Smokescreen: a cloud of smoke created to conceal military operations; a ruse designed to disguise someone’s real intentions or activities.
Smoke and Mirrors … Trump’s most recent rude & crude tweets appear to have taken over the internet, airwaves, and every other communication venue. I will address those in a later post, as I, too, have much to say about them, however … those tweets are NOT the most important news of the day. In my last post, I informed you that your voting history is about to be made public information by the Trump administration, and now I have more news …
All week long, the big news has been the Senate’s so-called ‘health care’ bill, written by America’s #1 Obstructionist, Senator Mitch McConnell, with the assistance of only a handful of other senators. The bill, once revealed, showed that the Senate bill was just as egregious as was the House bill that passed the House in May. In the Senate, however, it requires only three (3) republican senators to vote ‘nay’ and the bill is dead in the water. As the week progressed, it became clear that the republicans would not have the votes to pass this abomination of a bill that would cost every single lower-to-middle class person in the country. So, the vote was delayed, much to the chagrin of McConnell & Trump.
So what next? Well, Congress is now on its week-long July 4th break, but Trumpty-Dumpty has a brilliant idea! “If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now, they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!” Excuse me? Take away healthcare from some 20 million U.S. citizens and give nothing but a vague … “one of these days we might give you something”? I leave it to your imagination what words initially came from these fingertips, words that I have since replaced with nicer ones. (I may have to have a new computer soon, as I have beaten this poor little Dell to death in the past 5 months!)
Congress is officially on break as of the close of Friday, and the Senate will return on Monday, 10 July for three weeks before taking a month-long break in August. Must be nice, eh?
To legislate Trump’s ‘repeal, no replace’ plan would cause anywhere between 20 million and 32 million people to suddenly be cut off from affordable healthcare. Trump and certain members of Congress claim that this is what their supporters want, that they ran on a platform of repealing ACA and that is what they must do, whether or not they can come up with a viable alternative. I cry FOUL! Though not a Trump voter nor supporter, I am a voter, I am a citizen of this nation, and my voice counts just as much as does any single Trump supporter. And my voice says I do not wish to see one single person lose their medical insurance, have to pay higher premiums, or see a reduction in benefits.
The idea was apparently the brain-child of Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, and is also supported by Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska. However, health industry officials are warning that overturning the existing law, which has extended insurance to roughly 20 million Americans and changed the rules under which insurance is offered across the country, would create chaos in a sector that accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy. The Kaiser Family Foundation polled this very approach back in March, and found only 19 percent of Americans favored repealing Obamacare first and then working to replace it. A 51% majority of Americans say they do not want ACA repealed at all, but simply prefer to work through the problems.
One theory is that repealing ACA now would force Democratic senators to work more closely with Republicans to craft a viable bill. The fallacy in that, of course, is that the Republicans have made it clear they are gearing any health care bill toward the wealthy and to hell with the rest of us, and I cannot imagine that Democrats are going to compromise their values for that. Even some of the high-ranking Republicans who have been working on the legislation rejected it as impractical, making it doubtful that they could even obtain the 51 votes required to repeal without replacing.
A group of Senate Republicans suggested Friday that McConnell should scale back or cancel the chamber’s month-long August recess, given the lack of progress they have made on not just health care but a tax-code overhaul, spending bills, the debt ceiling and a budget resolution. Personally, though I think a month-long recess is excessive, I would just as soon they stay on break throughout August and give us a break from their shenanigans. Perhaps if they get a nice, long rest, they will be able to actually engage their brains and get something right in September. Meanwhile, we must all hope that Trump doesn’t get a notion to repeal ACA on his own via ‘executive order’!!!