Trump’s Revealing Behavior on Health Care

March 27, 2017

By Karen

Last week’s health care debacle highlighted Donald Trump as the quintessential man-baby. Now I think I know why Ivanka’s got an office in the West Wing. SOMEBODY’S got to change the diapers.

During the campaign, Trump claimed he would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on “Day One.” It would be easy. He had “something terrific” and cheaper in mind to cover everybody, and we’d all be very, very happy.

The fool didn’t realize he was describing the single-payer system Bernie Sanders advocates, also known as HR 676.

So why did Trump’s terrific idea never get mentioned last week? He offered NOTHING but vague, untrue promises, and even proclaimed at one point his amazement at how complicated health care is.

He was useless while Paul Ryan crafted an ACA replacement bill, and the result was disastrous. Had it passed and voters realized how deeply it shafted them, making health insurance drastically more expensive and doing nothing to improve medical care, they’d have descended en masse on Washington with torches and pitchforks, demanding heads.

Trump seemed oblivious to potential voter outrage that would surely sink him, if Russia doesn’t first.

Fortunately, congressional Republicans themselves balked. Some were repulsed by the bill’s inherent cruelty in stripping people of what coverage they now have, but others opposed the bill because it wasn’t backward-thinking and punishing enough.

While not having a clue as to what the bill meant, Trump spent a few days stamping his feet and demanding everyone vote for it because that’s what he wanted. If they didn’t, he’d do something mean to them. That’s his “art” of making deals.

Trump’s ignorance rendered him incapable of negotiating compromise on any point in the bill, and he changed no minds.

When his sheer bullying didn’t work, Trump dodged the humiliation of seeing the bill get crushed by having Ryan pull it before the vote and shelve it indefinitely.

With his now-expected spite, Trump immediately dismissed health care reform, saying he’ll let the ACA “explode.”

So much for his campaign promises to make his supporters’ lives better.

Instead of pouting, he could now try to correct the ACA’s deficiencies. Or, even better, he could roll out “Medicare for All,” the single-payer system he touted as a candidate. It’s already up and running, and redirecting the billions insurance companies now pocket as profit could finance its expansion.

Instead, Trump is letting insurers continue to be leeches, sucking subsidies from the government while charging people too much for high-deductible health insurance that pays for precious little medical care.

Trump’s an overgrown baby, grabbing at whatever shiny toy Steve Bannon dangles before him. Last week it was health care. This week, he’s on a tear to resurrect the coal industry by rolling back water protection and reviving air pollution because he thinks coal mines are neat.

Like any infant who hasn’t learned the concept of consequences, he’s making coal miners’ environment even deadlier while doing nothing to improve access to health care, and he thinks he’s doing them a favor.


Congress, Face Facts: Trump’s Unhinged

March 22, 2017

By Karen

While FBI Director James Comey gave damning testimony about Donald Trump’s delusion that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, Trump couldn’t sit quietly in the wings. He inserted himself into the proceedings by live-tweeting.

Like idiots, the committee immediately read Trump’s ravings and tried to make sense of them. When will they learn that Trump’s tweets represent a petulant baby screaming for attention, and he’ll say anything to get it?

The legislative branch (and the media enabling it) need to be adults and tell Trump he’ll be neither seen nor heard until he’s capable of producing factual, coherent thoughts.

Now that Comey has become more threat than ally, don’t be surprised if Comey gets fired, just like Preet Bharara, the New York City U.S. Attorney Trump wanted to keep at first, but canned when watchdog groups requested investigations into Trump’s conflicts of interest.

Remember when Trump claimed he was so rich he didn’t need/want his $400,000 a year presidential salary? Another lie. He’s getting paid, claiming he’ll donate all to charity at year-end. Wouldn’t it be better to donate every payday so he can tweet about that? Instead, he’s giving himself a year’s float for max profits from investing the salary.

Another drain on taxpayers is Ivanka Trump’s new office in the West Wing. She also gets top security clearance. Why? Because, as an ordinary citizen with no diplomatic experience whatsoever, she must be present whenever Trump meets a head of state.

Can’t we just put a shade on Ivanka’s head and call her a lamp?

Trump, the psychopathic toddler, wreaks havoc every waking moment. He isn’t reforming healthcare, he’s letting Paul Ryan destroy it. Trump’s proposed budget is so spiteful, it’s like he’s personally out to screw every person who voted for him.

And helping Trump sow confusion and chaos is his oil-soaked secretary of state and Putin BFF, Rex Tillerson. Tillerson says he’s fine with a 28% budget cut to his gutted State Department because we’ll have “fewer military conflicts” in future.

Out of the other side of his mouth, Tillerson threatens military action against North Korea.

Trump is obsessed with having more Army men, tanks, and guns to play with, oblivious to the fact that the fortune he blows on pointless military buildup and his stupid border wall, to the exclusion of everything else, will bring down, from the inside out, the country he swore to serve.

You know what other country puts its military first while letting everything else go to hell and its people starve and die? North Korea.

Trump’s approval rating is 37%, yet he can still waste more taxpayer money jetting off to some ignorant pocket of this country where morons will cheer him.

When will they wise up? When black gunk flows from their water taps? When they can’t breathe the brown air? When they get cancer and the only hospital has closed — not that they could afford treatment, because the bulk of their income goes to useless health insurance that covers nothing?

Congress needs to subpoena 10 years of Trump’s tax returns. He’s so terrified of anyone seeing them, they must contain enough conflicts of interest and Russian ties to impeach him a dozen times over.

And once Trump’s ass is good and toasty, Putin can pile on his dirt from Trump’s 2013 Miss Universe Pageant visit to Moscow. It’s the last puzzle piece, and Trump will finally be exposed as even more vile than the bloated, arrogant pussy-grabber we already know he is.

Trump himself is leaving us no choice but to cut short his reign of ignorance and terror. What remains to be seen is how much more damage Congress will let the deranged man-baby inflict on us before it steps in and does the right thing.


Bill Clinton’s 100 Percent Correct on Obamacare

October 6, 2016

By Karen

Bill Clinton’s catching hell for calling a certain aspect of the Affordable Care Act — NOT the whole program, mind you — “the craziest thing in the world.” And this is what he said (quotes taken from CNN)…

“But there is a group of people — mostly small business owners and employees — who make just a little too much money to qualify for Medicaid expansion or for the tax incentives who can’t get affordable health insurance premiums in a lot of places. And the reason is they’re not in big pools,” Clinton said. “So they have no bargaining power.”

“So you’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. It’s the craziest thing in the world,” Clinton said.

I’m EXACTLY who he’s talking about. I’m a sole proprietor with individual health insurance, and I earn a little too much to qualify for any subsidy from the ACA.

In the past two years, my premium has gone up 52%. I’m still three years short of qualifying for Medicare, so I just dug into savings and paid off my mortgage because I fully expect my health insurance premium to become so crushing, I won’t be able to continue paying both.

Trump, of course, is cherry-picking Clinton’s statements as agreement with Republicans. That’s because Trump doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. All Trump’s said is he’d replace Obamacare with “something terrific.”

But Bill Clinton is spot-on about the ACA’s biggest weakness. I thank him for bringing it into the conversation.

Hillary favors adding a “public option,” but as long as greedy private insurers continue to gorge themselves at this trough, raising premiums AND collecting government subsidies, Americans will continue being screwed while having unaffordable access to healthcare.

The ONLY solution is a single-payer system — Medicare for all — with EVERYONE (including employers if they keep offering coverage to employees) paying into one central, not-for-profit pot. Done right, it would eliminate copays and deductibles. These are the additional costs that become deal-breakers when piled onto already-high premiums.

We’d ALL come out ahead in the long run.


What Makes a Comeback Next? Polio?

February 3, 2015

By Adele

Parents who buy in to the nonscience that getting their children vaccinated will turn the little darlings into idiots should be much more concerned about the effects of heredity on brain development.

The last thing they needed was New Jersey governor Chris Christie adding his two cents by saying that, although he had all his kids vaccinated, “parents need to have some measure of choice.”

Granted, parents should be able to choose whether to let the kids have a puppy. Or at what age they’re mature and responsible enough to use the stove, stay home alone, or start dating.

But parents deserve NO “measure of choice” when it comes to letting their kids become walking public health hazards.

Measles, which can be deadly, was virtually extinct in the United States until the “anti-vaccers,” as they’re called, spurred on by “medical experts” like Michele Bachmann and Rand Paul, chose to ignore scientific fact and go exposed.

Pet owners, BY LAW, must vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies. Yet any idiot human today can pop out a child and knowingly let it become a carrier or victim of any number of serious, even fatal, illnesses, including chickenpox, mumps, whooping cough, hepatitis, bacterial meningitis, diphtheria, and polio, to name a few.

It makes absolutely no sense.

President Obama has said all parents should get their kids vaccinated. OK, then he should work with Congress to make vaccinating children the national law.

Leave it to parents to decide whether or not to make their kids wear tags showing they’ve had their shots, just like pet owners do.

This is a nonpartisan matter of homeland security — and the threat is coming from the inside. To safeguard public health, we need to mandate common sense to those who lack it. Who needs foreign terrorists when we can decimate ourselves with our own germs and viruses?

 


Let Hobby Lobby Hypocrisy Spell Bankruptcy

July 3, 2014

By Karen

The Supreme Court’s reliable misogynists stomped way over the line this time by giving national crafts chain Hobby Lobby the OK to impose its religious beliefs on its employees. No wait, not ALL its employees. Just the ones who don’t want to be pregnant every time they have sex.

It seems Hobby Lobby’s owners are good Christians and don’t believe in certain forms of contraception (morning-after pills and IUDs). However, they DO believe in profiting from these products by investing their employees’ retirement funds in the Big Pharma companies that make them.

Personally, I don’t think the Supreme Court went far enough. Once the 4 dissenting justices (Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsberg, and Breyer) saw they couldn’t preserve women’s reproductive insurance coverage at Hobby Lobby, they should have argued for a fair ruling that extends to reproductive options for Hobby Lobby’s males — no more Viagra, Cialis, or vasectomy coverage.

The Supreme Court seems to take the founding principle that “all men are created equal” literally and not apply it to women. If we could somehow make that statement gender-neutral and these men knew their own rights would vanish every time they disenfranchised women, I bet men would suddenly have a lot fewer “deeply held religious beliefs.”

Companies are NOT churches, and when they’re allowed to act on Christian beliefs — or Jewish, Muslim, or other faiths — everybody but the males at the top ends up being inferior and undeserving of equal rights.

And that’s exactly the slippery slope the Supreme Court has left us on.

Hobby Lobby thinks it won this battle. But Cats Working stands squarely with actor George Takei and many others in calling for a boycott. Hobby Lobby must lose its war on women as a warning to corporate America, and our best ammunition is Chapter 7 bankruptcy.


Buh-Bye, Sebelius

April 11, 2014

By Karen

Sometimes wishes do come true. Kathleen Sebelius, who personified ineptness in implementing the Affordable Care Act, is out. Obama actually had the nerve to lament that he’ll miss her “advice.”

And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called Sebelius a “forceful, effective, and essential” secretary.

Have they both been in a coma?

It’s regrettable that Sebelius was allowed to resign rather than get the boot to the backside she so richly deserved. But Obama seems eager to forget that on her watch, Healthcare.gov not only ran over budget by hundreds of millions of dollars, but the result was such a pathetic mess that it almost sank the whole initiative, it brought disgrace on the White House, and gave Republicans reason to dance with delight.

But, whatever. Good riddance. She’s gone.

Then Obama immediately taps Sylvia Burwell, his budget person, to replace Sebelius, calling her a “proven manager,” whatever the hell that means.

Burwell’s background shows no indication she’ll have any more ability than Sebelius to deal with what’s looming next for Obamacare — that people are going to find out they’re paying for insurance AND a lot of the medical bills they thought it would cover, and that it’s probably going to cost them a lot more next year.

According to the AP, when she wasn’t a budget bureaucrat, Burwell “served as president of Wal-Mart’s charitable arm and led the global development program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”

She may know something about nonprofits and worldwide health issues, but that doesn’t sound like squat when it comes to outsmarting greedy American insurance companies, which is what the administration has so far failed to do, except for eliminating lifetime caps and pre-existing condition exclusions.

I’d be willing to bet Burwell won’t have a good grasp on how the IT infrastructure that supports Healthcare.gov is supposed to work, either.

Like most CEOs, Obama’s probably thinks the agency’s head honcho doesn’t need to know the nitty-gritty. Like Sebelius, she’ll rely on “people” to handle the details.

Because that worked so well before.

Obama seems to be hanging his hat on the fact Burwell’s unanimous Senate approval for her current job now qualifies her to take on ANY position he cares to toss her in to.

And once again, he shows us he STILL doesn’t get the seriousness of this situation and the lives it has the power to ruin — financially and medically.

The hasty appointing of Burwell to steer us through the looming insurance quagmire Obama’s created reminds me of his feckless selection of big campaign donors to be ambassadors to countries they’ve never visited and know nothing about.

The insurance companies must be thrilled with this development.


ACA’s Unintended Consequence for Individuals

April 7, 2014

By Karen

Remember that Anthem individual health insurance policy I was afraid to give up for Obamacare? Good thing I kept it, because I couldn’t buy anything like it today.

The ACA doesn’t prohibit insurers from selling individual policies year-round, but its coverage requirements are causing insurers to stop selling ANY policies outside the government’s “open enrollment” window, which is closed from March 31 – November 15.

Because they are now prohibited from excluding pre-existing conditions, insurers fear that uninsured people who get sick will buy a policy to pay claims through the crisis, then drop it once they recover.

In essence, if an insurer can’t sell you a policy that won’t pay a penny on whatever you need the policy for, it doesn’t want you as a customer.

You may still be able to find a temporary policy that excludes pre-existing conditions, but under the ACA, you’d still be considered “uninsured” and subject to paying the tax penalty. So you’re screwed on all fronts.

From my perspective as a person self-employed for 12 years, if I were to lose my current insurance for any reason, the only way I could get new coverage would be to throw in the towel and go work for a company that offers health benefits.

And I’m pushing 60 in a job market that’s still tight as a tick (no matter what rosy stats DC spews about “job recovery”), so rotsa ruck with that.

This is yet ANOTHER reason why giving insurance companies an integral role in reforming healthcare was a colossal blunder — and the law has only made their behavior worse.

Now, people who could afford to pay a fortune for individual insurance outside the exchange can’t even buy it.

That’s why Obama’s screwball insurance mandate needs to be replaced by a single-payer system that covers everybody, every day.


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