Category Archives: Arizona Congressional Delegation

A morally bankrupt political party hellbent on denying medical care to millions of Americans

The Trump administration has expanded its sabotage efforts of “Obamacare” into a full-scale undermining of the American healthcare system. Under Trump, Obamacare outreach groups face budget cuts as high as 98%:

The Trump administration has informed government-funded Obamacare outreach groups of deep impending budget cuts next year, with some nonprofits having budgets slashed by as much as 98 percent.

The Health and Human Services Department announced August 31 that it would cut funding for the health law’s in-person assistance program by 41 percent. Late Wednesday night, the administration sent each group its individual budget. It shows widespread variation in how big those funding cuts will be.

Last year’s budget for the navigator program ran out on September 1. This year’s grants were released just before midnight on September 13, meaning that the outreach groups went two weeks with no funding at all. This led to some groups laying off workers or shutting down operations entirely.

Last week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a new report showing that Trump is making Obamacare premiums more expensive:

The Trump administration’s management of Obamacare is causing higher premiums and lower enrollment in the individual market, a new report from the Congressional Budget Office finds.

The nonpartisan office estimates that average premiums in the health law marketplaces will be 15 percent higher next year “largely because of short-term market uncertainty — in particular, insurers’ uncertainty about whether federal funding for certain subsidies that are currently available will continue to be provided.”

The CBO also estimates that there will be less competition in the marketplaces next year, which it also attributes to the uncertain federal environment surrounding the health law’s future.

The subsidies the CBO refers to are the Affordable Care Act’s cost-sharing reduction subsidies, which cover copays and deductibles for low-income health care enrollees. The Trump administration has not said whether it will continue to pay these subsidies next year, causing many insurance plans to raise their premiums to prevent any possible shortfall in revenue.

The CBO also points to “announced reductions in federal advertising, outreach, and other enrollment efforts” as additional factors that will make Obamacare sign-ups smaller next year than they otherwise would have been.

President Trump has often described the Affordable Care Act as “imploding on its own.” The CBO report suggests this isn’t the case at all; rather, the Trump administration is making specific policy decisions that are leading to an individual market that will be less functional, with fewer people signed up and higher premiums for those who do enroll.

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Action Alert: you have until September 30 to kill this zombie ‘Trumpcare’ bill

The Senate parliamentarian told senators that Tea-Publicans’ ability to pass an Obamacare replacement with just 51 votes expires at the end of September. Repealing Obamacare Just Got Even More Complicated. It was not entirely clear to me whether the Continuing Resolution (CR) that Congress passed a couple of weeks ago would extend this deadline, but everything I have read since indicates that the September 30 deadline remains in effect.

OK, zombie hunters. Last week Tea-Publicans introduced their desperation zombie “Trumpcare” bill. You know what you have to do.

Steve Benen explains, The final fight of the Republican health care crusade has arrived:

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) formally unveiled the only remaining Republican plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

NBC News obtained an advanced draft of the proposal, which has been percolating for a couple of months.

The 23-page summary draft and an explanation of funding, which Graham’s office confirmed is authentic, attempts to achieve parity in federal funding between states that expanded Medicaid and those that did not by 2026. That division was one that helped to kill the Senate’s efforts because senators from expansion states tended to oppose the legislation in its previous versions due to the roll-back of the Medicaid expansion.

The bill also provides federal money to states to implement their own health care plan as opposed to one system for all 50 states that exists under Obamacare.

We’ve discussed many of the profound flaws in this plan before, and we can go into more detail once the legislation is available for scrutiny. For now, however, let’s consider whether the Graham-Cassidy plan has a credible chance at success.

Note: There are at least 46 Tea-Publicans who would vote for a blank piece of paper, sight unseen, if they are told it repeals Obamacare,  consequences to Americans, the health care system, and the economy be damned.

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Democrats rescue the country, for now — see you in December

So Conservatives mounted opposition to Trump’s deal with Democrats, but failed to stop it in the Senate:

Conservative lawmakers voiced their opposition to President Trump’s deal with Democratic congressional leaders, arguing the three-month government spending bill that also raises the debt ceiling should not be passed because it does not include federal spending cuts.

The chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee objected to the agreement in a letter to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), while Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) proposed an amendment to pass relief for Hurricane Harvey victims as a stand-alone bill in the upper chamber, decoupled from debates over federal spending and the debt ceiling.

The moves came just as news broke that Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) are working on a separate deal that would repeal the debt ceiling by DecemberMy God, he’s giving up our hostage! — another betrayal by the president that would erase one of the few points of leverage conservatives have to extract spending cuts during high-stakes fiscal debates.

Opponents failed to derail the package combining $15.25 billion in Harvey aid with a temporary debt-ceiling hike and funding to keep the government open until Dec. 8. The Senate passed it on Thursday afternoon, sending it back to the House for final approval.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 80 to 17. All “no” votes were Republicans. Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake and John McCain both voted “no.” (This was a “safety” vote — it was going to pass by a safe margin so they could afford to be dicks about it).

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Rep. McSally responds to President Trump’s recission of DACA with a lie

Rep. Martha McSally, who typically avoids commenting on controversial issues, responded to President Trump’s recission of DACA with a lie.

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The lie: “Congress was robbed of the opportunity to do so when President Obama issued his June 2012 meorandum.” That is pure unadulterated bullshit.

Since McSally has unfortunately been in Congress, the “Gang of Eight” Immigration Reform bill passed the Senate on a super-majority vote of 68-32 in 2013. Senate passes immigration bill.

The “Gang of Eight” bill died in the House, where Rep. McSally supported alternative bills by racist xenophobe Rep. Steve King (R-IA). Martha McSally is a ‘Deportation Republican’.

The GOP turned over its immigration policy to racist xenophobe Rep. Steve King in the new Congress in 2015, a policy which included the repealof DACA. The GOP reaffirms it is ‘the party of maximum deportations’. Rep. McSally supported Rep. King’s bill.

Rep. McSally voted with her “Mass Deportation” GOP colleagues to defund the DACA program in January 2015. House Deportation Tea-Publicans vote to defund DACA Program.

Rep. McSally is counting on our feckless local media and the low information voters who voted for her to suffer from short-term memory and to not remember how she has voted on this immigration issue in the past. She has consistently voted against DACA.  She is not “willing and ready to find a solution.” She has voted for deportation.

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Donald Trump’s ‘Pity Party’ in Phoenix

Did you know that there was only one victim in Charlottesville, Virginia, and it wasn’t Heather Heyer? Oh no, the victim was our always insecure egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief at the hands of a “dishonest” media that accurately reported his words live on TV.

Donald Trump came to Phoenix to throw himself a “pity party” among his sycophant supporters with a long list of perceived grievances against all those whom he feels have done him wrong. He’s the victim in his revisionist history. The Daily 202: Trump’s penchant for revisionist history on display during Arizona rally.

This is in keeping with the conservative white grievance sense of victimhood, that they are “victimized” for their whacked-out conspiratorial non-factual beliefs in utter nonsense for which they are fed a steady diet from the conservative media entertainment complex. This sense of victimhood is the unifying “tribalism” around which they rally in this anti-intellectual movement led by the most dangerous demagogue in American history.

The Washington Post reports, Trump threatens government shutdown, suggests controversial pardon at Arizona rally (paragraphs have been reordered):

President Trump’s freewheeling comments came at a boisterous campaign rally here during which he went on an extended diatribe about the media, blaming reporters for the negative fallout he has received over his responses to the hate-fueled violence in Charlottesville.

At the outset of the rally, Trump selectively recounted the series of statements he made in the days following the melee in Charlottesville, arguing that he “spoke out forcefully against hatred and bigotry and violence” but that the media — whom he called “sick people” — refused to report it properly.

“You know where my heart is,” Trump said, before pulling a copy of his first of three statements on the violence out of his suit coat and reading it to his audience. He later accused the media of giving a platform to the hate groups that were central to the violence in Charlottesville that led to three deaths.

Following his comments last week, Trump was criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for blaming “both sides” for the violence and saying that “fine people” had marched along with white supremacists to protest the removal of a Confederate statue.

Trump did not mention either of those remarks in his diatribe against the media on Tuesday. He lied by omission to his sycophant supporters in his revisionist history, and his sycophant supporters didn’t care. Facts simply do not matter to these people, they are in thrall to Trump lies, President Trump has made more than 1,000 false or misleading statements, all that matters to them is their unquestioning devotion and loyalty to their “Dear Leader.”

Trump also never mentioned Heather Heyer, the woman mowed down by a white supremacist with his vehicle in Charlottesville. In Trump’s revisionist history, he was the only victim that day.

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Donald Trump to darken Arizona’s doorway again

Donald Trump is under intense political fire for his defense of Neo-Confederate and Neo-Nazi white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

When in trouble, Trump sets up a campaign rally in a state that he won so he can appear before his cult followers and bask in their unquestioning adulation.

So naturally, Trump is coming to Phoenix where former Governor Jan Brewer defends President Donald Trump’s Charlottesville remarks, and Tea-Publicans in the Arizona legislature have uniformly voted in favor of Neo-Confederate and “Tenther” legislation for years, as we have documented at this blog. These are his people.

President Trump is scheduled to hold a campaign-style rally in downtown Phoenix next Tuesday, making his first presidential trip to the West as his administration confronts an uproar over his tepid response to a deadly white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Donald Trump makes it official: He’ll hold a downtown Phoenix rally:

Trump will take the stage at the Phoenix Convention Center on Tuesday at 7 p.m., according to an announcement Wednesday morning. Attendees must register to obtain tickets.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton wrote in a statement Wednesday he was disappointed to learn of Trump’s visit so close to the violent events in Charlottesville. The mayor called on Trump to delay the visit.

“If President Trump is coming to Phoenix to announce a pardon for former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, then it will be clear that his true intent is to enflame emotions and further divide our nation,” the statement said.

Break out those Confederate and Nazi flags! As the “Unite the Right” alt-right protestors in Charlottesville chanted, “Heil Trump!” Show us your true colors. Trump has made it acceptable for you to come out of the shadows and to let your freak flags fly.

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