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 costsĀ  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.

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Trump and Ryan Get Served Humble Pie as Obamacare Repeal/Replace Juggernaut Crashes into Tea Party Ice Berg in Shocking Defeat

The Trump Administration has been on a legislative rampage since inauguration with numerous controversial executive orders and the first big planned legislative event was the repeal and replacement of the ACA otherwise known as Obamacare. They seemed intent on maintaining a high level of momentum and speed in executing their agenda.

All this came to a screeching halt on Friday as the much hyped Trumpcare/Ryancare Bill meant to replace Obamacare was pulled from the planned vote in an embarrassing defeat as there were not enough votes for the Bill to pass.

 

The implications and level of this failure are quite astounding. The GOP has voted to repeal or amend Obamacare 54 times while Obama was in office. There was never a problem getting those bills passed in the GOP controlled House during Obama’s term.

Now that the Republicans control the Presidency, House, and Senate, the failure of the House to pass a bill puts the GOP is a bright “Emperor has no clothes!” spotlight. The obvious conclusions are:

  1. The Republicans NEVER had a true working plan to amend/repeal Obamacare. All those consensus votes in the past were a FRAUD knowing the bill would fail in the Senate or be vetoed by Obama. Now that they know their Bills will really go into effect, everyone is no longer on the same page.
  2. The Republicans had seven years to develop a working replacement plan but have NOTHING to show for it. Think of all the taxpayer time and money wasted in their fake “repeal” bills put on just for show.
  3. The GOP is very good at opposing the Democrats, but come up short at the task of governing and building consensus. It’s far easier to be disruptive than creative.

The inside story is that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon thought he had power he didn’t have when he tried to force rebelling Republicans to get in line and vote “yes”, and their reply was basically:

 

 

As for Trump, his aura of invincibility along with his winning streak for successfully bucking the system has come to an end. All the “Business mastery” bravado and supposed “Art of the Deal” expertise have met their match at the hands of rebelling fellow Republicans.

It became all too clear that electing a person with no prior political experience or expertise to the highest office in the land comes at a cost.

 

 

Nobody knew healthcare could be so complicated?? Actually, anyone with any experience or who paid ANY attention at all to the healthcare problems over the past few decades knew it was a complicated issue. You would have to be supremely arrogant or naive to think you could just walk into a problem you didn’t research or have any background knowledge in and think you would come up with an “easy” solution.

 

When met with this failure, does Trump own up to it and accept the loss like Paul Ryan did? Nope, he pointed the blame away from himself:

 

It’s beyond absurd to blame the Democrats when The Presidency, House, and Senate are controlled by Republicans and they are trying to pass a law that goes against the healthcare package the Dems created. Why would the Dems support a bill that replaces their own law with a much WORSE substitute? That’s like your boss asking you to vote to cut your pay in half, and then complaining that nobody agreed to it.

He’s also now saying he never said this bill was a top issue and that he never said he’d do it quickly- another LIE:

Does Trump have amnesia that EVERYTHING he says to the public is recorded?

Some folks will blame The Freedom Caucus – the group of Republicans that voted against the bill, but in truth, they were just keeping the GOP to their word of repealing Obamacare rather than amending it. They wanted it eliminated entirely as the GOP said they would do time and time again. The GOP was once again burned for making promises they knew they couldn’t keep.

There’s a clear obvious reason the GOP backed off fully repealing Obamacare – many of their constituents would be be impacted and lose their health insurance. That would have bad consequences for them come election time.

The GOP healthcare bill was built on arrogance and the desire to cut taxes for the wealthy rather than try to obtain low cost effective healthcare for all. They didn’t try to work with the Dems for their input or seek advice from the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, AARP, and a host of others who are opposing this fault ridden bill.

Some of the biggest problems of the bill:

  1. Does NOTHING to address rising costs of health care services
  2. Reduces subsidies for most and especially the elderly – the folks who will most likely need medical attention
  3. Allows insurers to hike up costs for those over 50 up to 500% of what is being charged to younger people. Obamacare capped top rate to 300%
  4. Eliminates all essential benefits like preventative care, prescription drugs, maternity care, addiction help, etc.. This basically allows insurers to sell you pieces of paper that say “insurance”, but cover very little so you come up snake eyes if you ever need to use it.
  5. Eliminates Federal funding of Planned Parenthood. Even though no federal funds are used by PP for abortions by law, the ACHA tries to mandate moral agenda by forbidding PP to conduct any services regarding abortions if they wish to continue to receive funding- funding that now goes to women’s health care like mammogram screenings.
  6. Removes “mandate” to buy insurance while keeping the rule that no preexisting conditions can be excluded. This is a recipe for disaster as people will only now sign up if they get sick, and insurers stand to lose billions. This alone GUARANTEES skyrocketing insurance rates to cover for these losses.
  7. Gives the wealthiest groups millions of dollars in tax cuts at the expense of everyone else in higher rates/less coverage
  8. CBO estimates 24 million folks will lose their insurance.

As bad as this bill was, the GOP Freedom Caucus still felt this package was “too generous” and wanted even more cuts- to the point where moderate Republicans were now refusing to vote for this.

Trump promised he would fix the health care problems, but this bill makes things far worse. Makes you wonder if he even took the time to read it.

Now he says he will just let Obamacare implode on it’s own- walking away from the problem like a quitter instead of a dedicated elected official trying to help those who elected him into office.

Why not work to repair Obamacare to solve the problems instead of trying to just slap together a toxic inferior replacement? The answer is they want tax cuts more than they want to create a true working and acceptable healthcare plan. Thanks to the numerous angry town halls of their own constituents yelling at them to come up with a REAL solution or leave Obamacare alone, they knew they’d be in big trouble if they went ahead with this “repeal/replace” charade.

Former Speaker of the House John Boehner’s speech on Obamacare now fits the Republican American Health Care Act (AHCA) like a glove:

 

 

Republicans now OWN the healthcare issue and pressure needs to be kept on them to provide a solution that works for the majority, not just their wealthy elite donors.

 

One of the Toughest Jobs Compared to Others

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Spending any time at a hospital in a critical care or step down area for patients who need a higher level of monitoring quickly reveals the level of effort, stamina, patience, skills, resilience, and social skills among other qualities necessary to do the job of nurses.

One of the great social past times are people commiserating about how tough or difficult their job is. Either the hours are too long, the boss or co workers can be a pain, the pay isn’t enough, and so on and so forth.

The likely truth is, if most of us had to spend even a day or two having to take on the roles of nurses in critical care areas, the vast majority of folks would see how much easier their job is compared to nursing and go back to their jobs with a new attitude.

Nurses can have the worst bosses of all – bad patients, and they have to treat them with respect and courtesy no matter how surly, insulting, threatening, or condescending the patients attitude, and that’s in addition to the organizational/corporate bad bosses in the medical hierarchy.

Even without problem patients with bad attitudes, there are patients with a host of physical ailments that have to be addressed which many of us would much rather avoid.

A couple of years back I was reading the journal entry of a nurse who noted that she had to clean up after a patient who had explosive diarrhea. That was during the time I was considering a career switch to being an investment adviser- which meant switching gears to sales and cold calls and door knocking on strangers homesĀ  depending on which company I would get hired at. I knew the pay would be primarily commission based and it would be a hard slog before building up enough clients to generate enough regular commission to pay all the bills. I was feeling a bit apprehensive about taking this on, but when I read that nurse’s entry, I knew that no matter how many difficulties this new career would entail, it would never be as difficult as cleaning up after someone with explosive diarrhea, and it put all my previous concerns in a different perspective. This is just one of many unsavory jobs that nurses have.

They also have to engage in the drama related to all the patients and their families. Every patient’s problem has a back story and some have very active families worried about their loved one. Nurses have to be the ambassadors for the doctors giving patients and family the latest status on the situation. This is no easy task when a nurse has several patients and they all have family members present and they ALL think they need immediate attention. The fact that nurses can do this without blowing a fuse and running out of the room screaming is a testament to their abilities.

Of course some similar hardships and stresses are shared by other health tech aides dealing with the common denominator of people in need of medical assistance.

They are typically overworked, understaffed, and definitely underpaid. Faced with all the emotional, physical, and psychological duress of dealing with these issues day after day, it’s no wonder some nurses develop a cold exterior and become the prototype for a “Nurse Ratched“.

Ratched

 

That said, it is all the more amazing when nurses can encounter all these stressors and challenges and continue to exude all the warm open heart, caring, and grace that they first started out with……angels in our midst.

We the healthy typically take our health for granted until one day we find that it isn’t there anymore and find ourselves at the mercy of getting help from others. We should all be grateful that there are those who chose the healthcare profession to be there for us in our time of need- and so many do it willingly and lovingly despite the numerous challenges they face.

We the healthy should also be cognizant of our good health and give daily thanks for the ability to wake up, rise out of bed, move, and fend for ourselves under our own power and will. These abilities are not a permanent “given” and we need to always remember to enjoy “today” when there are no problems.