Category Archives: Healthcare

Any thing to do with Healthcare

An argument against Trump JUST playing to his base….

Social scientists have long been familiar with the important concept of the reference group — a group individuals use as the standard against which to compare their own behavior and self-perceptions, whether a part of that group or not.

President Donald Trump has, in recent months, given evidence that his reference group is shifting to the minority of the U.S. population he characterizes as his “base.” In a series of tweets in August, he opined, “Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News … the Trump base is getting stronger!” and, “… Supreme Court pick, economic enthusiasm, deregulation & so much more have driven the Trump base even closer together,” and, “The Trump base is far bigger & stronger than ever before …”

A selective focus on only a portion of the population as one’s reference group is an attractive and tempting alternative for any politician. It reduces the cognitive dissonance that accompanies attempting to deal with the fact that the entire population is more negative than positive (Trump’s current overall job approval rating is 37%), and it produces a stream of positive feedback from that base (as was the case in President Trump’s recent speeches in Phoenix and Springfield, Missouri).

At the same time, a selective choice of a relatively narrow reference group for a president has significant implications. The main consequence stems from the finding that the public, taken as a whole, wants less partisanship, less polarization, and is ultimately not in favor of a strict position of sticking to principles at the cost of getting things done.

Keep in mind that government and the way it operates today is, in the public’s mind, one of the most important problems facing the nation. Although this concern has multiple causes, a good deal of it comes from the belief that government — mainly Congress — is too focused on infighting, bickering, adherence to intransigent partisan allegiances, enslavement to special interests and those with money, and a general lack of willingness to compromise in order to get things done for the public good.

In this sense, Trump’s explicit announcement of the use of his base as the reference group governing his behavior (rather than using the nation as a whole) runs the danger of exacerbating, rather than ameliorating, the public’s concerns…..


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Democrats warn Sanders about his supporters…and his future…

Democratic Senator’s and establishment types are increasingly uneasy with Sanders supporters efforts to co-op the Democratic party itself….

Supporters have increasingly looked to instill THEIR policy views on the party , thus re-running the 2016 Presidential Primary debate…


For the hundredth time?

Bernie Sanders is NOT a Democrat…

Nor does he want to join the party….

He HAS done things to help the party…

But maintains his independence ….

His supporters make NOT bones about wanting to TAKE OVER the party driving it to the hard left, something that would divide the party and be catastrophic for the party in  2018/2020 elections…

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Right now, Kamala Harris , the Democratic Senator for California is the flavor of the month for the national party…. Other Democratic senators are NOT happy that Sanders supporters are knocking her even as she expresses support for Sanders Single-payer health insurance bill that has NO chance of passage…

Prominent Democrats are increasingly riled by attacks from Bernie Sanders’ supporters, whose demands for ideological purity are hurting the party ahead of the 2018 midterms and 2020 presidential election, they say.

But it’s not just the outside agitators that Democratic lawmakers, operatives, and activists are annoyed with: They’re tired of what they see as the senator’s hesitance to confront his own backers, either in public or through back channels.

Tensions boiled over recently when a handful of Sanders loyalists bashed freshman Sen. Kamala Harris — a rising star in the party and potential 2020 hopeful — as an establishment tool. Democrats were also rankled that other prominent Sanders allies said support for single-payer health care should be a litmus test for candidates.

In response, Democratic senators and outside groups have begun telling Sanders and friendly intermediaries that if he wants to be a leading figure for Democrats ahead of 2020’s presidential election, he needs to get his supporters in line — or at least publicly disavow their more incendiary statements.

The confrontations, they insist, threaten party unity ahead of a critical midterm election cycle, when Democrats have a shot at winning the House and several governor’s offices.

“The Democratic Party has treated Senator Sanders exceptionally well. We collectively let him run in our primaries when he declared he wasn’t a Democrat — I count that as a great favor, and an opportunity almost no one else has ever received,” said former Democratic National Committee chairman Don Fowler, who has called for the independent Sanders to formally join the party….




Yes …The 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination favorite DOES seem to be Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders out loud…With Eliaazbeth Warren sitting on the side…Joe Biden offically leads the early polling….Things HAVE already started …

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Sanders Single Payer Medicare litmus test for Democrats…

US Senator Bernie Sanders the guy who ain’t a Democrat  (And IS an independent Socialist ) is fronting a bill for a single payer Medicare health insurance program for America….

It’s counter to the Republicans Repeal Obamacare….

There is NO chance the bill will pass the present GOP majority Congress and White House…

But Kamala Harris , the rising star on the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination early list has thrown her support behind the Sanders effort, as has Cory Booker….

Democratic nomination basic’s are you run to the left, THEN move back to the middle…A lot of Democrats running in the 2018 Midterms simply cannot support Sanders efforts due the cost factor that would be thrown back at them from a Republican opponent…

It worked for Bill Clinton and Barack Obama…We see what happened to Hillary Clinton….

So one would imagine that Sanders is gonna get some Democratic support on his bill….

For NOW….

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) Medicare for all plan has become a key test for Democrats with 2020 presidential ambitions.

Sanders, who energized liberals with his improbable run at the White House last year, is poised to introduce a long-awaited single-payer bill when Congress returns to Washington this month. The liberal icon insists it’s not a litmus test for the Democrats, but he’s actively seeking endorsements. Outside liberal groups are watching closely, with some hinging their own endorsements on a candidate’s support for the Sanders health-care model.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who’s said to be eying a 2020 run, threw her weight behind Sanders’s bill this week, highlighting the sense that potential candidates want to get on the right side of their base –– and do it early.

The issue poses a dilemma for both Democratic leaders and presidential hopefuls, who are walking a fine line between appeasing their liberal supporters without alienating the more conservative-leaning voters they’ll need to win back power in the House, the Senate and the White House.

Spokesmen for several Democrats with possible presidential ambitions, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar(Minn.), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, did not respond to a request for comment on their stance on single-payer.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), all potential White House contenders who have voiced support for single payer in the past, haven’t said if they’ll endorse Sanders’s bill. Their offices were also silent this week.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), another possible candidate, referred to Booker’s interview with Vox in April. He said then that “I believe, ultimately, in ideas like single payer or Medicare for all,” while adding that “I don’t know how we get it done in this environment.”

They will face no lack of pressure to try, as liberal groups are already pushing for candidates to get on board….


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Breaking …Trump to give Congress 6 months to legalize ‘Dreamers’ program or it will be gone….

Donald Trump the GOP Presidential candiadte was for keeping the Obama excutive program to allow children of undoucmented parents to remain in the US and not be deported….

His adopted party types in the Republican party want them and all and any undiucumented man, woman or child removed from America….

Trump’s Dept of Homelend Security head, now Chief of Staff John Kelly has held that immigration law should come from Congress, not a President….

It appears that Kellys view has held the day….

The action now moves to Congress, where Trump can now esacape blame….

The president’s expected announcement is likely to shore up his base, which rallied behind his broader campaign message about the importance of enforcing the country’s immigration laws and securing the border. At the same time, the president’s decision is likely to be one of the most contentious of his early administration, opposed by leaders of both parties and by the political establishment more broadly.

The White House and Congress have tried to pass the issue off on each other – with each arguing that the other is responsible for determining the fate of the approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants who are benefiting from DACA. Though most Republicans believe that rolling back DACA is a solid legal decision, they are conscious of the difficult emotional terrain. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch joined Ryan in cautioning Trump against rolling back the program.

The president is likely to couch his decision in legalese. Many on the right, even those who support protections for children brought into the country illegally through no fault of their own, argue that DACA is unconstitutional because former President Barack Obama carried it out unilaterally instead of working through Congress.

Some Republican lawmakers, including Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, have said that Congress needs to pass a law to protect the so-called Dreamers.

“My hope is that as part of this process we can work on a way to deal with this issue and solve it through legislation, which is the right way to do it and the constitutional way to do it,” Rubio told CNN in June.

Trump’s expected decision to scrap DACA represents another challenge for Ryan and fellow congressional Republicans….


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Waiting for Another Kennedy to shine…..

While the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination sweepstakes players start plugging their tickets…. 

Politico takes a look at Rep. Joe Kennedy up in Massachusetts….

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Democrats are in search of new leaders to take on Donald Trump, and Rep. Joe Kennedy could fit the bill. But it’s not clear he wants the job.

In short order, Kennedy has garnered a loyal grass-roots following with a series of viral speeches challenging the president on everything from health care to hate speech, leading some Democrats to believe he could help fill the party’s leadership vacuum.

It’s a shift for someone who, despite his famous last name and wavy red mane, has kept a low profile on the national scene since being elected to the House in 2012. Loath to be seen as a political celebrity, the 36-year-old from the outskirts of Boston has put in the work of a relative back-bencher and focused on delivering for his district.

But the fact is, he’s no ordinary lawmaker. He’s the grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, a member of Democratic royalty. And his decimated party could use an infusion of young talent. As Trump continues to undermine the ideals Kennedy holds dearest, he’ll have to decide whether and how to take a larger role in the party and fight back.

Kennedy has already proved he has the ability to harness his star power, after gaining national prominence for blasting GOP efforts to dismantle Obamacare earlier this year.

But the key question for Democrats, including the more than two dozen interviewed for this story, is what’s next for the young lawmaker they say is much more than a notable last name. It’s one — to the quiet frustration of several in the party — that Kennedy seems in no hurry to answer.

“Somewhere down the road, if a Senate seat were to open, yeah, it’s something I’d certainly take a look at,” Kennedy said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office. “But that’s got to be right in time for me and my family.”

Since his attack on Obamacare repeal efforts, Kennedy has been slowly raising his national profile…..



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Minnesota deals will keeping its health rate increase’s modest…

They are proving …IT CAN BE DONE…

Last fall, as consumers in Minnesota were facing health insurance rate increases of 50 percent or more, Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, said the Affordable Care Act was “no longer affordable to increasing numbers of people.” The state’s top insurance regulator said the Minnesota market was “on the verge of collapse.”

The outlook now is much better. Rate increases requested for 2018 are relatively modest, thanks in part to a new program under which the state will help pay the largest claims. The program, known as reinsurance, and the efforts that led to its creation hold lessons for other states where rates are rising rapidly, and for Congress, where lawmakers are considering the introduction of a similar program.

“The individual insurance market is stabilizing under the program here,” said Allison L. O’Toole, the chief executive of Minnesota’s state-run insurance marketplace. “Health plans are very happy about it.”

State officials and insurers say that, as a result of the program, premiums next year will be about 20 percent lower than they would otherwise have been. The program — for which Minnesota has budgeted about $270 million in each of the next two years — potentially benefits all of the 160,000 people buying insurance on their own, not just those with large claims.

But the program will be invisible to consumers. They will not have to file additional paperwork or do anything different from what they would ordinarily do….


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Sen Kamala Harris will join Sanders effort on a single-payer healthcare bill…

She join’s Sen. Cory Booker and others in a doomed effort, under a Republican  majority Congress ,to approve Sanders “Medicare for All”  legislation….

The push has political postives for Democrat going into the 2020 Presidential nomination campaign…

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California Senator Kamala Harris (D) announced during a town hall on Wednesday that she would support Sen. Bernie Sanders‘s (I-Vt.) “Medicare for All” bill, which would institute a single-payer health insurance system.

“I intend to co-sponsor the ‘Medicare for All’ bill because it’s just the right thing to do,” Harris announced Wednesday at a town hall in Oakland.

“It’s not just about what is morally and ethically right, it also makes sense just from a fiscal standpoint,” she said.

The decision to co-sponsor Sanders’s bill is Harris’s first instance of publicly supporting single-payer.

In July, Harris said, “as a concept” she supported single-payer, but that lawmakers still needed to “work out the details.”

Sanders said earlier this week that he was building support for his “Medicare for All” bill.

“You’re seeing more and more movement toward ‘Medicare for All,” Sanders said. “When the people are saying we need healthcare for everyone, as more and more Americans come on board, it will become politically possible.”

The former presidential candidate’s backing for the policy has raised questions about whether he and his supporters might launch primary challenges against Democrats who do not back a single-payer plan.

Sanders on Wednesday tweeted thanking Harris for her announcement as well.

“Thank you Kamala Harris for your support. Let’s make health care a right, not a privilege,” he tweeted….



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Crazy Shit for the Morning….Maine Governor…Call Medicaid… Welfare….

‘Code Word’ politics….

The state is moving to actually EXPAND its Medicaid program…

Is Medicaid “insurance” or is it “welfare”?

The battle taking place in Maine right now over this semantic question could determine whether the state becomes the first in the nation to adopt Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion by popular vote.

Mainers have until Friday to weigh in on the exact wording of a ballot initiative, which if it passes would allow Maine to join the 30-plus states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Conservative groups and state Republicans, led by Maine’s firebrand Gov. Paul LePage (R), are pushing for the Medicaid expansion to be characterized on the ballot as welfare in the hopes that people will then vote it down.

“It’s free health care paid for by the taxpayers, and it’s got to be said that way,” LePage told talk radio hosts at WGAN last Thursday. “It’s pure welfare. If you don’t want to call it welfare, call it an entitlement.”….


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Trump holdover in the VA is a Trump Admin good guy?

Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin is pictured. | Cliff Owen/AP Photo.

Sure is….

One of the several Obama guys that is still on the job gets kudos from his boss….

VA Secretary David Shulkin has proved to be something unique in President Donald Trump’s Washington: an Obama appointee nominated by Trump who is beloved by almost everyone and getting stuff done.

By tweaking regulations, he has managed to fire hundreds of allegedly incompetent employees, publicized waiting times at Veterans Affairs clinics, gotten money to expand vets’ treatment by private doctors, and expanded care for isolated vets through telemedicine and mobile phones, while promising to close 430 vacant VA buildings and speed up benefit awards. Shulkin also made a bold — and risky — decision to bypass contracting rules to buy a $16 billion digital health record system.

“What motivates me and what motivates Dr. Shulkin is the same, to provide the best care to veterans,” said Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. “I don’t know whether he’s a Republican or Democrat, and I could care less.”

But there’s a reason Shulkin was Trump’s fourth choice for the VA job — or possibly the fifth, or the 10th, depending on whom you ask. The VA, with 350,000 employees and 1,250 health care sites, is a political quagmire. Not many people want to clean up others’ messes with hundreds of people looking over their shoulder.

The VA’s conservative critics are holding their fire now that a GOP administration and Congress control the agency….


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A critical look at Single Payer Insurance for America….

The Atlantic has apiece that looks at what a single payer health insurance program for America my look like….

It would usher in major changes for the American healthcare system and everyones taxes…

But it WOULD mean healthcare coverage for all….

Republicans’ failure—so far—to repeal and replace Obamacare has breathed new life into the single-payer dream. In June, the majority of Americans told Pew that the government has the responsibility to ensure health coverage for everyone, and 33 percent say this should take the form of a single government program. The majority of Democrats, in that poll, supported single payer. A June poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation even found that a slim majority of all Americansfavor single payer.


Liberal politicians are hearing them loud and clear. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders reportedly plans to introduce a single-payer bill once Congress comes back from recess—even though no Senate Democrats voted for a single-payer amendment last month. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has also said“the next step is single payer” when it comes to the Democrats’ health-care ambitions.

But should it be? It’s true that the current American health-care system suffers from serious problems. It’s too expensive, millions are still uninsured, and even insured people sometimes can’t afford to go to the doctor.Single payer might be one way to fix that. But it could also bring with it some downsides—especially in the early years—that Americans who support the idea might not be fully aware of. And they are potentially big downsides…..



Single Payer Insurance isn’t coming to America…

And with this post I expect some who come here to be VERY critical of even the piece…But both side of the argument for and against the program should aired….

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The Govt. isn’t gonna shut down over Donald Trump’s border wall…


Not gonna happen…

The numbers of border crossing apprehensions are down over 80%...

The number of border cops hasn’t risen….

They lose up to 20% of those applying for the job…

Trump has said the Mexicans would pay for the wall…

That isn’t gonna happen…

He said he’d get a border tax….

That isn’t gonna happen either…

(But the media has ANOTHER one its scare the public stories to run for there next few months!…They LOVE this stuff!….That’s Entertainment!)

His admin has actually had to DOUBLE the Visa’s for out of country workers too come work the fields in the Southwest…


This is just another example of how Donald Trump is trying to leverage something he KNOWS he won’t get to pressure establishment Republicans….

He’s from the beat’m over the head school and has never deveated from that course in the past year and half….

Sure, few Republican lawmakers will have the balls to stand up to this….But as those in Congress do?

The vast majority will wait and pray that several of of their party will stand up in the end like with the healthcare repeal failure…..

While Trump and his supporters don’t give a shit?

Most Republicans do…

…Lawmakers in both parties anticipate that Mr. Trump will back down in the end and claim victory over any border security money included in the package. But by threatening the shutdown over the wall funding at this stage, it is Mr. Trump who has fenced himself in….


I’m betting that come next year there WILL BE a budget and the US Government won’t skip a beat in running day by day…..

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Every county in US is set to have an ObamaCare insurer…

Reports of the demise  Affordable Healthcare Program also known as Obamacare are vastly overblown and oversold….

If the program where to fail?

It would fall DIRECTLY on Republicans heads…(A rising majority of Americans now do NOT want the program repealed..They want it fixed)

It is and was my feeling all along that they would NOT let this happen….

With Midterm elections around the corner ?

Donald Trump, who can certainly afford his healthcare premiums, like the Republicans, has used the program as a political 2 x 4 to make political hay with GOP voters around the country…

What comes around…

Goes around….

Every county in US set to have an ObamaCare option
© Getty

Every county in the U.S. will have at least one ObamaCare insurer on the exchanges next year after CareSource announced Thursday it would fill the last remaining “bare” county in Ohio.

It’s an important political win for advocates of ObamaCare who argue the exchanges are functioning in spite of efforts by the Trump administration to let it implode.

“Trump and Republicans in Congress have been rooting for healthcare to fail. With today’s announcement, their talking points continued to evaporate,” Protect Our Care Campaign Director Leslie Dach said in a statement Thursday.

“It’s official. The biggest threat to your healthcare is still sabotage from the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress.”At one point or another over the past year, more than 80 counties have been at risk of having no ObamaCare insurer on the exchanges in 2018.

Republicans have pointed to this as proof that ObamaCare is failing and needs to be repealed….


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What should Republicans Do?

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…from the The Economist…..

Those in the administration face a hard choice. Some will feel tempted to resign. But his advisers, particularly the three generals sitting at the top of the Pentagon, the National Security Council and as Mr Trump’s chief of staff, are better placed than anyone to curb the worst instincts of their commander-in-chief.”

“For Republicans in Congress the choice should be clearer. Many held their noses and backed Mr Trump because they thought he would advance their agenda. That deal has not paid off. Mr Trump is not a Republican, but the solo star of his own drama. By tying their fate to his, they are harming their country and their party. His boorish attempts at plain speaking serve only to poison national life. Any gains from economic reform—and the booming stockmarket and low unemployment owe more to the global economy, tech firms and dollar weakness than to him—will come at an unacceptable price.”

“Republicans can curb Mr Trump if they choose to. Rather than indulging his outrages in the hope that something good will come of it, they must condemn them. The best of them did so this week. Others should follow.”

…from  Howard Fineman
“Trump seems perfectly willing to destroy the country to maintain his own power… The goal, as always with Trump, is to win amid the chaos he sows, to be the last man standing in rubble. And ‘winning’ is rapidly being reduced to the raw, basic terms he prefers: brute survival. With a record-setting low approval rating, world crises everywhere and a special counsel on his tail, the main victory he can hope for is staying in office. It’s not only an emotional imperative for Trump, it’s a deliberate ― and thus far successful ― strategy.”…
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Trump admin to make Obamacare low-income insurer payments for August

Trump has threatened to NOT make the Affordable Healthcare Insurer subsidies payments….

THAT would trigger huge increases in premium rates ….

But Congress has also indicated that it may take Trump’s ability to hold the payments as a wedge to try to get Congress to Repeal Obamacare by legislating the payments for at least a year….

Looks like the Trump administration isn’t cutting off the Affordable Care Act insurer payments just yet. It’s going to make the August payment for cost-sharing reduction subsidies for low-income people, according to a White House spokesman….


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Donald Trump stands Defiant…And increasingly Alone…Open Thread for 8/16/17…

In a pattern that got him last years GOP Presidential nomination and the Presidency itself?

Donald J. Trump has pushed back against what is expected of person who is supposed to be leading the nation and LOUDLY proclaimed HIS version of the truth….

Pushed into walking away from the rightwingnuts that supported him and are against Minorities and Jews…

Trump doubled back to blaming the racial and religious  violence in Charlottesville on EVERYBODY except the White Power types that have been shown on TV being the aggressors…

We’ve always said here the Trump operates in an Alternate Universe and his actions recently seem to be proof…

A mixture of listening to rightwingnuts and anger at being led to do the ‘right thing’ seems to have made the man VERY angry and defiant…

(He STILL has his base people..But even that number is dropping in new polling…They seem to be ALL he has?)

And seems to be pushing him away from what ever support he has had from establishment GOPer’s…Not many are up front in chastising his action in the last 48 hours…But those same establishment GOP lawmakers that he needs to get any legislation passed ?….(Congress voted AGAINST him on Russian sanctions…There is NOT Obamacare Repeal and the Congress is getting ready to take away Trump’s ability to withhold Healthcare Insurance subsidies)

They have to be wondering WTF they would be going out on a limb to do what a New York Real Estate guy, who could give a shit about anybody but him wants….

“After Trump won the election he had the whole party behind him, except for some malcontents in Washington, but that’s shrinking now,” said one GOP strategist who requested anonymity to talk candidly about the president’s standing with his party.

“Even when all we heard about was the dysfunction and staff infighting and leaks, most Republicans were in lockstep behind the president,” the strategist said. “It feels like that is starting to break. It feels like this is getting away from him.”….



Trump is sure to point to his being down though in the nomination race and the general election…And how he came back against the odds …BOTH TIMES….

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CBO warms of healthcare chaos if Trump stops insurance payment subsidies…

Donald Trump is trying to handle this in his typical manner by  waiting until things get to the edge….

With Congress NOT doing what he wants with a Healthcare Repeal he’s quiet on this….

Look for Congress to step in and take the decision from him in passing funding legislation….

That would ANOTHER move by Congress to take more decisions AWAY from Trump as President….It would also further force Republicans into taking ownership of the Obama era healthcare program that villainized for so long…

The Congressional Budget Office says the individual health insurance market will become less stable in the short term if the administration stops paying the Affordable Care Act insurer subsidies, which are passed along by law to low-income enrollees to help with out-of-pocket costs.

What it said:

  • Premiums will rise by 20 percent in 2018 and by 25 percent in 2020.
  • Cost: $194 billion from 2017-2026. (Because tax credits would increase, shielding many people from the rate hikes).
  • Change in the number of uninsured: Slightly higher in 2018, but slightly lower starting in 2020.
  • 5 percent of the country will have no insurers in 2018, but almost all people would have access to insurance by 2020 as markets adjusted.

Context: President Trump has threatened repeatedly to stop making the payments, but for now the issue remains unresolved. Lawmakers from both parties have actively discussed funding the subsidies in some kind of stabilization package over the last few weeks and will attempt to do so next month…..


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