Tag Archives: Healthcare

Feb. 2018 Poll…Biden beats Trump…Obamacare support 47/35 for…Tax cut 30% support to 41% against…

Good news for Democrats in the latest Public Policy Polling poll out today….

Here are the highlights of PPP’s first public national poll of the year:

2018 Landscape

Democrats have a solid 49-41 lead on the generic Congressional ballot, although that’s down a shade from December when it was 51-40. Beyond their overall lead, they’re also benefiting from an enthusiasm advantage- 65% of Clinton voters say they’re ‘very excited’ to vote in the election this fall, compared to 58% of Trump voters.

Paul Ryan’s seen a bump in his approval rating after the passage of tax reform- in December it was 23-58, and now it’s 29-53. There’s been no such boost for Mitch McConnell though- he was at 13-61 then and he’s at 14-59 now.

Tax Reform

Public opinion is more split about the tax bill now than it was before the holidays. 38% of voters say they support the plan to 41% who are opposed to it. Voters are still skeptical about how much they will personally benefit from it though. 35% think it will help their family’s finances, 29% think it won’t have much of an impact on their family’s finances, and 28% think it will hurt their family’s finances. That skepticism voters have about how much the tax bill will help them is probably rooted in the fact that 56% think it will mostly benefit the rich to 31% who think it will mostly help the middle class.

One interesting finding is that only 17% of voters realize that more than 80% of the benefits from the tax plan will go to the wealthiest 1%. It will be interesting as Democrats message around that in the midterms this year to see how much increasing awareness of that fact will impact feelings about the bill.

Health Care

While the tax issue isn’t hurting Republicans quite as much as it was a couple months ago, the party’s failed effort on health care last year continues to hurt it quite a bit. Voters support the Affordable Care Act 47-35, and only 34% think the best path forward on health care is to repeal it compared to 60% who prefer to keep it in place and make fixes to it as necessary. A majority of voters nationally- 51%- think that the Trump administration is actively taking steps that will hurt people’s health care and raise costs to only 42% who don’t think it’s trying to do that.

Donald Trump

Trump has the highest approval rating we’ve found for him in a long time this month, with 44% of voters approving of him to 50% who disapprove. Even so he trails Joe Biden 51-42,….

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Americans are worried about losing their healthcare coverage…Poll….

A good amount of Republicans continue to bring up efforts to repeal the Affordable Helathcare law also known as Obamacare….

This is probabaly something that will cost them votes down the road by pissing people off….

Congress may have moved on from health care. The public has not.

With taxes and spending, debt and defense piled up on Congress’ extremely full plate this month, a new poll by POLITICO and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health shows that Americans remain sharply focused on health care — but Republicans and Democrats aren’t looking at the same things.

Republicans say their top priority is making another attempt at getting the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, repealed and replaced.

Democrats say theirs is getting the Children’s Health Insurance Program funded. Congress missed a Sept. 30 deadline to renew federal funding, and now coverage for 9 million low-income kids is enmeshed with all the other year-end spending fights.

Given a list of 15 policy issues pending in Congress, Republicans put Obamacare repeal on top. Forty percent called repeal an “extremely important priority” and 33 percent said “fixing the current problems” in the health care law was a top concern. Obamacare beat out other top priorities for Republicans, which included halting unauthorized immigration (38 percent), cutting taxes (35 percent), and boosting national defense spending (34 percent).

The unrelenting emphasis on Obamacare — when so many other issues float on and off the public’s radar — suggests it’s truly a defining, gut issue for the GOP…..

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Republicans BY THEMSELVES have done what President Obama and Democrats couldn’t do….Make take the  new healthcare program acceptance above 50%….

Are the Republicans helping the Democrats regain their political footings?

By working on passing law’s that are already unpopular and will hurt Americans come payday….Are they sowing the seeds of the Democrats chances of gaining back a majority in the House and electing a President in three years that will help rollback the tax give back to the rich and help Americans keep more health insurance benefits?

Of all the horrors Donald Trump has (and has yet to) inflict upon the republic, a huge tax cut for the rich was the most inevitable. But it is also the most easily reversible. Lifetime court appointments, carbon pollution, the degrading of democratic norms — all of these will prove difficult or impossible to undo, and leave costs deep into the future. The Trump tax cuts will not.

Indeed, the passage of the Trump tax cuts will help lay the groundwork for their undoing by increasing the chances Democrats regain control of Congress. The moment Trump won his election last November, he immediately forfeited his most potent advantages: He no longer had the deeply unpopular Hillary Clinton as his opponent, and he lost the advantage of Democratic complacency (which tends to build up over time when their party holds the White House.) An anti-Republican wave of some size was always inevitable. But Trump compounded the problem by surrendering another potent advantage: his brand as an economic populist loathed by the financial elite and planning to raise taxes on rich people like himself.

Probably nothing has done more to erode Trump’s public standing than the consistently plutocratic cast of his domestic policy. The tax cut is the second-most-unpopular major piece of legislation in recorded history, behind only Trump’s other major domestic initiative, the health-care-repeal bill…

Democrats have nothing to fear from making repeal of the Trump tax cuts for the rich a defining party plank. On the contrary, they have a great deal to gain.

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CVS to buy Aetna for $69 billion in deal to let it into the healthcare insurance industry…

CVS Health Corp. plans to buy Aetna Inc. for $69 billion in a blockbuster deal that would further consolidate the U.S. healthcare industry by merging the nation’s largest pharmacy chain with a major healthcare insurer, the companies announced Sunday.

CVS, which operates 9,700 drugstores and 1,100 walk-in healthcare clinics, agreed to pay $207 a share — $145 in cash and $62 in CVS stock — for Aetna, which has 22 million medical members. Both firms’ boards of directors approved the deal, the companies said

For consumers, the merger would be the latest example of how the sale of drugs and other healthcare supplies, patient treatment and medical insurance are being consolidated under one roof…..

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The US Congress has a LOT of things that they should do… but won’t get to all of them….

The Washington Post provides a list of things the Congress has on their plate to tangle with in the next week or two before they recess AGAIN for the Holidays…

They will NOT take care of all of the outstanding things….They NEVER do….But this sesion of Congress has produced little if anything in major legislation….

The deadlines that are printed in the media are always flexible and the lawmakers know that….

THE BIG IDEA: December is going to be a wild month on Capitol Hill. As lawmakers return today from Thanksgiving, they’ve got so much on their plates that many are holding off on making Christmas plans.

Republicans are pushing for the biggest overhaul of the tax code in three decades in the same bill that they’re trying to knock down a core pillar underpinning Obamacare, and they expect to do it with no Democratic votes. But they’ll need support from the other side of the aisle to avoid a government shutdown on Dec. 8, and the minority leaders are determined to get concessions — perhaps on immigration.

By the end of 2017, a year that will be remembered for a surprising lack of legislative results despite unified GOP control of government, Congress also needs to find a compromise to reauthorize the law that allows for foreign intelligence surveillance on U.S. soil.

Meanwhile, the dark clouds from cascading sexual harassment scandals hang over the Hill and everyone is wondering who will be the next to get exposed. A special election in Alabama on Dec. 12 could narrow the GOP’s already small margin for error in the Senate.

Here’s a brief rundown of what to watch on the Hill in the weeks ahead:

1. Keeping the lights on: “Both sides have floated the possibility of a short-term stopgap to push negotiations (from Dec. 8) until just before Christmas. But informal talks have been abortive,” Mike DeBonis and Ed O’Keefe report. “The first step toward a resolution will be reaching an agreement on government spending levels for 2018 and perhaps beyond, lifting caps imposed under a bipartisan 2011 budget deal. … Under current law, Congress may appropriate no more than $549 billion for defense programs and $516 billion for nondefense programs next year, a cut from current levels. But the Trump administration and defense hawks want to boost defense spending to more than $600 billion, and Democrats are demanding a dollar-for-dollar increase in nondefense spending.

Talks before the Thanksgiving holiday focused on raising spending levels somewhere between $180 billion and $200 billion over the next two fiscal years combined but went nowhere … Aides from both parties warned that if a spending accord is not reached this week, hopes for the passage of a broad appropriations bill before Christmas would be dim.”

2. The House and Senate must reconcile their tax plans.

Senate Republicans are seriously considering several last-minute changes to their tax bill to win over reluctant lawmakers ahead of critical votes planned for this week.“The lawmakers attracting the most concern from leadership and the White House are Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who say the current version of the bill favors corporations over other businesses,” Damian Paletta reports. “There are numerous members demanding changes, and their needs don’t all overlap. Together, the requests put Republican leaders in a difficult position, as they attempt to accommodate individual holdouts on a one-off basis without losing other members or creating a situation in which the bill collapses under the weight of disparate demands. At least six GOP members have raised concerns about specific provisions in the GOP tax bill, though none has flatly said they plan to vote against it this week. Johnson came closest, saying he opposed the measure but later suggesting he could support it with changes.”….

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Welfare?…The Next effort to go after poor people by Republicans….

I mentioned this in a previous post here at the PDog….

Republicans REALLY have it in for poor Americans….(And it seems like middle class ones also?)

Kinda interesting since a good amount of them aren’t black brown or yellow…

They ARE White….

But we now have idea that Donald Trump want’s to take MORE from what little they get from the government..

Oh, and the very word ‘welfare’ IS a curse word to conservative  GOPer’s who believe in taking from the poor and middle class to give to the rich…

Overhauling welfare was one of the defining goals of Bill Clinton’s presidency, starting with a campaign promise to “end welfare as we know it,” continuing with a bitter policy fight and producing change that remains hotly debated 20 years later.

Now, President Donald Trump wants to put his stamp on the welfare system, apparently in favor of a more restrictive policy. He says “people are taking advantage of the system.”

Trump, who has been signaling interest in the issue for some time, said this past week that he wants to tackle the issue after the tax overhaul he is seeking by the end of the year. He said changes were “desperately needed in our country” and that his administration would soon offer plans.

For now, the president has not offered details. Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said more specifics were likely early next year. But the groundwork has already begun at the White House and Trump has made his interest known to Republican lawmakers….

Trump said in October that welfare was “becoming a very, very big subject, and people are taking advantage of the system.”…

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Donald Trump is throwing shit back to Congress….

He just finished telling the world that he doesn’t like the Iran deal…But won’t scrap it….He want’s Congress to ok and better deal….

He just made two executive moves on the Affordable Healthcare program…Again…Congress CAN do something…(And Trump can go back to watching the Media and play Golf)

Image result for Trump vs Congress

The Republicans who are supposed to be a majority party of Donald Trump the ‘head’ Grand Ole party guy can’t get anything done…So Trump, who has been frustrated by  ‘his’ party not getting anything done?….

Is doing things that are dearing Congress to DO SOMETHING….

And Republicans won’t so far if they have to reach across the aisle and work WITH Democrats….Anytime Trump mentions Democrats?Conservatives and Some Republicans scratch their heads and dig in against anything…Others are NOT happy with this stuff)

Republican’s in Congress made this problem to themselves by NOT allowing Barack Obama any backing on ANYTHING he wanted to do…

Bill Clinton fought Congress tooth and nail, from shutdowns to impeachment. George W. Bush boasted that he was “the decider.” Barack Obama groused that if lawmakers were unwilling to take actions he wanted, he would take up his “pen and phone.

Donald Trump, however, is more than willing to let Congress act. Of all the norms that he has upended in his short tenure as president, Trump’s willingness to pass the buck back to lawmakers is one of the most unexpected, curious, and perhaps salubrious. This impulse was on display in two major moves this week, on health care and the Iran deal, and this week the White House also laid out its principles on a third—how to deal with so-called Dreamers. In each of these cases, the Trump administration seems to be shifting responsibility to Congress so that the president is freed of it, while also hoping or expecting lawmakers will act to preserve the status quo.

In each of these cases, Trump is also taking a power that Obama specifically claimed for the presidency and insisting that Congress take it instead…..

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image…cnn.com

Rural Hospitals Are Dying and Pregnant Women Are Paying the Price

…from Politico Magazine….

….As Congress debates repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, rural hospitals are in a kind of purgatory, unsure about their Medicaid budgets and the private health insurance that sustains them. At least 81 rural hospitals have shut down across the country since 2010, according the North Carolina Rural Health Research and Policy Analysis Center at UNC. The pace of closures has been increasing since the Great Recession, but the current health care policy limbo—which leaves hospitals and insurers unable to predict their income—exacerbates the problem. “The uncertainty is really impinging providers, particularly hospitals, from making the kinds of decisions that might put them on a better footing,” says center director Mark Holmes…..

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Trump meeting with lawmakers of both parties on Dreamers, Healthcare, Tax Reform and More…

His party Conservatives will have to wait outside for now as Donald Trump settles down to play politics to try work out deals for some wins…

It seems to have registede on him that he needs to negotiate with people from BOTH parties …..

President Trump has invited a bipartisan group of moderate House members to the White House on Wednesday to discuss a host of issues, including tax reform, infrastructure and health care, according to a congressional source familiar with the meeting.

The meeting may also include a discussion of the path forward for “DREAMers,” undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, the source said, asking for anonymity to discuss a meeting that had not been publicly announced. Trump last week canceled former president Obama’s policy of protecting DREAMers from deportation and set a six-month deadline for Congress to pass legislation to preserve their legal status.

As of Tuesday morning, four Republican and eight Democratic House members were confirmed for the meeting, including members of the bipartisan “Problem Solvers” caucus and the centrist Democrat Blue Dog Coalition, according to another congressional source familiar with the meeting.

The meeting appears to be another indication of Trump’s recent willingness to involve Democrats in deal-making. Last week,…

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Three Democratic senators joined President Donald Trump for a White House dinner Tuesday aimed at winning their support for an as-yet unreleased tax overhaul bill that would be written by Republican leaders.

Trump’s guests — Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana — are the only three Democratic senators who haven’t signed on to a list of conditions for supporting any tax legislation: that it not add to the federal deficit, that it not increase the burden on the middle class and that it go through the regular order process in Congress.

In reaching out to them, Trump is amplifying a White House strategy that seems squarely aimed at Democrats…

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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…

Image result for sen harris/sanders

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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image…salon.com

Sen. Ted Cruz plan would drop some healthcare rates 77% and hike others 39%….

Healthy ( young) people rates would drop….They won’t need services for years….

Sick (older) people rates would climb….They do need services…..

Makes sense….Right?

Sen. Ted Cruz wants to lower health insurance premiums, and a new independent analysis says it would do that for healthy people — but not for sick people. The report by Avalere, a consulting firm, says premiums for health plans that meet all Affordable Care Act requirements would be 39 percent higher in 2022 than they’d be if the ACA stays in place. But for a second tier of health plans Cruz would allow — which don’t have to meet all ACA requirements — premiums would plunge by 77 percent.

One more thing: 4.1 million fewer people would have health insurance in the individual market, partly because of the rate hikes.

Why it matters: Conservative senators are pushing hard for the Cruz plan, which would let insurers sell health plans that don’t meet all ACA requirements as long as they also sell plans that do. The Avalere report concludes that the plan would make health insurance more expensive for sick people, because healthy people would move to the cheaper plans. A Department of Health and Human Services report predicted lower premiums for everyone, but experts have heavily criticizedits conclusions….

Source….

McConnell will take things to brink on Healthcare Vote…

His aim is to try to force a vote on if the Senate will HAVE a vote…

His brinkmanship is a attempt to make members of his party who are against the repeal of the Healthcare Law stand up and be counted…

His effort may work….(Last time it didn’t)

But if only three Republican Senators feel that they CAN survive a NO vote back home?  (He did NOT have the votes less than 24 hours ago)

There probably won’t be a vote…

The effort to repeal the law remain unpopular with most Americans of BOTH parties…

Trump is standing on the sidelines pleading for a legislative victory for HIMSELF, after he had promised during the campaign that NO ONE would lose their healthcare coverage…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appears to be blundering into a healthcare vote this week, despite not having a deal on a Senate healthcare bill.

Public struggles aside, McConnell actually does have a plan: pin down fellow Republican senators on their seven-year-old promise to repeal ObamaCare.

McConnell told activists from Tea Party Patriots, FreedomWorks and Americans for Limited Government during a Monday meeting at the Capitol that a key procedural vote will happen Tuesday afternoon.

The motion to proceed needs the backing of 50 senators to pass — assuming Vice President Pence breaks a tie — and it will be close.

Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of the grassroots group Tea Party Patriots, said McConnell is pushing very hard on getting members to vote for the motion but did not appear to have it in hand as of Monday afternoon…..

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