Category Archives: Healthcare

Any thing to do with Healthcare

House Healthcare Bill would knock 23 Million Americans out of coverage…

The Congressional Budget Office is out with it’s study of the final House  ‘Repeal’ bill…

It ain’t pretty…

Health-care legislation adopted by House Republicans earlier this month would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured by 2026 than under current law, the Congressional Budget Office projected Wednesday — only a million fewer than the estimate for the House’s previous bill.

The nonpartisan agency’s finding, which drew immediate fire from Democrats, patient advocates, health industry officials and some business groups, is likely to complicate Republicans’ push to pass a companion bill in the Senate.

The new score, which reflects last-minute revisions that Republicans made to win over several conservative lawmakers and a handful of moderates, calculates that the American Health Care Act would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026. That represents a smaller reduction than the $150 billion CBO estimated in late March, largely because House leaders provided more money in their final bill to offset costs for consumers with expensive medical conditions and included language that could translate to greater federal spending on health insurance subsidies.

As GOP senators quickly distanced themselves from the updated numbers, what became apparent is the difficult balancing act congressional leaders face as they seek to rewrite large portions of the Affordable Care Act. Some senators are eager to soften portions of the House bill, including cuts to entitlement programs and provisions that would allow insurers in individual states to offer fewer benefits in their health plans or to charge consumers with costly medical conditions higher premiums….

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Republicans will ignore Trump’s Budget Plan…

Presidential budget outlines never make thru Congress in one piece , but the throw down that Trump’s won’t is being broadcasted pretty fast…

The kind of cuts Trump has presented simply won’t fly…(Congress went its own way on the 2017 stop-gap budget …)

The media is highlighting those cuts , which combined with the healthcare cuts would put Republicans out of business in Congress in 2018/2020…..

Republican leaders in Congress say they will go their own way on spending and largely ignore the budget President Trump sent to Congress on Tuesday, underlining a divide between the White House and his congressional allies on spending issues.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) downplayed the significance of setting Trump’s budget aside as he told reporters that he will soon begin negotiations with Democrats on the top-line numbers for discretionary spending bills.

Asked about Trump’s budget, McConnell said it’s traditional for Congress to discard much of a president’s blueprint.

“We’ll be taking into account what the president is recommending, but it will not be determinative in every respect,” he said. “I didn’t engage in a ringing endorsement of President [George W.] Bush’s budgets either.”

Others in the Senate GOP conference immediately distanced themselves from Trump’s budget.

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said the plan cuts “too close to the bone,” while Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) called it “anti-Nevada,” citing cuts to “important public lands programs.”

Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) has previously warned that not much more can be cut from discretionary spending accounts, which cover popular programs such as medical research at the National Institutes of Health.

Trump’s proposed cuts to Medicaid were making some Republicans nervous….

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Republicans ARE worried….

They SHOULD be….

Republican leaders are coming to the bleak conclusion they will end summer and begin the fall with no major policy accomplishments. Privately, they realize it’s political malpractice to blow at least the the first nine of months of all Republican rule, but also realize there’s little they can do to avoid the dismal outcome.
In fact, they see the next four months as MORE troublesome than the first four. They’re facing terrible budget choices and headlines, the painful effort to re-work the health care Rubik’s Cube in the House (presuming it makes it out of the Senate), a series of special-election scares (or losses) — all with scandal-mania as the backdrop.

One of the key insights I picked up at last week’s SALT hedge-fund conference in Vegas (tough duty) was that nobody thought health care reform would happen, and most were very skeptical that Trump and Republicans could get their acts together enough to pass tax reform this year.

Asked about both onstage, Jeb Bush said a flat “no” to health care and a very unconvincing “maybe” to tax reform. The masters of the universe had more colorful words in private — they’re deeply pessimistic about health care.

A source close to the Republican congressional leadership emails a vivid snapshot of the party’s feng shui:

We are walking into an autumn of discontent because they won’t have any legislative accomplishment when they come back from the August recess. … Their biggest problem is that the reconciliation instructions will expire at the end of September. …

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The Senate is in No Rush on their Obamacare rewrite bill….

Meaning that the Affordable Healthcare Law will continue in effect and the political ‘hot potato’ will be left on the side for a long while…

The Senate GOP’s progress on Obamacare repeal has been hard to decipher so far, with lots of public assurances that negotiations are continuing but few tangible results.

The process, which Republicans claim began even before the House passed its repeal bill, has been notable for what it’s been missing. It’s unclear, publicly at least, who is leading the effort, the direction they’re taking and whether there’s even agreement on how far the Senate will stray from the deeply unpopular House proposal, which guts Medicaid while scaling back the Affordable Care Act’s widely-liked consumer protections.

The Senate GOP’s 13-member working group initially unveiled to iron out an approach that could bring 51 votes was quickly met with ugly headlines about the lack of women, while rival groups have popped up among the members left out of the original task force. GOP leaders have since stressed that all Republicans are invited to participate in the talks, which happen twice or thrice weekly in Capitol, behind closed doors.

In the meantime, trial balloon after trial balloon has been floated with anonymous leaks, only to be immediately popped by other Republicans, who sometimes are only hearing of alleged proposals directly from the press….

While GOP Senators swear their not adhering to any specific timetable, some deadlines do in fact exist. To stay on track to pass both Obamacare repeal and tax cut legislation this year, the Senate will likely need to wrap up their health care talks this summer. More pressing, however, is insurers’ filing deadlines for their 2018 plans. Insurers would like to see more certainty on what the marketplace will look like, including what will happen to key ACA subsidies Republicans have previously attacked….

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Ya Gets’ what ya vote for?…Donald Trump…Open Thread for May 22, 2017….

It’s been 122 days since Donald Trump moved into America’s White House….

I have written President Trump about 3 times here at the PDog in those 122 days….

I have written a LOT about Donald Trump’s bumbling in these past months….

I wrote a LOT about how Trump wasn’t qualified to be President and I think I got THAT Right….

But millions of people out there in America voted FOR Donald J. Trump ….Less than voted for Hillary Clinton by about THREE MILLON….

That’s the  way things work in America…. You CAN win the election if you get votes in certain places even if you get less overall….Trump surprised MOST of us and won the Presidency by less than 100,000 votes out of 140 MILLION or so ….

Turns out the people who voted FOR Trump believed him when he said the whole US Government was ‘rigged’….

Now that Trump IS the Government?

Things haven’t changed from the campaign….

He say’s crazy things that often make NO sense…

Even his party members in the House and Senate decided that THEY would draft an 2017 budget that had few of Trump campaign things in it….

Trump said he’s make sure NO one lost their Healthcare coverage….But that’s isn’t what is coming out of the GOP House with Trump’s Budget wishes….DEEP cuts is what he’s looking for…

Trump ranted about how Hillary Clinton couldn’t be trusted?

But Trump is out there GIVING the countries secrets away to the Russians IN THE White House….

It has got so bad with him countermining his staff in public  (Trump continues to be Trump) that we now wait for the next morning to get Trump’s REAL feelings on anything…

No Wall…

No Muslim Ban….

But we STILL can count on Trump to keep trying to stop HIS government people from investigating his buddies getting cozy with the Russians…Its gotten to Trump telling the Russians he’s trying to bury the probe HIS government is making against His  former and present campaign staff buddies….

For Now?

Trump STILL has a LOT of people happy that he’s in the White House even if he’s hard on offering up cuts for their benefits and hasn’t followed thru on getting them jobs…

Around 40% of Americans, according to polls, actually think Donald Trump is doing a Good Job….But…..

The other 60% of us didn’t vote for the guy ….

We’re NOT Happy….

We didn’t vote for this…..

We’re living with what the ‘other guys’ voted for….

It’s a Democracy , Right?

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Canada has the ‘least-universal health care system’ in the world: André Picard

For those who keep citing the Canadian Healthcare system as the solution for America?
They have issues up North in their healthcare program also….
In his new book, the Globe and Mail health columnist outlines the many ways our much-lauded health care system can do better.by

Matters of Life and Death: Public Heath Issues in Canada by André Picard, $23.

Canadians have a complicated relationship with our health care system. We love to point out all its faults and failures, yet we’re thankful the only bill we pay at the hospital are the parking tickets. We’re deeply proud of Tommy Douglas. Some would go so far as to say our health care system defines us as Canadians. Which is one of André Picard’s biggest pet peeves.

The Montreal-based health columnist has been writing about Canadian public health issues for The Globe and Mail for nearly 30 years. It’s all he ever tweets about, if you couldn’t already tell by his handle, @PicardonHealth. He’s been named a “public health hero” by our country’s top public health experts and even stops in on hospitals around the world when on holiday. Once, in an emergency room in Spain, he asked the triage nurse what wait times were like. She looked confused. “Why would anyone wait? It’s an emergency room,” she said.

Picard talked to Chatelaine about what Canada is doing right, how we can be better, and how we compare, not just to our southern neighbours but to the rest of the world…..

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Trump budget plan would be to cut Medicaid and give the program to the states…

According to the Washington Post Trump ‘s budget proposal for the 2018 budget will look for deep cuts to the Medicaid program….

There is virtually NO Chance such cuts amounting to up to $800 Billion will make it thru the Senate version of the budget that they are working on…

But Trump’s push is in line with the House Repeal language….

Medicaid cuts don’t sit well even with Republicans governors and some Red state lawmakers who actually want to expand the program….

“President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits… despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net,” the Washington Post reports.

“For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.”

“The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors.”

Politicalwire….

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Away from Washington?…Democrats make it NOT about Trump….

While the media and us social media  types continue to feature Donald Trump’s miscues?

Democrats out in the hustlings  find that they will need to offer more than just anti-Trump promises…(And make making hard runs to the left)

James Carville….

…….’It’s the Economy stupid’…..

The contrast between what Democrats in Washington are consumed by and what their candidates are running on illustrates an emerging challenge for the party as the president becomes ever more engulfed in controversy: For all the misfortunes facing their foe in the White House, Democrats have yet to devise a coherent message on the policies that President Trump used to draw working-class voters to his campaign.

And at least for now, the voters whom Democrats need to win back are more focused on their own troubles than those of the president.

After a campaign in which they learned the hard way that an anti-Trump message was insufficient, Democrats are again grappling with how to balance responding to Mr. Trump’s apparent transgressions and devising an affirmative policy agenda of their own.

“The country wants answers on this, but they don’t want to see us be so consumed we can’t do anything else,” said Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio facing re-election in 2018, citing a need to address infrastructure, trade agreements and health care.

Finding that equilibrium now is even more difficult because the party’s lawmakers believe they have a solemn constitutional duty to pursue what they see as the president’s misdeeds.

“I think this is one of those moments when, as Americans, part of our job is to safeguard the republic,” said Senator Michael Bennet, Democrat of Colorado….

But there IS a strong push by parts of the Democratic party to get rid of the ever present Trump show coming form the White House with daily reminders of Hillary Clinton’s narrow lose….

…Part of the conundrum for the Democrats eyeing the presidency, a roster that may be more than 20 deep, is that they would look out of step with the party base if they did not speak out aggressively against Mr. Trump’s conduct. As demonstrated last week when a series of Democrats competing in statewide primaries called for the president’s impeachment, there is a growing hunger among rank-and-file progressive activists to remove Mr. Trump from office….

….. at the moment, party leaders outside Washington believe the better approach is to address kitchen-table issues….

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Obamacare isn’t gonna crash…But it DOES needs adjustments…

The nations’ s healthcare program the Affordable Healthcare program, also labeled Obamacare is doing what it was supposed to do…Increase healthcare insurance for those who could didn’t have access to coverage…

And while the political scrimmaging is going on ?

The fact is the program DOES Need fixing…

That fixing should NOT be a full repeal of the program knocking up to 24 million people out coverage entirely to make premiums lower for those who can pay them without effort…

Are the insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act really on the verge of collapse, as President Trump and GOP leaders have repeatedly claimed?

Three months ago, this story would have started like this: It depends on where you look and who you ask.

Today, it goes something like this: They are in a fragile state pretty much everywhere.

With Trump threatening to withhold payments to insurers and expressing reluctance to uphold the mandate requiring most people to either buy insurance or pay a penalty, otherwise stable state markets are now in a precarious position. Others are experiencing issues they likely would have anyway, but with a layer of new instability on top. But just because many markets were stable doesn’t mean they were serving everyone well. The messy reality of these two intertwined issues — what keeps the markets stable and who they cover — often leaves politicians on both sides of the aisle telling half-truths about the health of Obamacare’s most public provision. A look at the ways marketplaces are succeeding and failing reveals opportunities for improvement and hints at why the political climate could make those improvements all but impossible.

For the last couple of decades, the term “death spiral” has been used to describe a marketplace spinning out of control. In the face of rising premiums, healthy people bail from a marketplace, causing premiums to rise further, until the prices are unaffordable for everyone and the whole plan falls apart. The Obamacare marketplaces are not in a death spiral, according to various health policy experts, despite numerous Republicans’claims to the contrary. In fact, the term, at least under its pre-Obamacare definition, is largely obsolete. That’s because the ACA fundamentally changed how the markets are organized. Now that the government is subsidizing health insurance, people with incomes just above the federal poverty line are largely protected from rising premiums — 83 percent of the people currently using the markets receive subsidies to help pay for their plans — and, healthy or sick, they are unlikely to flee the markets amid rising premiums.

However, growing costs in the marketplaces frequently determine whether someone with a slightly higher income1 will buy into the market. That’s because under the current system, those people receive low or no subsidies to offset the cost of insurance — they aren’t immune to the price increases…..

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The Senate is working on EXPANDING Medicaid…And NOT Following the House…

While House Republicans passing up a bill that will go nowhere with it’s cuts and ‘Repeal’ tag attached to Obamacare….

The Senate is working to ADJUST the Affordable Healthcare Law….

They have got the message from American’s who do NOT want the Houses’s drastic cuts to their healthcare coverage…

Senate negotiators, meeting stiff resistance to the House’s plans to sharply reduce the scope and reach of Medicaid, are discussing a compromise that would maintain the program’s expansion under the Affordable Care Act but subject that larger version of Medicaid to new spending limits.

With 62 senators, including 20 Republicans, coming from states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the House’s American Health Care Act almost certainly cannot pass the Senate. The House bill could leave millions of Medicaid beneficiaries without health coverage, but in a House debate focused more on pre-existing medical conditions and tax cuts, the sweeping Medicaid changes received little attention.

Those changes would, for the first time, put Medicaid on a budget, limiting federal payments to states for care provided to tens of millions of low-income people — not just those who gained Medicaid coverage as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but also children, people with disabilities and nursing home residents who have been eligible for decades under the law that created Medicaid in 1965. The House bill would cut expected Medicaid spending by more than $800 billion over 10 years, according to the most recent estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

A bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act has been “leveraged, by a sleight of hand, into reform of the entire Medicaid program,” said Greg Moody, director of the Office of Health Transformation in Ohio, run by the state’s Republican governor, John R. Kasich.

States could face tough choices because Medicaid spending per beneficiary is expected to increase faster than the limits in the House bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office and an independent commission that advises Congress on Medicaid policy. State governments could cut services, limit beneficiaries or take on more of the funding responsibility.

“We have a hard time seeing this as anything more than a budget fix for the federal government,” said Leslie M. Clement, director of health policy and analytics at the Oregon Health Authority, which runs the state Medicaid program. “It’s a cost shift to Oregon and other states.”

As senators begin what is likely to be weeks of negotiations, Republican leaders have made it clear that the legislation that ultimately emerges will look very different from the bill that narrowly cleared the House….

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Progressives are blowing 2018 by dedicating too many resources to Russia story

Let’s focus on the future.

Russia is a critical story. But it’s not the story that affects America’s dinner table, health, or financial well-being. Many of us in the liberal intelligentsia love the intricacies of this story. After all, who would believe that the Republican leadership would be so soft on their patriotism that they’re willing to put their heads in the sand and play dumb?

Still, it would do progressives well to remember a few realities: 52 percent of white women and 81 percent of white evangelicals voted for the man who spoke about violating women, grabbing them by their genitals, and imposing his physicality on them as he disregarded their humanity.

The Trump voter knew that Trump had some relationship with the Russians. In fact, Fox News and Republicans were praising Vladimir Putin as a better leader than President Obama. The Trump voter saw a candidate who refused to criticize Putin, regardless  of whatever vile act he committed.

Donald Trump swindled Trump University students. He stiffed vendors, employees, and much more. The Trump voter heard all of that. But a large percentage of Americans have so had it with the establishment wings of both parties that enough of them stayed home or voted for Trump and gave him an electoral win.

Trump never had stellar poll numbers. But he did not need to be popular: he just needed the votes in the right places to win, and he got them.

In watching the hyperventilation on Russia, it is clear that progressives are repeating the same mistakes of the last several elections that have decimated the Democratic bench throughout the states and in the federal government. The people’s party, the Democrats, are out of step with the people.

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Trump can’t get past the doubt in his ‘being President’…

Image result for trump

Fact:…..

Donald J. Trump LOST the popular vote for President in 2016…

Fact:….

He WON the Presidency by LESS than 100,000 votes out of more that 130Million ….

He was NOT supposed to win…

He now has DISAPPROVAL  poll numbers that range from 45% down to 35% in the latest major polling….

He is the first American President with NO political experience in Government…

And he ran AGAINT the American political process, government and media….

He now finds himself under constant scrutiny by the above three institutions when he thought he’d be crowned King…

That isn’t how things are going…

And Donald J. Trump isn’t happy…

Neither is a MAJORITY of Americans and Others around the planet….

At the root of Mr. Trump’s unpredictable presidency, according to people close to him, is a deep frustration about attacks on his legitimacy, and a worry that Washington does not see him as he sees himself.

As he careens from one controversy to another, many of them of his own making — like his abrupt decision to fire the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, who was leading an investigation into the president’s associates — Mr. Trump seems determined to prove that he won the election on his own. It was not Russian interference. It was not Mr. Comey’s actions in the case involving Hillary Clinton’s emails. It was not a fluke of the Electoral College system. It was all him.

He sits in the dining room or Oval Office stewing over the Russia inquiry that Mr. Comey was managing, arguing to anyone who will listen that the matter is all a Democratic-inspired conspiracy to undermine the validity of his victory. Even as he was defending his decision to dismiss Mr. Comey last week, Mr. Trump signed an executive order creating a commission to investigate voting fraud in a quixotic effort to prove his unsubstantiated contention that he would have won the popular vote against Mrs. Clinton but for millions of ballots that were illegally cast against him.

Mr. Trump burns with frustration over not getting enough credit for winning the nation’s highest office after having never so much as run for City Council or town alderman. He ran when pundits predicted he would not, stayed in when they were certain he would drop out, never lost his core supporters and, amid a dysfunctional campaign that was known for self-inflicted wounds, propelled himself to victory over the vastly more experienced Clinton machine. He expected to be celebrated for it, and that has not happened.

“There’s a lot of anger. I’ve talked with him about it,” said Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media and a friend of Mr. Trump’s. “No other president in history has faced the barrage of press attacks, people calling for him to be impeached before he took the oath of office.”

“I think the way Trump looks at this is — the big club they’ve tried to get at him is the Russia collusion argument,” Mr. Ruddy added. “Trump sees this as a political attack, not a fair attack on him.”

In the process, allies and advisers said, Mr. Trump has only made the situation worse for himself….

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image…abcnews.go.com

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Small Group of GOP Senators move towards the middle on Healthcare Bill write-up…

The House version of things IS a goner….

‘Moderation’ is coming back to Republicans…..

Who would believe that?

© Getty Images

A rival group of Republican senators is seeking leverage to influence the direction of the Senate’s ObamaCare replacement bill.

The group, led by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), has been meeting “a couple times a week,” according to Sen. Shelly Moore Capitol (R-W.Va.).

Cassidy is a physician and Collins is a former state insurance commissioner. Both have been outspoken opponents of the House-passed American Healthcare Act, and have co-sponsored their own version of an ObamaCare repeal bill called the Patient Freedom Act.

Cassidy told The Hill he and Collins have been meeting with Senate leaders to talk about their legislation. However, he noted the politics of the Senate mean that every member’s voice matters.

“When you only have 52 senators, everybody has significant leverage. That tight vote margin means everyone is essential,” Cassidy said.

The main GOP working group on healthcare includes 13 men backed by Senate leadership who are seeking to bridge the divide between conservatives and centrists.

What ever legislation emerges from that group is likely to be the bill that comes to the Senate floor.

But if all of the Senate’s Democrats oppose the measure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will only be able to afford two defections.

That gives the other group leverage.

“Let’s look at it practically,” Capito  told The Hill. “You can only lose two votes on any one issue … so I think a bloc of four or five can be very effective.”

Health lobbyists have noted many members of the leadership-led group have been fairly measured in their criticisms of the House bill approved earlier this month.

Collins and Cassidy, in contrast, both seem keen on turning sharply from the House bill….

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House Republicans look to CUT Food stamps, Welfare, Income Assistance for the Disabled, Veterans’ benefits

In order to get a balanced budget and do Trump’s tax cuts and increase money for the Pentagon?

The Republicans are thinking of robbing the poor and Vets…

This piece from Politico just is about getting ahead of the Republicans trying to get away with this…

It will be a political battle with consequences for all involved….

The drama will play out the end of the Summer going into September….

House Republicans just voted to slash hundreds of billions of dollars in health care for the poor as part of their Obamacare replacement. Now, they’re weighing a plan to take the scalpel to programs that provide meals to needy kids and housing and education assistance for low-income families.

President Donald Trump’s refusal to overhaul Social Security and Medicare — and his pricey wish-list for infrastructure, a border wall and tax cuts — is sending House budget writers scouring for pennies in politically-sensitive places: safety-net programs for the most vulnerable.

Under enormous internal pressure to quickly balance the budget, Republicans are considering slashing more than $400 billion in spending through a process to evade Democratic filibusters in the Senate, multiple sources told POLITICO.

The proposal, which would be part of the House Budget Committee’s fiscal 2018 budget, won’t specify which programs will get the ax; instead it will instruct committees to figure out what to cut to reach the savings. But among the programs most likely on the chopping block, the sources say, are food stamps, welfare, income assistance for the disabled and perhaps even veterans’ benefits.

If enacted, such a plan to curb safety-net programs — all while juicing the Pentagon’s budget and slicing corporate tax rates — would amount to the biggest shift in federal spending priorities in decades.

Atop that, GOP budget writers will also likely include Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposal to essentially privatize Medicare in their fiscal 2018 budget, despite Trump’s unwavering rejection of the idea. While that proposal is more symbolic and won’t become law under this budget, it’s just another thorny issue that will have Democrats again accusing Republicans of “pushing Granny off the cliff.”

“The Budget Committee is trying to force the entire conference and committees of jurisdiction to focus on ways to bring down this deficit,” said senior Budget panel member Rep. Tom Cole. Republicans have long sought to tackle the nearly $20 trillion debt, but Trump has tied their hands by ruling out cuts to Social Security and Medicare….

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Note….

In Reality it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY the cuts mentioned above will occur…

This will just be the first hand dealt…

The 2017 stop-gap budget showed that Congress will NOT go to the mat and have a shut-down with the 2018 Midterms around the corner….

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Senator Ted Cruz is working on the Senate GOP Healthcare write-up…

A lot of people do NOT know this…

The question is?

Which Ted Cruz is doing this?

Could  he dial down some of right-thinking to get a Senate Bill that has a chance of getting enough votes for passage?..

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has developed a reputation as a firebrand. Cruz has made refusal to compromise a trademark of his career in Congress and has often had strong words for fellow Republicans who disagreed with him on strategy. Now a new behind-the-scenes report by the Wall Street Journal reports that Cruz may be turning over a new leaf.

The Journal reports that Cruz began working quietly with moderate Republicans to find a consensus on health care reform that has a realistic chance of becoming law. Cruz was instrumental in forming a working group of 13 Senators that had its origin in a February steak dinner with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). The group includes Republicans concerned about the effect of an outright repeal of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion and pre-existing conditions rules such as Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Cory Gardner (R-Col.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah). Cruz has reportedly been working with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mike Meadows (R-N.C.) for the past month.

Senators on both sides of the aisle expressed surprise at Cruz’s new strategy. “It’s a ‘you live long enough, anything can happen’ moment,” said Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

“It would be a first for Sen. Cruz,” noted Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)….

More @ Erick Erickerson’s Resurgent….

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Trump/Ryancare House Bill has only 21% support among Americans…Poll

And the Republican House lawmakers that voted to pass it have been taking political beatdown’s ever since they cast their votes….

The support for the current healthcare bill continues to rise and a majority of Americans DO NOT like how Trump is handling the healthcare insurance issue…

The Republicans are driving this issue AGAINST THEMSELVES...

Only 21 percent of American voters approve of the Republican health care plan passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week, a slight improvement over the 17 percent who approved of the first health care plan in March, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Overall, the current health plan goes down 56 – 21 percent.

Except for an anemic 48 – 16 percent support among Republicans, every listed party, gender, educational, age and racial group opposes the plan, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN- uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

Under the new plan, their health insurance costs will go up, 42 percent of voters say, while 11 percent say they will go down and 37 percent say insurance costs will stay the same.

American voters approve 64 – 32 percent of the current law which prevents health insurance companies from raising premiums on people with pre-existing conditions.

Voters say 75 – 21 percent, including 59 – 34 percent among Republicans, that it’s a “bad idea” to give states the ability to allow health insurance companies to raise rates on people with pre-existing conditions.

A total of 96 percent of voters say it’s “very important” or “somewhat important” that health insurance be affordable for all Americans.

American voters disapprove 66 – 28 percent of the way President Donald Trump is handling health care….

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