If there’s anything more disheartening than the Democrats’ dishonesty about the Anything But Affordable Care Act, I can’t find it. Elizabeth Warren’s op-ed is the latest in a lengthy list of dishonest anti-Republican diatribes.
In the opening paragraph of her diatribe, Sen. Warren, aka Pocahontas (according to President-Elect Trump), she said “For eight years, Republicans in Congress have complained about health care in America, heaping most of the blame on President Obama. Meanwhile, they’ve hung out on the sidelines making doomsday predictions and cheering every stumble, but refusing to lift a finger to actually improve our health care system.”
It must be nice to be able to outright lie and never worry that the Corrupt Media will expose you as a liar. The man who will soon be the US HHS Secretary, Tom Price, has introduced the Empowering Patients First Act “in the 111th, 112th and 113th Congresses.” Sen. Pocahontas can criticize Dr. Price’s plan. That’s fair game. She can’t say it doesn’t exist. That’s lying, which isn’t tolerated at LFR.
This is laughable:
Many Massachusetts families are watching this play out, worried about what will happen, including thousands from across the Commonwealth that I joined at Faneuil Hall on Sunday to rally in support of the ACA. Hospitals and insurers are watching too, concerned that repealing the ACA will create chaos in the health insurance market and send costs spiraling out of control.
It’s frightening to think that a US senator is either too blind to see that health insurance premium prices are already spiraling out of control or too dishonest to admit that the ACA, aka Obamacare, has caused health insurance premiums and deductibles to skyrocket.
Why won’t Sen. Pocahontas admit that “Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wyoming will have only one insurance company offering plans through the Obamacare health insurance exchange in 2017, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation”? Sen. Warren said that the Republicans’ plan is “repeal and run”, which is catchy. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ plan for passing the ACA was to hide the product until the final product was voted on. Does Sen. Pocahontas remember this infamous quote?
I don’t have a clever slogan for the Democrats’ strategy. I’m just left with the responsibility of telling people how Democrats ignored them while shoving terrible legislation down our throats.
This Washington Post article didn’t highlight what’s actually happening. Abby Phillip’s article starts by saying “A public feud between Donald Trump and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) seemed to jettison any lingering hopes that the inauguration would temporarily ease partisanship in Washington and instead threatened to widen the rift between the two parties.”
What’s actually happening is that the most hyper-partisan parts of the Democratic Party have jettisoned any spirit of bipartisanship. People like Sen. Manchin will be just fine. In Washington, DC, Rep. Lewis is seen exclusively as a civil rights hero. He’s certainly earned that distinction. Outside the Beltway, though, he’s seen as a partisan hack with a short list of accomplishments. When he told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he didn’t think that Mr. Trump was a legitimate president and that he wouldn’t attend Mr. Trump’s inauguration, he solidified that image. He did nothing to soften his image as a partisan. This video will become what a new generation of Americans will think of Rep. Lewis:
The truth is that the hardline left (think Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Harry Reid, Keith Ellison, John Lewis, John Conyers and Nancy Pelosi) has become totally unhinged. They aren’t capable of rational thinking at this point. When that’s the leadership of the Democratic Party, bipartisanship is virtually impossible. What’s yet to be determined is whether the DLC wing of the Democratic Party will reassert itself and save the Democratic Party from itself. At this point, I’ll predict that will happen but not until after a lengthy civil war for the soul of the Democratic Party.
When the Strib first reported that the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Authority, aka MSFA, had used 2 suites at the Vikings new stadium to entertain family members and DFL political allies, Minnesotans were rightfully outraged. According to this article, that outrage hasn’t diminished much, if at all.
I’m sure, though, that Minnesotans will sleep easier knowing that the MSFA has a new policy towards those suites. Michele Kelm-Helgen announced that “I clearly heard and understand that people did not support having friends and family in suites. We now have a new suite policy.”
Ms. Kelm-Helgen isn’t stupid. She had to know that this wasn’t right. It’s more likely that she’s arrogant or that she felt entitled. Initially, the MSFA said that they used the suites “to host potential clients”, which I wrote about in this post. Back then, the Pioneer Press wrote “Kelm-Helgen and Mondale said they and the four MSFA commissioners use the suites to host potential clients who are looking to rent all or portions of the stadium, which opened in August. But they also acknowledge they regularly invite friends and family to the suites. The two say they can’t reveal the identities of their guests because that would hinder their marketing efforts. However, they did release the identities of 12 current and former public officials who reimbursed the authority $200 for their tickets to the suite.”
This time, Ms. Kelm-Helgen was more forthright:
The chairwoman of the government authority that manages U.S. Bank Stadium defended the use of two luxury suites for officials’ friends and family before a panel of state lawmakers Wednesday, saying it’s been common practice for years.
Here’s a picture of one of the suites controlled by the MSFA:
Democrats will always do the right thing … when it’s the only option left.
When I spotted this article announcing the passing of Dick Bernick, it made me sad. It isn’t because I knew him for a long time, though I wish I had known Dick’s family longer.
When famous people pass away, it’s often said that they were pillars of their community. Dick Bernick wasn’t just a pillar of this community. It’s that, if you looked in a dictionary for the definition of the term ‘good corporate citizen’, it would’ve been entirely fitting to find Dick’s picture there instead of words.
In the article, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis said “He was very upbeat. He just had all this energy and just always had a smile. I don’t think I’ve ever talked to Dick where he wasn’t smiling a big smile.” I can vouch for that. Though I didn’t know Dick that long compared with others, the times I did interact with him, he was constantly smiling. This picture was typical:
The thing that should be known about the Bernick family business is that they, like Coborn’s Supermarkets, as they were called at the time, gave many young people their first jobs in St. Cloud. Bernick’s helped teach a generation of St. Cloud youth the importance of a strong work ethic and reliability. It isn’t overstatement to say that Bernick’s taught them the tools to prosper.
It isn’t overstatement to say that Dick was a force for good in St. Cloud. The company that he took over in the 1950s is now in the steady hands of his family.
Dick Bernick is survived by Lila, his wife of 67 years, “five children and 11 grandchildren.” Here’s hoping that they’re feeling the impact of the prayers and well wishes of their many friends.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D-SF), and Sen. Kamala Harris, (D-Calif.), attacked Donald Trump after Rep. John Lewis said that Mr. Trump wasn’t the legitimate president. Here’s what these California dimwits tweeted:
After saying that Mr. Trump wasn’t the legitimate president-elect, Rep. Lewis said “I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don’t plan to attend the inauguration.”
Good riddance. I won’t miss him. Rep. Lewis was a civil rights hero a half-century ago. He’s never been a noteworthy legislator. He’s lived his entire legislative career relying on his civil rights reputation. He’s been a bitter man most of that time.
Contrary to Rep. Lewis’s opinion, “the Russians” didn’t help get Mr. Trump elected. The people who were most responsible for getting Mr. Trump elected were the lazy media, the DNC leadership and, most of all, Hillary Clinton.
Mrs. Clinton was the worst presidential candidate in US history. She insisted on running essentially the same campaign as Mitt Romney did. Rather than relying on boots on the ground, Mrs. Clinton relied on analytics and top-down-know-it-all management. Further, Mrs. Clinton was so arrogant that Mrs. Clinton wrote off Wisconsin despite the fact that Wisconsin had been trending red for years. Then Mrs. Clinton ignored the reports from Michigan that things weren’t going so well there.
Finally, let’s be blunt about something. Donald Trump won the way all other presidents have won: by winning the most electoral votes. This isn’t a mystery. President-Elect Trump won more states (by far) than Mrs. Clinton did. Mrs. Clinton won California, New York, Illinois, the northeast and the Left Coast. She got clobbered in the battleground states.
Bitter partisans like Rep. Lewis aren’t helping bring this nation together. They’re doing their best to tear it apart.
Perhaps, he should retire rather than divide the nation.
Yesterday, I got my weekly e-letter update from my state representative, Jim Knoblach. Jim wrote “The 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill is on track to soon reach the House floor for a full vote of the body after Democrats delayed passage last week. While the governor’s proposal provides immediate relief, House Republicans offer a plan that not only provides short-term aid, but includes reform to improve the long-term outlook. The House Republican position is that both relief and reform are necessary. As important as it is to lessen the burden now, it also is crucial to make sure we don’t end up in this same unfortunate situation next year.”
Last night, I attended the SD-14 fundraiser, which Jim attended, too. We talked briefly about what he’d written in his e-letter update. Basically, Jim explained that the bill Republicans are pushing includes premium relief but it also includes other features, too. For instance, it provides the ability for a person receiving life-saving care from a hospital or clinic to stay with that clinic until that treatment is finished.
I told Jim that that’s the right thing to do. People suffering through a life-threatening situation don’t need the disruption of changing health care providers.
Other legislators attended the fundraiser, too. Most of them were hopeful that Gov. Dayton would sign the bill once it got put together in conference committee.
This article parrots Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel’s talking point that high risk pools “are prohibitively expensive.”
Bob Bryan wrote that “Ryan said Republicans planned to replace Obamacare with high-risk pools, which had been used by states before the ACA was passed, so that Jeans and others could continue to get coverage. Health-policy experts have been wary of this plan because of the low enrollment and prohibitively high costs in previous state-level pools.”
First, the “health policy experts” Bryan is talking about are from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a wildly pro-ACA organization. Trusting them isn’t entirely like trusting a used car salesman but I can’t say that I’d recommend trusting them without tons of verified information. Further, KFF apparently relies more on surveys than on research.
Second, Minnesota had a high risk pool before it was destroyed by the ACA. It wasn’t wildly expensive. It kept health insurance prices down for people who didn’t have pre-existing conditions. Finally, it helped Minnesota achieve an insured rate of 93% in 2007.
Though it isn’t in this video, Speaker Ryan told a townhall audience that President Obama and Democrats should’ve fixed the parts that were broken and left alone the parts that were working:
Instead, driven by partisan ideology, President Obama and the Democrats destroyed a health care system that 85% of the people liked and thought was working. While shoving this 2,700-page monstrosity down our throats, they didn’t have the decency to let the American people, or Republican representatives, read the bill. Only a handful of Democrats knew what was in the bill when it was passed. Now we’re supposed to trust Democrats when they tell us what won’t work?
That’s insulting and I won’t tolerate it.
One of the major highlights of CNN’s townhall meeting with Speaker Ryan at George Washington University came during the question of the night. That’s when Speaker Ryan announced that the House would repeal the ACA and pass the Republican replacement “at the same time, and in some cases in the same bill.” Speaker Ryan continued, saying “So we want to advance repealing this law with its replacement at the same time.”
The first person to ask a question of Speaker Ryan was a small business owner named Jeff Jeans, who identified himself as a former Republican and a cancer survivor. Jeans told Speaker Ryan “Just like you, I was opposed to the Affordable Care Act. When it was passed, I told my wife we would close our business before I’d comply with this law. Then, at 49, I was given 6 weeks to live and with a very curable type of cancer. We offered 3 times the cost of my treatments, which was rejected. They required an insurance card. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’m standing here alive. Being both a small business person and a person with pre-existing conditions, I rely on the Affordable Care Act to purchase my own insurance. Why would you repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement?”
Ryan replied “We wouldn’t do that. We want to replace it with something better. … We believe that state high risk pools are a smarter way of guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. We had a really good one in Wisconsin. Utah had a really great one. I was talking with a congresswoman from Washington today who was telling me how good their high risk pool is. What I mean when I say this is that about 8% of all the people less than 65 years of age have that type of pre-existing condition. … We don’t want people to go poor or go bankrupt because this thing happens to them so we obviously want a system where they can get affordable coverage without going bankrupt when they get sick. But we can do that without destroying the rest of the health care system for everybody else. That’s the point I’m trying to make. What we should have done is fix what was broken in health care without breaking what was working with health care and that’s what Obamacare unfortunately did.”
Here’s the video of that exchange:
It’s worth noting that Minnesota had a high risk pool, too, which was also working well until the ACA destroyed it. In 2007, before then-Sen. Obama was elected president, Minnesota boasted that 92.8% of its citizens were insured. Of those that didn’t have health insurance, more than half were eligible for some sort of taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. Had those people gotten signed up, Minnesota’s insured rate would’ve exceeded 97%, which would’ve been better than anything that the ACA could ever hope to accomplish.
What’s particularly insulting and infuriating is the fact that Democrats know the Republicans’ plans. It’s infuriating because Ryan’s plan has been out there for months. If there’s anything certain about Speaker Ryan, it’s that he’s a policy junkie in the best sense of the word. He lives to write great legislation.
Speaker Ryan said that he didn’t have a specific date that he’d put on repealing and replacing the ACA, though he told Jake Tapper that he thinks it will happen in President Trump’s first 100 days.
If that happens, you’ll see the economy take off because Obamacare is sucking the incentive out of growing small businesses. Watch the entire video. It’s educational and enlightening.
John Croman’s article reads like a DFL propaganda piece. That’s mostly because that’s what it is. The article starts by saying “Minnesota’s top budget official warned Monday that the Republican health insurance premium relief plan will significantly delay aid payments to those facing sharp increases in 2017. Commissioner Myron Frans, who heads the Minnesota Management and Budget department, said the rebate program envisioned in the GOP legislation would required creating an apparatus to receive and vet applications for aid, which could involve hiring an additional 100 staff in his agency. ‘Our first take is that this is going to cost a lot of money and it’s going to take a lot of time. And if we’re going to go down that road it’s going to make it very difficult to get this implemented in 2017,’ Commissioner Frans told reporters.”
My first question for Commissioner Frans would be why this wouldn’t apply to Gov. Dayton’s plan. Wouldn’t they need to verify that applicants’ income is truthful? Or would Gov. Dayton’s system run on the honor system?
The Republican plan, by contrast, calls for people to apply to the state for aid. The state would review the applications and issue State checks directly to the insurance customers. The Legislative Auditor would conduct the audits, if this plan passes and is signed into law.
I don’t know that that’s true but let’s stipulate that it is for this conversation. Couldn’t the DFL offer an amendment to change that part of the legislation?
The main question that hasn’t gotten asked is why Gov. Dayton and the DFL haven’t offered a plan to fix all the things that are wrong with Minnesota’s Obamacare health care system. Why haven’t the media asked Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk or Rep. Hortman where their comprehensive health care reform legislation is?
Does the Twin Cities media think, like Gov. Dayton and the DFL, that these skyrocketing health insurance premiums are a one-time thing? If they aren’t a one-time thing but are caused by systemic flaws, why haven’t the DFL written legislation that would fix that situation?
Commissioner Frans can complain all he wants about not getting the rebate fixed but the truth is that Minnesotans are worried about other parts of Minnesota’s health care system. Further, if Gov. Dayton vetoes premium relief, the DFL will wear that like a cement block during the 2018 campaign.
If she doesn’t watch it, Patty Murray will explode. According to this article, Murray went on a diatribe of epic proportions, saying “If Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, it’s women, kids, seniors, patients with serious illnesses, and people with disabilities who will bear the burden. Premiums will skyrocket. Out-of-pocket prescription drug costs will rise. And overall health care costs will increase. It’s a perfect storm to make America sick again — and absolutely the wrong direction for families and for our economy.”
In other words, Sen. Murray insists that repealing the ACA will do what the ACA is already doing. The ACA is already driving up health care premiums. The ACA is already bankrupting states, many of whom are opting out of the exchanges they created. The ACA is already driving up out-of-pocket expenses for families.
Whenever Democrats pretend these things aren’t already happening, they demolish their credibility. It isn’t like people haven’t noticed. If the ACA wasn’t expensive, Republicans wouldn’t have flipped the Minnesota Senate. If the ACA was affordable, the Democratic Party wouldn’t be a shrinking national party.
Democrats are living in fantasyland if they haven’t noticed the mess they’re in.