Morning Joe Unleashes Epic Rant on GOP Liars: My Party is Going STRAIGHT TO HELL’

In the four unbearably long months that Donald Trump has been president his administration has achieved nothing but scandal and worldwide embarrassment. However, the biggest threat to Trump’s presidency and the Republican Party has always been the prospect of other Republicans abandoning him to save their own necks. Until that happens he faces only moderate risk from the criticism of Democrats.

Joe Scarborough

Well, the GOP dam is about to burst. The flood of Republicans distancing themselves from Trump is growing. For the most part that’s due to the tsunami of evidence accumulating about his unsavory connections to Russia. And his own statements that amount to confessions of obstruction of justice don’t endear him to his colleagues either. But while Russia is the most troubling of Trump’s basket of scandals, it isn’t the only one.

Friday morning a prominent Republican and MSNBC TV anchor was through with the brazen dishonesty of Trump’s brand of Republicanism. Joe Scarborough shocked his Morning Joe panel by firing off an impassioned commentary (video below). The trigger was Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney. At a Senate hearing Mulvaney flatly declared that Trump’s proposed budget would not cut Medicare. That’s an assertion that is plainly contradicted by reality. Or as Scarborough out it, it’s a “certifiable lie.” And that was just the beginning.

Scarborough continued with the question that formed the basis of his righteous rant. “Why do the Republicans,” he asked emphatically, “keep looking into cameras and lie?” It would be too easy to reply that “that’s all they’ve got,” or “it’s in their blood.” Scarborough himself couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer. But his exasperation was showing. He railed against his party pals saying that:

“You’re cutting $850 billion in Medicare for the poorest of the poor. If you want to do it, embrace it. Don’t lie about it. Stop lying about it. We know you’re lying about it. We’re not stupid. And you Republicans in the House have been lying non-stop.” […]

“It’s so maddening. This is my party. My party is going straight to hell politically. They really are. They’re going straight to hell. They have embraced the coarsening of culture where the truth means absolutely nothing.”

This is the kind political crack in the wall that precedes massive defections. And it isn’t just limited to a specific policy. Scarborough made a point of connecting the lies of the GOP with its leader. Saying that “I understand Donald Trump lies all the time,” Scarborough recognized that the fish stinks from the head. And he warned his party peers that “You are selling your soul if you just keep lying about things.”

The only question now is how long it will take for the retreat to reach a tipping point. No elected Republican is willing to lose their seat to defend a crumbling administration that is mired in accusations of criminal conduct with hints of treason. When the light of truth is switched on they will scurry to political safety like startled cockroaches. The thing that voters will need to remember is that, even in their darkened crevices, they are still cockroaches.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump’s Efforts to Sabotage ObamaCare Now Include Bribing Health Insurance Companies

Donald Trump made repealing the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) a key plank in his campaign platform. It became the first legislative project of his administration. But after four months of his presidency he has failed to deliver on his promises. Consequently, he is seeking other routes to force his anti-healthcare policies onto a nation that wants to keep and improve ObamaCare.

Donald Trump

Trump has repeatedly claimed that ObamaCare is dead. It isn’t. However, Trump is doing everything in his power to murder it. Just his false characterizations of it being in a “death spiral” makes insurance carriers nervous and unwilling to expose themselves to that artificially created risk.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Trump has approached health insurance providers with an offer to put more money in their pockets. The proposal involves the funds paid by the government for the premium subsidies that make health insurance affordable for low-income Americans. These are called “cost-sharing reductions,” or CSRs. Trump has been threatening to cut off this funding in his quest to cripple ObamaCare. But his offer comes with a caveat. In exchange for continuing the CSRs, the providers must support his wildly unpopular bill to kill ObamaCare. That’s the bill that recently passed in the House of Representatives. The Senate is not expected to take it up. So offering to retain the CSRs in exchange for political support amounts to a bribe.

What’s more, Trump is effectively admitting that he is lying about ObamaCare being dead. His threat to ax CSRs undercuts the claim that insurance marketplaces are collapsing on their own. The Times notes that the more likely cause of chaos in the industry is Trump himself:

“Health insurers across the country are making plans to dramatically raise Obamacare premiums or exit marketplaces amid growing exasperation with the Trump administration’s erratic management, inconsistent guidance and seeming lack of understanding of basic healthcare issues.

“At the same time, state insurance regulators — both Democrat and Republican — have increasingly concluded they cannot count on the Trump administration to help them ensure that consumers will have access to a health plan next year. […]

“Instead, according to many officials, it is the Trump administration that is driving much of the current instability by refusing to commit to steps to keep markets running, such as funding aid for low-income consumers or enforcing penalties for people who go without insurance.”

Trump’s Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, Seema Verma, made the politically motivated bribe in a recent meeting with providers. According to the Times she told them that Trump “would fund the CSRs if insurers supported the House Republican bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.” But the providers were less than receptive. In fact, they later signed on to a letter sent to the Senate spelling out their concerns. The signatories include a broad array on health industry players. They include: America’s Health Insurance Plans, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Benefits Council, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Federation of American Hospitals, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The preamble to their letter says that:

“[W]e are writing again to you as leaders in Congress to express our serious concerns about the continued uncertainty around funding for cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments. There now is clear evidence that this uncertainty is undermining the individual insurance market for 2018 and stands to negatively impact millions of people.”

In addition to using the CSRs to bribe insurance companies, Trump has used them to blackmail Congress. Politico reports that he is employing a tactic aimed at forcing Democrats to negotiate. Even though “Many advisers oppose the move because they worry it would backfire politically if people lose their insurance or see huge premium spikes and blame the White House.”

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

In any case, it’s a cynical move where the potential victims are not members of Congress, but average Americans. Trump is holding a virtual gun to the heads of citizens and telling Congress he’ll shoot if they don’t pass his bill. Between that threat and his bribery of insurance carriers, Trump’s proving that he couldn’t care less about the American people. They are merely hostages in his quest to give the wealthy tens of thousands of dollars in tax cuts. And if 24 million people lose their health insurance, that isn’t his problem.

UPDATE 5/22/17: Democrats in Congress are requesting information and documents pertaining to this attempted bribe/hostage taking by the Trump administration.

GOP Rep Gets His Ass Handed to Him By an Angry Veteran Over TrumpCare

Last week Republicans in the House of Representatives narrowly passed their bill to repeal ObamaCare. Their alleged plan to replace it has been widely criticized as failing to provide coverage for most Americans, particularly those with low incomes, preexisting conditions, and seniors.

TrumpCare

As a result, they have been greeted with anger when returning to their home districts. Their constituents are well aware that gutting ObamaCare means the loss of coverage for themselves, their families, and their friends and neighbors.

At a town hall for Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) one constituent was especially upset. She let Reed know, in no uncertain terms, what she thought of his vote to take away the health insurance of Americans like herself. In a viral video she began by saying that:

“I’m a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and I have single payer [healthcare]. It has saved my life four times.”

She went on to note that single payer plans operate differently than conventional policies from insurance companies. They are patient driven, not profit driven. She lamented the Republican efforts that put money before the welfare of people. The Veterans Administration is an example of single payer healthcare. And despite recent reports of problems at the V.A., it is still overwhelmingly popular among those it serves. Most vets get prompt and effective care.

Watch this righteously outraged constituent hand Rep. Reed his ass:

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

A Fox News Host Tells the Truth About GOP Healthcare Bill – Gets Slammed By Co-Hosts

The Republican bill to repeal ObamaCare squeaked by Thursday in the House of Representatives. Not surprisingly, it received no votes at all from Democrats determined to protect access to healthcare. The independent analyses of the legislation are virtually unanimous that it will result in higher premiums and fewer services. The projected number of people covered by insurance would decline by twenty-four million or more. Virtually every consumer healthcare advocacy group has come out against the bill. Rep. Jim Cooper compiled a list of fifty such groups that include AARP, AMA, American Cancer Society, and Families USA.

Fox News Juan Williams

Of course Fox News still leans decidedly toward the Republican view. Their reports are unabashedly anti-ObamaCare. Since the House vote, Fox News has been portraying it as a major victory for Donald Trump. Never mind that it still has a long and arduous path to becoming law. The Senate is already predicting that the House bill will not even be brought up. Instead, they will draft their own legislation, which will likely be unacceptable to House conservatives.

In the midst of the debate, one of the co-hosts of The Five on Fox News managed to get worked up about the misinformation surrounding coverage of the bill (video below). Juan Williams broke from the mandatory Fox orthodoxy to unleash a stream of truth-telling not often seen on Fox. He began by declaring that GOP bill was “a fraud.” He continued with criticisms aimed directly at Trump:

“This is a guy who didn’t get anything done. No legislative accomplishments the first 100 days. Desperate for something that he can call a victory.”

At that point Williams was interrupted by co-host Meghan McCain. She wondered “Then why are Democrats so hysterical today if nothing happened?” Williams ignored her question, but the answer was pretty obvious. Democrats, and most Americans, are outraged by the efforts of the GOP to throw millions off of their healthcare plans. Just because Republicans haven’t yet achieved success doesn’t mean that the attempt isn’t reprehensible. But Williams kept his stride saying that:

“Here’s the details you have not heard about, America. Uninsured, more uninsured people. … If you’re a senior in this country, so many older people voted for President Trump. Guess what? Now you can be charged five times more for your medical coverage. … Hospitals are going to pay more for Medicare. … What about the poor? Paying more for premiums and deductions. It’s a fraud!”

And that’s about as far as Williams was allowed to go. He was pounced on by the other four conservative panelists on the program. (That’s why every panel on Fox News is heavily over-weighted with wingnuts). The subsequent shouting and cross-talk made everyone unintelligible, thereby suppressing Williams’ arguments.

The last thing Fox News wants is for reasonable presentations of progressive policies to get on the air. And if they manage to slip through, they must be squashed with all due haste. Even if that means devolving into childish tantrums that prevent any meaningful discussion. That tactic works for Fox because it silences views they oppose while titillating their drama-hungry viewers. It’s the Fox way.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Sean Spicer: It’s ‘Literally Impossible’ to Analyze Trump Care’s Costs, But We’ll Vote on it Anyway

Word on the street is that Congress will vote on Donald Trump’s proposal to repeal ObamaCare on Thursday. The Republicans are claiming that they have enough votes for passage, which they’ve claimed, wrongly, before. But what makes this vote so extraordinary is that no one – not Congress, not Trump, no one – knows precisely what this bill will cost, or even what’s in it.

Fibby Spice Sean Spicer

On Wednesday Press Secretary Sean Spicer took questions from reporters about the bill (video below). His confession that the bill’s costs and contents are unknowable make a mockery of the GOP’s legislative process. When asked whether the funding in the bill would be sufficient to cover people with preexisting conditions, Spicer said that:

“There are so many variables that are unknown that to make an analysis of that level of precision seems almost impossible … For someone to know how many people that is, what number of states are going to receive a waiver, ask for it and receive a waiver, is literally impossible at this point. So to do an analysis of any level of factual basis would be literally not possible.”

In one respect, it’s commendable that Spicer was honest enough to admit that he had no idea what the bill’s financial impact would be. However, the fact that neither he, nor the White House, nor Congress could do an analysis, but they still insisted on voting, is the height of political absurdity. Spicer actually “guaranteed” that everyone with preexisting conditions would “be fine.” But by his own admission he has no way of determining whether or not that’s true.

While the White House may be unable to analyze the financial impact of TrumpCare, other more reputable organizations seem capable of doing so. As reported by Talking Points Memo:

“The AARP’s Public Policy Institute wrote Thursday that ‘We project that if states return to pre-ACA high-risk pools in 2019, as proposed, high-risk pool premiums for people with pre-existing conditions could be as high as $25,700 annually.’

“An amendment to the American Health Care Act would allow states to eliminate Obamacare’s price protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, if the states establish high-risk pools for those individuals in their place. Critics say those pools make insurance unsustainably expensive for sick people.”

So it isn’t really impossible to analyze TrumpCare after all. It’s just inconvenient. That’s because most independent analyses confirm that it would raise premiums to record highs. The result would be that tens of millions of people who are currently insured would lose their coverage. That’s why the GOP-run Congress is rushing to vote before the Congressional Budget Office can issue a report. And they expect their members to comply and vote as instructed. Despite not knowing what the hell they’re voting on. That, America, is your Republican Congress at work.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Right-Wingers Display Their Perverse Family Values By Attacking Jimmy Kimmel

On Monday night Jimmy Kimmel devoted a portion of his monologue to explaining why he was not on the air last week. Shortly after the birth of his son it was discovered that the child had a serious heart defect that required emergency surgery. A clearly emotional Kimmel told the story (video below) of how the problem was discovered and fixed. Thankfully, the child is expected to make a full recovery.

Jimmy Kimmel

Sadly, it seems that nothing will fix the heart defects in conservatives who wasted no time in attacking Kimmel. Their outrage was incited by Kimmel’s audacity to advocate for all Americans to have access to the life-saving healthcare that his family had. What follows are some examples of what Republicans consider family values:

In addition to these sick wingnuts, Media Matters found several other repulsive characters who believe that only kids whose parents have money should be allowed to live. It’s an ideology that is right in line with a party that opposes food and shelter for underprivileged children as well. It’s aligned with the policies of GOP representatives like Robert Pittenger (R-NC). He thinks that families with sick kids can just move to states with more compassionate healthcare. That, of course would mean selling their home, leaving family and friends, and hoping they could find a new job. His colleague Mo Brooks of Alabama is no better. He offered a ludicrous defense of TrumpCare by saying that…

“It will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives.”

Huh? So in Brooks’ view, Kimmel’s infant son was not living a good life. That evil urchin. Serves him right. And what does Kimmel’s sad story have to with healthcare anyway? That, at least, is the position of Fox News who managed to do a segment on the monologue without ever mentioning ObamaCare or Kimmel’s plea to support it. Maybe Fox should ask President Obama about that:

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Whines Because ‘Democrats Are Smiling’ – No, They’re Laughing at You, Loser

The failure of Donald Trump and the Republican Party to pass their anti-ObamaCare bill is still stinging. Maybe a bill that would cancel health insurance for twenty-four million people was never a good idea. It had a pitiful seventeen percent approval rating in recent polls. Consequently, the prospects for its passage were dim from the start. But that didn’t sway the President and his party who are more focused on cutting taxes for their wealthy pals than helping average Americans.

Donald Trump

Having had a couple of days to think about, Trump is still peeved that his incompetence has been displayed to the world. So naturally he is blaming everybody else. In another of his morning tweets the President lashed out at those he feels betrayed him:

First of all, Democrats are smiling across the country, not just in D.C. And it isn’t just Democrats. All Americans who appreciate having access to affordable healthcare are glad that the GOP bill never got off the ground. Secondly, it wasn’t the House Freedom Caucus or the Heritage Foundation that doomed the bill. It was the short-sighted thinking of Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, who thought they could muscle through sham legislation that achieved none of what they promised. Despite their public pronouncements, they never intended to insure all Americans. They never tried to hold costs down. And they never sought bipartisan consensus to attract Democratic support.

Trump’s tweet exhibits the petty vengefulness that is the hallmark of his flawed character. He’s attacking his closest allies because they weren’t a hundred percent obedient. Heaven forbid he should accept any responsibility for his own political fiasco. What’s more, he’s lamenting that Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare were saved. According to most polls, both are supported by large majorities of the population. They would certainly regard saving them as admirable, not lamentable.

Trump’s disconnection with the majority of the American people, and even his own party, is unusually vast. He appears to have a severe case of ideological tunnel-blindness that has warped his worldview. And by announcing that on Twitter he drew a response from the online community that puts him in his place. If he’s really interested in why “Democrats are smiling” here are a few of the reasons provided by twitterers:

Trump’s arrogance and inability to accept defeat continue to alienate him from most voters. It’s a big part of the reason he has the most unfavorable ratings of any president before him. His response to having been rebuked by the his congressional colleagues, and the voting public, is to hope that ObamaCare “explodes” and causes great harm to innocent people. That’s not leadership. That’s the response of a vindictive narcissist whose only concern is the feeding and welfare of his ego.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Trump Hates America, and His Pathetic ‘Leadership’ on Healthcare Is Proof Of It

The failure of TrumpCare is more than a political pratfall by Donald Trump and the Republican Party. It is an object lesson in the pettiness of a vengeful, self-absorbed man who couldn’t care less about the welfare of the American people.

Donald Trump

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump marketed himself as a master negotiator and dealmaker. But when push came to shove Trump couldn’t close the deal on what was the highest priority on his agenda. Instead, the man responsible for six bankruptcies failed yet again. He couldn’t move the ball across the goal line with a majority in both chambers of Congress. But what’s worse is that his reaction betrays a spiteful disregard for the citizens he purports to serve.

In a video posted on the White House website, the President made some brief comments about the TrumpCare debacle. True to form, he blamed Democrats for his own failings and those of his party. Never mind that Democrats could not have blocked passage if Republicans were united – or competent. The truth is that the GOP didn’t want to pass the bill because it was so transparently awful. They knew that their constituents were opposed to it. What legislator in their right mind would vote for a bill that had only seventeen percent approval?

However, the most disturbing part of Trump’s video statement is his virtual giddiness at the prospect of people suffering and Democrats getting blamed. He repeatedly made false assertions that “ObamaCare is exploding” (it’s not). His takeaway on that was a perverse pride in predicting that Americans will suffer:

“I think what will happen is ObamaCare, unfortunately, will explode. It’s gonna have a very bad year.”

Trump took solace in his estimation that TrumpCare’s demise was “the best thing that could happen.” So he believe’s that ObamaCare will inflict great pain on people, but that that’s a good thing. It’s a position that only a sadist could support. And his reasoning centered on a political analysis wherein Democrats would be held accountable for ObamaCare.

“I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, because now they own ObamaCare. They own it. One hundred percent own it. And this is not a Republican healthcare. This is not anything but a Democrat healthcare. And they have ObamaCare for a little while longer until it ceases to exist. Which it will at some point in the near future. And just remember, this is not our bill, this is their bill.”

Seriously, what reality is Trump living in? Democrats have always “owned” ObamaCare. It didn’t get a single Republican vote. It was drafted and passed by Democrats. It’s nicknamed after a Democratic president fer chrissakes. What’s more, Democrats are proud of the bill. They are anxious to be associated with its historic drop in the uninsured rate. They happily note that it has resulted in the slowest growth of healthcare costs in decades. And the fact that its approval rating in recent polls is at its highest level ever doesn’t hurt.

Republicans had eight years to come up with a viable alternative to ObamaCare. They never even bothered. Rather, they held meaningless votes (more than sixty of them) to either repeal or cripple ObamaCare. But they only did that because they knew that Obama would veto anything that reached his desk. Now, with a Republican in the White House, they are cowering in fear of voting for something the country opposes. Even press secretary Sean Spicer called them out before the vote. “You’ve taken a bunch of these free votes when it didn’t matter because you didn’t have a Republican president,” he chided. “Well, this is a live ball now. This is for real.” That obviously didn’t work.

Also in Trump’s video, he tried to make excuses for his failure by rewriting his history on the subject. “I never said repeal [ObamaCare] and replace it within sixty-four days,” he whined. That’s true, he never said “sixty-four days.” But he did say “immediately” and “on my first day in office” and that “it’s gonna be so easy.” That obviously didn’t work either.

Trump’s habit of lying, making excuses, and blaming others is on vivid display here. And his utter lack of leadership is appalling. A real leader would not threaten people with predictions of pain and suffering. He would not find comfort in the hardship of others. A real leader would face reality and then seek to mitigate any harm that he perceived. He would accept the circumstances and try to make best of them, even if it was not what he favored.

For example, if Trump thinks that ObamaCare is going to result in higher premiums, he should advocate greater participation. That would increase the risk pool and keep premiums down. If he’s concerned about insurance companies offering plans, he should help to create incentives for them to do so. He’s already given up on “repeal and replace” so he should be focusing on helping people rather than hovering over them like a vulture anxiously anticipating fresh corpses.

That, however, is not Trump’s style. He is a petulant, vindictive, narcissist who throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. And it doesn’t matter who he hurts. He is as poor a leader as he is a dealmaker. The battle over healthcare has been an instructive experience that lays open the festering flaws in Trump’s character – or more accurately – the lack of it.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Watch Trump WHINE That America Will Remember Obama and ObamaCare Fondly – And He’s Right

Donald Trump has commenced his sales pitch for the Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It’s generous to call it an alternative when it mainly guts the existing plan and grants millionaires a huge tax break. Nevertheless, Trump went into his negative branding routine, calling ObamaCare a disaster and falsely asserting that it is imploding.

Obama Trump

There is little in the GOP plan that can be identified as being beneficial to American citizens. But in a White House photo-op, the President heralded it as godsend. He claimed that competition was going to bring the cost of health care way down. “It will be a thing of beauty,” he said. But he didn’t explain why that would happen in a future without ObamaCare when it never happened prior to ObamaCare. In fact, costs increased at a far greater rate before the ACA than after.

He also claimed that the ACA covers very few people. That flies in the face of reality. Since the introduction of ObamaCare more than 20 million additional Americans have healthcare coverage. As demonstrated by his ludicrous crowd estimates at his inauguration, Trump has trouble with numbers. However, his ability to whine is firmly in tact. Predicting that the public will react negatively to RepubliCare, Trump sought to preemptively dismiss their judgment:

“So the press is making it look so wonderful. So that if we end it, everyone’s going to say, ‘Oh, remember how great ObamaCare used to be? Remember how wonderful it used to be? It used to be so great?’ It’s a little bit like President Obama. When he left, people liked him. When he was here, people didn’t like him so much. That’s the way life goes. That’s human nature.”

First of all, Obama’s approval rating never dipped below 50 percent in the last six months of his presidency. The nation’s appreciation for him did not start after he left office. And when he did leave his approval peaked at 59 percent. ObamaCare is also viewed more favorably than ever now. People don’t have to wait until it’s gone to miss it. They appreciate it now, especially in contrast to the Republican alternative. So Trump’s lament that everyone’s gonna “remember how great ObamaCare used to be,” is well placed.

Trump then returned to his robotic and hollow repetition that “ObamaCare is a disaster,” for which he offered no proof. All the available evidence points to a program that has exceeded the most optimistic projections. And it continues to gain popularity. This year ObamaCare had more enrollments than any year since it began.

Now that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has completed its analysis of the the Republican plan, a fair comparison can be made. The CBO projects that 24 million people will lose their healthcare coverage by 2026 under the GOP’s plan. And while premiums will decline marginally for young, healthy enrollees, they will skyrocket for seniors and low income earners. Meanwhile, the wealthy will get massive tax cuts that will make it even harder to provide coverage via Medicaid and Medicare. The GOP proposal will cost those programs nearly $900 billion.

Trump’s point men on the issue immediately rejected the CBO report without having read it. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made a blanket condemnation of the CBO’s competence and accuracy. And Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, spewed a litany of lies aimed at discrediting the CBO.

This is is pretty much all the Trump administration can do at this point. The facts are aligned against them. But it’s encouraging that even Trump realizes that American’s have positive views of both Obama and his healthcare policies. He can’t deny the popularity of a program that made insurance available to millions for the first time. But he sure does whine tremendously goodly.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.

Paul Ryan’s Health Insurance Seminar Proves One Thing: He Has No Friggin’ Idea How Insurance Works

Thursday morning Republicans rolled out a presentation of their long-awaited alternative to the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It came in the form of a lecture by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. He stood before the class and gave a PowerPoint aided speech that supposedly spelled out everything you might need to know about the GOP plan.

Paul Ryan

There was just one problem. Well actually, way more than one. But in the broadest terms the single most problematic part of Ryan’s lecture was that it made no sense whatsoever. It failed to address how it would cover everyone who is presently covered. There were no financing specifics to explain how it would be funded. But the most prominent flaw in his presentation was that it revealed that he has no idea what insurance is. Nor does he have any notion of how it works. Ryan summed up his criticism of ObamaCare saying that:

“The whole idea of Obamacare is … the people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick. It’s not working, and that’s why it’s in a death spiral.”

Let that sink in. What Ryan is saying is not that ObamaCare doesn’t work, but that the whole concept of insurance doesn’t work. Every insurance product, whether it’s for healthcare or auto accidents, operates on the same principle. Many people pay into a pool that is used to cover the costs of the unfortunates who suffer a loss. Insurance depends on the fact that most policy holders will not have a claim (i.e. healthy people). Therefore, their premiums pay for folks who do have claims (i.e. the sick or injured).

Paul Ryan doesn’t seem to grasp that concept. To demonstrate the depth of his confusion, he offered a little example:

[Video below, starts at 14:30]: “Take a small business that has forty employees. Let’s say that four people in that business get cancer. Well, under that business, that business has to pay for all those cancer patients, all those cancer treatments. So the other thirty-six people in that forty person pool get hit with much, much higher premiums to pay for the four that got cancer. That’s how the insurance works today. And that is one of the reasons why this thing is going bankrupt.

“Here’s our solution. Let’s just make sure we cover the people who have preexisting conditions. Make sure reinsurance or risk pools kick in for those four people in that small business that get cancer. Subsidize that coverage and what you do by doing that is you dramatically lower and stabilize the price of insurance for everybody else.”

Let’s break that down. Ryan says that the practice of insuring people by having many people contribute to a risk pool is going bankrupt. He might want to run that by the multi-billion dollar, highly profitable insurance corporations for confirmation. Then he proposes that only the sick people get federally subsidized insurance. That leaves the population of healthy people with lower premiums. That’s actually true. And it makes the insurance companies wealthier because they are only covering people who don’t need any coverage.

But Ryan doesn’t say where the government would get the money to pay for the cancer patients in his scenario. Ordinarily those funds would come from the healthy people that he just removed from the picture.

So one of three things would happen. Either the government would have to bear the total cost of healthcare for America’s sickest population and incur massive debts. Or everyone would have to be taxed to finance the coverage for those patients. Or the sick people would just die. Ironically, there is a germ of a real solution in there. Universal healthcare would provide all Americans with coverage and spread the costs so broadly across the populace that the premiums would be easily manageable.

But that’s not what Ryan and company are proposing. They want to give all the healthy people cheap insurance and burden the sick with unpayable bills. That’s the solution that is being advanced by Republicans in Congress and has already been endorsed by President Trump. If you have the intestinal fortitude, you can watch the entire presentation by Ryan and see if it makes any sense to you. If not, stay away because intestinal maladies are not covered in the GOP plan.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.