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Trump Health Care Tag

Thursday, Senate Republicans released their long-anticipated health care reform bill. We discussed highlights of the legislation here. It's worth reiterating that this bill is only the first step (so we're told) in repealing and replacing Obamacare. The Senate GOP bill is limited in what it can accomplish for one reason — reconciliation. Senate Republicans are relying on the budget reconciliation mechanism to pass their first health care overhaul with a simple majority vote. Reaction on the right has been mixed. Some are calling it one of the Republican's greatest policy achievements and others are less than thrilled about kicking the Medicaid can down the road.

Thursday, Senate Republicans finally unveiled their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). It's almost as much of a stinker as its House counterpart. If you were hoping the GOP would make good on their promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, then I have some disappointing news: the latest Republican health insurance brainchild does neither. As we discussed when dissecting the unimpressive House AHCA, the Senate GOP bill is also limited in what it can accomplish for one reason -- reconciliation. Senate Republicans are relying on the budget reconciliation mechanism to pass their first health care overhaul with a simple majority vote.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) and other members have showcased their ambitions:   the caucus wants to add welfare, health care, and tax reform all into one bill and pass it all by the end of the summer. The biggest stars of reform, health care and taxes, have caused the White House and members of Congress to butt heads. The White House wants to accomplish health care reform in the summer and take tax reform into the fall.

Aetna, one of the nation's largest health insurers announced Wednesday it would completely withdraw from Obamacare marketplaces in 2018. Nebraska, Delaware, Virginia, and Iowa are the only Obamacare exchanges where Aetna currently participates. A month ago Aetna announced plans to leave the Iowa market, followed by yet another announcement of a Virginia marketplace exit. With Aetna's withdrawal, Delawareans and Nebraskans will be left with one insurer on the exchange.

One of the things I most enjoyed about watching the Occupy movement implode was their profound lack of understanding of average Americans.  They seemed to really believe that they could sway American opinion by screeching about the glories of communism, pooping on cop cars, setting up '60's-style communal "democracies," using their hand twinkles and "human microphones," and living in squalor in crime-riddled encampments. At times, I simply couldn't understand what in the world they—and their organizers—were thinking.  Was this depraved display supposed to appeal to the typical American with a mortgage, a job, a family, a life?  It was, of course, but it was so far off the mark that they ended up reviled and ridiculed.

Is the American Health Care Act (AHCA) the most dreadful program ever? You would think so, from the coverage of it in the press. You would also think, from the vehemence with which they're carrying on, that the AHCA was a statute that had been passed by both houses, and not a first effort subject to change in the Senate. The headlines on the subject are replete with words like "shameful", "horrific", and "abomination."

On today's Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough said he didn't want to bring religion into the health care debate. But he then proceeded to do just that. He said that he's not judging anybody, but then said that the Republican health care bill can't be defended "morally." Scarborough:
"I'm sorry, don't want to bring religion into this, but if you are a Matthew 25 Christian and you believe what Jesus says, that we will be judged on how we treat the poorest among us, then there is no legislative justification for cutting $650 billion in health benefits. And then turning around in the same bill and benefiting the richest among us $800, $850 billion.

In today's episode of "Democrats can't be blamed for anything" the lead role will be played by Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, who famously credited the stupidity of the American voter for the law's passage. While appearing on FOX News Sunday, Gruber argued that the collapse of Obamacare must be blamed on none other than President Trump. Chuck Ross reports at the Daily Caller:
Jonathan Gruber Blames Obamacare Failures On Donald Trump [VIDEO] Gruber, an MIT economics professor who is considered one of the architects of Obamacare, made the bold claim during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

One of the regressive left's favorite pastimes is portraying Republicans as misogynists with a special affinity for rapists.  From relentless attacks on Todd Akin to their kangaroo college courts on sexual assault to hammering the religious beliefs of those who believe that life is a gift from God, even when that life begins with a sexual assault, the regressive drum beat thumps out "Republicans are evil, Republicans hate women, Republicans support rapists," and it works for them. The latest version of this dishonest meme is the widespread insistence that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) "makes rape a preexisting condition." The logic behind this claim is tortured.

When did the word "optics" enter the political lexicon? In any case, the Morning Joe crew today ripped the look of the Republican Rose Garden ceremony of yesterday at which President Trump and House members celebrated the passage of their health care bill. Donny Deutsch said they were "a bunch of fat, middle-aged, rich white guys." When Willie Geist mentioned that Mika had said that the photo looked like a golf course ribbon cutting, Joe Scarborough interjected: "it's a country club with restrictive membership. Obviously, you have to be white, and a male, to be there."

The House voted to repeal Obamacare Thursday afternoon. And by a slim vote -- 217 to 213, the American Healthcare Act passed. Prior to the final tally being read aloud, some legislatures began singing:

So, the breaking news is that the House will vote tomorrow, Thursday, the 4th day of May, in the year 2017, to "repeal and replace" Obamacare. The NY Times reports:
House Republican leaders planned to hold a showdown vote Thursday on their bill to repeal and replace large portions of the Affordable Care Act after adding $8 billion to the measure to help cover insurance costs for people with pre-existing conditions.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has faced scandal after scandal, some of which caused veterans to die while waiting for care. There was even a dentist putting veterans at risk for HIV. But the VA has also punished those who blow the whistle on VA wrong doings. President Trump took a step in the right direction to fix these problems when he signed an executive order that creates the "Office of Accountability and Whistleblower Protection" at the VA.

After the healthcare reform failed before it even reached the floor, President Donald Trump wanted to move onto tax reform. But he recently told The Wall Street Journal that he wants to return to healthcare:
Three weeks later, he said he is determined to resurrect the health-care bill even if it means delaying the tax overhaul, telling The Wall Street Journal in an interview: “I want to get health care done…I think I will get it done.” The tax overhaul, he said, would have to wait.
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