ObamaCare Signups Breaking Records Despite Trump’s Sabotage and Declaring it Dead

Last month Donald Trump gave a definitive assessment of what he considered the status of ObamaCare. “ObamaCare is finished,” he began. “It’s dead. It’s gone. It’s no longer – You shouldn’t even mention it, it’s gone. There is no such thing as ObamaCare anymore.” Never mind that he sounded like the Monty Python sketch about the deceased parrot. In this case, the departed bird is actually showing signs of life.

Obama Trump Tweet

In fact, the number of people signing up for the Affordable Care Act this year is exceeding all records. It’s still the first week of open enrollment, but this surge is an unmistakably positive sign. As reported in The Hill:

“The surge in sign-ups, which was confirmed by an administration official, comes despite fears from Democrats that enrollment would fall off due to the Trump administration’s cutbacks in outreach and advertising.

“On the first day of enrollment alone, Nov. 1, one source close to the process told The Hill that more than 200,000 people selected a plan for 2018, compared with about 100,000 last year. More than 1 million people visited healthcare.gov that day, compared to about 750,000 last year, the source said.”

In one respect these numbers should not be all that surprising. The polls show that ObamaCare has an overwhelmingly positive approval rating. When asked if Trump should make the ACA work seventy-one percent said that he should. That includes a plurality (48%) of Republicans.

Which makes it all the more puzzling that Trump and the GOP are trying so hard to kill the program. They attempted three separate votes to do so, and all failed. So Trump took it upon himself to try to sabotage the healthcare plan. Among the steps he took to deliberately destroy a popular policy:

  • Trump pulled the plug on all Obamacare outreach and advertising in the crucial final days of the 2017 enrollment season.
  • Trump attempted to bribe health insurers to support his bill to kill ObamaCare.
  • Trump misdirected funds intended to encourage enrollment into a public relations plan aimed at strangling it.
  • Trump stopped paying the cost-sharing reduction [CSR] payments that subsidize many individual policies.

The resiliency of ObamaCare demonstrates the enduring appreciation the American people have for its benefits. They continue to support it, and even to expand it. That’s why the movement to implement a universal Medicare-for-all plan continues to pick up steam. At the same time, Trump’s cynical and destructive efforts to kill ObamaCare will continue to fail. The people recognize it as a hostile assault on their interests and welfare. And it’s one of the primary reasons he is suffering with such historically low approval ratings.

Open enrollment began on November 1, and it continues until December 15 (some states have extended that date. Be sure to enroll or renew within those dates. And since the Trump administration has slashed promotional efforts to inform people, please pass this information on to everyone you know.

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

Here is Trump being an asshole:

Trump pathetically brags on Twitter about his many failures while swinging wildly at the press

Although it may seem like an eternity, it’s only been nine months since Donald Trump was inaugurated. In that time he has managed to take the country from a respected leader of the world community to an embarrassing has been. He has emboldened and praised our enemies and insulted and alienated our allies. His infantile tantrums have brought us to the brink or war. And his domestic agenda is focused narrowly on making life better for the wealthy at the expense of everybody else.

Donald Trump

At the same time, Trump has exalted himself with delusional claims that he has done more in his short tenure than any other president in history. But with a couple of tweets on Sunday morning he actually proved the opposite. The tweets were directed at Peter Baker of the New York Times. His latest column addressed Trump’s sorry record of “achievement” with the headline: “Promise the moon? Easy for trump. but now comes the reckoning.” Baker compared the President’s campaign rhetoric with his results so far. It’s not a pretty picture.

Baker’s article makes the unarguable point that Trump has fallen short on his most prominent campaign promises. While he is trying hard to sabotage ObamaCare, he has neither repealed nor replaced it. There is no border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. NAFTA is still the law of the land. ISIS has not been defeated. His Muslim ban is repeatedly blocked by the courts. The nuclear deal with Iran is still effective, although subject to a decision by Congress. Also punted to Congress was DACA, the program that deferred deportation of child immigrants. Recall that Trump had insisted that all eleven million undocumented immigrants “have to go.”

Responding to Baker’s analysis, Trump once again took his phone to his throne and fired off a couple of missives that were intended to set the record straight. However, anyone with a reasonable grasp of current events, or an Internet connection, would quickly see his departure from reality.

There are reasons that the “failing” New York Times (which is enjoying record digital subscriptions) didn’t mention the items on Trump’s list. It’s because they can hardly be described as successes for his floundering administration. Let’s take them each in order:

  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Trump didn’t terminate it because it was never ratified.
  • The Paris Accords on Climate Change: This wasn’t terminated either. While he did withdraw from the agreement on a federal level, the agreement stands with 195 other nations committed to its objectives. And fourteen U.S. states, along with other cities and companies, have vowed to adhere to the accords.
  • The Keystone XL pipeline: Despite Trump’s approval of the project, it is still mired in lawsuits that have blocked its progress. What’s more, the company building it is reconsidering whether it’s even commercially viable.
  • EPA Cancelations: This is something Trump has actually done. But making the nation’s air and water more poisonous, and damaging environmental sustainability, is hardly a success.
  • Supreme Court: Unfortunately, Justice Gorsuch is now sitting on the Supreme Court. But that was the doing of Sen. Mitch McConnell, who stole the seat from President Obama. And he couldn’t even get Gorsuch confirmed without throwing out the senate rules.

So in the space of two tweets (which were mysteriously twenty minutes apart), Trump proved that he’s a dismal failure. And these are his own examples of alleged accomplishments. But he only validated the experts Baker quoted in his article who said that Trump used “bluff and bombast substituting for actual deeds,” or that he’s “a choke artist at critical moments.” He’s relied on a record number of executive orders (forty-nine to date) to give the illusion of productivity. Remember when he castigated Obama’s executive orders as a “major power grabs of authority”?

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

For a more comprehensive accounting of Trump’s ineffectiveness, see PolitiFact’s tracking of his campaign promises. It completes the picture of a wholly unqualified fraud who was never fit to serve as president. And it further illustrates just how mentally unstable he is for trying to boast about nonexistent accomplishments. The combination of his incompetence and malignant narcissism is a recipe for an expedited apocalypse.

In his own words: Trump reveals the real, spiteful reason he is sabotaging ObamaCare

On Wednesday Donald Trump signed an executive order that significantly damages the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). It’s purpose is to force people into the old “junk” plans that failed to provide necessary coverage. What’s more, it will remove the protections for people with preexisting conditions. And he wasn’t finished with his mission to deliberately destroy ObamaCare.

Donald Trump

Later the same day the White House released a statement advancing their assault on affordable healthcare. They announced that the administration would stop paying the cost-sharing reduction [CSR] payments that subsidize many individual policies These subsidies mainly go to lower and middle income families who otherwise would be unable to purchase insurance.

It’s a monstrously cruel decision on Trump’s part that defies reason. Except that Trump took a few questions from reporters Thursday morning wherein he helpfully offered the reason himself (video below):

“If you take a look at CSR payments, that money is going to insurance companies. To prop up insurance companies. That money is going to insurance companies to lift up their stock price. And that’s not what I’m about. Take a look at who those insurance companies support, and I guarantee you one thing. It’s not Donald Trump.”

And there you have it. Trump is taking out his vengeance on an industry that he thinks hasn’t been generous enough to him. Like almost every other decision he makes, it’s all about Trump or go suck an egg. Like his attacks on media that is critical of him, including recent threats to revoke their licenses. That, by the way, ha cannot do because the federal government doesn’t license TV networks or journalists. But never mind the facts, Trump is openly admitting that his healthcare policy is driven by partisan politics and donations.

To make matters worse, the foundation for Trump’s revenge fetish is utterly false. In this morning’s rant he repeatedly complained about insurance companies making too much money. Let’s set aside the inappropriateness of a president castigating an American industry for being successful. Trump is wrong on the facts. The insurance sector’s equity growth over the past three years (14%) has only slightly exceeded that of the S&P 500’s financials index (12.5%). What’s more, his contention that the industry doesn’t support him could not be more off base. A look at the campaign contributions from big insurers shows that Republicans received far more than Democrats. Consequently, since his anger at insurers is so badly misdirected, his actions are just plain nasty and hurtful. And the victims are wholly undeserving of his wrath. That, of course, includes the people whose coverage will now be out reach. According to analysts at CNBC:

“Two months ago, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that individual health plan premiums would be 20 percent higher than originally projected if the [CSR] payments ceased. It also projected that premiums would be 25 percent higher than they otherwise would be by 2020, and that the federal deficit would be increased by almost $200 billion if the subsidies ended.”

Trump promised that he would provide more and better healthcare at lower cost. But his imperial executive actions yesterday ensure that millions will lose their health insurance, those who don’t will pay more, and the nation’s deficit will increase. And by taking this action unilaterally, without any input from the people’s representatives in Congress, Trump is essentially invoking the repeal of ObamaCare without any effort to replace it. It’s a disaster in the making that will be fully owned by Trump and the Republican Party, if they go along with it.

UPDATE: Now Trump is bragging that he hurt an industry that employs hundreds of thousands of Americans. And his reason for hurting it, as stated above, was because he thinks it didn’t support him. That, by the way, is illegal and another to reason to impeach his fat ass.

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

Jimmy Kimmel Pounds Fox News Host as a ‘Phony Little Creep’ for Lying About GOP Healthcare Bill

The feud between talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel and Sen. Bill Cassidy is heating up. Cassidy, co-author of the latest attempt by Republicans to kill ObamaCare, has been clashing with Kimmel over the healthcare bill. It all began when the Senator promised Kimmel that he wouldn’t support any bill that didn’t pass the “Jimmy Kimmel Test.” That was a term Cassidy coined to insure that healthcare legislation prohibited benefit caps and included coverage for preexisting conditions. Those features, among others, were championed by Kimmel following the recent birth of his son with heart defects.

Jimmy Kimmel

When Cassidy’s bill was introduced it notably failed the Kimmel test. While technically containing language referring to preexisting conditions, it allows insurance companies to raise rates on those customers. In effect, they could increase premiums without limit making policies unaffordable. Not surprisingly, Kimmel brought up that failure on his show, pointing out that Cassidy had lied to his face. In response the bill’s authors fired back at Kimmel with more lies and personal attacks. Sen. Lindsay Graham tweeted that Kimmel was offering “FakeNews on steroids.” Cassidy said “I’m sorry [Kimmel] does not understand.” To which Kimmel replied (video below):

“Oh, I get it. I don’t understand because I’m a talk-show host, right? Well then, help me out. Which part don’t I understand? Is it the part where you cut $243 billion from federal health care assistance? Am I not understanding the part where states would be allowed to let insurance companies price you out of coverage for having pre-existing conditions? Maybe I’m not understanding the part of your bill in which federal funding disappears completely after 2026? Or maybe it was the part where the plans are no longer required to pay for essential health benefits, like maternity care or pediatric visits?”

Kimmel went on to ask whether he failed to understand the public reaction to Cassidy’s legislation. He listed more than a dozen respected healthcare organizations who “all vehemently oppose your bill.” They included the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the March of Dimes.

But then Kimmel shifted gears to address some comments made by Brian Kilmeade of Fox News. The co-host of Donald Trump’s favorite TV show, Fox and Friends, lashed out at Kimmel for speaking his mind on a subject that was painfully close to him. Kilmeade said that:

“Sunday’s politically charged Emmys may have been the lowest-rated in history, but that’s not stopping Hollywood elites like comedian Jimmy Kimmel from pushing their politics on the rest of the country.”

Kilmeade was wrong – again. The Emmy broadcast was not the lowest rated in history. But what that has to do with the validity of anything Jimmy Kimmel says is a mystery. However, if that’s the standard Kilmeade wants to use he should note that Kimmel’s ratings have soared during this recent dust-up. Therefore, he is at least as entitled to express his views as Kilmeade does everyday on his pretend news program. What’s more, experts have sided with Kimmel’s analysis over Cassidy’s, and PolitiFact called Cassidy’s remarks “mostly false.” So Kimmel did express his views again Wednesday night in response to Kilmeade:

“Thanks, Brian. That was Brian Kilmeade. And the reason I found this comment to be particularly annoying is because this is a guy, Brian Kilmeade, who whenever I see him kisses my ass like a little boy meeting Batman. He’s such a fan. I think he’s been to the show, he follows me on Twitter. He asked me to write a blurb for his book – which I did, he calls my agent looking for projects. He’s dying to be a member of the ‘Hollywood elite.’ The only reason he’s not a member of the ‘Hollywood elite’ is that no one will hire him to be one!

“And you know, the reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more. Because of that, I’ve learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation. I don’t get anything out of this, Brian, you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you. That is my blurb—that would be my blurb for your next book: ‘Brian Kilmeade is a phony little creep.’”

The whole segment is well worth watching. Kimmel obviously and understandably has a personal attachment to this issue. And, as he he said, the terms of the healthcare bill don’t affect him because he has the resources to take care of whatever his family encounters. His commentaries are on behalf of millions of Americans who stand to suffer if Republicans like Cassidy get their way. Phony creeps like Kilmeade really need to stop harassing caring people like Kimmel who will always win such battles.

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

Trump Threatens to Veto Medicare-For-All, But Gets a Brutal Slapback From Bernie Sanders

In the past couple of weeks, Sen. Bernie Sanders has been aggressively advocating for his proposal to make Medicare available to all Americans. The response from his senate colleagues has been exceedingly positive. He already has about sixteen co-sponsers. When he introduced a similar bill in 2013, he had none.

Bernie Sanders Donald Trump

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump is in panic mode castigating Sanders and his plan to insure everybody. Trump unleashed his typical fury on Twitter saying:

So now Trump is resorting to ultra-hyperbolic language to demonize single-payer healthcare as a “curse.” And the absurdity of telling people not to worry because he will veto it is downright laughable. He obviously doesn’t know what the American people are worried about.

Most polls show that a single-payer plan is broadly favored by a significant majority of voters. The Economist conducted a poll in April that showed sixty percent supporting Medicare-for-All. That included seventy-five percent of Democrats, fifty-eight percent of Independents, and even forty-six percent of Republicans. The poll also broke down the responses by candidate preference, showing support from eighty percent of Hillary Clinton’s voters and forty percent of Trump’s.

Clearly, the American people do not regard Medicare-for-All as a curse. Nor would vetoing the bill ease their worries. And given the level of support, Trump can hardly claim that such a veto would demonstrate that he loves the country and its people. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.

Bernie Sanders took note of Trump’s tweet and had something to say about it as well. He replied with a couple of tweets of his own that put Trump in his place.

Good points. It seems rather surreal to characterize providing health care to everyone as a curse. Particularly since the United States is the only major industrialized country that doesn’t have a national health plan. As a result, we are paying many times more for care and getting less for it.

What’s more, throwing twenty-three million people off of their health plans is an odd way to express your love. Americans are well aware of this. That’s why only seventeen percent supported the Republican bills which deservedly went down to defeat.

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

The people are more tuned into this matter than at any time in the past. If Trump and his GOP cohorts think they can fool the people into accepting their deceptive plots to kill ObamaCare, or oppose Medicare-for-All, they are sadly mistaken. And we won’t have to worry about a presidential veto if Trump isn’t president. So there’s that.

FINALLY: Donald Trump Got Something Right: Republicans ‘Look Like Fools’

During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump thrilled his rally-goers with a typically boastful exclamation. “We’re going to win so much,” he warned, “you’re going to be so sick and tired of winning.” He nailed the “sick and tired” part, but after six months there has been almost nothing that he can claim as a victory.

Donald Trump

Most recently, his mission to repeal ObamaCare failed to pass in a Senate controlled by Republicans. Never mind that the GOP voted dozens of times to kill the popular healthcare plan when Barack Obama was president. They just couldn’t manage to do it with a fellow Republican in the White House with pen in hand.

Trump’s latest failure produced a predictable tantrum on Twitter that did nothing but affirm his affinity for whining. In a five-tweet opus, the crybaby President complained about the Senate’s voting rules and impotently demanded reform.

First of all, last week Republicans brought three separate repeal bills to the floor. They all lost with forty-nine or fewer votes. They only needed fifty-one votes to pass. So Trump’s tirade about the 60-vote rule was utterly irrelevant. There was no such rule in effect. More likely, he was just creating a distraction to take the sting off of yet another embarrassing defeat. So far he has blamed the Democrats, his press secretary, his chief of staff, and now the Republicans. Nothing is ever his fault. But wasn’t he supposed to be the brilliant dealmaker who would get everything he wanted on the strength of his magnetic personality? And . . . so much winning!

The one thing that Trump got right was his assertion that Republicans “look like fools.” And he, of course, is the titular leader of the Republican Party. The GOP’s obsession with killing a bill that polls show is favored by majorities of the public is indeed foolish. It is foolish to try so hard to replace that bill with one that has public approval in the teens. And pushing a proposal that will take insurance away from as many as 32 million people is foolhardy in the extreme.

So why is Trump suddenly ranting about arcane Senate rules that have nothing to do with last week’s vote? The answer is the same as to why Trump does almost anything: He saw it on Fox News. Saturday morning on Fox and Friends, GOP Rep. Sean Duffy was interviewed about the Senate bill’s failure. He dodged the substance of the matter to complain about his feeble senate counterparts. “We’ve passed 200 bills,” he said, “that right now sit in the Senate waiting for them to pass.” And while Duffy blamed the 60-vote rule for that logjam, the responsibility actually lies with Mitch McConnell. As Senate Majority Leader, he controls the calendar and decides what will come up for a vote and when.

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

Clearly, Trump was watching and, as he often does, tweeted what he just saw on TV. And it wasn’t just any news program. It was his favorite show, hosted by the biggest bunch of imbeciles on television. The “Curvy Couch” potatoes on Fox and Friends frequently discharge easily debunked falsehoods in the service of right-wing propaganda. And our incurious president retweets them without the slightest effort to confirm. It’s a cycle that repeats on a nearly daily basis. And it’s the best explanation for why Trump and his Republican colleagues – as Trump himself agrees – look like fools.

Fox News Calls for Trump Dictatorship and More Suffering After ObamaCare Repeal Fails

Late Thursday night the Republican effort to kill ObamaCare met its demise – for the time being. Despite having the majority, the GOP-run Senate couldn’t pass their last ditch scheme to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It’s a dream they’ve salivated over for seven years without doing anything about it. Now their incompetence and callous disregard for people’s well-being has been dealt a well-deserved loss. The vote was 49-51, with Republicans Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain joining all the Democrats.

Fox News Donald Trump

True to form, Fox News went into a total meltdown following the vote. They appeared on the verge of a severe depressive episode. Immediately after the vote Fox News aired the crestfallen remarks of a gloomy Sen. Mitch McConnell in full. Next to speak on the Senate floor was Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer. But Fox didn’t air any of his speech. Instead they cut to a phone-in analysis from daytime anchor Bret Baier. The woman anchoring last night interjected that “It’s a sad day for America.” Fair and balanced.

Perhaps the most repulsive reaction to the GOP’s aborted repeal came from Jesse Watters, co-host of The Five. In a post-vote rant Watters had the audacity to advocate for a Trump tyranny:

“A lot of people wish President Trump was a dictator, maybe we could repeal Obamacare. It would be a lot easier that way.”

He’s right. A lot of people do wish that Trump was a dictator. Starting with Donald Trump. Then add most of the people on Fox News, Trump’s most stalwart fans among the white supremacist community, and the dimwits who still support him after his treasonous betrayal of the country to Russia’s dictator, Vladimir Putin. Fascist minds think alike.

Watters’ reckless comments are emblematic of the dangers that an authoritarian, megalomaniac like Trump represent. The fact that he can get crackpots on Fox News to openly advocate for his elevation to dictator is frightening. But Watters wasn’t alone in making appallingly stupid comments in the hours of grief for Fox. His colleagues at Fox and Friends chimed in with idiotic outbursts of their own. Steve Doocy, always the cock-eyed optimist, found something positive to console the loser President. Doocy said the repeal failure was “good news” for Trump because “It’s gonna continue to be ObamaCare and people who have been suffering will continue.”

Well, isn’t that good news? Republicans like nothing better than seeing people suffer. Trump obviously agrees because he tweeted again his intention to “let ObamaCare implode.” That, of course, would produce unconscionable and unnecessary suffering for millions of Americans. And Trump is doing it on purpose. In fact, he is deliberately sabotaging healthcare for millions. Doocy even admitted that Trump “wants [Obamacare] to fail.” He’s rooting for pain and sickness rather than for the people he’s sworn to protect and defend.

Finally, Brian Kilmeade demonstrated the ignorance that is rampant on Fox News. While complaining about the loss in the Senate, Kilmeade sarcastically congratulated the Democrats who prevailed. In a boneheaded snark he said “Congratulations. The healthy people are paying for the sick people.” You don’t say? What Kilemeade has just done is define in very literal terms exactly what health insurance is. In fact, it’s exactly what all insurance is. But he’s casting it in a negative light as if it should be repudiated.

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

And with that Kilmeade has also demonstrated the pitiful stupidity of Fox News that infects and warps the brains of their glassy-eyed viewers. That’s why it’s so hard to have a rational debate with any of them. They are damaged beyond repair, and they cling to the defects and the lies they are fed by Fox. Fox News has led America into an era that cheers a President who says that he “loves the poorly educated.” Of course he does. No one else would believe his bull. That’s why he is destroying the Department of Education from within. And he’s lucky to have Fox News to make sure there are as many poorly educated Americans as possible.

Trump Admin is Misusing Funds for ObamaCare on Efforts to Sabotage It

For much of his still nascent administration, Donald Trump has sought to portray the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) as dead. It is more of a negative branding campaign than anything connected to facts or reality. The American people have expressed their support for ObamaCare in numerous polls. But Trump is determined to destroy it while promoting his extraordinarily unpopular attempt at repeal and replace.

Donald Trump

The Daily Beast is now reporting that the Trump administration has been misdirecting funds intended to encourage enrollment in ObamaCare. Instead, they have been using it in “a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it.” That violates both the ACA’s legal mandate and the President’s constitutional duty to “faithfully execute the laws of the land.” According to The Daily Beast:

“The strategy has caught the eye of legal experts and Democrats in Congress, who have asked government agencies to investigate whether the administration has misused funds and engaged in covert propaganda in its efforts to damage and overturn the seven-year-old health care law. It’s also roiled Obama administration veterans, who argue that the current White House is not only abdicating its responsibilities to administer the law but sabotaging it in an effort to facilitate its undoing by Congress.”

The Health and Human Services department, under healthcare opposing Trump appointee Tom Price, has been busily producing anti-ObamaCare videos. The videos feature alleged “victims” of ObamaCare. It’s a blatantly one-sided propaganda venture that ignores the millions of people the ACA has helped. And the taxpayer funds diverted to it are substantial, despite its twisted purpose and ineffectiveness:

“Under Secretary Tom Price’s stewardship, HHS has filmed and produced a series of testimonial videos featuring individuals claiming to have been harmed by Obamacare. Those ”viral’ videos have had decidedly limited reach, often gathering somewhere between 100 and 200 views each. But the Department has made a heavy investment in them nonetheless. To date, it has released 23 videos. A source familiar with the video production says that there have been nearly 30 interviews conducted in total, from which more than 130 videos have been produced.”

The funds for this project are coming from the HHS’s Consumer Information and Outreach budget. It’s appalling that the administration would divert money intended to help people get insurance to a campaign of deliberate sabotage. They are taking money allocated to advance a healthy populace, and using it to steer people away from healthcare choices that are legally available to them. In effect, they may be guiding people away from necessary medical attention that could result in tragedy.

This isn’t the first attempt by the Trump administration to make America sick again. Trump has been making thinly veiled threats about discontinuing the cost-sharing reductions (subsidies) that make insurance affordable for millions. That would also throw the insurance markets into a state of instability that could threatened future participation. And they have made changes to the websites for HHS and Healthcare.gov that are unambiguously hostile to consumers seeking information about ObamaCare. Earlier this year the White House halted all advertising and promotions to encourage last minute enrollments for 2017 coverage. That was a sinister attempt to keep the public uninformed and enrollment numbers down.

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

In the end, all of this is nothing more than the fulfillment of the Republican dream: deprive Americans of healthcare and reward the wealthy with tax cuts. Although they obviously don’t like ObamaCare, it is the current law of the land. And the agency tasked with administering it ought not be working to kill it. If they could pass their repeal (which it appears they cannot), things might be different. In the meantime, all they are doing is cynically and selfishly playing politics with people’s lives.

A Republican Appeal for ‘ObamaCare Horror Stories’ Backfires Spectacularly

Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are continuing their efforts to kill ObamaCare. Never mind that that their proposed replacement is overwhelmingly opposed by the American people. In recent polls its support has languished in the teens. You have to wonder why a party would fight so hard for something so unpopular. Well, actually, you don’t have to wonder. It’s because they are committed to giving millionaires tax cuts, denying hard-working Americans basic human rights, and erasing President Obama’s legacy.

Medicare For All

Republicans have been unable to pass their TrumpCare legislation despite having majorities in both houses. The Senate Republican Leader, Mitch McConnell promised to bring it to the floor for a vote before July fourth. However, he couldn’t get his own party to support the bill so he postponed the vote indefinitely. Now he is engaged in backroom horse-trading (i.e. bribery) to try to get some members to flip.

In the meantime, the GOP PR machine is reaching out to improve the awful perception of their healthcare agenda. In Indiana, the home state of Vice-President Mike Pence, the party posted a request on Facebook for public feedback. Here is what they asked in a brazenly leading question:

“We were promised Obamacare would make healthcare cheaper, better, and more available, but in reality it’s turned out to be the opposite. What’s your Obamacare horror story? Let us know.”

Unfortunately for them, what they got was surely not what they hoped for. Hoosiers were appalled at the prospect of losing the Affordable Care Act. They were equally disturbed by the GOP bills currently circulating around Congress. And more than 7,000 of them made their opinions abundantly clear. Here are some select examples of the replies:

  • I saved over $100/month on individual coverage through the marketplace, for the exact same coverage from the exact same insurer! The horror!
  • Being able to afford to buy insurance through a market rather than having to rely on employer-provided insurance allowed my best friend to leave her job and start her own business.
  • My kids have a genetic illness. After the ACA was passed, we felt relieved that they would never be denied coverage. And there is no worry of a lifetime cap on their care. Thanks Obamacare!
  • I lost my job and found out I had skin cancer 2 weeks later. If it weren’t for Obamacare, I wouldn’t have been eligible for another insurance plan because I would have had a major preexisting condition. I was able to go on to the open market place and select an affordable option that covered the bulk of my treatments. I’m now cancer-free and didn’t have to lose everything to pay for chemo. Thanks Obamacare for being there exactly when I needed it!
  • The “horror” is that Republicans would take it away without a decent replacement. Or replace it with a giant tax cut to the wealthy instead of actual…ya know…health care.
  • No horror story about ACA. The real horror is a bunch of white guys making decisions about women’s health and bodies.
  • I am a single mom of two young children. Before IN joined the ACA, I was denied health coverage. Thanks to Obamacare my children and I both have healthcare while I’m back in school pursuing my nursing degree. Thank you Obama!
  • Prior to the ACA (Obamacare) I was denied coverage for my pregnancy because it was considered a pre-existing condition. I then went on state funded Medicaid because it was he only available option, besides going bankrupt.
  • Obamacare makes my dad able to obtain insurance with a preexisting and covers his $15k/month medication. Thank you, Obama, for giving my dad years on his life!
  • I’m a pastor here in Indiana, and Obamacare has been wonderful for some of the people in my congregation. Thanks to Obamacare, they now have affordable health insurance for the first time.
  • My premiums went down in 2017 under the ACA. My daughter had her gall bladder removed in January that left a bill totaling $93,000.00 but under the ACA my bill was $ 2000. I love my ACA. Stop lying.
  • My son was dx with leukemia at 5 months old. Thanks to ACA he can not be denied health coverage. The horror
  • My mom is fighting cancer because of the ACA. So your party of “pro life” and “family values” can shut the hell up. You don’t care about us. You care about tax cuts for the billionaires.

Will the Republicans pushing for their cruel and greedy alternative to ObamaCare be moved by these comments? It’s impossible to tell from this Facebook post. The party has not responded to any of the comments. But there are some diehard, Fox News infected, Trump disciples out there making irrational contributions to the debate. One found it “Interesting reading all the Soros-hired leftwing shills and their fake posts.” Right. George Soros hired more than 7,000 people to post unique and moving appeals to retain and improve ObamaCare.

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

That’s the sort of lunacy that we have to contend with in order to preserve the first national healthcare plan the United States ever had. It’s indicative of a deeply deranged segment of the population that regards anything they don’t like as “fake.” The good news is that mental health care is covered under ObamaCare. So these poor souls may be able to get the help they desperately need. That’s is, if they don’t succeed in killing it.

Warren Buffett Blasts GOP Healthcare Bill as the ‘Relief for the Rich Act’

On Tuesday the Republican Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, was forced to make an embarrassing announcement. After insisting that the Senate would vote on the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal bill before the July fourth recess, he has now removed it from the schedule. He had a good reason. There was no way it pass. At least nine Republican senators had indicated that they would vote no.

Warren Buffet

The so-called “Better Care Reconciliation Act” is not only unpopular with some senate Republicans. Recent polling shows that the American people are overwhelmingly opposed to it. The USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll puts its approval at only twelve percent. The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll is only slightly better with seventeen percent of Americans approving. That includes support from only thirty-five percent of Republicans. [And this just in: Even the latest poll from Fox News shows approval at only twenty-seven percent. Twice as many oppose]

These are disastrous numbers for any public policy. It’s startling that the GOP would even be interested in pursuing this farce. And yet, McConnell continues to be optimistic about its prospects for passage. So does Donald Trump, who just met with the GOP senate caucus and celebrated their non-achievement.

Among the skeptics of the Republican plan to make twenty-two million more people uninsured is billionaire investor Warren Buffett. In an interview with PBS’s Judy Woodruff (video below), Buffett made his opinion crystal clear. He expressed his support for a more inclusive healthcare plan saying that single-payer “probably is the best system.” Then he outlined what is one of the most troubling and unfair aspects in the GOP bill in the following exchange:

Woodruff: “One of the things the Republicans are looking at, as you know very well, is doing away with the so-called Obamacare surcharge on people earning a higher income. So, Republicans are looking at taking that away, or doing away with that, which would mean a tax cut, you have said, for people like you.”

Buffett: “Well, I brought my tax return along for the last year. I filed this on April 15. And if the Republican — well, if the bill that passed the House with 217 votes had been in effect this year, I would have saved — I can give you the exact figure. I would have saved $679,999, or over 17 percent of my tax bill.

“There’s nothing ambiguous about that. I will be given a 17 percent tax cut. And the people it’s directed at are couples with $250,000 or more of income. You could entitle this, you know, Relief for the Rich Act or something, because it — I have got friends where it would have saved them as much as — it gets into the $10-million-and-up figure.

Bringing in his tax return to provide a tangible example of how the wealthy would benefit was a nice touch. It was an effective method to drive the point home. But it was also subtle dig at Trump, who still refuses to release any of his tax returns. And Buffett had something to say on the subject of politicians feathering their own nests as well:

“I might point out — it might be an interesting question. I think members of the Senate and the House get $174,000 a year. But most of them have — if you look at the disclosures, they have substantial other income. If they get to higher than $250,000, as a married couple, or $200,000 as a single person, they have given themselves a big, big tax cut, if they — if they voted for this.”

Indeed. The median net worth of members of Congress is slightly more a million dollars. Fifty-one percent are millionaires. Obviously, they would personally profit from the changes proposed in the Republican bill. And that profit comes at the expense of millions of Americans being thrown off of their insurance plans. Millions more would suffer higher premiums and deductibles, fewer services, and denial of coverage for preexisting conditions.

Buffett has long been an advocate for average Americans, despite his great good fortune. His critical observation that he pays a lower tax rate than his secretary became known as the “Buffett Rule.” He’s a shining example of a Patriotic Millionaire (billionaire) who puts the welfare of his country and fellow citizens above his own personal interests. It’s the sort of compassion that Republicans ought to exercise when crafting their healthcare bill. But then, why would they start now? They have never done it before.

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