Sunday, March 26, 2017

Media, Republicans declare that the Affordable Care Act aka 'Obamacare' will be a disaster that Americans do not need or want

The U.S. Supreme Court Justices from left to right on front row: Associate Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Chief Justice John Roberts (center), Associate Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Gingsburg; standing in rear from left to right: Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Samuel Alito, Jr. and Elena Kagan.
***Update: In 2010 Republicans vowed to repeal and replace The Affordable Care Act because, as of today they say, it is a total disaster despite of millions formerly uninsured American now have health care insurance and access to preventive care. These people won't have to run to emergency rooms for their primary health care. When Donald Trump ran for president he promised to repeal and replace Obamacare, replacing it with health care insurance that everyone can afford. He promised that uninsured Americans will longer be "dying in the street". He also promised that people will "be beautifully covered".

"We're going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future," Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, said March 24, 2017. He could not garner the votes from a Republican controlled Congress to bring the repeal to the floor for a vote. Ryan informed now President Donald Trump of the bad news. Trump told Ryan to cease all action and move on to the tax bill, another of pet projects. The president said they will visit Obamacare another time.  

Trump and  Republicans nationwide are predicting that The Affordable Care Act or Obamacare will fall flat on its face. They say it is already "exploding". Trump expects Democrats will then come crawling to him, begging for his cooperation. He is depending on Democrats, who have no control in the Senate and Congress, having no choice but to accept whatever he and Republicans put in front of them as a replacement for Obamacare.

Since 2010 Republicans have  preached and promised to repeal and replace Obamacare. In seven years Paul Ryan and his company of  elected do-nothings have been unable to produce a workable health care plan. President Obama admitted in 2010 that The Affordable Care Act was not perfect, and he was willing to work with Republicans to improve it. Republicans folded their arms, held their breath and said no thank you. They refused to cooperate. They expected him to accept their nonexistent plan.

Republicans have repealed Obamacare 50 times, billing taxpayers $75 million or more to satisfy their collective ego. 

The Supreme Court's Decision Angers Republicans

The Supreme Court’s decision on the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act came down to a vote of  5 to 4, with Justice John Roberts breaking from conservative justices. The media, Republicans and pundits seemed to forget that the justices--all of whom were called “activist justices” by the Bush administration--are sitting on the bench to adhere to the rule of law. The Justices  job is not to make popular or political decisions, but to base their rulings strictly on the lawfulness of the U.S. Constitution. They are not elected to office, therefore, they do not have to worry about being popular with a critical populace.

And yet, that hasn't stopped conservatives from calling Justice Roberts a "traitor" who  committed  "treason" against the United States for ruling in favor of the Affordable Care Act. Angry conservatives, media and pundits accused him of ignoring the Constitution to give President Obama a victory. Never mind that uninsured Americans are the true winners.

Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said the uninsured "is not the issue." This is the same political miscreant who vowed to make President Obama a one term president.

Know-it-alls got it wrong from day one when newspapers began speculating which direction the Justices would go. They all said conservative Justices would break the legs of the bill, making sure it cannot stand on its own power. But the bill wound up standing tall. The media and pundits cannot let go, neither can critics, who are questioning the mental health of Chief Justice John Roberts for not siding with his colleagues. 

The media and pundits, all of whom are against "The Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act", refuse to report the benefits the Act will offer, which will kick into full effect in 2014.  They insist that the majority of “American people” do not want affordable health care! They push slanted polls that suggest the majority of "American people" do not want the health insurance "forced on them" by the government. The media and pundits refuse to clearly explain that health care reform levels the playing field for millions of uninsured men, women, children and disabled citizens who have been discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions.  As it stands, pregnancy and being female are pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies can deny women, or charge then a higher rate than men. Women have no way to protect themselves from insurers that discriminate against them.

As expected, Republican governors have geared up to deny their constituents affordable health care insurance, despite of it being paid for by the government the first three years. Thereafter, the government will pay a small percentage of the bill. The most vocal Republican governors--Rick Scott of Florida, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana,  and Scott Walker of Wisconsin-- have declared that they absolutely will not cooperate. In Texas, my home state, where 25 percent (or 6.2 million) of its citizens are uninsured, Gov. Rick Perry said he will not allow the plan to take root in Texas. Brushing aside the big boy boasting, I am sure these governors will find a way to scam “big government” out of a share of the millions of dollars cooperating states will receive.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act ensures hard-working, middle class families will get the security they deserve and protects every American from the worst insurance company abuses.  This law was also specifically designed to give States the resources and flexibility they need to tailor their approach to their unique needs.  With the uncertainty about the Court’s decision behind us, it’s now time to focus on implementing this law in a smart and non-bureaucratic way that works for the middle class.

Benefits and Protections for the Middle Class: The Affordable Care Act includes numerous provisions to keep health care costs low, promote prevention, and hold insurance companies accountable.  If you’re one of the 250 million Americans who already have health care--whether through private insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid --the Affordable Care Act is already making your coverage more secure.

Insurance companies no longer have unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny your child coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or charge women more than men. Over 86 million Americans have gained from coverage of preventive care free of charge, like mammograms for women and wellness visits for seniors.
Nearly 13 million Americans will receive a rebate this summer because their insurance company spent too much of their premium dollars on administrative costs or CEO bonuses. The law has already helped 5.3 million seniors and people with disabilities save an average of over $600 on prescription drugs in the “donut hole” in Medicare coverage.

The law’s provisions to strengthen and protect Medicare by fighting fraud will continue. The law has helped 6.6 million young adults who have been able to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, including 3.1 million young people who are newly insured.

If you are one of the 30 million Americans who don’t yet have health insurance, starting in 2014 this law will offer you an array of quality, affordable, private health insurance plans to choose from.  If you need care, you will finally have the same opportunity to get quality, affordable coverage as everyone else.

Coverage for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions: A major impact of the Court's decision is that 129 million people with pre-existing conditions will have the security of affordable health coverage.  Starting in 2014, insurance companies can no longer charge you more, carve out benefits, or deny you coverage altogether because you have cancer or diabetes or simply because you are a woman.  To make these protections affordable, people with and without pre-existing conditions should be insured, since everyone at some time needs health care.

Tax Credits for Middle Class Families and Small Businesses: Millions of Americans will soon be eligible for tax credits to ensure that their health insurance is affordable. Under today’s ruling, having health insurance is and will continue to be a choice.  If you can’t afford insurance or you’re a small business that wants to provide affordable insurance to your employees, you’ll get tax credits that make coverage affordable.  

But starting in 2014, if you can afford insurance and you choose not to purchase it, the taxpayers will no longer subsidize your care for free.  The Court’s ruling today allows Congress to hold the projected 1% of Americans who will be able to afford health insurance but will choose not to buy it responsible for that choice.  Many small businesses are already receiving tax credits so they can afford to offer quality health care to their employees.  To date, 360,000 businesses that employ 2 million workers have already benefited from the small business tax cuts in the law.  And once the Affordable Care Act takes full effect, about 18 million individuals and families will get tax credits for health insurance coverage averaging about $4,000 apiece.

Support for State Implementation of Affordable Insurance Exchanges: With the uncertainty of the Court decision behind us, we will step up our work with States to implement Affordable Insurance Exchanges. Exchanges are new marketplaces, starting in 2014, that will allow individuals and small businesses to compare and choose private health plans.  Each State will take the lead in designing its own menu of options.  Already, 34 States including the District of Columbia have received 100 percent Federally funded grants to build Exchanges. The use of Exchange grants includes support for activities related to running Exchanges in their start-up year.

States can also implement their own brand of reform through Innovation Waivers starting in 2017.  If States can come up with even better ways of covering people at the same quality and low cost, this law allows them to do so.  The Administration supports bipartisan legislation to allow States to start such Waivers in 2014.

***This article was first published on my blog in 2012.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

After 98 years in the darkness President Obama and team brings health care into the sunlight

Pictured L to R: Harry Reid, Pres. Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Congratulations to President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and everyone involved in winning this hard fought battle. Health care reform is now law. Republicans had decided if reconciliation failed, their political theme was going to be “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act. Perfect words for a bumper sticker: "Repeal and Replace." Bad showmanship. Republicans know President Obama will veto the repeal. But Republicans are desperate, and grabbing short straws. They desperately needed the touch down victory that the President snatched out of their hands.

To Republican's dismay the bill signing was a historical event that finally found its place in the sun, after languishing in an attic for 98 years. Teddy Roosevelt attempted to legislate universal health care in 1912. Republicans still have not stopped whining and complaining. They want President Obama and the Democrats to know the game is not over.

Five minutes after President Obama signed the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act into law attorneys general in 13 states filed lawsuits, contesting the law, declaring it unconstitutional. Any lawyer in his right mind knows that these lawsuits are nothing more than political shams and grandstanding. The AG’s are making a big show of blowing smoke up each others butts. Bedsides, where are these states going to get the money to pursue the lawsuits?

Every Republican governor on the map is saying their state is cold stone broke! Not a dime to spare. Their economy is strapped down on the execution table, awaiting the fatal injection. The attorneys general are not listening. By the way, that is what they are accusing the Democrats of not doing.  "Not listening to the American people." Maybe these Republicans governors can apply for more of the stimulus money that they fought against.

The grandstanding AG’s and Republicans are up for re-election. Some are aspiring to run for governor of their state. These sanctioned lawsuits are a ruse to up their game plan. They are corralling the energetic ignorance of tea party folk who seem to adore them, and the lies they tell.

Democrats get death threats for voting "Yes" on the Affordable Care Act 

Never mind that when hate talk flows like water from a hydrant it is inevitable that a brain dead protester will answer the call of violence, knocking plans off kilter. I rue that day. All hell will break loose in America.

Republicans refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of the myriad of death threats some Democrats have been getting because they voted "Yes" to health care reform. The tea party crowd is accusing President Obama of being a dictator who wants to silence Americans. I have not seen evidence of that, and neither have the disillusioned accusers. Tea party bigots are talking loud and sounding silly. Strangely, the "dictator" has not ordered their arrest or imprisonment for protesting against him. Dictators have deadly reactions to citizens who publicly oppose them.

I am seeing lynch-prone protesters acting like dictators who want to silence Democrats and the President, taking away their right to make decisions that ill-informed Republicans disagrees with. They want freedom of speech for themselves, but silence of sapeech for Democrats doing their jobs.

Listening to angry obscene phone messages played by the media I've noticed something  odd. The callers repeated identical profanity laced rants. I noticed that the callers sounded as if they were reading from a script. It was the hesitation in some of the callers delivery that caught my ear. When someone is truly angry or insanely outraged their words usually have a continuous flow despite the lunatic raving. They do not lack concentration when shouting their own words. 

Another thing I noticed is the voices sounded southern. I live in Texas and southern accents are quite familiar to me.

It’s too bad that tea party terrorists do not realize they are being used by politicians and lobbyists, who are using them in  an attempt to destroy President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic party, the Affordable Care Act. What better way for attorneys general and other hopefuls to climb the political ladder than on the backs of gullible believers. Their giant crystal ball is telling them that they are going to smoke the Democrats in November, after which they plan to treat their rival like its symbolic mascot: the Donkey.

And then Republicans will  distance themselves from the violent leaning tea party crowd until the next election cycle in 2012. The political separation won't be easy. I wonder if these game playing Elephants saw the movie "Fatal Attraction?"

Fool me once, shame on you. Shame me twice, shame on me.  If they come to  their senses in time the angry tea partiers might flip the switch on the politicians they are now supporting. They might not accept a few months of backroom screwing without receiving adequate pay.

***This article was first published in 2010 on my blog.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Trump attempts to exact revenge against President Obama using Perry and Bachmann

Pretend candidate Sir Donald Trump
They're back! Not the Halloween Cookie Monster or Frankenstein costumes! I'm talking about the Barack Obama Birth Certificate wash and wear costume initially put on the market by that foreign born woman named Orly Taitz. This German-born woman with a heavy accent, had the unmitigated gall to accuse President Obama of stealing the Social Security numbers of four individuals, using them all in states where he was employed.    

Just when we thought the costume was discontinued, abracadabra! It pops up faster than beer turns into piss! Or faster than a happy dog can lick its nuts. Did I mention the rabid tea party rants about President Obama being a Muslim? Yep! Muslim! Imagine that! Hawaii born Barack Obama successfully pulled off the biggest political hoax ever played on America! Hot damn the man is a magician.

It was not by accident that the Obama birth certificate mania was given new life by Texas governor Slick Rick Perry with the help of Sir Donald Trump. Sometimes desperate presidential candidates do desperate things to get attention and votes.  Slick Rick was granted an audience with Sir Donald to discuss President Barack Obama's birth certificate. The meeting generated a few more minutes in the spotlight.

Birther Queen, Orly Taitz
Slick Rick Perry walked into the media sunlight, adding his two cents to the birther mania. Hot damn! Slick Rick proved that he is a good ol' Texas boy who just wanted to have a little Southern fun at the expense of the President of the United States! After all, ain't no White man and woman in Texas, or the United States got to show respect towards this colored boy in the White House. Hell, the color of the "White House" says it all! It's the White folks house!

In 1868 a presidential candidate named Horatio Seymour had a campaign slogan that fit right in with the way White politicians and millions of White voters think today: "This is a White man's government"! And that implies, suggests, and says loudly that no Black man has a right to think he can be president of the United States of America.

Slick Rick,  a true Texan, would have thoroughly agreed with Seymour's slogan. Still in the presence of Mr. Trump, Slick Rick said in his lazy drawl--that's the way we talk down here in Texas --“It’s a good issue to keep alive. It’s fun to poke fun at President Obama a little bit, and say, 'how about let’s see your grades, and your birth certificate'”.  

You see, at the scheduled meeting with Sir Trump, Slick Rick agreed that this would be a good subject to retackle. The more pressure on President Obama the better! Hot biscuits and gravy! Exposure is like a fresh blast of Texas sunlight set free by the Almighty God himself!

Slick Rick Perry beamed with pride as he stood in the public spotlight, draped in his metaphorical Barack Obama Birther's wash and wear costume. He was ready to dazzle Americans, Texas style. He thought his spanking new birther platform was hotter than a pair sex crazed jack rabbits in a pepper patch. Sir Trump was pretty proud, too. His name would be in the headlines. Again. The media would write about him like he's a legend. Pundits would talk about him. Oh, the glory! This traveling road show was going to be huge! Hell, they were even going to prove that Barack Obama is not all that intelligent and smart! His grades, whatever they are, are as fake as his claim to be an American! Born Hawaii? Hell, ain't that a foreign country?

Speaking of grades, the Texas governor, preparing himself to be president of the U. S. A., said everybody had seen his college grades. I had to laugh out loud at this, because stacking his grades up against President Obama's grades is like using a sledgehammer to crack a very small nut. A careful examination of the President's academic achievements would have told Slick Rick that he is "poking" fun out the wrong side of his mouth. I do not recall anybody being interested in how well he fared in the classrooms at Texas A and M University.

 Barack Obama graduated from Columbia University at 20, earning a BA. He entered Harvard Law School in 1988. He was selected editor of the Harvard Law Review journal at the end of his first year, and president his second year, a first in the university's 104-year-old history. Obama graduated  from Harvard with a Juris Doctor ( J.D.), magna cum laude in 1991, the year he accepted a two year position as Visiting Law and Government Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School. Obama  taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law school for 12 years. From 1992 to 1996 he was a Lecturer; from 1996 to 2004 he was a Senior Lecturer. He was a research assistant for scholar Laurence Tribe for two years while at Harvard.

Rick Perry
attended Texas A and M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets; the Alpha Gamma Rho and  was elected social class secretary. He was a Aggie Yell Leader. He graduated a C student with a BA in animal science in 1972. Since first publishing this article in 2011 Perry has been confirmed to be the secretary of energy, the department he wanted to dismantle, but could not remember by name in a 2011 presidential debate. He was selected to head the department by Donald Trump, America's latest president, elected  November 8, 2016, beating out Hillary Clinton. Slick Rick became governor of Texas when Governor George Bush decided to run for president. Perry finished Bush's term and ran for office and won.

Photo from 1970 year book Rick Perry is sitting on the far right edge of the couch
Harvard Law Review president Barack Obama (center) a year before graduation.
Donald Trump, during his wannabe candidacy for president, proudly wore his grades  but not too often. College grades are not as colorful, or media grabbing as a "questionable" birther's certificate. However, Sir Trump's imagination and speculation did not fall asleep on the job. He said Obama was a terrible student in college. He said no one remembered him attending college with him! He offered no proof. none of the people in the above photo remembers Obama. Trump told America that he attended the best university in the world--Wharton School School of Business, the University of Pennsylvania

"I went to an Ivy League school. I'm very highly educated. I know words. I have the best words," he reminded America.  And unlike Barack Obama, all of the students and professors remembers him! However, he did not offer proof of his "hugeness" on campus or in the classroom. Slick Rick Perry did not flash his college transcripts or grades, and nobody demanded to see them.

It was not enough for Trump to get drawn, quartered and dragged through the town square by President Obama at the 2011 White House Correspondence Dinner, May 1. With those in attendance and  TV viewers laughing at the President poking Texas size fun of  him, it was hallelujah hilarious!  Donald Trump did not like the joking and poking. He half-assed smiled through the joking but he was steaming hot under his coat of thin skin. The nerve of Barack Obama, an illegitimate Black president, dressing him down on national TV!

And then along comes other Republican candidates requesting an audience with Sir Donald Trump. Michelle Bachmann, via a teleconference call at a town hall meeting, was instructed by Sir Trump to regurgitate the home buying “scandal” in Chicago that nipped at the heels of candidate Barack Obama during his campaign. In 2008 the media and pundits attempted to create a scandal out of a nonscandal issue surrounding the purchase of the Obama's chicago home. The media and pundits can thank Sean Hannity at Fox for the blockbuster. The Hannity hatched "scandal" eventually blew over like a three-legged paper tiger.

The media and talking heads on TV said some funny business had gone on between Obama and the owner of the property. The home purchase costume was worn thin by the media and Fox . If Michelle Bachmann sewed the bits and pieces back together, she has not worn the costume in public. But the circus is just getting started. There is still time.

When the birther's costume lost its unattractiveness and gloss, Slick Rick Perry did the Texas-Two-Step off the stage to shed the ill fitting outfit. He reappeared and said it was a distraction. He did not want to play anymore. Tsk. Tsk. Sir Trump played him like a dime store fiddle. As a friend of mine would say: "He made a fair ass out of him"!

Asked why he revived the birther's question, Slick Rick Perry said, “I’m really not worried about the president’s birth certificate”. Being a sport he just wanted to let Sir Trump have some fun at Obama's expense.  Slick Rick's people did not tell him that "poking fun" may work in Texas but not on a national stage. 

And now Sir Donald Trump is left with his bitter bitchfest, birther's allegations, suggestion that the President may be a secret Muslim, and endless hours of bragging on Fox. The Obama roasting he got at the Correspondent Dinner is now in the presidential archives of hilarious history.  Below is the White House dinner where Sir Donald Trump was called out by President Obama. It's a classic!