Another GOP Health Care Bluff

“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered. But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That’s pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill.” — Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, to reporters Thursday.

Another Republican, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, also tells the real story: “If we do nothing, I think it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections. And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel.”

There you have it: The reason GOP health care “reform” will end up nowhere — again. Republicans are just trying to show their political base that they are really REALLY trying. I stand by my initial thoughts three months ago when this running gag started — The GOP’s Big Lie To Its Own Base. Republican leaders don’t want to repeal Obamacare because they have no idea how to replace it and they certainly don’t want to own something that repeals its most popular benefits.

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Neighbor. Hood.

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

I’ve thought about writing a Post on this topic for a while but have hesitated. Discussing the people who make up a neighborhood & how their actions influence it can be divisive. Black & White with no Gray seems to be the outcome. My side, Your side. We are both rubber, We are both glue.

This year marks 25 years I have lived in my neighborhood. The houses here were inexpensive & highly available in 1992. White Flight had taken hold & a good deal of this area was minority, African American & Puerto Rican. Crime was rampant: drugs, prostitution, gangs. HIV, AIDS. Why did we buy a house in this scenario? Because we got a big house with a big yard & a real honest to goodness driveway, which is a plus during the winter. Also the location is within easy walking distance of downtown & about a mile from the Canadian border. It was a chance taken not for the present but for the future.

There were many years the house was broken in to. Replacing doors, even metal doors with metal frames was a habit. Looking out the window at 3am to a view of hookers servicing clients in the front yard. Syringes littering the yards, stuck in the poor old maple tree. Used condoms dumped on the lawn. Coming home to find graffiti written across the front door in black magic marker. (Handy hint: Simple Green, straight out of the bottle, is a life saver in removing ink.) I will not let these bastards get me down was my mantra. This is my home.

Then about 10 years ago young professionals discovered what a bargain this area was. Beautiful homes waiting to be loved & restored. Great location to the downtown. And yes, they were/are for the most part Caucasian. The LGBTQ community is a strong presence; the next street over from me, which was a notorious drug & gang street, is now lined with restored homes & gardens. It is thriving. It is reborn. People want to move here, invest here. As a consequence, the value of my property has quadrupled.

There is a new wave of immigrants from Yemen. An abandoned theatre a couple blocks away is now a Mosque. These are quiet, law abiding people who keep their homes neat & make sure their children go to school. They are what we wish for in a neighbor.

Not long ago I drove through an area of the city that just a couple years ago was a dump. Homes that had garbage literally covering the yard, weeds up to my waist. Then a major hospital decided to build a medical campus nearby. Thousands of educated professionals would be employed there. Many looked at the cheap fixer-uppers (more like miracles needed) & bought these homes to live in near by. And guess what …. the local population is upset that they are being priced out. Priced out of an area that many could not find the gumption to bend over to pick up the trash or burn a calorie to pull a weed or scrub the graffiti off the buildings. I feel no pity.

Is this wrong? Or is it the fact that in getting older the realization of being responsible & taking responsibility for ones’ actions becomes ingrained, at least in those willing to listen?

How many of you have gone through the resurrection of your neighborhood? I like this area, I like the neighbors.

Is this bad?

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They just keep on going and going…

By Pogo, a Trail Mix Contributor

Well, here we are, playing out this one act play that has been panned so often yet again as the Republican congress tries to kill Obamacare, throw 50 or so million people off the healthcare rolls and cut Medicaid spending way back – all at the expense of the poor and the medical providers who provide care for them.

As Wapo reports:

A final GOP effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act burst into view this week in the Senate, where leaders began pressuring rank-and-file Republicans with the hope of voting on the package by the end of the month.

The renewed push comes nearly two months after the last attempt to overhaul the law known as Obamacare failed in a dramatic, early-morning vote, dealing a substantial defeat to President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and prompting many to assume that the effort was dead.

The latest proposal would give states control over billions in federal health-care spending, repeal the law’s key mandates and enact deep cuts to Medicaid, the federally funded insurance program for the poor, elderly and disabled. It would slash health-care spending more deeply and would probably cover fewer people than the July bill — which failed because of concerns over those details.

The appearance of a new measure reflected just how damaging Republicans consider their inability to make good on a key campaign promise of the past seven years: to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement.

***

With Democrats united firmly against the bill, Senate GOP leaders can afford to lose only two of 52 Republican votes, enabling them to pass the measure with a tiebreaking vote from Pence. They lost three in the July vote: Sens. John McCain (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine).

None of those three committed to voting for the bill Monday, expressing reservations if not outright opposition.

***

The proposal would slash health-care spending more deeply and would probably cover fewer people than the July bill, which failed precisely because of such concerns. Under the new bill, starting in 2021, the federal government would lump together all the money it spends on subsidies distributed through the ACA marketplaces and expanded Medicaid programs covering poor, childless adults who earn up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.

This approach would generally result in less money for states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA and more money for states that didn’t. That’s because it would redistribute the money allotted to the 30 states that opted to expand Medicaid and spread it out among all 50 states.

OK, it’s time for the 3 Republican Senators who showed the LAST time that they actually have a head, a heart and a spine to vote no again and time for those senators who said they would vote no the last time but caved to find theirs.

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And The Emmy Goes To … ‘Donald Trump’

Even during a general election presidential debate Trump again griped that he never won an Emmy for “The Apprentice” — but last night’s award show was a triumph he’d probably rather do without.

“I suppose I should say at long last Mr. President, here is your Emmy.”
— Alec Baldwin, Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Trump on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live”

NYT: President Trump, Emmy Punching Bag

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