Category Archives: Arizona Congressional Delegation

D-Day for ‘Obamacare’ repeal aka Trumpcare bill in the House

It is decision day (D-Day) in the House.

The radical far-right GOP House Freedom Caucus is making eleventh-hour demands for more draconian measures to the GOP’s “Obamacare” repeal bill aka “Trumpcare 2.0” (soon to be 3.0?) ahead of the vote scheduled for today, only because it is the anniversary of President Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law. The post-policy nihilists of the GOP only do propaganda, not policy.

The New York Times reports, Key to Health Vote, Hard-Line Conservatives Push New Cuts:

Hard-line conservatives in the House will meet Thursday morning with President Trump to hammer out changes to the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, pressing to eliminate federal requirements that health insurance plans provide a basic set of benefits like maternity care, emergency services and wellness visits.

What the Freedom Caucus wants in the GOP health-care bill, and why it’s not getting it:

The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 dictates that not just anything can be passed by the “reconciliation” process; matters that are “extraneous” to the budgetary nature of the bill are excluded.

House leaders, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), are insisting that any provisions rolling back the ACA’s essential health benefits are indeed extraneous. And not only are they extraneous, Ryan argued Wednesday, but if the House adds them to the bill, the Senate couldn’t just strip them out — it could no longer consider it as a privileged reconciliation bill needing only a simple, Republican majority to pass.

Translation: the Senate cloture rule requiring 60 votes to end debate and advance to a vote on the bill will apply, and Democrats could comfortably filibuster this bill in the Senate.

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Rep. Martha McSally will vote to take health care away from thousands of her constituents

As I pointed out earlier this year to the folks at “McSally Take A Stand,” It turns out that Martha McSally does stand for somethin’: Trumpism.

The Five Thirty Eight Vote Tracker still shows our “mythical moderate” Congresswoman (a myth created by our local media) voting 100% with the destructive positions of “The Donald.”

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McSally has now declared her support for the “Trumpcare 2.0” bill to be voted on Thursday, which will take health care insurance away from thousands of her constituents. Hopefully they vote and will return the favor in November 2018.

The Arizona Republic reports, Martha McSally signals support for ‘Obamacare’ repeal bill; Trent Franks doesn’t:

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally signaled support for the revised Republican health care bill Monday, but the plan’s passage remained uncertain as it headed toward a key vote Thursday in the House or Representatives.

In a statement Monday night, McSally, a two-term Arizona Republican, said the bill backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan “is not perfect and I still have concerns,” but she indicated she was working to strengthen that plan.

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AIRC wins final legal challenge to redistricting maps

On Thursday, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge rejected challenges from a coalition of Republican voters that the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC) used the wrong process in drawing boundaries for Arizona’s nine congressional districts. Arizona redistricting commission wins another legal challenge:

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roger Brodman rejected claims that the five-member commission violated the state’s Open Meetings Law as it went about its work.

Brodman’s ruling continues a string of redistricting-commission victories. The citizen-created commission has won all five legal challenges brought against it, including two that went to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is unclear if the plaintiffs will appeal; attorney Brett Johnson was not immediately available for comment.

Joe Kanefield, one of the attorneys representing the commission, called it a “sweeping victory” because the judge sided with the commission on all the complaints.

“It’s a broad victory, there’s nothing left to litigate at this point,” Kanefield said.

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GOP’s ‘Obamacare’ repeal bill threatens public health in Arizona

Debate over the GOP’s American Health Care Act largely focuses on how the bill seeks to remake private-sector insurance and the Medicaid program for low-income and disabled people, but a less-publicized provision of the bill would eliminate a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention fund of nearly $1 billion that sustains public health programs nationwide. GOP health bill would cut nearly $47 million in Arizona public health funds:

Arizona could lose $46.8 million in federal public health funding over the next five years via a cut included in the House Republican health bill, likely forcing local health departments to reduce or cut public health programs.

The Arizona Department of Health Services received $9.3 million this fiscal year from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The money is included in the Affordable Care Act, but the GOP plan that cleared two House committees last week would discontinue funding next fiscal year.

The fund pays for program such as providing childhood immunizations and counteracting emerging public health threats such as the Zika and Ebola viruses. It also helps pay for efforts to curb childhood lead poisoning, fight heart disease, manage diabetes, promote skin-cancer awareness and smoking cessation.

“This funding is in danger,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “There is no guarantee these programs would continue.”

Christ noted that money for many of these public health programs was allotted before the Affordable Care Act became the nation’s health law in 2010, so she is hopeful that Congress will restore funding even though the GOP bill, as written, would eliminate it next fiscal year.

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GOP Obamacare replacement bill is even worse than everyone expected

Last week, Senator Aqua Buddha, Rand Paul (R-KY), went all Indiana Jones in search of the top secret GOP Obamacare replacement bill being held under guard in a secure location in the Capitol. I kid you not. Rand Paul still searching for Obamacare replacement bill:

Thursday, Sen. Paul tried to track down a copy of the draft, but he said he was denied access to a room when aides inside told the senator there wasn’t a bill to see. At one point, a GOP staff member allowed House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy and a dozen or so reporters into the room to inspect it themselves to see that it was, in fact, bill-less.

“This should be an open and transparent process,” Paul said Thursday following his search. “This is being presented as if it were a national secret, as if this was a plot to invade another country, as if this were national security. That’s wrong.”

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Paul wasn’t alone in his health care escapade. Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer went live on Facebook Thursday in search of the legislation and Rep. Nancy Pelosi also tweeted in support of the search.

“I’m looking for the House GOP’s secret ACA repeal bill since they are hiding it from Members and the public,” Hoyer posted on Facebook.

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On Monday, GOP leadership released its Obamacare replacement bill from its secret Capitol basement lair. They should have left it there never to be seen in public.

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Rep. Martha McSally emerges from her chicken bunker, constituents let her have it

Now you can understand why Rep. Martha McSally schedules  private “town halls” before friendly constituencies (like her former employer Raytheon) and tele-town halls rather than public town halls where she gas to face constituents who show up and ask her “impertinent” questions that she does not want to answer.

Let’s take a look at how McSally’s town hall in the usually friendly confines of Sahuarita and moderated by editor Dan Shearer from the Green Valley News went yesterday.

The Arizona Republic reports, At tense town hall, Rep. Martha McSally faces calls of ‘Do your job!’:

In a sometimes-raucous replay of town halls across the country, U.S. Rep. Martha McSally faced shouts, pleas and cat calls from a noisy share of her constituents Thursday.

Many among the 250 people inside the afternoon event at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ vented their simmering anger at President Donald Trump and called for her to rein in his agenda on issues such as health care, gun rights and immigration reform.

Dozens or more people chanted “Do your job!” and pressed signs hostile to the administration against the doors outside the church.

For about 90 occasionally tense minutes, there was little sign of the close partisan division within McSally’s district. Instead, it was dominated by Democrats and liberals who called on her to serve as a check on the president.

I’m sorry, but how can this reporter know the voter registration of those in attendance? This is an editorial assumption by a reporter without supporting facts. There were just as likely unhappy Republicans in attendance as well.

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