Category Archives: Healthcare

The ‘shit-show’ shutdown appears likely

Evil GOP bastard House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to avert a government shutdown at midnight on Friday is to hold poor children covered under the CHIP program as hostages, and to attach the long-delayed CHIP program renewal to a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to entice enough votes to pass the short-term spending bill. Poor children are pawns to be used by Paul Ryan in shutdown politics.

This morning our Twitter-troll-in-chief appeared to blow up Ryan’s evil plan. Trump Upsets Republican Strategy to Avoid Shutdown:

President Trump blew up Republican strategies to keep the government open past Friday when on Thursday morning he said a long-term extension of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program should not be part of a stopgap spending bill pending before the House.

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With his tweet, Mr. Trump even inadvertently backed late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel in his fight with House Republicans over their use of CHIP as a lure to win Democratic votes despite the impasse on immigration. Mr. Kimmel responded by saying that Mr. Trump was “absolutely correct.”

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Republican leaders had spent Wednesday pressuring Democrats to vote for the spending bill, arguing that opposing it would effectively block a six-year extension of the children’s health program, attached to the spending bill as a sweetener for lawmakers in both parties.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin said on Wednesday that it would be “unconscionable” for Democrats to oppose funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program with a “no” vote on the short-term spending bill.

No, what is unconscionable is to hold poor children hostage in order to pass the fourth CR spending bill since September, because this loser Paul Ryan can’t whip enough votes in his own GOP caucus to pass necessary spending bills.

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Poor children are pawns to be used by Paul Ryan in shutdown politics

Evil GOP bastard House Speaker Paul Ryan has a plan to avert a government shutdown at midnight on Friday. He intends to use poor children covered under the CHIP program as pawns and to attach the long-delayed CHIP program renewal — something which should have already been approved as a stand alone bill — to a short-term continuing resolution (CR) to entice enough votes to pass the short-term spending bill and kick the can down the road again into February.

POLITICO reports, House Republicans coalesce behind plan to avert shutdown:

House Republicans on Tuesday night appeared to coalesce around a short-term funding bill to avert a government shutdown Friday — even as conservatives threatened to oppose it and a bitter fight continued over the fate of more than 700,000 Dreamers.

Speaker Paul Ryan unveiled a plan at a House GOP Conference meeting to fund the government through Feb. 16, and numerous rank-and-file members quickly endorsed it despite their frustration with another short-term patch. To further sweeten the pot, the Wisconsin Republican’s bill also includes a delay of several Obamacare taxes and a six-year extension of a popular health care program for children.

“It’s a good strategic position because not only does it offer CHIP [funding] for six years … but you also have a medical device tax delay as well as the Cadillac tax delay,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker (R-N.C.), referring to some of the taxes that would be delayed. “I think it puts Democrats in a very difficult position of having to vote against that in the House or in the Senate.”

House GOP leaders will whip the bill Wednesday before a possible Thursday vote. If the funding measure passes the House, senior Republican sources in both chambers expect the measure to clear the Senate.

House GOP leaders, however, still have some work to do: House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said many of his conservative members oppose the plan, dismissing the tax delays as a “gimmick” that won’t necessarily help leaders find 218 votes for passage.

After the GOP Conference meeting, the House Freedom Caucus met and did not take a position on the stopgap bill. But Meadows expressed skepticism leadership’s plan would pass in its current form with just Republican votes.

Based on the number of ‘no’ and undecided votes, there is not enough votes for a Republican-only bill,” he said.

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The GOP’s war on the poor: Medicaid work requirements

Now that Tea-Publicans have accomplished their one goal of passing their “tax cuts for corporations and plutocrats” bill, this year their attention will turn to punishing the poor for being poor, those damn “takers”!

The GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fanboy, Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” wants to fulfill his life-long dream of dismantling Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the so-called “entitlement” programs, more accurately the “social contract” programs for which people paid taxes into during their working years on the premise that it will be there for them in their retirement years.

But with the Senate down to a bare 51-49 GOP majority, the Septuagenarian Ninja Turtle, Mitch McConnell, says Entitlement reform is not on 2018 Senate agenda despite what House Speaker Paul Ryan and senior Trump administration officials say. It’s Ryan vs. McConnell on entitlement reform. House Speaker Paul Ryan’s dream of dismantling the nation’s entitlement programs in 2018 has run into a harsh reality: His own party isn’t on board.

Nevertheless, Tea-Publicans are going to chip away at the social contract programs this year. In a break from longstanding legal precedent, last week the Trump Administration Says States May Impose Work Requirements for Medicaid:

The Trump administration said on Thursday that it would allow states to impose work requirements in Medicaid, a major policy shift that moves toward fulfilling a conservative vision for one of the nation’s largest social insurance programs for low-income people.

Federal officials said they would support state efforts to require able-bodied adults to work or participate in other “community engagement activities” as a condition of eligibility for Medicaid.

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Rep. Martha McSally announces her bid for the Senate (Updated)

Southern Arizona’s media invention mythical moderate Republican, Rep. Martha McSally, who is really a wingnut hardliner who has embraced our nativist and racist President Donald Trump, voting in support of his agenda 96.7% of the time, announced today that she is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake.

Good riddance from your constituents here in CD 2, Martha, and here’s looking forward to your being unemployed come November (don’t worry, the congresswoman from Raytheon no doubt already has a job waiting for her in the military-industrial-congressional complex).

The Hill reports, McSally announces bid for Arizona Senate seat:

Arizona Rep. Martha McSally (R) has officially announced her bid for Senate, a long-awaited announcement that caps a busy week in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake (R).

McSally formally announced her bid Friday morning in a tour across the state, but her campaign tipped its hand by releasing a video hours before.

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The spot leans heavily on her experience as the first female combat fighter pilot and portrays her as an ally of President Trump.

Her blunt talk in the video shows a push to connect to Republicans across the spectrum, an important challenge for McSally considering she will be facing off in the GOP primary against two controversial candidates in former Sheriff Joe Arpaio and former state Sen. Kelli Ward.

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As Congress dithers, CHIP funding to begin running out next week

When both political parties broadly agree that something should happen yet serially fail to follow through, the nation’s leaders look particularly inept. Congress’s failure to re-up CHIP funding shows its striking ineptitude:

The example of the moment is the ongoing saga of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a popular service that covers 9 million young Americans — and that is rapidly running out of cash, alarming families that rely on the federal aid to keep their children healthy.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress created CHIP in 1997 to assist families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid, the health-insurance program for the poor, yet who do not have reasonable alternative options for insuring their children. Given that decent health care in early years is crucial, lawmakers rightly decided to invest in the nation’s future health. The program has been a remarkable success, driving children’s uninsured rate down to about 4 percent.

But, unlike Medicaid, Congress did not make CHIP an entitlement program that automatically and perpetually draws as much money as it needs from the treasury. Rather, it required lawmakers to regularly re-up CHIP’s funding, which they did in 2015, under the reasonable assumption that Congress would not want to be blamed for kicking children off their insurance.

The 2015 funding dried up in September, and lawmakers pumped in enough emergency funds to sustain the program for only a few months. States have begun planning for a funding shortage, with some warning families that their coverage might lapse. The disruption uselessly alarms parents, scrambles doctors’ planning and eats up time state officials could use for more important things.

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Left behind by Congress until January 19

You may have noticed that we did not have a government shutdown for Christmas because Tea-Publicans in Congress agreed to a “clean” Continuing Resolution” (CR) to continue funding programs at current levels until January 19, when the real fight will take place.

Congress kicked the can down the road on a number of controversial issues that Congress had said it wanted to resolve before the end of the year. Who gets left behind in the spending bill:

Keeping the government funded was nearly an afterthought after Republicans celebrated passage of their historic tax bill and ditched town for the holiday season.

But in the rush to close out a year of turmoil in Washington, Congress left disaster aid, Dreamers and pensioners on the back burner, and gave only a temporary reprieve to children’s health insurance and spying powers. Even though lawmakers stripped out most additions to the spending bill, GOP leaders scrambled for days to clear it.

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