As Congress gears up to try it once more with more feeling (and fewer benefits), it’s worth rereading what they tried to do just three weeks ago: “Obamacare Lite.”
Now we give them pensions and Secret Service protection.
In addition to directly stealing from Americans, the Obama White House did more to take away our rights, steal our privacy, and spy on us than any other administration. Ever.
The U.S. Senate voted this morning to repeal the FCC’s Internet service provider privacy regs. The vote was on straight party lines: 50 Republicans approved the measure and 48 Democrats rejected it. (Two Republicans were absent and did not vote.)
These FCC privacy rules protects consumers. Without them, your ISP will be able to sell records about what you look at, what you purchase, and who you talk to online.
The bill now goes to the House. If passed and signed by the President, !@#$%^Comcast wins. And we all lose.
Today is the deadline for the DOJ to turn over any evidence of wiretap activity at Trump Tower or of the Trump campaign.
CNN reports that Congress has pressed the Department of Justice to “provide any documents … that the Obama administration wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower during the campaign.
The House Intelligence Committee has set a Monday deadline for the DOJ to provide the evidence, a source familiar with the matter has told CNN, and has sent letters throughout the intelligence community this week to obtain records related to Russia.”
Most of us expect the answer to be “We found no evidence of legal wiretaps.”
Why on this green Earth does anyone — inside the Beltway or out — think illegal wiretaps would have been done legally?
If NSA or Central Intelligence or the Plumber’s Union did break the law to surveil the campaign, there is absolutely no good reason they would obey the law to get a FISA (or any other) warrant.
Today we start what looks to be a long series on another atrocious Health Insurance bailout, what Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) calls “Obamacare Lite”
“The American people and Members have a right to know the full impact of this legislation before any vote in Committee or by the whole House…”
–Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
I think David Koch or Stephen J. Hemsley must have paid Ms. Pelosi to write to Speaker Paul Ryan, “The American people and Members have a right to know the full impact of this legislation before any vote in Committee or by the whole House…”
(Where have I heard that before?)
I can think of nothing anyone could do that would more solidify the Republicans to pass this next looming disaster. Called the “American Health Care Act,” the bill has already made it through two committee hearings and is fast tracked to be passed about the day after tomorrow.
Rather than wait for the Congressional Budget Office score and for outrage to build, Mr. Ryan wants to hurry the legislation through the committee stage in a few days. The reason for the rush should be obvious: the more you look at the Unaffordable American Health Care Act, the more unhealthy it appears.
Republicans have obviously learned a lot from the Democrats these last eight years.
(They hoped we wouldn’t notice. We noticed.)
Here’s a quick comparison between the Unaffordable Care Act and the Unaffordable American Health Care Act:
• ObamaCare is extremely complicated. The new House plan is extremely complicated. For example, doctors must choose from 140,000 codes (up from 18,000) when entering a diagnosis. Do you really think the new House plan changes that?
• ObamaCare (“if you like your plan you can keep it”) forced insurers to cancel policies. The new House plan will also push insurers to cancel policies.
• Obamacare has fewer options and inferior care. The new House plan will have more options and inferior care.
• ObamaCare will cost more and more and more. The new House plan will cost more and more and more. Oh, I know the argument that the “tax credits” won’t be as much as last year’s “tax subsidies.” Pfui. Health care cost Americans $2 trillion in 2008; Obamacare grew it every year so health care will cost Americans $3.6 trillion in 2017. Somebody has to pay that no matter what billing scheme Congress passes.
No matter what they say in Washington, the Unaffordable American Health Care Act is not a health care bill. The Unaffordable American Health Care Act is just another payment scheme.
“Under Obamacare [there was] dishonest accounting” Sen. Paul said. “They said the federal government will pay for Medicaid, 100 percent of it. But we have no money. We borrow a million dollars a minute and have a $20 trillion debt, so it is dishonest.”
No matter what the true believers think, Obamacare — the original Unaffordable Care Act — is disintegrating. It’s collapsing politically. It’s collapsing financially. It’s collapsing medically.
The new Unaffordable American Health Care Act needs to address those issues but most important, it needs to address [wait for it] American Health Care.
“We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
–Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Oh. Yeah. That was it.
Rand Paul and other conservatives call the GOP plan “Obamacare Lite” Unfortunately, they’re wrong. It’s not “lite” enough.
Here’s the column I was going to write today. It would use facts and data that have been reported for almost a decade to show, yet again, how the boosters of our current Unaffordable Care Act and the medical conglomerate it supports have become insurance pawns.
George Gobel was about six months older than my parents. He died at age 71 in 1991, shortly after undergoing heart surgery.
“Here’s the thing, Nancy Pelosi told George Stephanopoulis yesterday, “when we did the [Un]affordable Care Act, if everyone loved their care, if everyone loved it, which they didn’t, and their insurance, we would still have had to do it because the escalating cost of health care in our country were (sic) unsustainable to individuals, to families, to small business, to corporate America, and to the public sector…”
We “had three goals,” Rep. Pelosi continued. “One, to lower costs. The other, to expand benefits. And the third, to improve — increase access of many more people.”
Lower costs: In 2008, healthcare cost $7,889 per capita. In 2016 healthcare cost $10,345 per capita. In Rep. Pelosi’s world, jacking the costs by 31% is “lowering costs.”
In 2014, my own new plan cost 15% more (from $5,172 per year to $5,965) and covered less than my commercial, “substandard, predatory, and inadequate insurance.” In fact, my own individual premium was $2,502 at the beginning of the Obama Administration in 2009. Premiums soared to $7,239 on the Exchange in 2017.
Expand benefits: The Unaffordable Care Act added some coverage guarantees (you can buy insurance only during open enrollment) and premium guarantees (they will rise based on family structure, geography, the actuarial value of the benefit, age, and tobacco use).
Benefits don’t include bariatric (weight-loss) surgery, infertility treatment, alternative medicine including acupuncture, long-term care, foot care, eye exams, and more. And co-payments have skyrocketed. The co-payment for an asthma inhaler used to cost $7. Then it went to $30. Then $60. Now it’s $100, every month. Flexible spending account are limited to $2,500.
Increase access: 20.4 million people were forced at gunpoint to buy health insurance. My existing, commercial Blue Cross plan was dropped and I had to buy a new one on the Exchange.
For the record, the standard plan premiums on the Vermont Exchange were $6,880 for gold, up from $5,965 in 2014, $5,814 for silver, or $4,910 for bronze in 2016.
For the record, the standard plans on the Vermont Exchange had a $750 individual medical deductible for gold, a $2,000 individual medical deductible for silver, and a whopping $4,000 individual medical deductible for bronze in 2016, with additional deductibles for prescriptions and other services. The so-called standard “High Deductible” plans are worse.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is beating the horse again. “20 million people are about to lose their health insurance as the GOP ‘destroys’ the [Un]affordable Care Act,” she says.
Remember the flat out lies about the Unaffordable Care Act?
• Mr. Obama said, Like your plan, keep your plan.
• Mr. Obama said, Like your doctor, keep your doctor.
• Ms. Pelosi said, Premiums will decline.
• Mr. Obama said, Premiums will drop on average $2,500.
• Mr. Obama said, Deductibles will go down.
• Ms. Pelosi said, We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.
• Kathleen Sibelius said, The Exchange website will work.
• Jonathan Gruber said, The Exchange website was secure.
• Ms. Pelosi said, Emergency room visits would decline.
• Ms. Warren said, Obamacare is the best thing that ever happened to this country.
Mr. Obama and the Congress knew the public wouldn’t buy this gift to the insurance companies, so they forced mandates and regulations and false guarantees on us. The only real guarantee was to drive up the cost of health care.
We’re going to make people buy it, Mr. Obama decreed about the false promise of the Unaffordable Care Act, and if they don’t buy it, they’re going to get penalized.
I simply do not understand why so many people, from insurance pawns like Ms. Warren to my liberal friends who support her, don’t get how bad this thing is. The news, the statistics, the facts have shown over and over that Obamacare is accelerating the demise of a system that has failed us.
“Make America Great Again!” Presidential candidate Donald Trump, 2016.
“America never stopped being great.” Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton February 27, 2016.
“The average American is actually economically in a lot of economic desperation, insecure. We have parts of this country that are — really, desolate…” Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, February 26, 2017.
Apparently the American protesters want their unaffordable premiums to climb more and more and more. American protesters want their unaffordable prescription drugs to cost more and more and more. American protesters want to their healthcare system to kill more patients than Iraq, the Maldives, Mexico, and 126 other countries. Apparently the American protesters want to buy the lies.
Those inconvenient truths, of course, don’t fit Ms. Warren and Ms. Pelosi’s story.
That’s the column I was going to write, until I realized the futility of using facts to counter the religious belief in Obamacare. I’ll just repeat a joke instead.
True or false, George: experts say there are only seven or eight things in the world dumber than an ant.
George Gobel: Yes, and I think I voted for six of ’em.