then there’s this exchange:

CARLSON: I thought this law was supposed to help everybody.
DR. GRUBER: This law was never supposed to help everybody, Tucker. The law was actually supposed to leave the vast majority of Americans alone.

That isn’t true. The plan was always intended to push people into policies that the ACA’s architects were pushing. That’s why Politifact rated President Obama’s statement that “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it” as their Lie of the Year” a few years back. Dr. Gruber was exposed as a political shill Wednesday night. It isn’t that Dr. Gruber was “inartful.” It isn’t that he wanted people to keep their health care plans that they liked. It’s that he wanted to tell the people he thinks of as too stupid what’s best for them.
Watch this entire video. It’s a frightening insight into a progressive elitist’s mind:

Finally, this Trey Gowdy interrogation of Dr. Gruber is must-see TV:

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Speaker Daudt and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka should reject Gov. Dayton’s proposal to ‘reform’ health care by going to a single-payer plan. The article starts by saying “A new form of health insurance could be available next year to Minnesotans in the individual health insurance market if a proposal by Gov. Mark Dayton gains approval of state legislators and the federal government.”

While that excites hardline progressives, aka socialists, like John Marty, the vast majority of legislators (including Democrats) will reject single-payer health care. That’s because it’s failed each time it’s been tried. Mssrs. Daudt and Gazelka should investigate the numbers that Gov. Dayton is pushing because they aren’t credible. According to the article, “The new public option would be available to most Minnesotans for an average price of $469 per month, about 12 percent less than the $538 monthly premium for private insurance in 2017, the Dayton administration said. Dayton’s office estimates the plan would save families an average of more than $800 per person annually in 2018 compared to 2017.”

The chances that those numbers are accurate are virtually nonexistent. Let’s understand that these figures come from the party that insisted that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

Further, let’s understand that Gov. Dayton’s goal is to prop up a failed government program by proposing another big government ‘solution’. As I’ve said before, single-payer either fails outright wherever it’s tried or it dramatically reduces health care options.

Then there’s this:

Sen. Tony Lourey, DFL-Kerrick, applauded the governor’s public option plan. “Access to quality, affordable health care is the benchmark for success, and this is exactly what Minnesotans will get with this expansion,” he said. “Passage of this plan would restore comprehensive networks in rural Minnesota, and give hope to many Minnesotans who are struggling to keep up with health insurance costs.”

At the bill-signing ceremony for MNsure, Sen. Lourey saidThe people won on this bill.” Considering how much pain MNsure has caused, should we think that Sen. Lourey’s opinion isn’t worthless? I certainly don’t think it’s worth anything. Watch this video before forming an opinion on whether Sen. Lourey is a legitimate health care expert or a political shill:

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