Category Archives: Republican Party

The price tag on universal health care in California is bigger than state’s budget

government solve all problems

Shocker, not.

From Sacramento Bee: The pricetag is in: It would cost $400 billion to remake California’s health insurance marketplace and create a publicly funded universal health care system, according to a state financial analysis released Monday.

California would have to find an additional $200 billion per year, including in new tax revenues, to create a so-called “single-payer” system, the analysis by the Senate Appropriations committee found. The estimate assumes the state would retain the existing $200 billion in local, state and federal funding it currently receives to offset the total $400 billion price tag.

The cost analysis is seen as the biggest hurdle to create a universal system, proposed by Sens. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, and Toni Atkins, D-San Diego.

It remains a longshot bid. Steep projected costs have derailed efforts over the past two decades to establish such a health care system in California. The cost is higher than the $180 billion in proposed general fund and special fund spending for the budget year beginning July 1.

Employers currently spend between $100 billion to $150 billion per year, which could be available to help offset total costs, according to the analysis. Under that scenario, total new spending to implement the system would be between $50 billion and $100 billion per year.

“Health care spending is growing faster than the overall economy…yet we do not have better health outcomes and we cover fewer people,” Lara said at Monday’s appropriations hearing. “Given this picture of increasing costs, health care inefficiencies and the uncertainty created by Congress, it is critical that California chart our own path.”

The idea behind Senate Bill 562 is to overhaul California’s insurance marketplace, reduce overall health care costs and expand coverage to everyone in the state regardless of immigration status or ability to pay. Instead of private insurers, state government would be the “single payer” for everyone’s health care through a new payroll taxing structure, similar to the way Medicare operates.

Lara and Atkins say they are driven by the belief that health care is a human right and should be guaranteed to everyone similar to public services like safe roads and clean drinking water. They seek to rein in rising health care costs by lowering administrative expenses, reducing expensive emergency room visits and eliminating insurance company profits and executive salaries.

In addition to covering undocumented people illegal aliens, Lara said the goal is to expand health access to people who, even with insurance, may skip doctor visits or stretch out medications due to high co-pays and deductibles.  “Doctors and hospitals would no longer need to negotiate rates and deal with insurance companies to seek reimbursement,” Lara said.

Insurance groups, health plans and Kaiser Permanente are against the bill. Industry representatives say California should focus on improving the Affordable Care Act. Business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, have deemed the bill a “job-killer.”

“A single-payer system is massively, if not prohibitively expensive,” said Nick Louizos, vice president of legislative affairs for the California Association of Health Plans. “It will cost employers and taxpayers billions of dollars and result in significant loss of jobs in the state,” the Chamber of Commerce said in its opposition letter.

Underlying the debate is uncertainty at the federal level over what President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress will do with Obamacare. The House Republican bill advanced earlier this month would dismantle it by removing its foundation – the individual mandate that requires everyone to have coverage or pay a tax penalty.

Republican-led efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare is fueling political support for the bill, Atkins said at a universal health care rally this past weekend in Sacramento hosted by the California Nurses Association, a co-sponsor.

“This is a high-ticket expense…We have to figure out how to cover everyone and work on addressing the costs in the long-term — that’s our challenge,” Atkins said. “I’m optimistic.”

The bill has to get approval on the Senate floor by June 2 to advance to the Assembly. A financing plan is underway, which could suggest diverting money employers pay for worker’s compensation insurance to a state-run coverage system.

Lara said he believes California can and should play a prominent role in improving people’s lives. “We can do better,” he said.

DCG

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Planned Parenthood Will Close 4 Iowa Clinics Due To New State Restrictions

mammograms

Don’t’ believe the fearmongering of this article from Refinery29. There are still PLENTY of health care clinics in Iowa. My quick search found the following:

The Iowa Association of Rural Health Clinics has a list of over 140 rural health clinics in Iowa. And of course, there are the countless other municipal health care clinics as well as private health care facilities.

Plenty of facilities for Iowa residents to receive “vital health services” that only Planned Parenthood can provide.

From Yahoo (Refinery29): Following in Texas’ disastrous footsteps, four Planned Parenthood clinics will close in Iowa because of the state government’s actions to partially defund the health organization. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed a health and human services budget that discontinued the state’s federal Medicaid family planning waiver and replaced it with a state program that excludes any clinic that offers abortions.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland announced on Thursday that it will close one third of its 12 health centers in Iowa this summer, leaving an estimated 14,600 patients in Quad Cities, Burlington, Keokuk, and Sioux City without their current healthcare provider.

Iowa’s $1.77 billion health and human services budget keeps roughly the same amount of funds for family planning as the previous year, but places new restrictions on which facilities can receive money to cover low-income patients’ health care. Because the Hyde Amendment already prevents federal funds from paying for abortion, the budget change is the latest attempt by Republican politicians to shut down abortion providers.

Defunding Planned Parenthood and forcing clinics to shutter keeps low-income women from accessing vital health services such as contraception and cancer screenings, as the organization says abortions make up roughly 3% all services it performs.

Back in 2011, Texas took similarly drastic measures, cutting its family planning budget by more than $70 million and directing it away from clinics that provided abortion. Across the state, 25% of all family planning clinics closed, and about 30,000 fewer women had access to a health clinic two years later.

Clinic closures in the Lone Star State also forced women to drive four times farther to have an abortion. A Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) study found that Texas women whose closest clinic stayed open drove an average of 22 miles, while women whose closest clinic closed drove an average of 85 miles for health services. The women furthest from an open clinic had to drive more than 250 miles.

Iowa’s new regulations forced clinics to close right away, which foreshadows what will happen if the healthcare bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier in May becomes law. The GOP’s American Health Care Act proposes cutting off Medicaid reimbursements Planned Parenthood currently receives for treating low-income patients for one year unless its clinics stop performing abortions.

“We have seen what happens in states like Texas, and now in Iowa, when politicians attack access to care at Planned Parenthood — it’s devastating, and sometimes deadly, for the women who are left with nowhere to turn for care,” Dr. Raegan McDonald-Mosley, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement to Refinery29. “I am concerned about the health and well-being of the people in Iowa who now can no longer turn to their trusted health care provider.”

Texas has already proven that when a state cuts off Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid funds, it forces clinics to close and keeps women from getting the health services they need. Now, Iowa has followed suit and essential care for women is at stake in one more state.

DCG

Democrat for Arizona Governor Noah Dyer is proud of his promiscuity, adultery and group sex

Even though I’ve chronicled America’s descent into moral filth for some 8 years now, every day on FOTM, some news still surprise me.

This is one.

On November 6, 2018, all of Arizona’s executive officers will be up for election, as well as a U.S. Senate seat and all of Arizona’s nine seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Incumbent first-term Republican Governor Doug Ducey, who became governor on January 5, 2015, will run for re-election. Among Ducey’s Demonrat challengers is a man named Noah Dyer, who prefers being called Noé, the Spanish form of the Hebrew name Noah.

Dyer describes himself on his campaign website as “an executive, educator, entrepreneur, and author” and “currently the Vice President of Marketing Strategies at a prominent Phoenix ad agency”. Dyer’s LinkedIn page is more forthcoming on his current job: he’s VP of Marketing Strategies for the ad agency On Advertising for less than two years, since June 2015.

He also describes himself as having “served a Mormon mission in Costa Rica before becoming agnostic,” “has been married, divorced, a homeless person” and “the proud father” of four children.

But that isn’t what Dyer is really known for.

On his campaign website, Dyer boasts that he is (in capital letters):

“A REFRESHINGLY HONEST CANDIDATE FOR A MODERN ARIZONA”

“Refreshingly honest” about what?

On his campaign website, Noah Dyer pronounces that he:

  • Is sexually promiscuous: “Noah has had both deep and casual sexual experiences with all kinds of women.  He is an advocate of open relationships.”
  • Engages in group sex.
  • Has no respect for the institution of marriage, but commits adultery: “He’s had group sex and sex with married women.”
  • Sex texts à la Anthony Weiner: “He [Dyer] has sent and received intimate texts and pictures”.
  • Is proud of his sexual deviance and wants us to be just like him, all in the name of “self-expression” — the contemporary euphemism for satanist Aleister Crowley’s “No as thou wilt”: “Noah is unapologetic about his sexual choices, and wishes others the same safety and confidence as they express themselves.”

To no surprise, the “Progressive” media have poured on their praise and admiration for Dyer, which he proudly displays on his website:

“Dyer’s openness is obviously unusual in a politician.” -Slate

“Without a doubt, we need more honest politicians.” -The Doctors

“Dyer is breaking entirely new ground.” -Huffington Post

“Everybody can appreciate someone who’s an open book.” -FoxNews.com

And if Arizona’s voters are not perturbed by Noah Dyer’s personal mores and sexual behavior, they should at least consider this:

“Noah has a negative net worth, given that he has nearly $100,000 in student loan debt. His income based loan repayment plan is actually insufficient to cover the interest, and his balance grows every year.” (Source: Noah Dyer’s website)

If Noah Dyer is voted to public office, Arizona voters should not be surprised by his fiscal incompetence for he has already and amply forewarned them with his “refreshing” honesty.

Want to donate to Republican Gov. Doug Ducey’s reelection? Go here.

H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV

~Eowyn

Senate Democrats may refuse to vote on Trump FBI pick

Sen. Chuck Schumer

Schumer sticking to the talking point: Russia!

The party of obstruction.

From Yahoo: The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate said on Sunday that Democrats would consider refusing to vote on a new FBI director until a special prosecutor is named to investigate President Donald Trump’s potential ties to Russia.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said his caucus has not yet made a decision on whether to withhold their votes, but added that the issue is being looked at as a way to ensure there is a thorough investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

“To have that special prosecutor, people would breathe a sigh of relief because then there would be a real independent person overlooking the FBI director,” Schumer told CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

Trump sparked a political firestorm when he abruptly fired James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation last week. The FBI has been investigating alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election and possible ties between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

Russia has denied the claims and the White House says there was no collusion.

Trump, who has sought better relations with Russia, has continued to question whether Russia was behind the hacking of email accounts belonging to Democrats involved in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program on Sunday there is no question that “the Russians were playing around in our electoral processes.”

He defended Trump’s decision to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office last week. “It’s in the interest of the American people, it’s in the interest of Russia and the rest of the world that we do something to see if we cannot improve the relationship between the two greatest nuclear powers in the world,” Tillerson said.

Democrats have accused Trump of attempting to thwart the FBI’s probe and have called for some type of independent inquiry into the matter.

Trump has said he removed Comey because he was not doing a good job and that Comey lost the support of FBI employees.

The Justice Department began interviewing candidates for the FBI director job on Saturday. Some people under consideration include acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas, New York Appeals Court Judge Michael Garcia and former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, according to a White House official.

If the Senate vote on an FBI director were to break down along strict party lines, Democrats would not have the votes to block a nominee.

Republicans control both chambers of the U.S. Congress. They hold 52 seats in the 100-member Senate, enough to approve a FBI nominee provided that no more than two Republican senators break ranks. In the event of a tie vote, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote.

“The key is getting some of our Republican colleagues to join us,” Schumer said. Republican leaders in the Senate have rebuffed calls for a special prosecutor, saying it would interfere with ongoing congressional probes.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said on Sunday there may come a time when a special prosecutor is needed but not now. “Right now, it is a counterintelligence investigation, not a criminal investigation. So you don’t need a special prosecutor,” Graham said on “Meet the Press.”

DCG

Aetna drops last 2 state markets under Affordable Care Act

Obama_laughing

Obamacare going as planned. Let’s hope we can get rid of this monstrosity.

From Yahoo: While Republicans rewrite the Affordable Care Act in Washington, the future of the current law has grown hazier with the nation’s third-largest health insurer completely divorcing itself from state-based insurance markets.

Aetna said late Wednesday that it won’t sell individual coverage next year in its two remaining states — Nebraska and Delaware — after projecting a $200 million loss this year. It had already dropped Iowa and Virginia for next year. The insurer once sold the coverage in 15 states, but slashed that to four after losing about $450 million in 2016.

The government-backed marketplaces are a pillar of the Obama-era federal law because they allow millions of people to buy health insurance with help from income-based tax credits. But insurers like Humana, and now Aetna, have been fleeing that market, and the remaining coverage options are growing thin. Other companies like the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer Anthem say they are wary of returning without a guarantee that the government will provide cost-sharing subsidies that reduce expenses like co-payments. Those are separate from the tax credits that help pay premiums.

The White House has assured lawmakers it will continue paying the subsidies, but it has offered no long-term guarantee.

About 12 million people bought coverage for this year on the exchanges, and every market had at least one insurer offering coverage. But a growing number were down to one.

Companies are in the middle of figuring out their prices and coverage plans for next year, and insurance experts expect some holes to develop in those marketplaces.

“All it takes is one insurance company to exit, and that can create panic for other insurers and they pull out too,” said Cynthia Cox, a health insurance expert for the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health care. “Insurers don’t want to be the last one holding the bag.”

The federal law prevents insurers from rejecting patients based on their health, so if competitors pull out, the last insurer may be left covering all the high-cost patients in that market.

Metropolitan or highly populated areas are still expected to draw several insurers. But rural areas may not be attractive to insurers looking to cut losses. They generally have a smaller, older population.

Ultimately, insurers with the most common brand in health insurance, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, will decide the fate of the marketplaces. Many of those plans specialize in individual insurance and have a long-standing presence in their markets. They also are the only remaining option on exchanges in nearly a third of the nation’s more than 3,100 counties.

DCG

Congress’ budget deal has money to build the wall

Don’t believe what the MSM tells you.

In the video below, Mick Mulvaney deftly and lucidly explains the budget deal that recently was approved by Congress. As the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Mulvaney certainly would know the budget deal better than any so-called journalist.

Beginning at the 8:37 mark, Mulvaney says:

“We are building this [the US-Mexico border wall] now. There is money in this deal to build several hundreds of millions of dollars of this [solid metal fence] to replace this [wire fence]. That’s what we got in this deal and that’s what the Democrats don’t want you to know. This stuff is going up now. Why? Because the president wants to make the country more safe. This [pointing to a wire fence] doesn’t stop drugs and doesn’t stop criminals from crossing the border.”

Mick Mulvaney was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2011 — the first Republican since 1883 to represent South Carolina’s 5th congressional district where he served until President Trump nominated him, and the Senate confirmed him, to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

See also “Mexico is world’s second most deadly country, after Syria“.

~Eowyn

Candlelight vigils and funerals are being planned to highlight those who, activists say, will die under Trumpcare

hyperbole

From Vocativ: Activists are planning several protests around the country — at elected representatives’ offices and places of worship — to mourn for those they say will die if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

Protesters are holding candlelight vigils, symbolic funerals, and die-in demonstrations to protest President Trump and the Republican Party’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare with a new bill, called the American Health Care Act or AHCA. The first vote by the House of Representatives on the measure is scheduled for Thursday.

One of the more grim protests being planned will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, in front of Republican Congressman David Young’s office. Organizers say the event is “a vigil to mourn the deaths of the Iowans and Americans that will die if Trumpcare is passed. Almost 200 Iowans are projected to die each year, 2000 total over the next decade. We need to make sure David Young knows what he would be voting for.”

Organizing For Action, the political advocacy group that grew out of President Obama’s first presidential campaign, is planning a funeral procession in New York’s Staten Island with an effigy of Trump as the grim reaper. The protest, planned for Thursday, will march to Representative Dan Donovan’s office.

Indivisible, an organization made up of former Congressional staffers, is also organizing a series of candlelight vigils for the estimated 24,000 people who will die yearly if the GOP plan is passed as it currently stands. One demonstration, to be held at a San Diego church, will “pray for mercy for the sick and suffering in San Diego and across America.”

In Cincinnati, nearly 100 people have said they will attend a “die-in” protest on Wednesday. Each participant is instructed to lie down on the ground while holding a sign stating their hypothetical cause of death. Among the suggestions are “I died from a bacterial infection because I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor” and “My cervical cancer wasn’t discovered in time because I couldn’t go to Planned Parenthood.”

The American Health Care Act is scheduled for a floor vote in the House of Representatives on March 23. President Trump and his administration have reportedly held a series of phone calls and meeting intended to pressure Republicans opposed to the bill to fall in line.  Several Republican lawmakers have come out against the bill, which they say fails to live up to promises of a full Obamacare repeal.

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, some 24 million Americans are estimated to lose health insurance over the next decade if the plan goes through.

DCG