Category Archives: Abortion

WaPo: ‘discussion draft’ of GOP bill

After weeks of secret negotiations, evil GOP bastard Mitch McConnell is ready to release the GOP plan to repeal and replace Obamacare to rank and file GOP senators today, and is expected to release the bill publicly ahead of the vote next week. Senate GOP leaders set to unveil health-care bill.

The Washington Post purportedly has a leaked copy of the “discussion draft” for rank and file GOP senators this morning. Senate health-care draft repeals Obamacare taxes, provides bigger subsidies for low-income Americans than House bill:

A discussion draft circulating Wednesday afternoon among aides and lobbyists would roll back the Affordable Care Act’s taxes, phase down its Medicaid expansion, rejigger its subsidies, give states wider latitude in opting out of its regulations and eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood.

The bill largely mirrors the House measure that narrowly passed last month but with some significant changes aimed at pleasing moderates. While the House legislation tied federal insurance subsidies to age, the Senate bill would link them to income, as the ACA does. The Senate proposal cuts off Medicaid expansion more gradually than the House bill, but would enact deeper long-term cuts to the health-care program for low-income Americans. It also removes language restricting federally subsidized health plans from covering abortions, which may have run afoul of complex budget rules.

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Think the Senate will save us from the disastrous House AHCA bill? Think again

The conventional wisdom is that the U.S. Senate intends to rewrite its own health care bill from the wreckage of the disastrous American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House last week. The implication is that the Senate bill will be much better than the House bill.

The problem with conventional wisdom is that it is frequently wrong. There are Tea-Publicans in the Senate who are just as reckless and irresponsible, if not more so, than their counterparts in the House. Putting your faith in these “12 angry (white) men” and the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle Mitch McConnell on the Senate AHCA working group is a foolish and risky bet.

AHCA Working Group

The Washington Post reports, Senate hard-liners outline health-care demands with Medicaid in the crosshairs:

Senate conservatives, once seen as an impediment to the Obamacare repeal push, are instead lobbying for changes that would drop millions of adults from Medicaid, limit the value of tax credits over concerns about funding abortion and weaken or cancel consumer protections.

Senators like Mike Lee (R-Utah) believe these changes will help reduce health-care spending, prevent tax-credit dollars from paying for abortions and expand access to health insurance by lowering premiums — all arguments supported by conservative advocacy groups.

And such changes are also looked on favorably by some House Republicans who don’t expect their version of the American Health Care Act to survive the Senate.

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15,000 Join Women’s March in Tucson (video)

Women's March, Tucson

Women’s March, Tucson

One day after Donald Trump became president of the United States the world saw the largest mass protest ever.

On January 21, 2017, the Women’s March on Washington drew more participants than Trump’s inauguration the day before, and “sister marches” were held in 600 locations around the world. If you are a long-time follower of my blogging, you know that I have attended and videotaped many protests, marches and rallies. This was by far the largest protest march I have seen in my 35 years in Tucson. It was impressive.

The Tucson marchers were a diverse group. Although the event was dubbed the Women’s March, everyone was invited, and everyone came. From children to seniors, all ages were represented. There was an impressive number of men who marched, and the LGBTQ, Latino,  and African American communities were also well-represented. There were people in strollers and people who use wheelchairs. For more photos, go to my Facebook page.  (Video after the jump.)

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Senate begins work to repeal ‘ObamaCare’ and to defund Planned Parenthood through the budget reconciliation process

I warned you about this months ago.  The authoritarian Tea-Publcians intend to use the budget reconciliation process to complete the budget that the last Congress failed to pass as the vehicle for repealing the Affordable Care Act aka “ObamamCare” and to give their wealthy benefactors a massive tax cut. They have also now added defunding Planned Parenthood to the reconciliation bill.

The reason for this is that under the budget reconciliation process, it only requires a simple majority vote and there is no filibuster in the Senate. Eddie Munster’s Monstrous Plan for America (snippet):

POLITICO Tiger Beat on The Potomac, reports Ryan plans to steamroll Democrats with budget tool:

If Donald Trump is elected president and Republicans hold onto Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan is bluntly promising to ram a partisan agenda through Capitol Hill next year, with Obamacare repeal and trillion-dollar tax cuts likely at the top of the list. And Democrats would be utterly defenseless to stop them.

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EddieMunsterRyan peeled back the curtain on his strategy at a news conference last week after a reporter suggested he would struggle to implement his ambitious agenda next year. After all, it was noted, Republicans are certain to lack the 60 votes needed in the Senate to break Democratic filibusters on legislation. So Ryan gave a minitutorial on congressional rules and the bazooka in his pocket for the assembled reporters.

“This is our plan for 2017,” Ryan said, waving a copy of his “Better Way” policy agenda. “Much of this you can do through budget reconciliation.” He explained that key pieces are “fiscal in nature,” meaning they can be moved quickly through a budget maneuver that requires a simple majority in the Senate and House. “This is our game plan for 2017,” Ryan said again to the seemingly unconvinced press.

The New York Times has an explainer piece on The Parliamentary Tactic That Could Obliterate Obamacare.

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The GOP war on women’s reproductive rights under Trump begins

Women’s reproductive rights are now in the cross-hairs of the Forced Birthers, and Roe v. Wade is threatened by the Trump administration. Empowered by Trump, Ohio legislature passes ‘heartbeat’ bill that would ban most abortions:

abortionOhio lawmakers passed a bill late Tuesday that would prohibit abortion as soon as a fetal heartbeat can be detected — at around six weeks, before many women realize they are pregnant.

If Gov. John Kasich (R) signs the bill, it would pose a direct challenge to Supreme Court decisions that have found that women have a constitutional right to abortion until the point of viability, which is typically pegged around 24 weeks. Similar bills have been blocked by the courts. Because of this, even many antiabortion advocates have opposed such measures.

But some Ohio Republicans said they were empowered to support the bill because of President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 high court decision that legalized abortion nationally.

There is one vacancy on the Supreme Court, left by Antonin Scalia, a conservative justice who died this year. Another conservative justice in his place would not likely change the dynamics of the court enough to alter the chances for such a bill. But that could change if Trump gets the opportunity during his term to appoint a replacement for one of the more liberal justices.

The vote is the latest sign that Trump’s election has energized conservatives on cultural matters, even as his campaign was built around an economic message. Social conservatives were heartened by his choice for vice president, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R), who shepherded some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws in his state. They have watched approvingly as his cabinet picks have almost uniformly been outspoken against abortion rights.

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Filling the swamp at the Arizona legislature

There was a lot of talk this year about “draining the swamp” of lobbyists and special interests in government during the election.

Our Tea-Publican controlled Arizona legislature has decided to go in a different direction, putting right-wing lobbyists and special interests firmly in control of the swamp that is our Arizona legislature.

To parahrase Betty Davis in All About Eve, “Fasten your seatbelts, its going to be a bumpy ride!

The Arizona Capitol Times (subscription required) reports, New Arizona House speaker hires anti-abortion group’s lawyer:

swampThe incoming speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives has hired the top attorney for a powerful anti-abortion group as general counsel for the legislative chamber, one of a string of staffers with deep conservative resumes chosen by Rep. J.D. Mesnard.

The hiring of Josh Kredit as the chamber’s top lawyer comes after Mesnard chose Goldwater Institute vice president Michael Hunter as his chief of staff following his election as speaker by majority Republicans last month.

Kredit is currently general counsel and vice president of policy for the Center for Arizona Policy, a group that opposes gay marriage and abortion and promotes religious freedom. The group has written anti-abortion, school choice and other legislation in recent years and is a powerful force among Republican lawmakers.

Mesnard said Tuesday that he’s building a conservative staff to support a conservative Republican caucus.

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