Category Archives: Legislation

Jan Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion plan goes to Arizona Supreme Court

Back in March, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the Maricopa County Superior Court decision upholding former governor Jan Brewer’s Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion plan in 2013. AZ Court of Appeals upholds Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion plan.

The “Kochtopus” Death Star, the Goldwater Institute, naturally appealed to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick, who was vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation at the time this lawsuit was filed, should be required to recuse himself from participating in this appeal under the court’s rules of ethics.

The parties are now filing their pleadings with the Arizona Supreme Court. Ducey administration argues to keep hospital levy paying for AHCCCS care:

The Ducey administration is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to preserve the levy that pays for an expanded Medicaid program — assuming that expansion isn’t undermined by Congress killing the program.

In legal papers filed Friday, attorney Doug Northup wants the justices to reject arguments by Republican lawmakers that money being paid by hospitals to the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System is a tax. Instead, he contends, it is simply an “assessment” on hospitals.

That difference is more than wordplay.

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Another GOP voter suppression plan

Why is it every time I see a piece of bad legislation in the Arizona legislature, this guy’s name appears to be attached to it? What the heck is wrong with voters living in legislative district 6 (specifically in Navajo, Gila and Yavapai Counties)? You ought to be embarrassed to send someone as backwards as this to the Arizona legislature.

The latest bad legislation is yet another GOP voter suppression plan sponsored by Rep. Bob Thorpe still seeking to bar student voting on campus:

The proposal by Rep. Bob Thorpe would put a provision that students who want to vote would be able to do so only by signing up to get an early ballot from the voting precinct where they were living before they went to college, presumably the address of their parents.

More to the point, they would not be able to use their college address. And that would apply not only to those who live in a campus dormitory but even those who have off-campus apartments or houses.

This is where Howard Fischer in his reporting should have stated up front (he puts it at the very end of his report) that the U.S. Supreme Court summarily affirmed (no opinion) that this was unconstitutional in SYMM v. U.S., 439 U.S. 1105 (1979), in which the Court summarily affirmed United States v. Texas, 445 F.Supp. 1245 (S.D.Tex. 1978), holding unconstitutional the denial to Prairie View students of the presumption of bona fide residency extended to other Waller County students. The three-judge District Court panel relied on a series of college student voting rights precedents under the Voting Rights Act and the 26th Amendment.

In other words, this issue has long ago been decided. Yet every election cycle some jurisdiction tries to keep college students from voting where they are attending college, and every election cycle this unconstitutional voter suppression effort is enjoined by the courts. The baffling part is the regularity with which jurisdictions keep trying to do this even when the law is clearly established.

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Action Alert: all hands on deck to stop Senate bill to repeal ‘Obamacare’

The next two weeks are “red alert” critical for you to focus your attention on the GOP attempts to repeal “Obamacare” and to destroy the health insurance market and Medicaid with it. GOP Senate leaders aim to bring health-care legislation to the floor by end of June: “The push has been laden with secrecy — and rank-and-file Republican senators are increasingly frustrated that Mitch McConnell and a small group of GOP aides are crafting a bill behind closed doors.”

Paul Waldman of the Washington Post explains, Why Mitch McConnell’s secrecy gambit on his health-care bill could backfire:

Right now, the Republican leadership in the Senate is undertaking an unprecedented effort to write and pass a bill to remake the entire American health-care system in secret, with not a single hearing or committee markup and with its details kept hidden even from many Republican senators. This plan was devised by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who is widely respected for his strategic acumen even by Democrats who believe he has a bottomless void where his soul ought to be.

But is it possible that McConnell’s plan will backfire?

I’ll explain why that might happen in a moment, but it’s important to understand that the secrecy with which this bill is being crafted is a tacit admission on Republicans’ part that its likely effects on Americans’ health care and financial security are so gruesome that it must be kept hidden until the last possible moment, lest the public have time to understand what’s in it.

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Trump speedbump to Senate repeal of ‘Obamacare’

Last month President Trump hosted a kegger party in the White House Rose Garden to cheer the passage of the American Health Care Act with House members.

Trump said “What we have is something that is very, very, incredibly well-crafted.”

The president also promised to get it through the Senate.

“It’s going to be an unbelievable victory when we get it through the Senate, and there’s so much spirit there,” Trump said.

That was then, this is now. Yesterday, Trump calls House health bill that he celebrated in the Rose Garden ‘mean’:

President Trump told Republican senators Tuesday that the House GOP health-care bill was “mean” and he expects the Senate to “improve” the legislation considerably, according to several Republicans familiar with the gathering.

The meeting came as Senate Republicans were struggling to build support for their health-care rewrite among conservatives who are concerned that the legislation is drifting too far to the left.

Trump’s labeling of the House bill as “mean” was a significant shift of tone that followed months of private and public negotiations, during which he called the bill “great” and urged GOP lawmakers to vote for it. Following the House vote, Trump hosted an event in the Rose Garden to celebrate its passage.

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Evil GOP Bastards plot the destruction of health care in secret – call your senators

The Beltway conventional wisdom was that the awful Zombie Trumpcare bill passed by the House was dead on arrival in the Senate, and senators would draft a more favorable bill to appeal to mythical moderate senators. Or the “Obamacare” repeal effort would die in the Senate.

Beltway conventional wisdom is almost always wrong, however, because the pundits always ignore the iron law of GOP politics: the mythical moderates always cave to the radical conservatives. That’s what makes them”mythical,” moderate Tea-Publicans do not actually exist.

Sarah Kliff reports at Vox.com, Obamacare is in real danger:

The Affordable Care Act is in deep trouble — in Washington and large swaths of the country.

Senate Republicans began to coalesce around the framework of a plan to repeal and replace the law last week. Their plan would, like the bill the House passed in May, almost certainly cause millions of low-income Americans to lose coverage by ending the Medicaid expansion. It would help the young and healthy at the expense of the older and the sick.

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) told reporters this past week that the Senate bill will overlap the House bill by as much as 70 or 80 percent.

Meanwhile, across the nation, health insurance plans are beginning to flee the Obamacare marketplace. They’ve cited the uncertainty around the health care law’s future, sown by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration. The number of counties with zero health plans signed up to sell 2018 coverage keeps growing.

The possibility that Republicans will repeal Obamacare or drive it into collapse is an increasingly real one. That’s a reality where millions fewer have health insurance and lower-income Americans struggle to afford coverage.

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Evil GOP bastards vote to gut Dodd-Frank banking regulations

Remember those terrifying days in September 2008 after the housing bubble had collapsed, the world’s financial system teetered on collapse, and the economy was in a free-fall?

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Yeah, Tea-Publicans in Congress hope you suffer from short-term memory loss and that you have forgotten all about those dark days.

The evil GOP bastards want to return to what they view as those halcyon days when the banksters of Wall Street ran wild in unregulated casino capitalism — speculation, fraud and theft — that nearly destroyed the world’s financial system. Not one bankster of Wall Street was ever convicted for the greatest financial crime in history, but the GOP is OK with that … the banksters are the “masters of the universe” whom the lickspittle servants of the GOP serve in Congress.

While You Were Paying Attention To Comey, House Republicans Voted For Everything Big Banks Want:

While much of the political world was watching the fallout from former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday, House Republicans were jamming through a bill that would largely gut the financial regulations in Dodd-Frank, the landmark banking legislation passed in 2010 after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

But instead of quietly sneaking the legislation through, Republicans were loudly touting the bill ― which passed, 233-186, with all Democrats and one Republican (Walter Jones of North Carolina) voting no ― as a major victory.

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