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August 22, 2014

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SUN EDITORIAL:

Voting on nonsense

Republicans should confront real issues rather than repeal sound reform

House Republicans are expected to approve the inanely titled “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” It is a futile and foolish act because it will be defeated by Senate Democrats who have the common sense to realize that this country had a broken health care insurance system that was badly in need of reform.

The bill’s title not only confirms the immaturity of the new Republican majority but it is also a flat-out lie not supported by any facts. It is simply the latest in a long line of scare tactics, topped by the spurious claim the law would create “death panels,” that have been employed by Republicans who apparently want to make it as difficult as possible for tens of millions of Americans to access medical care.

An analysis released Tuesday by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius found that as many as 129 million Americans with pre-existing medical conditions could be denied health care coverage if the reform known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act were to be repealed.

As Sebelius aptly stated: “The Affordable Care Act is stopping insurance companies from discriminating against Americans with pre-existing conditions and is giving us all more freedom and control over our health care decisions. The new law is already helping to free Americans from the fear that an insurer will drop, limit or cap their coverage when they need it most.”

There’s no evidence that the health care law will “kill” jobs. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, correctly points out that an increasing number of small businesses are taking advantage of tax credits in the law to offset the cost of providing health benefits to workers. Reid was also on the mark when he said that repeal of the law would take away free preventive care for seniors and would bring back the Medicare donut hole that would force elderly recipients to pay more for prescription drugs.

Let’s not forget the conclusion from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which reported last month that the law will reduce the federal budget deficit by $143 billion by 2019. It is difficult to make sense of Tea Party adherents who would vote to repeal this law when they also claim to be in favor of reducing the nation’s deficit.

House Republicans have also painted themselves into a corner because they vowed to make budget cuts for any legislation that adds to the deficit. That means they should have told the American people what they will cut in exchange for voting to eliminate health care reform. Well, it didn’t take the Republicans too long to break that vow. They conveniently decided the vote to repeal health care would be an exception to the rule. So much for their campaign promises.

Republicans are demonstrating that they couldn’t care less whether consumers are denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions or don’t have freedom and control over their health care. The House majority is also setting out to prove that they would rather waste time on empty legislation than confront the real issues facing this nation.

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  1. The Republicans in the House are muddying up what this is all about.

    It's not about the Affordable Care Act.

    It's politics.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. Because every indication shows the Republicans have not deviated from their policy. They want only the complete and utter destruction of President Obama and his entire administration.

    And now that they've captured the House, the voters and taxpayers don't matter anymore. The way they look at it is that they suckered people, snowed them, got into power and they no longer have to be accountable to them. They do what they want.

    The House Republicans all follow the lead of Michelle Bachman from Minnesota. You ask her a question, then she blinks twice, gets that glassy euphoric Republican trance going, then launches into buzz words, catch phrases and over used violent rhetoric slogans. Now, they ALL do it.

    And all of us have to suffer because of their stupid politics.

    What they want is party politics. They want power. And to get it, they'll destroy every facet of American life...drag us all down to nothing....to get it. They could care less if everything burns down around them, they just will continue to do what they do, implore people the fire was planned, don't mind the smoke, and tell people to help themselves and feel free to roast marshmallows.

    The hypocrisy will continue.

    This next two years is going to pretty much be like a monkey with a football performing an unnatural sex act.

    Very predictable.

    "Mr. Boehner? Quit screaming and crying and answer the question... Where are the jobs?"

  2. "No thought to cost, no thought to viability, no thought to impact on future generations...just "we should have this"

    Too bad the GOP wasn't smart enough to consider these issues when George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq, Joe.

    Incoherent.

  3. So Joe, why isn't the GOP recommending a bill in its' place?

    The GOP is saying that the cost inflation, contract recissions, and high taxes on small businesses should be the way to go to fix health care!

    So why are the republicans hiding under a rock? Where are their ideas? What is their plan? Why would they favor outright repeal and not suggest ONE SINGLE REFORM in its' place?

    The GOP has no ideas for reform.

  4. This is a repost of another's input, with many more facts and details than my posting about GOP health care plans in the 1990s.

    In 1993, during the health care reform debate under President Clinton, Rhode Island republican John Chafee introduced the GOP alternate plan for health care reform, co-sponsored by 20 other GOP senators, demanding a federal individual mandate for health insurance. It was supported by other republicans like Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley.

    Linda Quick of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association fondly recalled the first time she heard a politician promoting the idea of the individual mandate. It was 1994, during a speech given by republican John McCain.

    In 2004, would-be GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney introduced his great idea for health care reform in Massachussetts: individual mandates.

    In 2008, Tommy Thompson, George W. Bush's pick for secretary of Health and Human Services said, "Just like people are required to have car insurance, they could be required to have health insurance."

    Fast-forward to 2011, and now the GOP declares that their idea, the individual mandate, is an "affront to personal liberty," "akin to tyranny," "unconstitutional," "unpatriotic," etc.

    Why did the GOP introduce legislation that is unconstitutional?

  5. Say it ain't so Joe. So why all the name calling? Why can't you just state your case?

    Bush and the GOP was in charge of the Senate, the House, and the Presidency for 6 of Bush's 8 years in office. I somehow can't remember what the GOP solution was to the health care crisis in this country. Could you remind me? In those six years, was ANY plans put forth by the GOP?

    I have lived in Canada and England, and thus have witnessed first hand what a humane system looks like.

    I have a good friend dying of a brain tumor. Her insurance company has ruled it a "prior condition." So there are "death panels" -- they are located in every insurance company in the USA.

    Also note the "death panel" in Arizona, where by last count, two people have died when denied state funding for organ transplants.

    Lastly Joe, you keep talking about socialism. When the GOP in the early 1990s proposed a plan similar to the current Obama plan, I heard no cries of socialism.

    If Obama is a socialist because of his health care plan, then Mitt Romney is also in the commie camp, given the health care system he helped create in Massachusetts.

    Can you define socialism for me? How does democratic socialism differ from revolutionary socialism? How did Bernstein change socialist theory? What is the difference between the utopian socialism of, let's say St. Simone, different from Marx's socialism? How did Marx's own opinions change over time?

    Last, Joe, can you name the books you have read about socialism? Or have you just heard about it on Beck and friends?

  6. John Boehner should use his government-subsidized health insurance to have that crying problem looked at -- may be a tear duct problem.

    And I hate to tell the right wing that we have "socialized" medicine not only for Congress, but also for our military veterans.

    It's called the VA. Presently, this socialist evil is providing care for about 23 million veterans. My brother, a Vietnam Vet, is one of them.

    You remember the VA, the "evil" that Sharon Angle wanted to eliminate -- but don't touch her federal health insurance she gets from her husband's time in the federal government.

  7. Hey Joe, The Paul Ryan Plan? Are you referring to the plan that even House Republicans will not endorse? A plan that has been criticized by every mainstream economist as more "voodoo economics?"

  8. So why didn't they introduce a bill with all those great ideas, Joe?

    Why is the GOP hiding under a rock?

    So many great ideas... but they won't propose ANY OF THEM!

  9. An education via Wikipedia is worth about as much as one from Glenn Beck University, Joe.

  10. NO MORE EXCUSES. Where is the GOP legislation, Joe?

    The GOP controls the House. They can introduce any legislation they want. Why are they stalling? Why don't they have a SINGLE piece of legislation to reform the system?

    It's time to call their bluff.

  11. I thought the GOP "adults" were in charge now!

    You talk about kicking the can, yet you said earlier that the GOP would wait to repeal the ACA until 2013!

    NO MORE EXCUSES. Where's the legislation, Joe?

  12. "I care about what is hapeening[sic] NOW and how it will affect us tomorrow.."

    So why aren't you demanding health reform legislation from the GOP, Joe?

    NO MORE EXCUSES. Where is the GOP legislation, Joe?

  13. Hey Joe, I don't want definitions you found in a book. Put it in your own words.

    What books have you read exactly? Adam Smith -- A Theory of Moral Sentiments? Ricardo? Malthus? St. Simone? Edward Bernstein? What Marx have you read? Paul Krugman?

    Joe, we live in a mixed economy -- part capitalist, part socialist. Social Security is socialism. The Tennesse Valley Authority -- socialism. Medicare and Medicaid are socialism. Hoover Dam and all that cheap electricity? A socialist project. All those hydroelectric dams built in the 1930s that helped us win WWII? Socialism. The Federal Trade Commission -- ditto. The Veteran's Administration -- socialism for vets.

    Government ownership of land -- we are the most socialist of any industrial country if government ownership of land is the criteria.

    We stopped being a strictly capitalist society with the rise of the Progressive movement over a century ago. You remember that great Republican, Theodore Roosevelt, who is routinely vilified by Beck and company today? You remember, the only Republican on Mt. Rushmore?

    Obama, like Franklin Roosevelt, saved capitalism.

    You may remember that "socialist" Lindsey Graham of SC talking about a government takeover of the banks back in 2008. Instead, BUSH and Obama saved the banks. And, by the way, the major banks are repaying the bailout with interest as I write. (Granted, some smaller banks will probably not be able to repay.)

    While some in the GOP opposed the bailout of GM and Chrysler, Obama saved those companies, and the millions of jobs that would have vanished if they had gone under.

    Saving capitalism is not socialism.

    Having regulation that reins in the lunatic gambling of big business is not socialism.

    I don't mean to be confrontational, but we need to raise our level of discourse to a reality-based field. Is that too much to ask?

  14. "New plan will be introduced shortly..."

    NO MORE EXCUSES.

    They've had two years to draft legislation. Two years to distill their ideas into a bill. Two years to debate how to reform the system.

    So what do they do when they take control of the House?

    NOTHING! They want to go back to the days of small businesses going under because they can't get help with their insurance costs.

    They want to go back to the days of insurance companies canceling your policy when you get sick.

    They want to go back to the days of children being denied care because the insurance company invoked and arbitrary "lifetime limit!"

    THOSE are the GOP plans on deck for our health care system, Joe.

    NO MORE EXCUSES. Where's the legislation, Joe?

  15. Tail Gunner Joe tells me "the seizure of private property in the guise of providing for the general welfare IS Socilaism - look it up...."

    Geez, if I remember right, it was a conservative Supreme Court in a recent decision that moved to allow more seizures of private property for the "general good."

    Yes Joe, I agree. Let's dump this socialist Supreme Court led by these conservatives.

    Joe, have you ever been to England or Canada? Do you have any first hand experience about the health care systems there? I think not.

    Last, can't you write anything without name calling?

  16. "By the way, Ksand99, you said Harry Reid was the all-powerful Senator in the Senate.."

    That's cowardly of you, Joe... that's not what I said. He's the Senate Majority Leader, he's not King.

    Sandoval is secretly hoping the Feds will come and bail us out. The R-J article you want everyone to read is pretty clear:

    Sandoval went to Reid begging for Federal money!

    Reid told him that the GOP controls the House and won't help!

    You want to blame someone for not getting aid to the state, blame Heller and Heck, not Reid.

  17. Right, so you mischaracterize my statements, what's found in the R-J, what Reid said, what Sandoval said, AND the positions of Boehner, Ryan and the republicans?

    Need I remind you that Paul Ryan voted for both the BANK BAILOUT and the AUTO BAILOUT?

    He's your model for fiscal discipline!

    Incoherent.

  18. "Where are those benfits, Ksand99, I want them NOW!!!"

    Of course you do. You, like so many other republicans, want to demand entitlements but not pay for them.

    You want to demand a bailout and then criticize those who give it to you.

    You want to demand health care reform but only repeal legislation, not introduce a single idea.

    Incoherent.

  19. The title of the editorial says it all.

  20. I've kind of been following this thread. And ksand99 has a good point that keeps being brought up. And over and over and over and over yet again there seems to be the same Republican tactics.

    And it's simply that they are in charge of the House with a clear majority. And the House is known as the lawmakers for the United States.

    As such, they should lead the way and enact legislation that will help America.

    But the Republicans are lost.

    For at least two whole years now, they have reacted to everything and jumped up and down and screamed no, no, no, cannot, no can do, we can't, CANNOT!

    Now, here they are in charge. And what do they do?

    THE SAME THING!

    To prove my point, the very first thing they address is something near and dear to their heart...something to appeal to their base....repeal of the Affordable Care Act. They chose this as their first thing to do because they are vindictive, hate President Obama, and don't want to do a damn thing to fix a broken health care system in America....only pander to health care insurance providers to help them and in turn get their pockets lined with money.

    The Republican Party, as it is composed now, is incapable of doing anything anymore.

    Because they are so far to the right, their rejection of any moderation and compromise on ANYTHING completely mires them down and renders them useless. The moment even one of them knuckleheads steps forward and does something even the slightest bit logical....the rest of those idiots all dogpile on them and scream "RINO" at them.

    The only thing they know how to do is to seek the complete and utter destruction of President Obama and his entire administration.

    And that ain't the way to run things, if you ask me.

    Because not only does it not get anything done, but it continues this heated rhetoric and finger pointing.

    The Republicans have railed and screamed and fell on the floor in temper tantrums beating their feet and fists on the floor...they simply don't know how to do what they are supposed to be doing...what they were elected to do...and that is to govern and lead.

    God help all of us for the next two years....

    "Mr. Boehner? Where are the jobs?"

  21. And Joe kicks the can down the road.

    All that shilling for the GOP during the campaign, all that talk about the adults being back in charge, the capitalists, etc.

    Joe kicks the can.

    The GOP has had two years to draft legislation.

    Joe kicks the can.

    Joe claims there's a plan: Paul Ryan's Roadmap. So where is it, Joe? Where's the legislation?

    Joe kicks the can.

    I think the GOP, and the Sun's most vocal apologist for their actions, are caught up in the inability to act. They're terrified to PRODUCE something.

    True patriots would be willing to call out their party, to demand SOLUTIONS, rather than treading water.

    The GOP claims to have solutions, but it's clear it's just hot air.

  22. Haven't we seen enough weird, dangerous and nutty "hate the government" behavior this month?

    Are the Republicans going to wear red g-strings and carry Glocks to the vote?

  23. I stand corrected, add old Abe on Mt. Rushmore. Abe was a Whig in Congress, and joined the GOP in the 1850's.

    However, Jefferson being a big state's rights guy. Correct. But he has been written out of the Texas curriculum by the conservatives because of his writings re. church and state. Rather ironic don't you think.

    Washington did not run for a third term for a number of reasons.

    First, he parted company with TJ over the national bank issue, siding with Hamilton. Washington took what conservatives today would call a "liberal" view of federal power.

    Thus began the formation of political parties -- Federalist vs. Democrat-Republican -- something that Washington in his farewell speech warned against. Washington believed pol. parties would tear the nation apart, and lower the political discourse. Division, not community, would follow. Sadly, the nation did not listen to him.

    A beloved figure since the Revolution, Washington found himself attacked, and ridiculed. That was part of his decision.

    Third, Washington was ailing physically. He knew he was not up to the job any longer.

    As to whether Franklin Roosevelt "thought that way" -- yes, I do know how he thought. Roosevelt wrote and spoke about the subject, numerous appointees around FDR have left diaries, memos, books about the events.

    For instance, in the spring of 1933 there was overwhelming public support for FDR to nationalize the banks. Instead, the bank holiday, an infusion of cash to the banks, and a radio address to reassure the people. When the banks reopened, deposits outpaced withdrawals.

    No fear mongering -- nothing to fear but fear itself he said.

    And now -- here we are -- with Limbaugh, Beck, Palin and others playing the politics of fear.

    The Black Manchurian Candidate with a "colonial mentality" secretly smuggled into America to take over the country and get whitey -- the politics of fear.

    Using terms like Traitor, Nazi, Socialist, Communist, Racist (yes, remember Beck's claim) -- the politics of fear.

    Liberals evil, conservatives good -- the politics of fear.

    Those who do not know history are doomed....

  24. Love your Glock and red undies comment, mred.

    I see some GOP genius has proposed arming college professors. Yep, nothing like a Wood Allen type with a gun to keep order. And no more pesky debate from students.

    Another proposal by the GOP -- a glass dome in the Capitol building to protect them. Reminds me of the "cone of silence" on Get Smart.

    But the really brilliant proposal -- the Texas GOP Congressman who wants wear guns on the House floor. I say, why not bullet proof vests as well!

    Wow. The gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone began with an earlier incident -- the arrest of one of the gang for carrying a weapon in city limits.

    You see, back then, it was against the law!

  25. Joe, for YEARS we have been hearing that the GOP has ideas for health care reform.

    For YEARS they have whined that no one is listening to them.

    For YEARS they sat back and watched the health care system explode in cost, doing nothing to stop medical cost inflation nor lawsuit abuse.

    Where are the ideas, Joe? Cantor said he would have a bill ready to replace the ACA last JUNE.

    NO MORE EXCUSES. Stop blowing smoke and start holding the leaders of the GOP accountable.

    YOU demanded they be elected, now you're complacent to watch them bobble around.

    "They elected the current crop of Representatives to STOP kicking the can down the road..."

    By repealing reform and not replacing it? That makes no sense.

    Until the GOP introduces reform legislation, they will remain the Party of NO.

  26. So what legislation has the GOP introduced?

    A bill banning insurance companies from dropping the insured when they become ill? No.

    A bill banning insurance companies from declaring 10 year-olds have reached their life-time maximum coverage?

    A bill banning insurance companies from discriminating against those with pre-existing conditions? No.

    Instead of an attempt to replace reform with policies they claim will help the economy, the GOP chose to fight for repeal ONLY.

  27. "As for legislation, didn't you read the Harry Reid comment, Ksand99? Ole' Harry says the Republicans can pass anything they want in the House and he'll pidgeon-hole it regardless of merit..."

    Joe, why is it you can never just quote someone, just spin and paraphrase them in a way that is so obviously a lie?

    I dare you to quote him. Full context.

    Name those odds.

  28. Apparently, old Joe is of the opinion that the GOP is incapable of multitasking. Maybe they're not smart enough?

    I thought the GOP was going to hit the ground running.

    Turns out the first thing they pass will be DOA.

    A wet thud, it seems.

    No bipartisanship. No alternatives.

    The Party of No needs to learn a new trick.

  29. "Frankly, it was designed to put as many people on the dole and build another consituency[sic] for the Democrats just like the "Great Society" enslaved the African American community in the sixties."

    By forcing them to buy private health insurance...

    A GOP idea from the 90's!

    So why did the GOP try to enslave a constituency, Joe?

    The spin, the spin... you must be dizzy!

  30. Just to add to Woodysez1 comment from earlier...

    I'm kind of surprised that knuckleheaded GOP Congressman in Texas didn't come out for a bill to authorize nine year olds to carry concealed weapons with extended ammunition magazines.

    THAT, my friends, epitomizes the incredibly warped alterate universe the Republicans live in.

    BREAKING NEWS just now. The Republicans did in fact go on record to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They passed the bill in the House.

    And Senator Reid has already went on record. When it gets to the Senate, it's not going anywhere. If it did, it would basically be a slap in the face of every American.

    It's official. The Republicans are on record. And my new Congressman (Heck) went along with all the other idiotic Republicans.

    As far as I'm concerned, he is already dead politically. I am now officially on record that I will wage war to get him voted out of office. Starting now.

    You have thousands of people in this district that like the Affordable Care Act. And hundreds of businesses that like the way it is set up.

    But now, Mr. Heck decides to do the will of the Republican Party.

    Not Las Vegans.

    Party politics motivates him. NOTHING else.

    He's gone.

    And it will happen.

    Gibbons is history. Lowden too. Angle hit the high road. Next to go is Ensign. And after that, Heck is definitely a first termer. One and done.

    Guaranteed. Especially if he votes the party line crap.

  31. So he didn't say anything about pidgeon[sic]-hole-ing it regardless of merit?"

    That's what I thought.

    I love it when your spin is so easily dissected and debunked.

    Thanks, Joe!

  32. I'm not going to repost my words. Tom already did the honor earlier. Scroll up to his post at 10:16 a.m., Joe.

    The FACT is that the individual mandate was PROPOSED in legislation by the GOP in the 90's. It was SUPPORTED by the GOP in 2004 when Mitt Romney (current favorite for GOP Presidential Nominee, 2012) proposed and passed it in Massachusetts.

    Less than two years ago, Chuck Grassley was singing the praises of the "unconstitutional" individual mandate.

    "But when it comes to states requiring it for automobile insurance, the principle then ought to lie the same way for health insurance, because everybody has some health insurance costs, and if you aren't insured, there's no free lunch. Somebody else is paying for it." - Chuck Grassley June 14, 2009

    Individual mandate: GOP idea!
    High-risk health pools: GOP idea!

    Turns out you really have issues when the GOP decides to peek out from under the rock to propose ideas, Joe.

    You hate all the ideas the GOP puts to paper!

    The "adults" of the GOP who supported the individual mandate and high-risk pools are in-charge, Joe!

    Hypocrites.

  33. It's interesting.

    At one point today, Joe criticized the ACA and said the GOP plans to defund it, because they can't get it repealed until 2013, even though that's not necessarily possible. It assumes the GOP will take back the Senate, expand their hold in the House AND win the Presidency. If they can't win the Presidency, they would have to win that many seats in order to override a Presidential veto.

    Note, Joe didn't give any odds on that happening, but let me be clear: it won't.

    Then he boldly criticizes Reid for not getting more money for Nevada.

    Here's the deal, Joe. If Congress defunds parts of health care reform, those costs don't disappear. They remain the law of the land. Congress expanded Medicaid to cover people up to 133% of the poverty line.

    So who pays that, if the federal government does not?

    The states.

    Joe, you should be consistent. There's no ideological consistency there. You're mad Nevada won't get help from the feds AND you're cheering the republicans defunding aid to the states.

    It's complete hypocrisy.

  34. Defunding the ACA will force states further into economic distress, making the economy worse - not better.

    If there were any honesty behind your rhetoric, Joe, you'd can the sarcasm and argue the issues, and address the points.

    You've claimed for awhile now that the GOP has all these ideas. You've called out Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan, yet they haven't introduced any bills with any of these so-called ideas.

    They knew repeal would have little chance of being taken up by the Senate, so why not attempt a bipartisan bill to fix the errors in the ACA, rather than full repeal?

    You should expect more from your party, Joe. You should expect real leadership, not this shrill, cowardly BS that we're getting from Cantor, Boehner and Ryan.

    If the GOP have real, substantive ideas, they should have filed a bill outlining them.

    They've failed to do so. They're kicking the can down the road, hoping that they can just repeal the ACA and not have to defend their own ideas. Your leaders are hiding under a rock, Joe.

    Without an alternate bill, we go back to the same-old broken health care system where children are denied care for pre-existing conditions, young adults can't get coverage under their parents, diagnostic tests aren't covered by their insurance companies, high-risk patients have few, if any, options for care, etc.

    Your party is damning us to that system, Joe.

    And you're unable to justify their actions.

  35. The Divided States of America

  36. ...and divided we fall.

  37. Yeah, Teamster! Pssst! C'mere!

  38. No no no, deport Obama back to his homeland. End all unions. Make the liberal party unlawful. Outlaw blaspheme against Republican or Conservative.

  39. Hey, Cliff...
    shouldn't we round up all the Mexicans, too?
    (lol!)