Midterm Elections 2018: Red Wave or Blue Wave?

With just 5 days to go before the midterm elections, predictions vary wildly about the outcomes depending on who you speak to. If you speak with Democrats, they say they expect a Blue Wave election of Democrats winning. If you listen to Trump or other Republicans, the prediction turns to a Red Wave with Trump consolidating more control with additional Republican victories.

Based on these widely different expectations, it’s clear that both can’t be right, so which outcome is more likely? Analysis of the data helps to clear the fog…..

First, lets get a break down of what the voting electorate looks like. Of the total population registered to vote, political party affiliation breaks down as follows:

According to latest polling from Gallup:

Republicans: 28%

Democrats: 30%

Independents: 39%

What this data should make clear is that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have an electoral majority such that they can dominate elections with just their base voters.  It’s easy to think that one side or the other may dominate based on all the media coverage and loud vocal output, but in reality the strength of both parties are limited. It’s clear that the Independent voter serves as the deciding factor in determining who wins.

How do the Independents feel about Trump and Republicans versus the Dems? Data shows they are not happy the way things are going, with 60% disapproving of Trump’s course of action and policies. This is a red flag that should have Republicans worried.

Next, a search of current polls (RealClearPolitics, FiveThirtyEight) state the Dems are likely to win a majority in the House while Reps are likely to keep the Senate.

But are the polls accurate? The polling for 2016 elections left much to be desired since the majority of polls didn’t have Trump winning. I know they like to counter that Trump lost the popular vote, so the polls were somewhat accurate, but the bottom line is they did NOT get their State victory polling predictions correct.

Is this election season any better? I don’t believe so, and I think polling will get worse as time goes on. Polls are usually taken over the phone, and land line phones are becoming a thing of the past while most people avoid taking calls on their mobile from numbers they don’t recognize. Therefore, it’s getting harder for them to reach as many different people as they would like. Next, voter turnout for this is election is expected to break records and rival a presidential election year. This will be an outlier year different from the past midterm elections. More people voting typically favors Democrats. This is due to the fact that Republicans normally vote in higher numbers by percentage on average so the extra participation would be coming from Independents and Dems.

I believe the biggest wildcard this time around will be voter participation among the groups that typically show up in small numbers, especially during midterms: minorities, young voters (18 -29), and those who are low income.  These groups trend progressive when they vote. All signs point to increased enthusiasm and participation by these groups, and they could make all the difference.

My predictions are as follows:

The chance of a Red Wave is small at best since the Republicans have lost the support of the majority of Independent voters. They can’t dominate with just their 28% voting base.

I believe there will be a Blue Wave, but the question will be of what size or magnitude:

Scenario 1: Minorities, youth voters, and the low income follow the past trends and don’t show up in force.

There should still be enough enthusiasm and momentum among the Dems and Independents to turn the House Blue, with the Reps keeping control of the Senate. The polls are using this as the likely outcome.

Scenario 2: Minorities, youth voters, and the low income turn up in presidential election numbers or greater.

This is the wild card that isn’t being factored by the majority of polls. If this happens it’s quite possible that most areas that show “leaning red” on current polls will turn blue on election day. What we could have is the biggest Blue Wave upset since the last major Red Wave of 2010. In this scenario, the Dems could win control of both the House and Senate and Texas could get its first Dem Senator since 1993.

Needless to say, scenario #2 would be the stuff made of nightmares for Trump and the GOP. Not that they aren’t worried about scenario #1, but scenario #2 is just a much bigger scale of loss that will cost them more.

 

 

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If You Like Healthcare that Covers Pre-existing Conditions, Vote Blue and Beware Republican Lies

Politicians are famous for being masters of spin and not being entirely truthful in their campaign speeches. However, this campaign season has Republicans including President Trump telling outright blatant lies about their position on preserving one of the best features of Obamacare (ACA), having your pre-existing conditions automatically covered.

After spending over seven years and voting numerous times trying to repeal Obamacare, saying they had a better alternative, all the GOP has shown is a big plate of deception and dishonesty.

We found out in 2017 that the Republicans did not have a superior replacement to Obamacare like they had been promising year after year after year, and the vastly inferior plans they tried to pass failed to get enough Republican votes, sparing us the cancellation of Obamacare with a far worse replacement.

That failed vote didn’t stop Republicans from continuing to undermine Obamacare like the lawsuit entered by several conservative States to have Obamcare’s protections on pre-existing conditions cancelled.

The thing is though that pre-existing condition coverage is something the majority of the public really likes about the ACA and don’t want to see it go away.  The GOP candidates are feeling the heat about their intent to end pre-existing condition coverage and rather than try to defend their position, they are choosing to just outright lie and claim they now support this.

Leading the charge in spreading lies about Republicans being the “saviors” of Obamacare and pre-existing condition protection is President Trump himself.

For more info on the Trump and GOP lies and smears about the ACA that have been debunked and proved false, check here.

Letting the Republicans remain in control of Congress will give them the time and opportunity they need to cancel pre-existing condition coverage. Voting blue for the Dem candidates is critical to preserve this popular and potentially life saving coverage.

 

Trump Presidency: The Age of Continuous Controversies and Scandals

Like the first year, Trumps second year has been chock full of controversial and scandalous politics and news on a near daily basis. It’s a daunting task trying to keep up with everything happening with this presidency, as we move from one big controversy to the next with very little down time. Here’s a running summary of the biggest ones that caught my attention year to date:

Trump not a self-made man who started with “just $1 million” – employed tax fraud to get over $400 million from his father, the true source of his wealth.

His father set up trusts that provided trump with $200K at age 3, and by age 18 had had accumulated more than $1 million from his father, and the money kept on coming after that. Trump and family reportedly engaged in tax fraud to transfer their fathers assets. Trump is said to have gotten close to $500 million from his father- showing his claim of being a self-made billionaire to be false.

Health Insurance ACA still under attack

Trump promised a better healthcare system than the ACA. The GOP failed to come up with a superior solution, and instead offered an inferior solution that covered far less while stripping the ACA of money. The general public was not pleased. The GOP plans didn’t pass, but that hasn’t stopped Trump from undermining the ACA doing things like no longer covering pre-existing conditions despite not having a replacement.

Trump’s family separation/orphan creation policy for immigrants coming to America seeking asylum

Trump and his Admin thought it would be a good idea to create permanent orphans by separating children from their parents without any process to keep track of who the kids belonged to. The public outrage of this forced them to stop this policy. There are still hundreds of kids that can’t be matched with their parents, who may have already been deported without them. The Trump Admin thought Americans wouldn’t care what happened to immigrants and their children- they were wrong. With the mental damage being done to these kids experiencing prolonged separation, Trump and his admin have been compared to Nazi’s. To add insult to injury, Trump tried to blame the democrats for this policy that his admin was executing. That also didn’t work.

After massive tax cuts for the wealthy – GOP wants to pay for them with cuts  Medicare and Social Security

The tax cuts that were promised to pay for themselves have produced historically high US deficits. The GOP solution to make up the difference is to put the debt on the backs of the Social Security and Medicaid senior safety nets.

In other words, the GOP wants to pay for their tax cuts to the ultra wealthy using our retirement and medical security.

Trump threatens Government shutdown unless he gets border wall funding

Trump promised Mexico would pay to build a border wall. Now he is threatening to not fund the government and have it shut down unless the US govt pays for the wall. This is essentially attempted extortion by a US President to his own people at a time all areas of government are under his republican control.

New rule would deny green cards to immigrants who apply for food stamps, Medicaid, subsidized housing

Trump administration proposing new rules that would punish LEGAL immigrants who would dare to seek government assistance for themselves or their children by permanently denying them green cards. So much for the words on the Statue of Liberty that most of our ancestors read- “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddles masses yearning to breathe free…”

Trump’s disastrous meeting with Putin, raising up Putin at America’s expense

This meeting will be one for the record books as a low point of US Global power and influence. Contrary to his EU bashing, Trump was all lovey-dovey with Russia, to the point where he backed Putin over the word of our OWN intelligence officers.

Both GOP and Dems were appalled at Trump’s behavior.  Even Fox News tore into Trump over the Putin Meeting where Trump took sides with Putin over our own intelligence agencies. It was so bad that Trump said he “misspoke” in an attempt to walk back what he said.

To date Trump has NOT revealed to his security chief what was discussed with Putin during their private 2 hour meeting.

Insider Resistance in White House?

According to a New York Times Op-Ed, there is a member of Trump’s Administration trying to protect us from the worst of Trumps behaviors. If true, this shows a high level of chaos in his cabinet, matching what was said by books by Michael Wolff and Bob Woodward.

Trump’s Election Integrity Commission preparing to declare voter fraud without any proof

The commission that was formed because of Trump’s outrageous claim that he lost the popular vote to Clinton due to millions of illegal votes. Investigation found absolutely no massive voter fraud- but were trying to produce a report stating otherwise. The commission was eventually disbanded.

Trump playing much more golf than Obama after criticizing Obama numerous times before taking office

Trump liked to complain about Obama playing too much golf during his Presidency: Trump tweeting about Obama playing too much golf 

Turns out Trump’s record of gold playing while President eclipses Obama by a wide margin: Trump Golf Game Tracker

House Republicans have secret list of known Trump scandals they are trying to keep under wraps

Republicans know about Trump’s problems and missteps, but not only do they refuse to take action against them, they instead seek to cover them up: House Republicans Trump Scandal List

Trump’s Poor behavior of Senator McCain’s passing and funeral

Trump intended to give the passing of Senator John McCain, a war hero who served public office for over 30 years, a minimal 2 day half-staff flag flying at the White House rather than extend the time through the final funeral commencement and burial, which is typical for most prominent political figures. When the flag was raised after two days, Trump was criticized by both the GOP and Dems for such a dishonorable move. American Veterans were very upset that a long time public servant and POW/war hero would be treated in such short shrift.  Trump was forced to re-lower the flag after backing down.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Trump couldn’t find the time to tweet anything complimentary about McCain, but did manage to tweet complaining about trade during the funeral: Trumps tweets during McCains’s funeral

Insults Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May in news interview prior to meeting

During Trump’s trip abroad to visit UK Prime Minister Theresa May, he decided to have an interview where he basically said she screwed up Brexit, the US likely won’t make a deal with her, and complimented a rival and detractor of her, Boris Johnson, saying he would make a “fine Prime Minister”.

Trump cancels pay raise for federal workers after granting huge tax cuts for wealthy

After claiming the US is in such great financial shape to enact massive tax cuts primarily benefiting the wealthy, now says the US needs to tighten its belt on the backs of federal workers by denying them their cost of living raises.

Insults trading partner Canada during interview during tense negotiations that stalled progress

Trump’s intended bad-faith negotiation with Canada for trade is leaked. maybe this should be in “Art of the Deal”: it’s never a good idea to tell others you have no intention to work on a deal via mutual compromise.

Trumps denies factual data from on Puerto Rico’s hurricane related deaths- calls it a “Democrat Conspiracy”

After Puerto Rico released their official death toll of 3000 resulting from Hurricane Maria last year, Trump denied the facts and blamed the Democrats. Trump regularly calls REAL news he finds unfavorable to him “fake”.

National Park Service felt pressure to edit Trump’s inauguration speech photo to “add” more people in the empty spaces

The govt photographer said they felt pressure to doctor the photo to make it appear Trump’s inauguration speech had a full crowd instead of the anemic reality, which didn’t match Trumps claim of record crowds attending his inauguration.

Trump – Kim Summit Meeting

After threatening to drop nukes on North Korea, Trump thought it would be a good idea to give NK what that always wanted- legitimacy with meeting with the US president. Trump stated the plan was for NK to get rid of its nukes. So far NK got the better of the deal by getting exactly what they wanted and are showing no intention of ending its nuke program.

Trump attacks/criticizes European allies meeting for NATO Summit

Trump gives long time European allies the cold shoulder and open criticism and goes so far as to call the EU a foe of the US.

Trump lied about having no knowledge of payments Stormy Daniels

Trump claimed that his former attorney Michael Cohen arranged for payments to Stormy Daniels to keep her from reporting about the affair she had with Trump and that he had no knowledge of it. Trump  denied the affair happened. Michael Cohen plead guilty and revealed that Trump worked directly with Cohen in planning the payments, making Trump an unindicted co-conspirator.  Trying to change election outcomes using non reported money is against election laws.

Trump Issues Trade War that is hurting US farmers and industries.  

Issuing a tariff trade war will result in higher prices for US citizens, whose store products are mostly imported. Farmers are losing money due to retaliatory sanctions from other countries. Other countries may win former US business that we may never get back. This has resulted in Trump giving welfare aid to farmers.

Astonishing charges of corruption in a cabinet less than two years old.

Former EPA Chief Scott Pruitt was finally forced to resign after a string of unethical missteps like the following:

  1. Racking up high bills traveling 1st class at tax payer expense.
  2. Renting a room from a lobbyist in Washington DC at the unheard of rate of just $50/night (regular rates are in the $100’s)
  3. Spending $43K for a soundproof booth in his office when a general security area was already available.
  4. Keeping a secret calendar to hide meetings. Not very transparent for a public servant.

For a scandal run down on what the rest of the cabinet including Commerce Sec Wilbur Ross, Treasury Sec Steve Mnuchin, Interior Sec Ryan Zinke,  etc… have been doing that breaches ethics with abandon, check here. So much for the promise of “draining the swamp”.

Ongoing Mueller Investigation into Russian Collusion.

Of course there is also the ongoing Mueller investigation into potential illegal Russian collusion. Trump loves to call it an unsupported witch hunt. The facts say otherwise. So far the investigation has yielded a who’s who list of indictments.  Total count to date is 35, that includes former Trump hires:

  1. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn – pleaded guilty to making false statements.
  2. Campaign foreign policy adviser – George Papadopoulous- arrested and plead guilty of making false statements.
  3. Campaign Chair Paul Manafort – Entered into a plea deal after being indicted on 25 counts and convicted on 8 counts of financial crimes (would have been much higher conviction count except for lone hold out juror).
  4. Campaign aide and Manafort’s business partner Rick Gates – Entered plea deal after being on similar charges to Manafort.

 

Remember folks- this presidency is LESS than two years old and this isn’t a complete list! Also, it only covers his second year, which still has three months to go!  To see what was going on at the one year mark, check here.

 

Did Republicans Win the Battle but Lose the War with Kavanaugh?

The Senate voted to confirm the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to a seat on the Supreme Court, 50-48, much to the chagrin and disappointment to the Democrats, Progressives, and other detractors. Protests are still ongoing.

This is a clear victory for Trump and the GOP, who have now placed two highly conservative judges on SCOTUS in less than 2 years in office.

The problem is there is a large cloud of controversy with Kavanaugh, with the accusations of past sexual assault, accepting and passing on stolen secret documents, and the recent hyper partisan statement he made at his second hearing. He basically declared himself to be a victim, and now vengeful enemy to Democrats and the left. This was not an emotion induced outburst due to a momentary loss of control. These were written statements that he had plenty of time to consider and ponder on as he wrote them down in preparation :

“This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record; revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.

This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades. This grotesque character assassination will dissuade confident and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country, and as we all know, in the political system of the early 2000s, what goes around comes around.”

What goes around, comes around? How can that not be interpreted as anything other than a threat of retaliation? How is that response anywhere close to displaying the characteristics of a non partisan judge?

Kavanaugh will be the most openly partisan SCOTUS appointment in modern history, which is sure to rile the Democrats, even without all the other baggage he brings with him.

But did it have to go this way? Trump has a long list of vetted conservative candidates that could have been appointed without nearly so much controversy. As an example, Neil Gorsuch’s appointment was a sleeper compared to this.

If Kavanaugh had lost the confirmation, the Republicans would have been angered and riled up for action, just in time for November elections. Trump would still be able to pick another candidate from his conservative list even if the Dems gained seats in the Senate. I don’t believe the Dems would have ramped up the partisanship by holding a court appointment open for two years, which would be double the time McConnell did to Obama with not allowing Merrick Garland to have a hearing.

Kavanaugh losing the nomination would have been a bigger boost to Republican turn out during a time when historically, Republicans lose seats.

But with Kavanaugh’s win, Dems and women who related to Ford are even more energized than they were before to make their opinions heard, especially under the atmosphere of such a widely broadcast battle along partisan/sexist lines.

This could very well result in a much bigger blue wave than what would have occurred with a Kanavaugh loss.

The Republicans are expecting the loss of the House to the Dems, but now the Senate may also be in play as well.

 

 

Fox News Facts Vs Fiction

A montage was done showing the reporting done by Fox News hosts Shep Smith and Sean Hannity. The information they provide looks like it came from two different planets, much less the same network.

The difference is Shep is reporting the actual FACTS while Sean pushes debunked conspiracies, lies, and hyperbole.

 

The fact that Fox allows such dishonest/biased hosts as Hannity under its network umbrella is a clear indication of how unbalanced Fox is towards responsible reporting.

 

Fox News Online Goes Full Fake News/State TV/GOP Cheerleader Mode: “Trump Sycophantic Syndrome”

Today is election day in several states – lots of news to discuss and lead with:

CNN:

NBC:

MSNBC:

USA Today:

 

Then we have Fox News, who choose to go with this for the bulk of the day:

 

Apparently according to Fox, there is some big news speculation explosion about Melania being hit by Trump that I have yet to see anything about other than on Fox itself.

It’s always been the case that Fox has been pro-GOP, but now it would appear that they have given up any pretense of trying to be “fair and balanced” and have jumped the shark into full-bore cheer leading for the GOP in general and Trump in particular. They rather focus on manufactured/made up demons and fears than deal with the current news if it bears a negative reflection on the Trump Administration.

Fox is claiming other news media is suffering from “Trump Derangement” – but the reality is if Fox is suffering from “Trump Sycophantic Syndrome” at hypocritical levels not witnessed by a nationwide popular multimedia source in modern history.  Try to imagine them making the same level of defense for Obama or another Democrat.

 

More details on this Fox Propaganda Phenomenon:

https://www.vox.com/2018/5/30/17380096/fox-news-alternate-reality-charts

From the article:

“Every night, Fox News paints a picture of reality that Americans outside the Fox News bubble would not recognize.

In Fox News world, the FBI is conducting a witch hunt against President Trump; the Stormy Daniels saga is part of a conspiracy to take down the president; Hillary Clinton’s corruption is still a major threat to American decency; and the mainstream media is ignoring Trump’s accomplishments, like securing the borders, lowering the unemployment rate, and withdrawing the US from bad international deals and treaties. These stories clash with the world that appears just a few channels away on mainstream media outlets like MSNBC and CNN.”

 

Hospital Wheels Out and Abandons Disoriented Patient Outside into Below Freezing Temps

In our current medical system where access to medical care is based on whether you can afford good insurance, hospitals run into problems with having to care for patients who arrive and may not have adequate or even any insurance.  Uninsured or under-insured patients put a financial drain on hospitals which cut into the bottom line of profits. If this person is homeless, it becomes problematic on what to do with an uninsured patient. Some ruthless hospital admin have resorted to the act of “patient dumping”, where a hospital will just remove a patient from the hospital and abandon them somewhere on the street.

This latest case in the news shows a guy who captured on his phone a group of Baltimore Hospital staff wheeling a patient out of the building and leaving her at a bus stop in freezing weather wearing only a patient gown. She appears mentally disoriented and unable to respond to the situation.

 

This is the latest horrific example of what happens in a society that doesn’t have universal health care services, and is heartbreaking on many levels. The easy target would be the security guards who threw her out in that condition, but it’s clear they were ordered to do so by someone in admin. Not that the guards are blameless – following orders to put someone helpless in a life threatening situation should be a criminal offense.

The choice we are going to have to make as a society is if this is the type of system we want- survival of the fittest and those who don’t have the financial means to get help are cast aside and ignored, or something more inclusive and humane?

Trump has stated that his “health plan” will stop people dying in the street, but in reality, he had no specific health plan to offer and left it up to the GOP to craft one, and all they did was attempt to gut the current ACA rather than do anything to fix the problem of the increasing uninsured. Had the good Samaritan not intervened, this women could have surely died from exposure.

 

Dos and Don’ts of Playing/Winning a Lottery

  Winner winner chicken dinner!

 

The past month had several lotteries that went on for several weeks with no big wins, producing larger than normal jackpot amounts:

  1. Mega Millions  $393 Million
  2. Powerball  $758 Million
  3. California Superlotto $64 Million

This month all of them finally produced winners – and sadly didn’t include me or anyone in my immediate family. =)

  • Mega Millions  $393 Million (won 8/11)
  • Powerball  $758 Million (won 8/23)
  • California Superlotto $64 Million (won 8/16)

Whenever the lottery jackpots grow, we always see more news articles giving “advice” about the lottery. One very annoying article discusses if the lottery makes a decent investment, and concludes using mathematical analysis with an answer of no- with an expected return of much less than the price of the ticket. Of course this “analysis” is utterly ridiculous as no one in their right mind is considering lottery tickets investment grade products. There is a distinct difference between an investment product like CD’s/Stocks/Bonds, etc.. and a pure gambling product like lottery tickets. Lottery tickets have a very low probability of winning, but they are very cheap, and therefore present low cost entertainment as long as no one goes wild on a lottery ticket spending spree.

The reason for buying a ticket is simple- there are very few things that cost so little that give you a small chance to win so much money- a life changing amount.

So here’s some practical straight forward advice regarding lottery tickets-

1) I don’t normally play them because the odds are so high against anyone winning- it’s basically a free donation to the State. However, when the lottery jackpot builds up to true odds, then I consider it worth a ticket or two. Take the Powerball Lottery for example. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 292 million. That means when the lottery jackpot is much less than that, it’s an extreme rip-off. What I mean is, if you manage to beat those massive odds and then win only $100 million, while that is a lot of money, your prize should be at least $292 million as those are the true odds you faced. Anything less is being cheated/short changed.

You could extend this further- since lottery jackpots are valued with a 20 – 30 year payout in mind, the actual present day cash value of the jackpot is a lot less. So if you want to be an odds purist, you should wait until the cash payout level reaches true odds. This would mean you only play very few lotteries since this doesn’t happen often.

2) Buy no more than a ticket or two. The odds are so high against you, that you have to assume you likely won’t win, so you shouldn’t be pouring lots of money into it. Just one entry will do. I wouldn’t spend more than one full ticket, which would be $5 for MegaMillions or $10 for Powerball. That’s more than enough. I’m cheap when it comes to lottery tickets- I usually just get one number entry. The person who buys 100 tickets isn’t too far from me on increasing their odds of winning: 100/(292 million) is pretty close to 1/(292 million).

 

The most likely case is you won’t win- here’s what to do in this case:

1) Don’t be bitter- and definitely don’t speak or wish bad things against the winner. I’m amazed and sad at how many toxic comments I see written online against the Powerball jackpot winner. It’s a poor reflection on a person who can’t be happy for someone else.

 

If you do manage to beat the odds and win- Congratulations!! You will now be entering a new chapter in your life. =) Here are the main points to consider:

1) Immediately sign your ticket and put it in a safe place and tell only the closest people you need to. You don’t want many if any to know about your newfound fortune- especially before you turn in the ticket!

2) Go to a good lawyer and incorporate yourself, and then have your lawyer accept the prize on behalf of the corporation name. Why? Because if you accept it yourself, you will be known to all, and a multitude of friends, family, and strangers will appear out of nowhere giving you sob stories of why you should bless them with some of your cash. Why subject yourself to that day after day after day? Not to mention your safety – you place a big target on your back with revealing your mega wealth. If you accept as a corporate entity, you can shield yourself from that. Some states won’t allow this, but you should definitely look into it.

3) Take time to plan and think before doing anything. This is a huge moment- no need to rush into any quick decisions. It’s best to immediately see a lawyer/financial advisor for some sage advice.

4) It’s imperative to realize that wealth is maintained by spending profits, not the principle. In other words, living off the income generated by the interest earned on your money, rather than spending down the initial jackpot. I was amazed to learn that a big portion of big jackpot winners wind up declaring bankruptcy within 7 years of winning. How can people spend so much money in so short a time? Answer- bad financial management – and over extending- thinking the money will never run out. We often see this type of blowup with sports and movie stars who made tens of millions only to wind up broke. This is why it’s so important to get a good financial manager before making any big decisions.

 

 

Until that winning day comes, let’s take a moment to think what those winning jackpots must be thinking having all that newfound wealth.    

I know that money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can end worrying about paying the bills. =)

 

The Simple Reasons Why the GOP is Choking on their Repeal/Replace Healthcare Agenda

The GOP’s attempts at making good on their 7 year campaign promise to repeal and replace the ACA was served a bitter pill of failure last Friday when 3 GOP Senators voted against the proposed bill.

The amazing thing though shouldn’t be that it failed due to 3 GOP dissenting votes, but that 48 Republican Senators were willing to vote for such a flawed and defective bill in the first place that had less that 14% public support.

The GOP seems to be suffering from a severe case of missing-the-point-itis when it comes to trying to make good on their campaign promise. They think that just getting a bill passed no matter how bad it is will make their base happy, when in fact, the Republican base is expecting them to provide a better alternative to the ACA.

The GOP House and Senate are caught in a bind because their campaign promises of a better alternative to the ACA was nothing but hot air and political games. Seven years of continuously passing bills to repeal the ACA and now when faced with the ability to do just that, realize that there are real world negative consequences that can’t be dismissed in some simple campaign slogan that will punish both red and blue states.

The GOP denounced Obama and the ACA for being “rammed” through government under secrecy and no Republican support. In reality, the ACA had several open hearings for ALL the discuss and debate and accepted GOP amendments to their bill, while the GOP monstrosity was crafted by just 13 men in a closed room in secrecy.

The reasons why the GOP is flailing and failing with their repeal attempts are pretty simple:

  1. They aren’t trying to IMPROVE healthcare but just strip the ACA of government financial support. Cutting back on Medicaid and taxes do NOTHING to improve the state of healthcare.
  2. The GOP refuses to acknowledge that the ACA is a CONSERVATIVE plan that has private companies in group exchanges selling health insurance as opposed to a progressive plan of single pay healthcare. This doesn’t give them much leeway in coming up with a decent alternative.
  3. The American public likes this part of the ACA: no preexisting conditions to get insurance, but this can only be done with a mandate that everyone be required to buy insurance. The GOP seeks to kill the mandate rather than address the real problem- cutting the cost of insurance. The majority wouldn’t have a problem with the mandate to buy insurance if it was affordable.
  4. The GOP is making NO attempt to directly reduce prescription or insurance costs, and live in a fantasy world of thinking the free market without government involvement will result in superior and more affordable care. If the “free market” were capable of producing superior solutions, there would have been no momentum for the ACA to be created in the first place as a solution. People who complain about the ACA’s rising costs  seem to forget that prices were spiraling into the sky pre-ACA as well, and at a faster rate to boot.
  5. A good portion of the GOP simply doesn’t believe the government should be involved in healthcare, and that affordable healthcare is a right citizens should be entitled to. If you can’t afford health insurance they think it’s okay to “choose” not to have it even though reality dictates we will all need medical attention at some point in our lives. Most bankruptcies are due to being overwhelmed by medical costs.

 

It would be far easier to fix the problems with the ACA than to just start over from scratch, as seen from the inability to get a unified GOP front on any real or decent plan.