Insurers Balk at Republican Health Care Plan

Does anyone not hate the proposed Republican health care bill? Major insurance companies joined the opposition to the bill today.

The two major trade groups for insurers, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans, announced their opposition on Wednesday to the Graham-Cassidy bill. They joined other groups fighting the bill, such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, AARP and the lobbying arm of the American Cancer Society.

“The bill contains provisions that would allow states to waive key consumer protections, as well as undermine safeguards for those with pre-existing medical conditions,’’ said Scott P. Serota, the president and chief executive of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “The legislation reduces funding for many states significantly and would increase uncertainty in the marketplace, making coverage more expensive and jeopardizing Americans’ choice of health plans.”


The man with the tin heart that has a desk in the oval office thinks it's a great bill. He doesn't care that it will inject chaos into the health care system, just like he didn't care that he brought chaos to the Executive Branch of our government.

If Republicans only had a heart
If Republicans only had a brain
We would be so much better off than we are today

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    I'm glad I'm old (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 12:11:43 PM EST
    and will probably die soon. There is no future to look forward to.

    This is how they want us to feel Chuck (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 12:24:41 PM EST
    I'm exhausted. I'm using "coping" mechanisms right now.

    Say what you can when you can. It is your nation too. You worked to give our nation a future too. You get say.

    I'm sorry though. And they've really GOT ME too :(


    I watched Back in Black (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Chuck0 on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 12:46:07 PM EST
    from last nights Daily Show this afternoon. I laughed and cried simulteneously. One thing is certain, Lewis has a way with words.

    Josh is graduating from Lewis' high school (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 01:14:02 PM EST
    It was one of the things that made that transition a lot better for Josh than it could have been.

    I don't want to be a total jerk, but... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by desertswine on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 01:28:36 PM EST
    wasn't it the Scarecrow who had no brain instead of the lion?

    Correct... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 02:07:28 PM EST
    The Lion had no courage.  But that works too;)

    Doesn't it? (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 02:48:23 PM EST
    No courage

    No heart

    No brains

    Just hate, paranoia, jealousy, and greed


    Graham/Cassidy (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by KeysDan on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 01:28:54 PM EST
    brings out fears and cheers about Medicare for All.  Fears, in that some wingers are concerned that the flexibility and block grants may be used by some states for something like a Medicare for All.  So much for the treasured state's rights, not to mention the values of wide latitude for states who supposedly know more about their citizen's health needs than those Washington liberals.  

    Cheers, because there are grand hopes that this turkey is a godsend, propelling the jettisoning of ACA, starting over with what is really needed, Medicare for All.  Sort of like, Susan Sarandon positing that Trump will be more likely to usher in the "revolution" immediately, as opposed to what Hillary would bring.  

    Yes, just as all the good Trump will bring by being a bad president, wonderment in health care will be had by the shock therapy planned by Bill and Lindsey.

      Flexibility--states, starting in 2020, get block grants to replicate ACA or to pursue something totally different at their discretion. Maybe 50 different ways..The FU plan:(Flexibility and Uncertainty) for all.  States can decide whom to cover and how, or if.

     But a consistency is the rollback of Obamacare protections, each state decides benefits  that must be covered or if a customer's pre-existing conditions should be protected from higher prices.

    The individual markets from now until 2020, when the states have to administer a new health program, (good luck, South Dakota) have no guard rails for stabilization. The tax penalty for refusal to buy insurance is eliminated, critical to the concept of insurance (shared risk).  Blue states with low numbers of uninsured, receive reductions in federal funds; red states see increases (a selling point for the likes of Ted Cruz).  

    As with other Republican iterations, Lindsey/Bill's bill shoots past the damage done to ACA Medicaid and goes after the 1965 Medicaid model, reducing benefits and increasing loads on states (they get some and lose a lot).

     And, for those who could care less since they get their insurance at work, there is a little something there for them, too. State flexibility permits annual or lifetime limits on coverage, and eliminates ACA penalties for employers who do not offer their workers affordable coverage.

    But, the bill does get rid of those ACA taxes that affect those of igh incomes, including their unearned income.

    Okay, here's what really frosts my (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 05:38:52 PM EST

    For the GOP to be extolling the benefit of more money going to states so they can cover and support more of their residents is the height of dishonesty.  These are states that refused the federal money under the ACA to expand Medicaid, which would have covered more of their residents - so, in what universe will these same states take the extra money under Graham-Cassidy and make health care more affordable for those living on the edge?  If they cared, why did they refuse to expand Medicaid?

    Because, poor people.  

    It's a block grant, and if people don't know by now, there is no mandate that block grants be spent for the purpose for which they were originally disbursed.  They can be used to close budget gaps, with no benefit going to people who were led to believe by these lying politicians that finally, there was some relief heading their way.  The money could go wherever the state legislatures decided it would best be used.

    And I don't see that being to help keep poor and old and disabled people alive.

    its worse (none / 0) (#22)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 05:45:57 PM EST
    it takes money from states that expanded Medicaid and gives it to those who did not

    More than half of the overall cuts in the legislation -- named for its primary sponsors, Republican Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.) and Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) -- would come from Medicaid, the analysis shows.

    States with relatively low medical costs, skimpy Medicaid benefits and no program expansion would win out. Texas would gain more than any state, about $35 billion from 2020 through 2026. On the other hand, states with higher-priced medicine and generous benefits for their low-income residents, such as California and New York, would lose billions of dollars.

    But it is not only the largest states that would win or lose. Virginia, which has long had limited Medicaid benefits and stringent eligibility rules, would gain $3 billion, while Maryland, a Medicaid expansion state under the Affordable Care Act, would lose $13 billion.

    The bill "redistributes money from states that expanded Medicaid to states that didn't," said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at Avalere, which released the report Wednesday. "It is a very clear transfer."



    Offering sweeteners to Murkowski (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 05:46:14 PM EST
    she and Collins (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 05:55:27 PM EST
    were treated like heros for the last vote.  i would not count on this working.

    Everything is such a mess (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 08:02:37 AM EST
    Puerto Rico devastated, but the country can barely focus. There us a health care coverage constant crisis created by whatever Republicans of the moment want to threaten safety and markets. The President is a lunatic in a psychotic self engineered struggle with the leader of NK and the NFL.

    The Puerto Rico crisis may be Trump's (none / 0) (#86)
    by Anne on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 08:58:44 AM EST
    Katrina, unless he finally bullies Kim Jong Un into a real war, or a full-blown race war breaks out, or...I could keep going, but the weight of so much horribleness is crushing. I feel a sadness creeping in with the anger, and I worry for all of us.

    So (none / 0) (#87)
    by FlJoe on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 09:41:28 AM EST
    this is what the collapse of an empire looks like. It sure ain't pretty.

    this will not pass (none / 0) (#1)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 11:31:17 AM EST
    im not even sure McConnell wil bring it up.

    McCain is almost certainly a no.  so is Murkowski.  and i think there will be others.

    this seems completey insane.  its said this is happening because of "pressure from the white house" as a result of pressure from doners.

    maybe its just a 'fine, you want another vote?  you got it.  enjoy it.'

    it wont pass.

    Sure hope you're right, Howdy... (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Anne on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 12:05:25 PM EST
    because this is a terrible piece of legislation, that is worse - who knew that was even possible? - than the last horror they tried to pass.

    And I think more people are paying attention, and know it.

    GOP is visibly and palpably desperate to get it passed, though, because not getting it is going to kill any possibility of tax reform.  And maybe kill their ability to get re-elected.

    It's a wonder, though, that they can even navigate the halls of the Senate without constantly banging their ever-growing noses into doors, walls and each other; what does it say that they don't even seem to care about how bad - and obvious - their lies are now?

    If you haven't read the Vox interviews with 9 Senators, you should - it's kind of mind-boggling.


    holy hell (none / 0) (#19)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 04:33:50 PM EST
    that VOX thing was beyond depressng.  

    this is our government.  and you know what, its the one we deserve.  if half the people in the country are to lazy and stupid to even REGISTER to vote and the rest of us are unable to shame them in to doing it....

    i hate to say it but...

    people really do get the government they deserve.


    um, sorry (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 04:56:03 PM EST
    i have a cold and im miserable and cranky.

    If I could send you some delicious soup (none / 0) (#26)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 06:30:43 PM EST
    I would, you know....if Zorba lived nextdoor, I'd send it. I had Greek chicken soup with oculus when I had a terrible cold in Manhattan.

    I am in a vile despicable mood. I have no idea when it will lift.


    i know you would (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 06:35:45 PM EST
    so (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 06:47:42 PM EST
    i have this wretched thing.  i didnt sleep at all last night.  i laid in bed, on my back - required by my draining nose which is not a sleeping position for me, until drug stores opened.  then i drag my azz out to get some sudafed.  the only thing that works for me.  i go to 4, thats FOUR drug stores and they wont sell it to me because i am not a "customer".  remember i just moved and my drug store is 25 miles away.  so i have to drive 50 miles RT while being unable to see or breath just to get some goddamed sudafed.

    what a world.

    i am in a sh!tty mood and i know why


    You can thank my former clients (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Peter G on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 09:24:56 PM EST
    who used to buy sudafed in cartons of thousand-pill bottles, so they could turn it into meth. As a result, Congress passed a law making it impossible for normal people to suppress a runny nose.

    I cannot abide (5.00 / 4) (#60)
    by Zorba on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 05:28:26 PM EST
    This country treating everyone like a potential criminal before they do anything.
    The people who just want to buy sudafed, a legal over the counter drug, but because some people make meth out if it, oh, no!  Everybody has to be treated as though they operate a meth lab!
    For that matter, although I do know that opioid addiction is a huge and increasing problem in this country, and that some doctors have way over-prescribed, it's gotten to the point that people who are in real pain, people with spinal stenosis, recent back surgery, etc, people with a huge amount of chronic pain who cannot use ibuprofen or naproxen because they are on blood thinners, and for whom Tylenol does not work, are totally scr*wed and are treated like potential addicts and criminals, and cannot receive the type of pain relief they need to function.
    I'm sick and tired of all of this.

    Ha! (none / 0) (#33)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 10:49:03 PM EST
    Ha (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by NYShooter on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 11:58:13 PM EST

    I gave Josh a Sudafed that isn't behind (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 02:20:30 PM EST
    The counter today for his cold, it was the alternative ingredient Sudafed. At lunch his pupils were dilated and he was very dizzy. The impossible to get Sudafed is the only one approved for pilots to use so we're always out. One cold and one person round here must use it all or get a down slip, and that affects his pay :(

    The non-behind-the-counter version (none / 0) (#80)
    by Peter G on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 04:30:29 PM EST
    is a total fake. It is not actually Sudafed (that is, pseudoephedrine). Does not work for me at all.

    Absolutely (none / 0) (#81)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 05:40:38 PM EST
    Doesn't work for me either.

    Greek Chicken Soup (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by Zorba on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 05:15:24 PM EST
    For the Soul:

    Avgolemono Soup

    One large chicken, cut up
    One onion, quartered
    Two celery stalks, quartered
    Two carrots, quartered
    Two cloves garlic
    Two-four chicken bullion cubes
    One cup rice
    Four eggs, separated
    Juice of two lemons
    Simmer chicken parts in water, adding chicken bullion cubes, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. When done, skim out the veggies, set the chicken aside, and skim the fat from the stock. (make sure you have about 8 cups--add canned stock or water plus bullion cubes to make 8 cups, if necessary). Bring the stock to a boil. Add 1/2 to 1 cup rice (depending on how "ricey" you like it). Reduce heat and simmer until rice is done. You can add some of the chicken meat, diced, if you want. Remove the pot from the heat. Separate 4 eggs. Beat egg whites until they peak. Add the beaten yolks, then slowly add the juice of two lemons, beating the whole time. Slowly add the stock, a little at a time, until you have added about two cups worth. Then pour the mixture back into the pot, stirring gently. (Take the skin off of the chicken pieces and brown the chicken in butter to serve alongside, or save the meat that you haven't added to the soup for another use.)


    I don't deserve this government (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 06:27:13 PM EST
    My soldier husband does not deserve this government.

    My son does not deserve this government.

    And I don't think my disabled son is more deserving. But the fact that he has an active duty father resonates with more people. They can for whatever effed up reason identify with a soldier's son before the librarian's.

    Nobody deserves this.


    a participatory democracy (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 06:33:00 PM EST
    requires participation.  so what do we do?  how do we get the kdogs of the world off the couch?

    you dont deserve it.  or your family.  i dont deserve it.

    but i have to tell you history is going to say we, as a society, deserve it.

    history has noy been kind to the good germans.


    not picking on you kdog (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 07:20:40 PM EST
    i know dozens of kdogs.  more kdogs than participators.  you are just a handy local example of someone who shares all our values but dosnt vote for them.

    which is my point.  what will it take to get this army on the field?

    solve that and we win every time.  


    It all depends on how much noise (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 12:18:21 PM EST
    Those of us who will be affected make. They were feeling much safer yesterday. They threw out their talking points without addressing why some states were receiving more funds, and they lied about the pre-existing coverage.

    The red states receiving less funding refused to expand medicaid and refused the exchanges. Why would ANYONE believe those states believe their constients deserve health care and they are willing to assist in that? They haven't before!!!!

    This is where those swing states and those red congressional districts that went for Hillary matter. They must feel, hear, taste the danger. These reps are already not that empathetic or cognizant. They need all the help they can get.


    From your lips (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Yman on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 01:11:18 PM EST
    I'm not so sure.  They're under incredible pressure from their base to pass something or, more accurately, to follow through on their promise to repeal Obamacare.  I don't think they'd put themselves through this kind of pain (and waste of precious time) all over again unless they at least believed there was a decent chance it would pass.

    Hopefully, you're right.


    Which part of the Trump base? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 06:39:29 PM EST
    The rich were told one thing - and keep those dollars rolling in

    The poor were told another thing - everyone gets the best health care coverage and it will be cheaper.....only Donald Trump can get this. He is not getting them this.


    No, he's not (none / 0) (#36)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 07:40:33 AM EST
    But it doesn't matter.  Their real goal is destroying Obama care.  The part about a better plan covering everyone at a fraction of the cost is just more of the snake oil they expect from him.  Plus, under this new plan, when everything goes to $hit in a few years they'll be able to point the finger at the states.

    I don't think they will easily blame the states (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 10:49:02 AM EST
    The documented failure of past block granting is being discussed now. A lot of folks who didn't understand block granting in the past are now understanding it, and there is the horrible cuts in the funds also.

    I don't care for Trumpers but this does matter to them. They want Obamacare coverage for less and no mandate. That's what he promised. They don't intend to die for him.


    You're right about McCain (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by CST on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 01:29:48 PM EST
    And I think that means this is toast.  Hallelujah.


    Not gonna lie I thought he'd go for this one.

    ""I cannot in good conscience vote for the Graham-Cassidy proposal," Mr. McCain said. "I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried. Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.""

    I think the lack of legitimate CBO scoring was the nail in the coffin.


    If Trump was (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 01:44:28 PM EST
    the "Rocket-Science Man", he would get out in front of this crating turkey, as belated as he would be.  ..."I as the greatest, bigliest president, period, have thoroughly analyzed the Graham/Cassidy bill, the one sponsored by that lying Lindsey, whom I defeated badly, and found it to be a loser. And, Senator Doctor Cassidy needs to go back to medical school.

      Hence, I will veto the bill if it comes to my beautiful desk, even though we need to repeal and replace the failed Obamacare, this is not "terrific" as promised in the campaign. "

     His deplorables will cheer him, as if he just shot someone on Fifth Avenue.    Too much for a tweet, but he can manage it.


    McCain just announced he is AGAINST (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by jmacWA on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 01:51:12 PM EST
    good news

    he gave (none / 0) (#61)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 05:35:34 PM EST
    what was actually a very good speech before the other one about the need to return to 'regular order'

    this was even farther from RO.  the scoring cloud have been a big part.  at least the last one was scored.


    Where are the rich donors gonna go? (none / 0) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 02:00:17 PM EST
    This is probably hurting Trump's brand though. He wants to swing with the world's richest, which seem to be dictators. This is weak. He can't even passive aggressively kill his own people. The dictators will never respect him, never invite him over. They may never launder money with him ever again too. It's all slipping away.

    Josh has a bad cold now.

    But he might not be killed for profit if today keeps on keeping on.


    The other opposition quote... (none / 0) (#2)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 12:00:34 PM EST
    from the insurance industry in the article is rather interesting...

    America's Health Insurance Plans was even more pointed. The legislation could hurt patients by "further destabilizing the individual market" and could potentially allow "government-controlled single payer health care to grow," said Marilyn B. Tavenner, the president and chief executive of the association. Without controls, some states could simply eliminate private insurance, she warned.

    I don't know who you're threatening with your second point there Marilyn...the people want single payer! Should the people be rooting for this garbage as the disaster before the dawn of single payer?  Is that what you're telling us?

    If they start killing people for profit again (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 12:21:55 PM EST
    Single payer push will grow. Of course the way will be paved with dead people. The Trump base believed him though when he said he was going to give everyone coverage and it was going to be much cheaper. They believed it!

    Since skulls make ugly pavers... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by kdog on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 01:23:51 PM EST
    maybe we can convince the empty skull in the oval office the absolute best chance he has to repeal and replace the ACA is the Medicare For All bill in the Senate, and to throw his bullying behind that bigly.

    Crazy f&cker has done crazier things!


    It does not matter what they vote (none / 0) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 01:36:56 PM EST
    This democracy has passed a milestone. Some don't understand certain things, they cling to biases, but nobody wants to die for profit anymore...NOBODY. And if they find out they are, their reps are going to be scorched earth.

    For some voters, they still seek someone to blame it all on. Just as long as their ox isn't gored.

    It is all of us forward or everyone is at risk. I'm so tired of certain bases not wanting to understand that.

    My God the bots are thick too. It's a botfest out there. Is there really nothing Facebook and Twitter can do about it?


    Medicare for All (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Coral on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 04:06:21 PM EST
    I'd love it, but getting something anywhere near that passed will take Democratic supermajority in the Senate and a sizable majority in the House. Plus a war-chest of $ for ads to combat certain right-wing and insurance/pharma/medican industry attacks.

    What I think is plausible, if Graham-Cassidy can be stopped (not a sure thing), is hold onto ACA until 2018, get a slim Democratic majority in the House and try to push for Medicare buy in as a public option. Get Democratic win of presidency in 2020 and push for expansion of Medicaid to the hold-out states and try to write some kind of single-payer legislation at that point.

    Losing Graham-Cassidy fight will be a terrible disaster for millions of people with pre-existing conditions, the poor who are now covered by Medicaid in the expansion states, and anyone without employer-provided health care.

    People will died.


    i agree (none / 0) (#18)
    by linea on Thu Sep 21, 2017 at 04:28:39 PM EST
    keep the expanded Medicaid part of ACA but replace the 'health insurance marketplace' part of with a single Medicare buy-in as a public option. why didn't we do that from the start?

    Joe Lieberman (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by CST on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 08:12:07 AM EST
    A public option passed the house, couldn't get it past the senate.

    Bernie takes the bait (none / 0) (#35)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 07:34:21 AM EST
    Graham trolled Bernie when he announced the latest Republican plan.

    "If you want a single-payer health-care system, this is your worst nightmare. Bernie, this ends your dream of a single-payer health-care system for America."

    Now Bernie's taken the bait and agreed to debate them before the vote.  Really thought he was smarter than that.

    im not sure (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 08:26:30 AM EST
    this will have the effect most of the pundit class expects.  first, it will have zero (or close to zero) effect on any of the possible no votes.  they are not going to be influenced by this.  IMO.

    also, i have decided it might just be time to start this discussion.  the public has been whipped and thrashed and pummeled by this crazy debate and the uncertainty it has dumped on them.  i think the republicans and the pundits may be surprised just how many regular folks being screwed by the insurance industry are ready to hear this.

    the facts are on his side.  every country in the world has this and provides better care at lower cost than we do.  

    one other thing.

    they only have till saturday next.  not enough time for the low information folks to get this.  they say Bernie should just wait until after saturday.  im not sure getting this conversation going while the repblicans final hail mary crashes and burns is a bad idea.

    or not.  who knows.  


    It just whips up their base (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 09:49:06 AM EST
    I'm all in favor of having the debate - and I'm all in favor of single payer.  But I also think this could've waited a week,  Right now, all it does is feed the narrative that Graham wants - this is their last chance to destroy Obamacare and prevent that evil, socialist single payer successor bogeyman coming down the road.  I didn't see any upside to letting them fire up the base and putting any more pressure on the Senators who might be on the fence.  The debate will still be there in a week.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by FlJoe on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 10:03:49 AM EST
    The Republicans should be having this debate among themselves, with the majority  of the American people and apparently the entire health care establishment on the other side of the Obamacare debate.

    IMO, giving them any chance to reframe this as a debate against Bernie and his "creeping socialism" is a gift at this point in time.


    i believe there (none / 0) (#43)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 10:21:41 AM EST
    is an argument to be made that now, right now, when the country is being focused on this republican clusterfu@k by Kimmel and every healthcare industry and expert is eactly the time to launch this.

    this is not just Bernie.  some very smart democrats have signed on to this.  

    maybe its time to stop cowering and hiding and take the fight to Ms Lindsey.


    one other thing (none / 0) (#45)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 10:47:08 AM EST
    i said yesterday in another comment 'how do we get the silent liberal army on the field'?

    will this be the way.  i dont know but desperate times call for desperate measures.

    also, i agree with a comment by Coral that what we can reasonably expect is a public option.

    that doesnt mean that has to be our opening bargaining position.

    i absolutely believe a substantial majority of voters will support the idea of a public option.  which is the first step to single payer.  republicans know this which explains their palpable ddesperation.


    If the only thing Sanders and Klobuchar (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Anne on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 11:43:08 AM EST
    manage to do is educate people/fact check on Graham-Cassidy, that would be a good thing.  If they can tell people the truth about block grants, about the waivers, if they can call out their hypocrisy on allowing Alaska and Hawaii to essentially keep the ACA and Medicaid, if they can explain that states will be able to decide what does and doesn't get covered, and put people in a position of not being able to afford the coverage they need, I'll be happy.

    It needs to be a discussion about the reality of Graham-Cassidy; once that dies, then it would be helpful to explain Sanders' bill.

    The more truth told about G-C, the hotter the torches and the sharper the pitchforks for those trying to ram this horrible legislation down our throats.


    As long as McCain and friends have (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 02:04:11 PM EST
    Killed this bill, fine Bernie, go debate. Teach some folks. Muddy the water up now. But he shouldn't have agreed to this until he knew that POS bill was dead. And maybe he did know long before the rest of us did

    Of course, it is (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 02:23:00 PM EST
    not over, until its over. On Chris Hayes' show last night, he had, as a guest,  Republican Congressman from New York's 23rd District, Tom Reed. Chris asked Rep. Reed, who did not like Graham/Cassidy, how he would vote if it came to the House.  Reed surprised Chris when Reed claimed that he would not have to make that decision because it would not get out of the senate.  Chris wondered aloud if Reed has some inside scoop, but Reed left it where he started it.

    Can We Have Single Payer (none / 0) (#39)
    by RickyJim on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 09:32:45 AM EST
    without a massive change in the tax code?  A lot more revenue must be taken from the investment income that the rich receive, let alone the ridiculous salaries.  In any case, the single payer debate will boil down to how to raise the revenue.

    Different issue (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by Yman on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 09:54:47 AM EST
    The debate over single payer will come down to more than that.  But that's a different issue than whether Bernie should debate them this week.

    Apparently, the CNN debate (none / 0) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 10:43:29 AM EST
    will involve Bernie and Amy Klobuchar and the bill sponsors, Lindsey and Senator Doctor Cassidy.

    I have a number of worries: firstly, both Kobuchar and Bernie will debate in earnest and honestly. thereby being disadvantaged by Cassidy and Lindsey.

    Debate guidelines for the Republicans will, necessarily, be based on trickery and deceit. As  already shown, (cf. Jimmy Kimmel) their bill is being hawked with evasion and lies. It is what they need to do to sell this cruelty.

     For example, they will rely on complexity and confusion to purport that funding will be increased under their bill, by comparing funding, not against the current law, but against changes over time, and in dollar amounts.

     Current law spending rises with inflation and population growth. And, of course, the entire program ends in 2027.  Within the next two years, before the states take over the block grants and start their own programs, the uncertainties are likely to cause up to an additional 17 million in  the ranks of the uninsured, and, probably, up to 30 million when all is said and done.

     The capabilities of states to formulate, administer and manage their own health insurance programs, especially, those that did not create their own ACA exchanges (which go away), and, hence, a base on which to readily start, will have immense challenges and no new resource to help. And, to get it done in two years.

    These issues and numbers will be disputed during debate, with a he/she said//he/he said because the irregular order is being rushed without a complete, and definitive CBO score.  

    Another worry is that Lindsey and Cassidy will be able to turn the debate into one of ACA v Medicare for All, when the issue at hand is the Republican monstrosity v the current law. And, ways to improve it. Medicare for All is aspirational; Cassidy/Graham is imminent....as in next week.

    Hopefully, Senator Klobuchar will understand the direction, and avoid the distraction, of the debate.  Bernie Sanders, hopefully, will also grasp the imminent threat.  Bernie's mantra of health care is a right v privilege, while correct, is not the instant issue.  Nor is admonitions against millionaires and billionaires.

     Their debating should focus the proposal of Cassidy and Graham...its cruelty, health for all is not socialism, block grants vacuum up all the Medicaid funds, individual citizen subsidies/tax credits and empty the big bag into the hands of state legislators to have their way with it.  No national standards, no standard benefits. pre-existing conditions subject to impossible rates, thereby, turning the nice words into mush.  

    It would have been more productive for Democrats to buy TV time and have an honest discussion that includes a wide range of health care experts, and senators with a fresh face to argue for the defeat of Graham/Cassidy.


    Amy (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 11:46:19 AM EST
    is no dummy.  she is not asleep at the wheel.

    Yes, (none / 0) (#49)
    by KeysDan on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 01:29:45 PM EST
    Amy is good, and maybe will overshadow Bernie's emotion with her intellect.   But, our best bet is Cassidy, who is arguing that his bill protects people with pre-existing conditions because Trump tweeted it.

    And, of course, Lindsey, is getting more and more cantankerous.  Best of all, McCain has now indicated that he will not vote for the bill.  Attempts to buy off Lisa Murkowski with the "Alaska Purchase" may be back-firing.   Republicans always over-reach, if we can only call them up on it effectively. And, to win this one, they have to deceive and lie....the truth is a killer.


    Not at all (none / 0) (#71)
    by MKS on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 06:37:47 PM EST
    Amy is probably the smartest person in the Senate.  The Minnesota nice can fool you.

    She was on the Editorial Board of the Chicago Law Review.  Those are among the smartest people around....Smarter than the Ivies imo....


    Senator Al Franken was on the (none / 0) (#56)
    by fishcamp on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 02:41:21 PM EST
    Jimmy Kimmel show last night and they spoke about Jimmy's son's problem and a lot more.  Al hates Ted Cruz and said everybody else does too.  His wording was hilarious.  IMO Al Franken is a great Senator, writer and comedian.  He should have become our President.

    Well, he certainly is good enough, (5.00 / 4) (#57)
    by desertswine on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 02:46:56 PM EST
    he's smart enough,  ... and people like him. :)

    You Should Read or Listen to his Book (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by RickyJim on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 03:20:36 PM EST
    "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate".  Both KeysDan and myself have reviewed it here.  IIRC, he said about Ted Cruz in it, "I like Ted Cruz better than most of my Senate colleagues do, and I hate Ted Cruz".

    Yes , that's exactly (none / 0) (#62)
    by fishcamp on Fri Sep 22, 2017 at 07:29:08 PM EST
    what he said last night on tv.  Great guy.

    It sounds like they helped kill the death bill (none / 0) (#63)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 09:31:07 AM EST
    We went out to dinner last night to celebrate. I met my husband downtown, he took the train and sidewalk from work to Petworth. It was a beautiful evening but I could only half enjoy it.

    Whenever I go through extreme stress the only way I can get beyond it is to have a couple of hours of crying after it has passed. I haven't been able to do that yet. It was making make up impossible last night.

    What are they putting other people through who have medically fragile/disabled family members? There's no way I'm alone on this horrible roller coaster.

    I have to say (none / 0) (#65)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 10:18:19 AM EST
    the level of cruelty has shocked even me. What did Bill Clinton say about "compassionate conservatism"? Something like I'm so sorry but I'm not going to do anything to help? That is more of the type of thing I'm used to seeing out of Republicans--benign neglect. But this rises to the level of Republicans actually deriving pleasure out of seeing people suffer.

    Somewhere online it's being called (5.00 / 5) (#69)
    by Anne on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 03:40:38 PM EST
    "Repeal and Go Fk Yourself," which is way more descriptive of Graham-Cassidy's endgame than the benign-sounding "Repeal and Replace."

    And can I just say, Trump is completely out of control.  That speech he gave last night for Strange, and his recent tweets, should be cause for fitting him for a straitjacket.


    Trump has been (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 06:42:05 PM EST
    out of control even during the election. He just seems to have to one up whatever he did the last time to get attention. It's just like dealing with a toddler who screams louder the longer you ignore them.

    I joined the kill the bill protest on Monday (none / 0) (#64)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 09:39:36 AM EST
    Taking place at the sham hearing. That might make me feel better.

    Wouldn't they only need 50 votes (none / 0) (#67)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 02:24:25 PM EST
    By month's end to fix the ACA?

    yes (none / 0) (#68)
    by linea on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 02:45:55 PM EST
    yes, 50 votes plus VP as tiebreaker

    Seats in Congress:
    Democrats 48 / Republicans 52

    everything is now 'nuclear option.' but don't worry - the proper parliamentary procedure of a 60 vote supermajority will be restored when the dem party regains congress.


    I think the 50 votes plus veep as (none / 0) (#70)
    by caseyOR on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 06:00:21 PM EST
    Tie-breaker is good through Sept. 30. After that they winning number is 60 votes,unless McConnell decides to completely blow-up the Senate by doing away with the current version of the filibuster.

    Which Mitch (none / 0) (#73)
    by Zorba on Sat Sep 23, 2017 at 07:37:41 PM EST
    "Yertle the Turtle" McConnell might well be more than willing to do.

    Collins (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 07:57:41 AM EST
    Basically just said on CNN she is a no.


    That's all folks.

    She would not flatly it but she said it in every possible way except saying it.

    If Yertle brings it up (none / 0) (#75)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 08:00:48 AM EST
    I think there could be more.

    Trapper sums it up as no with an "*" for Collins.


    Also (none / 0) (#76)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 09:05:52 AM EST
    Graham and sidekick were just on ABC.  Gotta tell ya, this thing on CNN tomorrow could be very important even pivotal.

    These azzholes have been allowed, as they just were, to lie and lie and LIE about this and totally get away with it.

    Amy and Bernie will not let them lie.

    There are not two people who know these issues better.  They will destroy them.


    If they don't drop it there will be (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 05:58:42 PM EST
    An act of civil disobedience tomorrow  with arrests. The training for it starts in 24 minutes downtown DC.

    Bussing in people too.


    Mastery of the facts ... (none / 0) (#77)
    by Yman on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 12:14:59 PM EST
    ... doesn't mean all that much if the other side is willing to blatantly lie to a public that - for the most part - isn't really all that well-informed and is sharply divided on the bogeyman of single payer.

    Agreed. but (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by KeysDan on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 02:44:25 PM EST
    My biggest worries about the CNN debate have been ameliorated with Graham/Cassidy bill very likely to take a swan dive off the top deck of a river boat along with  Lindsey holding his mint julep and Cassidy, his sazerac.

     While Lindsey and Cassidy are clearly out-matched by Amy and Bernie, danger remains in the lies and misrepresentations, not only of Graham/Cassidy/Santorum bill, but also, the lies and misrepresentations for Medicare, for all and at present, for over 65.

      Medicare is extremely popular, but it is still thought of by some wingers as socialized medicine. Bob Dole, as a presidential candidate in 1996 remained proud of his no vote on Medicare in 1965. Doubt if he or others of his ilk, but much younger, do not still think the same. Certainly, Paul Ryan and others would like to cut benefits, including increasing age eligibility. And, attempts will be made to run Medicare and Medicare for all together.

     That should be a bad argument to attempt, but if the goal is sink the idea in the service of maligning single payer, confusion and distrust are their best and only bet. And, as we sadly learned in 2016, winning debates does not necessarily win the day. We need good explanations for Medicare for All...a sustained educational campaign by knowledgeable and enlightened people. There will be enough debate encountered on details among those who agree in principle. Hopefully, all worries are unmerited and the CNN debate will further a movement to Medicare for All.


    It's not like anyone has (none / 0) (#79)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun Sep 24, 2017 at 04:09:26 PM EST
    Even tried to confront the lies.  They certainly have not.  

    I believe this Wil have made them ill prepared for a full frontal assault on them.  Which is what's coming.


    Santorum claims this morning that he was (none / 0) (#85)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 08:27:40 AM EST
    Part of drafting Graham Cassidy. He was giving those lies hell. He kept trying to talk over and shout down Kathleen Sebelius, she wasn't having it. Neither was Chris Cuomo. They both shot him in his lying face about pre-existing protections. I can't say a mojority of Americans fully understand the difference between the ACA waivers and Graham Cassidy waivers, but they made it obvious that Santorum was trying to mislead us all. The waivers in both bills are not the same and they do not accomplish the same things.

    Santorum (none / 0) (#94)
    by Zorba on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 02:33:37 PM EST
    Is full of santorum.
    Thank you, Dan Savage.

    In the hearing it was brought up (none / 0) (#95)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 03:01:10 PM EST
    That "the bill" had been changed and re emailed to committee members 5 times in the last 24 hrs prior to the hearing. Cassidy was who responded to this, and said specifically they were fixing drafting errors? Didn't define what a drafting error is.

    I think Santorum had some heavy input, and he used the same descriptor...draft. I think THAT psycho has been at home trying to come up with an Obamacare replacement by his lonesomeness. Santorum wants to be President. I think he believes God has chosen him to be President one day.

    He knew more about the details of Graham Cassidy than Graham or Cassidy. He argued them more effectively than either Graham or Cassidy. He just couldn't jive Sebelius or Cuomo this morning. He was really frustrated they put the boots to him so well.


    They tried (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 08:14:15 AM EST
    Lindsey said socialism and said if I do this all I'll really end up with is a card. He acts like I own a doctor right now or my own clinic. The truth though is the only thing I have that says I have health coverage right this minute is.....a card ;)

    The silliest fear mongering I've ever heard came out of Graham and Cassidy. I couldn't get Cassidy to make sense. I couldn't mentally fear jump his sharks. I couldn't even figure out what he was saying other than I know my local government officials names so that I can more easily fire them and not my federal officials, and that's not true.


    have not seen it yet (none / 0) (#88)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 10:47:40 AM EST
    i figured if anything real had happened i would have already heard about it.

    Cassidy had to remind us (none / 0) (#89)
    by fishcamp on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 12:43:59 PM EST
    that he's a doctor every time he spoke.  He did make a couple of good points, but I'm sure glad he isn't my doctor, or Senator.  Both Bernie and Klubacher were very clear and precise with their points.  Graham should be made to stand out in a hurricane for a few hours.  Maybe some sense would blow into his stubborn head.

    I said to someone last night that (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Anne on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 01:36:06 PM EST
    the two phrases that signal lies are coming are, "Fox News is reporting," and "I'm a doctor, so I know how this works."

    Between Cassidy's condescending attitude and the word-salad answers, it was all I could do to listen.  Lindsey Graham seems to think that if he can just label something as "socialist," he'll win.  He failed to mention that Medicare is a single-payer program, as is the VA health system, and I'm pretty sure no one who has either feels like they they'd want to give them up so the states can decide how to allocate funds.

    I missed part of the debate, so I'll have to go back and watch on you-tube, but the one thing I wanted Klobuchar and Sanders to ask is why anyone would believe that states that didn't care enough to expand Medicaid for their residents would all of a sudden be allocating block grants in ways that would manage to take care of existing Medicaid users as well as all those who got left out.  And, that they could do it without cutting benefits for everyone else.

    The real problem is that the GOP's entire exercise has been motivated by politics and not policy.


    Yes, a big part (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by KeysDan on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 02:29:11 PM EST
    of this Republican exercise was cuts for the poor, through big reductions in Medicaid and the transfer of same to the rich, through big reductions in their taxes.

    Oh I know...condescending rhymes with Rick (none / 0) (#92)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 02:04:12 PM EST
    But his face was powdered down eerily like Marie Antoinette

    Haha! Remember how he said he has (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Sep 26, 2017 at 02:01:46 PM EST
    Treated the poor (and he struck a benevolent facial pose), then paused, then said, "Most of them were probably Democrats." If I hadn't been so tired I perhaps could have processed that but I ended up throwing that into the insane stoopid phecker file in my brain. It's hard to want to open that file and sort through it.

    That psycho's body language at least amused me. A woman queried him with her Planned Parenthood personal story. The minute it was revealed this was a women's problems story he held a pinky finger to his lips, the whole time she spoke. Pretty hysterical. I think he might have even swapped out fingers he was holding to his lips in the longest passive aggressive shhhhhhhhh ever. What a psycho. She simply looked everywhere that wasn't into his rheumy eyes, and kept on talking.

    His setting powder on his makeup was a little heavy too :) Sickly white, red rimmed eyes, bloodless cheeks and face. Creepy