Tag Archives: The Politics of Healthcare

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Republicans say their top priority is making another attempt at getting the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, repealed and replaced.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

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

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Trump would be ok with no Obamacare Repeal provision in Senate tax bill?

Republicans get the floor pulled out from them AGAIN on efforts to make changes in the Affirdable healthcare law also known as Obamacare….

Conservative want something done against the law….But have unable to get anything done due to not having enough votes to do so from their OWN Senate party lawmakers….

Looks like this effort won’t work either…

But?

Even if Trump gets the mandate removed from the tax bill?

There is a growing resisitance to the effects the bill would have on hig taxed blue states….

“If we can repeal part of Obamacare as part of a tax bill … that can pass, that’s great,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “If it becomes an impediment to getting the best tax bill we can, then we are OK with taking it out.”

It was too soon to say whether eliminating the repeal of the so-called individual mandate would increase the bill’s chances of passing. The provision was not an impediment now, Mulvaney said.

Republican senators who have been critical of the plan said that some middle-income taxpayers could see any benefits of the tax cuts wiped out by higher health insurance premiums if the repeal of the Obamacare mandate goes through.

Among them was Senator Susan Collins, one of a handful of Republicans who voted in July to block a broader Republican attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

“I don’t think that provision should be in the bill. I hope the Senate will follow the lead of the House and strike it,” Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”….

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Obamacare sign-up’s continue to beat President Obama years levels…

It beginning to seem like everytime Republicans say they want to get rid of the countries healthcare program?

MORE people sign up?

Keep up the good work !

And the more that sign up?

The more that will be counted AGAINST Republican law makers if they lose their coverage, eh?

Oh….. and the Real Clear Politics average approval numbers for the program are 51% FOR vs 35% AGAINST…..

With ALL this does it REALLY make sense for Republican lawmakers too be knocking themselves out to sent over 10 million Americans out of their coverage?

Sign-ups surged as soon as enrollment opened Nov. 1, easily surpassing the number of Americans getting coverage during the opening days of the final two sign-up periods under the Obama administration. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reported Wednesday that nearly 1.5 million people had selected plans through last Saturday.

In other words, there might be no such thing as bad news for Obamacare.

“As P.T. Barnum would say, as long as my name is in the papers and it’s spelled correctly, it’s all good,” said Michael Marchand, chief marketing officer for Washington state’s Obamacare marketplace, which saw its website traffic increase by 24 percent during the first week of enrollment. “I think there’s some truth to that.”

The conventional wisdom was that enrollment would dip significantly as a hostile administration gutted outreach and marketing. Analysts at Standard & Poor’s projected that anywhere from 800,000 to 1.6 million fewer Americans would sign up for 2018 coverage.

Instead, 876,788 individuals enrolled through HealthCare.gov during the second week of sign-ups alone — and that doesn’t count the states running their own markets and doing more ambitious outreach.

It’s early days; the initial burst of enthusiasm could sputter out. But at the moment, the fears appear overblown. The barrage of Obamacare news coverage, coupled with little-noticed steps taken by the Trump administration to ramp up participation by insurance brokers, may have provided an unexpected marketing boost for a health law the president has pronounced “dead.”

“All that negative publicity has been helpful,” said Kathy Hempstead, who oversees coverage programs at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Not that I’d necessarily recommend that going forward.”….

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Obamacare comes to the recue of Democrats….

The constant beat down of the program by Republicans worked for them when Bracak Obama WAS President….

With him out of office?

The Republicans find themselves having their efforts to repeal the helathcare progarm turning on them and helping the Democrats…

‘Turnabout IS fair play, eh?

…Tuesday’s elections [ November 2017] don’t ensure healthcare will remain a winning issue for Democrats in 2018, when party leaders hope they can retake the majority in at least one chamber of Congress.

But the emergence of healthcare as a political liability for Republicans marks a dramatic turnabout for the GOP, which for years reaped huge electoral gains by playing on the unpopularity of the 2010 law.

Tuesday’s results also represent a warning sign for Republicans eager to revive their campaign to repeal the law and its historic coverage expansion.

“In a year when attacks on health and healthcare came from every corner, voters in Maine sent a clear message: Access to healthcare coverage for low-income people should be expanded, not threatened or cut,” said Robert Restuccia, executive director of Community Catalyst, a national patient advocacy group. “We hope that elected officials in Congress and other states will take heed.”

The electoral results will pave the way for Medicaid expansion not only in Maine, but also perhaps in Virginia, where the GOP-controlled state Legislature had blocked expansion there for years. Democrats on Tuesday came close to taking a majority in the state House of Delegates, though final results won’t be known until later this week.

Meanwhile, advocates are eyeing new efforts to force leaders in other states to expand Medicaid eligibility, including in Idaho and Utah.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia have expanded eligibility for the government healthcare program since 2014, using federal money made available by the law to cover poor, working-age adults, a population that was historically not eligible for the coverage….

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Obamacare signup’s break records since November first….

Nothing like a YUGE dose of media attention to get a YUGE number of people to sign up for a program that Republicans want to0 REEAL?

Anybody want to explain to the knucklehead Republicans and Donald Trump their leader that THEY ARE MAKING the Affordable Healthcare program named after President Obama MORE POPULAR than Barcak Obma and Democrats could even do…..

Over and OVER we see that the American Healthcare program is STRONGER than many could ever think….

ObamaCare signups surge in early days to set new record

A record number of people signed up for ObamaCare in the first few days of open enrollment this year compared to the same period in previous years, several sources close to the process told The Hill.

The surge in sign-ups, which was confirmed by an administration official, comes despite fears from Democrats that enrollment would fall off due to the Trump administration’s cutbacks in outreach and advertising.

On the first day of enrollment alone, Nov. 1, one source close to the process told The Hill that more than 200,000 people selected a plan for 2018, compared with about 100,000 last year. More than 1 million people visited healthcare.gov that day, compared to about 750,000 last year, the source said.

It is still early in the process and it is unclear how the final sign-up numbers will come out. Sign-ups early in the enrollment season are often people renewing their coverage, not new enrollees.

Standard & Poor’s forecasted last week that enrollment could drop by as much as 1.6 million people below last year’s level of 12.2 million signups, in part due to uncertainty from the administration’s actions.

The enrollment period is also about half as long this year, ending Dec. 15.

But the spike in sign-ups is some positive news for supporters of the health-care law who have been worrying about its fate under Republican control of Washington…..

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image,,,Getty

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House votes to fund Chidren Health plan by cutting Billions from Community Health Centers…

Republicans to cut service from those who need it the most and they move to give the rich more in tax cuts….

Oh, and they are asking American seniuors to pony up more money for their medicare coverage……

‘Steal from the poor and less fortunate to give to the rich …The GOP cry!

Makes sense, huh?????

More than a month after Congress allowed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and community health centers to lapse, sending states scrambling to find emergency funding, the House of Representatives voted Friday on a bill to reauthorize the programs. Almost every Democrat voted no because the bill pays for CHIP by cutting more than $10 billion from Obamacare’s public health and prevention fund, and by raising Medicare fees for higher-income senior citizens.

The bill’s lead author, Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), blasted Democrats Friday morning, accusing them of “voting against kids and their doctors.”

“We’re fully funding CHIP for five years. We’re fulling funding Community Health Centers for two years. We’re asking the wealthiest seniors in America to pay $135  more for their Medicare,” Walden said, casting withering looks at his Democratic colleagues preparing to vote against the measure. “How ironic. How cynical.”

Funding for the program, which covers about 9 million children nationwide, ran out at the end of September, as Republicans focused their energies on taking a series of unsuccessful votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Both the House and Senate had been working in a bipartisan fashion on the CHIP reauthorization for months, but those talks broke down in the House in October when Republicans chose several controversial spending cuts to offset the cost of the program.

Speaking just before the vote, Joan Alker, the executive director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families and an expert on CHIP, called this partisan breakdown “discouraging and frustrating.”….

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Note….

It will be up to the Senate to change this….But will that after many families pull their kids out of coverage after Congressional Republicans play politics with their childrens healhcare…

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Key Senate Republicans want Trump to back Healthcare compromise deal….

This won’t just go away because Conservitive Republicans keep mentioning ‘Repeal’, which is a goner with THIS Senate….

And actually?

Donald Trump wants a deal and win….No Matter what it is….

And it is no fluke that he keeps trying to bring the Democrats into the picture with his adopted party…

None at ALL…

Key Senate Republicans are urgently trying to get President Donald Trump to reconsider his apparent opposition to a bipartisan deal shoring up health insurance markets, several senators said Thursday morning.

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who negotiated the deal with Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, both spoke to the president about it on Wednesday evening. Trump has variously praised the deal and trashed it as a “bailout” of insurance companies, and both Graham and Alexander are trying to pull him back from the brink.

In a conversation on Wednesday, Trump told Graham: “I want a deal. I want to get something for this money,” Graham recounted. The South Carolina Republican responded by explaining that Republicans’ bills to repeal and replace Obamacare continued the law’s subsidy payments and argued the plan is a bridge to the Obamacare repeal bill he wrote with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.).

“I told him that if Graham-Cassidy became law tomorrow, you’ve got two or three years before this thing gets implemented. You’ve got to do something in the interim period,” Graham said in an interview. “You can’t save Obamacare but you can keep the markets from collapsing until we get a replacement, which will be Graham-Cassidy.”

Alexander said it was his fourth phone call from the president over the last 10 days…..

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In the end?

I keep mentioning here that Republicans WILL HAVE TO make deals with the Democrats and ignore the rightwingnuts of the party to get ANY major legislation passed…

It IS the way the Congress is designed to work….

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Low income Healthcare assistance bill for children is on its way in Congress….

Congress moves slow, but supports this program to reimburse insures….

An overdue, bipartisan bill financing health insurance for millions of low-income children has won easy approval from the Senate Finance Committee.

The panel’s voice vote came four days after the government’s authority to provide fresh money for the program expired.

No states are expected to immediately run out of funds. But several are preparing to take early steps like notifying beneficiaries that the program might be curtailed, and pressure is building on Congress to act.

Both parties support the program and the measure is virtually certain to be approved….

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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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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…..

AXIOS…..

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State Insurance official’s move to shore up Obamacare…

With Congress unable to do much of anything and Trump talking about letting the whole healthcare program fall apart?

State insurance commissioners are using every tool at their disposal to keep insurers and other insurance program stakeholders  able to continue providing reasonable insurance to their citizens….

Insurance commissioners are working with providers, advocates and insurance companies to help keep the system running, but it’s an uphill climb.

Insurers are skittish and pleading for certainty from Washington. They want assurances that they will continue to receive cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments from the federal government, which total about $7 billion this year. Those payments reimburse insurers for providing discounted insurance to low-income ObamaCare enrollees.

They also want assurances that the administration will enforce the mandate requiring people to have insurance or pay a penalty.

States don’t have a lot of options, but some officials are actively trying to make sure the public is shielded as much as possible from the consequences if Trump follows through on his promise to let ObamaCare “implode.”

“In general there’s not a whole lot they can do, because states don’t have any more information about what the Trump administration is doing than insurance companies,” said Cynthia Cox of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Some states are letting plans file multiple sets of rates to account for the uncertainty. The strategy can work, Cox said, if all insurers are on the same page.

“The concern is that one company assumes the worst case scenario and adds 40 percentage points on for uncertainty, and another assumes the best case and prices significantly lower,” Cox said.

The administration has been sending mixed signals about whether it will take the dramatic step of ending payments to insurers. The CSRs have been paid on a monthly basis, but the administration has not promised that will continue….

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Note….

A failure of the Healthcare Law would saddle  states will HUGE holes in their budget’s…And tens of millions left out of healthcare coverage….

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Ad buys begin against Republican lawmakers who voted for Healthcare Law Repeal…

These guys had to know it would cost them…

With Obamacare now more popular than un-popular they are going continue to be targeted politically…

It is a no win situation for them since conservatives are mad that Congress didn’t repeal the law either….

The Republicans campaign to hurt Democrat’s for years on this is coming back to haunt them…

A grassroots progressive group is launching a five-figure digital ad buy against 10 lawmakers who voted for versions of an ObamaCare repeal bill.

The ads from Save My Care target two of the most vulnerable GOP senators in 2018, Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Dean Heller (Nev.), in addition to Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.)

In the House, the campaign targets Republican Reps. Dave Brat (Va.), John Faso (N.Y.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Tom MacArthur (N.J.), Peter Roskam (Ill.), Pete Sessions (Texas) and David Valadao (Calif.).

The ads will run statewide in Arizona, Nevada, West Virginia and seven congressional districts.

The videos open with a shot of the lawmaker with a commenter saying the Congress member “broke his/her promise to” their state “and voted for the healthcare repeal bill that would’ve taken coverage away” from millions of people.

The digital campaign comes as the Senate has adjourned for August recess without passing an ObamaCare repeal bill, an effort that flopped after three Republican senators voted against a scaled-down version of a bill to gut President Obama’s signature health law.

Additionally, the House Majority PAC — a super PAC allied with House Democrats — announced Monday that it’s launching billboards and mobile billboards targeting House Republicans who voted for their chamber’s bill….

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Trump keeps throwing punches at his adopted party…

Me?

A guy throwing shit at me isn’t gonna make me want to do what he wants….

President Trump on Monday blasted ObamaCare, saying the healthcare legislation is “hurting people” and questioning why Congress shouldn’t be paying the same as the public.

“If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?” Trump tweeted Monday.

The GOP’s effort to fulfill its promise to repeal and replace ObamaCare collapsed in the Senate last week. Three GOP senators joined the Democratic senators in voting down a pared-down “skinny” repeal bill.

Trump has taken to Twitter several times over the past few days to blast ObamaCare and urge Republicans not to give up on repealing and replacing it.

On Saturday, he similarly ratcheted up his pressure on lawmakers to pass a healthcare plan with a threat to end ObamaCare’s subsidy payments to insurers and cancel some lawmakers’ healthcare benefits….

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‘Skinny’ Senate Healthcare Repeal Bill effort FAILS ….

Image result for mcconnell

Three Republican Senators hand Mitch McDonnell (and Trump) a defeat….

The ending of the rules and last minute push was seen by pundits as McConnell getting a win…

The moving on Vice President almost assured it….

But it was NOT to be by a 49-51 vote against….

Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowksi. where joined by Sen. John McCain (Surprise!) to vote ‘Nay’ with the Democrats….

A good many Republicans Senators where unhappy with the push to vote on the bill and have things rearranged in the workout with House…They mortgaged their votes on a ‘promise’ by House Speaker NOT to use the language they where voting on as the final bill…Senators got to see the language of the bill a little more than 3 hours before they voted…In normal times they would have weeks to consider a bill….

Senate Republicans’ Obamacare repeal bill failed 49-51 in a key vote that was supposed to start to the vote-a-rama process that would culminate in a final vote. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pulled the bill after the gavel dropped.

The Republican defections were Sens. Susan Collins, John McCain and Lisa Murkowksi.

The vote was the dramatic conclusion of Senate Republicans’ last-ditch effort to keep the repeal efforts alive for more negotiations with the Senate. They were voting on a so-called “skinny bill” which would have brought the process back to the House.

Murkowksi and Collins were considered tough vote for Republicans begin, particularly after they voted against a procedural motion to open debate on the bill on Tuesday.

McCain’s no vote at around 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning was a more of a surprise. He had been clearly irked by the process that Republicans were using to move the bill forward. After making a dramatic return to Washington, days after being diagnosed with brain cancer, to vote in favor in Tuesday’s procedural vote, he gave an impassioned speech imploring the Senate return to its institutional norms.

However, heading into the chamber a little after midnight Friday morning, he gave reporters no hint on how he was going to vote….

Source…

McConnell image…nymag.com

VP Pence image….Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Note…

…twitter….

Though they voted against their party, it’s possible Collins, McCain and Murkowski helped GOP political prospects.

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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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McConnell throws in the towel…Healthcare Bill pulled…May try straight Repeal like Trump suggests…

The Senate Majority Leader has pulled the current Senate Healthcare Bill after yesterdays announcement that there are four solid votes against it….

Trump tweeted yesterday that his adopted party should just vote for a straight Repeal which of course would throw the countries Healthcare Insurance in a knot of uncertainty ….

The Republicans are fighting themselves on this…

And a full Repeal sounds more unreasonable than what has just failed….

And will most assuredly fail also.

Cause a straight repeal would need 60 votes….

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Monday night the Senate will try to separate the ObamaCare repeal and replacement efforts, closing the door on the current GOP healthcare legislation.

“In the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period,” McConnell said in a statement.

The move means Senate Republicans will try to repeal ObamaCare now, while kicking a replacement until after the 2018 mid-term election.

The 2015 ObamaCare repeal bill passed the Senate 52-47, with GOP Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) and then-Sen. Mark Kirk (Ill.) the only Republicans to oppose it.

McConnell will need to overcome procedural hurdles if he wants the Senate to get to a vote on a repeal-only proposal. He’ll need at least 50 senators to support getting on the House-passed legislation, which is being used as a vehicle for any Senate action.

And separating the two could force Republicans to get 60 votes — and the support of Democrats — on the replacement legislation.

It wasn’t immediately clear when the Senate would try to pass the repeal legislation. The upper chamber is expected to be in session until Aug. 11, when members will leave town until early September…..

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Oh, by the way?

Trump is already blaming the Democrats (and few Republicans) for his adopted party failure on their efforts….

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