Uncertainties are never good for the insurance industry. The current debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act and the new American Health Care Act is creating uncertainties that may soon jeopardize the whole healthcare industry. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is committed to a return to the Obamacare exchange next year, but the same can’t be said for other insurers.

This state of limbo is causing more problems than anticipated. In fact, health care uncertainties are starting to hurt millions of Americans, even before the new AHCA is signed.

Obamacare in Trouble.

The Affordable Care Act is clearly in trouble. The series of uncertainties that have been covering ACA now leave many counties with no health plans to sell in 2018. Insurance companies are pulling out of these counties, citing the uncertainty around the Republicans’ health care bill and the future of healthcare law in general as the reasons for the move.

Republicans’ efforts to drive Obamacare into collapse is becoming increasingly successful. Unfortunately, it is also causing millions of Americans to lose access to affordable health insurance in just a few months. This is a situation no one can afford to face, especially without a new health care bill to replace the ACA.

The latest statistics by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reveal 47 counties with zero health insurance plan to sell. While Blue Cross and Blue Shield Illinois is committed to making a return next year, companies like Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City are exiting their respective markets. Anthem is leaving Ohio with one fewer option, while Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City has pulled out already.

The Political Incentives

It is easy to see why Republicans don’t want to fix the problems with ACA. Republicans and the Health and Human Services Department of this administration are using the failing health insurance market as an excuse to repeal Obamacare. The approach is a smart one, at least from a political standpoint.

Without a clear replacement for Obamacare, however, this will only lead to more problems. The 23 million Americans that will lose health care under the House version of AHCA may even lose their healthcare before the new healthcare bill passes the Senate.

A Push for More Certainty

What the Trump administration and Congress need to do is create a climate of certainty. The health law and policy department of Hofstra Law recently compiled studies that suggest plugging the ACA while formulating a better, stronger AHCA are the things to do to reverse the damages being done today. Students who are studying for their health law degree are using the current healthcare debate as the perfect case study.

It is also unfortunate to note that such an ideal situation may never be implemented. As mentioned before, the political incentive of a failing Obamacare is too good for the Republicans to miss. We can only wait and see as Republicans try to formulate a better AHCA and get it passed as quickly as possible, regardless of the consequences that come with the new healthcare bill.

Following a good showing on his first overseas trip, President Trump returned to the states and called for something that has some on the right scratching their heads. He’s wanting more dollars put towards health care.

One of the things that got the AHCA passed in the House was the decrease in spending on health care. The conservative Freedom Caucus pushed for several additions before voting for it, including the ability for states to opt-out of some of the more liberal points such as pre-existing conditions. However, the reason some gave for finally backing the bill is that it reduces overall spending on health care. What is the President asking for now?

Regardless of whether this was just a Tweet that can be disregarded as rhetoric in 140-characters-or-less or if its a sign that he really wants more money put into health care, the overarching theme is the same. Many in the GOP (and pretty much every Democrat), including the President, are missing the fundamental point that health care can only truly be fixed if the federal government systematically removes itself from the equation.

Obamacare isn’t failing because of subtle details or nuances. It’s failing because the concept behind government-mandated health care is fatally flawed. The differences between the ACA and the AHCA are so small that their cores are essentially the same. Both insert DC into an area where it simply doesn’t belong. By doing so, either will fail whether it has the letter (R) or (D) on its stamp of approval.

We don’t need more money plugged into health care. We need the massive amounts of money that are already pumped into health care focused by a consumer-driven free market. Businesses operate based upon the demands of three forces: government, consumers, and market conditions. Today, government has primacy in the equation by forcing the other two factors to be secondary. Consumers have very little impact in the equation because of mandates in both Obamacare and the current Trumpcare replacement being worked on in the Senate. As for market conditions, they are artificial because of government intervention. They will continue to be artificial if Obamacare is repealed and replaced with a variation of the AHCA.

Nearly everyone on Capitol Hill fears a full repeal for the same basic reason. They know that if it’s done right, it will work in the long term. The Democrats don’t want that because it exposes the long-con they’ve been working in DC for decades, the concept that more government is better. The Republicans don’t want that because they fear it won’t work quickly enough for them to retain power in the midterm elections. The AHCA isn’t designed to fix health care. It’s designed to pretend to fix it while mitigating fallout until election day.

As I stated in a different post:

If we systematically repeal Obamacare, we can have privatized health care once again. A replacement plan that tries to predict what will happen is foolish. Instead, we should repeal, then monitor and analyze the market. Over time, we’ll find the holes that need to be plugged. States, charities, and other organizations can fill most of these holes. Whatever is left, if anything, can fall to the federal government. This way, DC becomes the final safety net instead of being the first line of defense. That’s the way it should be in health care and a plethora of other areas.

The last thing this nation needs is more dollars redirected into health care. Those of us watching our premiums rise despite higher deductibles and worse coverage (which is a vast majority) know that there’s already “more dollars” in health care. It needs to be allocated properly through competition and the push for innovation. We can’t have the best health care in the world as the President hopes unless DC is willing to remove itself from the equation. Until then, the math will continue to fail miserably.

My local Sunday paper had an above-the-fold headline the other day: “Obamacare rate could see big spike in NH next year.” This refers only to my state, where an unidentified government official leaked to the press a document projecting an average Obamacare-exchange premium rate increase of 44%.

The headline could easily have said “another spike.” Obamacare-linked price hikes are old news. Still, I’m glad this wound up on the front page. That indicates that at least one assignment editor doesn’t take big increases for granted.

The story said that the document was stamped Confidential and Draft Only and Not for Distribution. I wish I knew who leaked it so I could deliver my personal thanks. I don’t like being surprised during enrollment season. The principal factor in the projected increase, according to the news report (I haven’t read the actual document), is Medicaid expansion. Without that, the projected increase is closer to 17%.

I don’t want my neighbors covered by Medicaid expansion to get sicker or forgo mental health care or substance abuse treatment. What irks me is that anyone in government or media could be surprised or distressed that expansion actually leads to cost increases and distortions in how health care is provided.

I hope no one’s surprised when the resulting premium increases for my non-Medicaid neighbors leads to changes in their behavior, such as dropping insurance altogether.

Last year’s price spike finally pushed me over the edge and out of the market. In the government’s view, I am uninsured, having opted for a healthshare program that Obamacare benignly tolerates. My husband has retained a conventional policy, and we’re keeping records to see how our costs compare over time.

Ideal? No. My costs are pretty much under my control, right up to the time I’m badly injured or develop a serious medical condition. I would then be at the mercy of my fellow sharers and of the bean-counters in my healthcare providers’ offices. Further, I am waiting uneasily for the Obamacare fans to amend the law so that healthshare programs are no longer penalty-free. Frankly, I think that kind of amendment is likely to come much sooner than any Republican health-insurance reform.

Medicaid is permanently expanded. I believe that. So will there be any health insurance “fixes” this year that would head off a 44% average increase in premiums on my state’s exchange next year? I don’t see how, no matter who’s in the White House. I’m pessimistic about the financial aspect of government health insurance because I’ve seen over the past five years that elected officials can’t even get the little things right.

By “little,” I don’t mean unimportant. I’m thinking of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. That’s the government policy that treats being a woman as a pre-existing condition by calling women’s contraceptives “preventive” care. Business owners who offer health insurance to employees, and who have moral objections to coerced involvement in their employees’ birth control decisions, have had to go to court to escape the mandate.

President Trump’s recent religious-liberty order was tightly limited and it did not undo the mandate. The Little Sisters of the Poor will benefit from his order, because he’s taken a personal interest in their case. Dozens of other mandate challengers are still making their way through the courts, with only these words from the President’s order to comfort them along the way: [cabinet departments] “shall consider issuing amended regulations, consistent with applicable law, to address conscience-based objections to the preventive-care mandate.”

In five years, regardless of the party in power, Congress has failed to repeal the mandate. A Republican president has managed only to tell his people to “consider issuing amended regulations.” The Supreme Court has had the chance to throw out the mandate as a religious liberty violation, and it has not done so.

I can’t trust them to fix even one small but critical aspect of health care policy. I sure can’t trust them to fix the whole thing. Bring on the spikes.

Ellen Kolb blogs about New Hampshire life-issue policy at Leaven for the Loaf and looks farther afield in ellenkolb.com

The fist bumps coming from the GOP after passing the American Health Care Act in the House were plentiful. Republicans around the country were giving each other high-fives for having finally made the first real steps towards repealing Obamacare. Here’s the problem. We haven’t seen the beginning of the repeal of Obamacare. We’ve seen the seeds of Trumpcare being planted. Perhaps the better name for it would be “Obamacarelite.”

This a repeal in name only. Congressman Justin Amash revealed the truth about the AHCA in a Facebook post yesterday (emphases are mine):

This is not the bill we promised the American people. For the past seven years, Republicans have run for Congress on a commitment to repeal Obamacare. But it is increasingly clear that a bill to repeal Obamacare will not come to the floor in this Congress or in the foreseeable future.

When Republican leaders first unveiled the American Health Care Act, a Democratic friend and colleague joked to me that the bill wasn’t a new health care proposal; it was plagiarism. He was right.

The AHCA repeals fewer than 10 percent of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act. It is an amendment to the ACA that deliberately maintains Obamacare’s framework. It reformulates but keeps tax credits to subsidize premiums. Instead of an individual mandate to purchase insurance, it mandates a premium surcharge of 30 percent for one year following a lapse of coverage. And the bill continues to preserve coverage for dependents up to age 26 and people with pre-existing conditions.

I want to emphasize that last point. The bill does not change the ACA’s federal requirements on guaranteed issue (prohibition on policy denial), essential health benefits (minimum coverage), or community rating (prohibition on pricing based on health status). In short, Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions provisions are retained.

The latest version of the AHCA does allow any state to seek a waiver from certain insurance mandates, but such waivers are limited in scope. Guaranteed issue cannot be waived. Nobody can be treated differently based on gender. And any person who has continuous coverage—no lapse for more than 62 days—cannot be charged more regardless of health status.

Consider what this means: Even in a state that waives as much as possible, a person with a pre-existing condition cannot be prevented from purchasing insurance at the same rate as a healthy person. The only requirement is that the person with the pre-existing condition get coverage—any insurer, any plan—within 62 days of losing any prior coverage.

If a person chooses not to get coverage within 62 days, then that person can be charged more (or less) based on health status for up to one year, but only (1) in lieu of the 30 percent penalty (see above), (2) if the person lives in a state that has established a program to assist individuals with pre-existing conditions, and (3) if that state has sought and obtained the relevant waiver. Here in Michigan, our Republican governor has already stated he won’t seek such a waiver, according to reports.

So why are both parties exaggerating the effects of this bill? For President Trump and congressional Republicans, the reason is obvious: They have long vowed to repeal (and replace) Obamacare, and their base expects them to get it done. For congressional Democrats, it’s an opportunity to scare and energize their base in anticipation of 2018. Neither side wants to present the AHCA for what it is—a more limited proposal to rework and reframe parts of the ACA, for better or for worse.

In March, when this bill was originally scheduled to come to the floor, it was certainly “for worse.” The previous version provided few clear advantages over the ACA, yet it haphazardly added provisions to modify essential health benefits without modifying community rating—placing the sickest and most vulnerable at greater risk.

Over the last month, several small but important changes were made to the bill. The current version abandons that fatally flawed approach to essential health benefits (though the new approach includes new flaws), incorporates an invisible risk sharing program, and permits limited state waivers. These changes may slightly bring down (or at least slow down the increase in) premiums for people who have seen rates go up. Even so, the AHCA becomes only marginally better than the ACA.

Many have questioned the process that led up to the vote on May 4. I have publicly expressed my disgust with it. The House again operated in top-down fashion rather than as a deliberative body that respects the diversity of its membership. But it’s important to acknowledge that the bulk of this bill (123 pages) was released on March 6. Only about 15 pages were added after late March. Members of Congress were given sufficient time to read and understand the entire bill.

While an earlier version of the AHCA included a CBO score, the types of changes made to the AHCA in more recent stages render an updated score highly speculative and practically meaningless. For that score to be useful, the Congressional Budget Office would have to effectively predict which states will seek waivers, which waivers they will seek, and when they will seek them. This complex analysis of the political processes and choices of every state is beyond anyone’s capability. I weighed the lack of an updated score accordingly.

When deciding whether to support a bill, I ask myself whether the bill improves upon existing law, not whether I would advocate for the policy or program if I were starting with a blank slate. In other words, the proper analysis is not whether it makes the law good but rather whether it makes the law better. In this case, I felt comfortable advancing the bill to the Senate as a marginal improvement to the ACA. The House has voted more than 30 times to amend (not just repeal) Obamacare since I’ve been in Congress, and I have supported much of that legislation, too, on the principle of incrementalism. If it advances liberty even a little (on net), then I’m a yes.

Nonetheless, the ACA will continue to drive up the cost of health insurance—while bolstering the largest insurance companies—and the modifications contained in the AHCA cannot save it. Many of the AHCA’s provisions are poorly conceived or improperly implemented. At best, it will make Obamacare less bad.

The Framers of the Constitution understood that federalism—the division of powers between the national and state governments—would maximize the happiness of Americans. As long as Washington dictates health insurance policy to the entire country, there will be massive tension and displeasure with the system. I’ve always said, and I will continue to say, we need to start over: Fully repeal Obamacare, let the people of each state choose their own approach, and work together in a nonpartisan manner.

The Congressman is correct when he says that it’s his duty to decide whether or not a bill is an improvement on existing law. However, one should also consider whether it’s possible for the law to be dramatically improved with more effort put towards bigger or smaller changes. In this case, I believe Amash would have voted against the bill if he believed there was a full repeal possible. He and the Freedom Caucus weighed the possibilities and decided that this was the best they were going to get. It was right move from a legislative perspective, but it also reinvigorates the necessity for the Federalist Party to rise.

It’s a shame that small-government-minded representatives are forced to pick between the lesser of two evils. Millions of voters can relate to this circumstance as we’re often faced with picking between Mr. Big Gov or his opponent, Mrs. Bigger Gov. As long as the two-party system holds primacy over all potential challengers, we will always be faced with this obtuse binary choice. The time for change is now.

Norman: This is largely as I predicted except the Silly Party won, this was mainly due to the number of votes cast.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Election Night Special 1969

Less that 24 hours after the GOP house passed it’s version of Obamacare repeal then ending their not so splende inaction a professional prognosticator forecast doom and gloom for house GOP members for doing so.

Republicans’ 217-213 passage of the American Health Care Act on Thursday guarantees Democrats will have at least one major on-the-record vote to exploit in the next elections. Although it’s the first of potentially many explosive votes, House Republicans’ willingness to spend political capital on a proposal that garnered the support of just 17 percent of the public in a March Quinnipiac poll is consistent with past scenarios that have generated a midterm wave.

Not only did dozens of Republicans in marginal districts just hitch their names to an unpopular piece of legislation, Democrats just received another valuable candidate recruitment tool. In fact, Democrats aren’t so much recruiting candidates as they are overwhelmed by a deluge of eager newcomers, including doctors and veterans in traditionally red seats who have no political record for the GOP to attack – almost a mirror image of 2010

Their conclusion (with a caviet):

In light of the vote, we are shifting our ratings in 20 districts, all reflecting enhanced opportunities for Democrats. The major caveat is that 18 months is an eternity in politics and that as always, we will continue to adjust our outlook as events unfold and the landscape develops.

Naturally the MSM jumped all over this

and Cook was not alone among the prognosticators, Nate Silver joined em:

There could easily be an overall partisan swing of 5 to 10 percentage points against Republicans, therefore. It’s not quite clear how this partisan swing would interact with the AHCA penalty — whether you’d add them together or whether that’s double-counting — but it should be enough to make a lot of Republican incumbents nervous. There are 58 Republicans who won by less than 20 points in 20162 and who voted for the AHCA.

Naturally the MSM jumped

A top nonpartisan election analyst says Thursday’s House GOP vote to repeal and replace ObamaCare hurts the reelection chances of a number of House Republicans next year.

The Cook Political Report on Friday shifted its forecast for 20 GOP-incumbent or open districts to categories less favorable for Republicans.

and Jumped hard into the “GOP DOOM” meme

The Atlantic: What the GOP’s Health-Care Gamble Means for 2018

Vox: “I’ve never seen anything like this”: progressives see huge donation spike after AHCA vote

NYT: What Democrats’ Losses in 2010 Can Tell Us About G.O.P.’s Chances in 2018

Talking Points Memo: Hey Hey Goodbye

Politico: Red-state Dems pounce on Obamacare repeal bill

Mother Jones: These 24 Republicans Were Already Vulnerable—and Now They Just Voted to Repeal Obamacare

and of course the Washington Post: Did Republicans just wave bye-bye to their House majority?

It’s almost as if there was a single coordinated script that they all were reading from.

Now there are likely those who might get worried about these predictions and the media’s rush to support and amplify them, but before you do let me show you a blast from Cook’s past namely Nov 7th 2016:

And Nate Silver on Election day with a couple of state highlights thrown in

And then ask the question: Do they really think the American people to fall for this grift again? Or are they only expecting the pols in DC and their foolish consultants to do so?


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Olimometer 2.52

If you are not in the position to kick in your funds we’ll always accept your prayers.

As I type this I’m watching Dana Bash “Bash” rep Tom MacArthur for his efforts on the Obamacare repeal. They (and MSNBC) have gone all in on the “GOP is risking their majority by doing this” and telling their viewers that this is going to make all the difference to Democrats.

For those of you who might actually be foolish enough to believe them let me remind you of something.

Seven years ago we were told by CNN and the MSM how popular Obamacare was going to be, how Republicans were fools for not joining Democrats in supporting it and reacted in disbelief when they lost the House of Representatives over it. And insisted that regardless of the results Obamacare was popular.

The best answer to this was given by Ted Cruz during the 2016 primaries in New Hampshire when he said:

Ted Cruz: Think about this for a second Since President Obama was elected we’ve had 3 elections. Two of them 2010 & 2014 the number one issue was repealing Obamacare and we won historic tidal wave elections that shattered the history books. In between, in 2012 we searched out and found the one person on the face of the planet who had actually designed & implemented a program just like obamacare and that’s who we nominated as our presidential candidate. Literally there are seven billion people on the planet and you could walk up to anyone one of them and say “Excuse me Sir have you designed and implemented a program like Obama care”

Man in Crowd: Not lately

Cruz: Then you would make a much better candidate. Lunacy!

Here is the video, exclusively from DaTechGuy who was the only reporter there btw

Now we have those same media who told us how Obamacare was going to guarantee a Democrat majorities for years. The same media that told us that Obamacare was going to become more and more popular, the same media that told us that this president couldn’t win the nomination, or the election and couldn’t get this bill passed, that same media spent a good amount of time on Thursday insisting that repealing this bill was going to be political suicide for the GOP.

Now in fairness said media will be doing all they can to help the Democrats advance this meme and will expend time and treasure to do so, but let me say one thing here.

If you are a member of the GOP stupid enough to believe this, then you deserve to lose your seat.

Now I admit, I would have liked a better bill, I admit that the Senate’s bill will be a different one and it would not surprise me to see it take six months or more for the final bill to get to the president’s desk.

But believe me the people worried should not be the GOP members decided if they should replace Obamacare with this bill (a bill they can tweak all they like later) but the people worried should be red state dems in the Senate who had not voted for Obamacare put in the position where they have a choice to keep Obamacare or replace it.

Those are the folk in danger and nothing the MSM says will make it otherwise.

Don’t be a sucker.

Closing thought, the fact that any repeal bill was passed is almost miraculous, stuff like this never gets turned back, the day before Scott Brown was elected I predicted on a live podcast that if Obamacare passed it would stay. I”m happy to be wrong.

Update Powerline gets it:

HOUSE VOTES TO REPEAL AND REPLACE OBAMACARE; DEMOCRATS LOSE BIG AND SPIN FURIOUSLY

and Don Surber notices something:

By a 217-213 vote, the House passed a trillion-dollar tax cut on Thursday and sent it to the Senate. Every Democrat voted against it, as did 20 turncoat Republicans.

You probably think I am daft for writing that, but that is exactly what happened when the House voted to replace Obamacare and replace it with something saner. Rolling back Obamacare also rolled back the taxes the Democratic Party imposed.

Americans for Tax Reform added up the taxes repealed and the total was a trillion-dollar boost to the economy over the next decade.

Maybe it’s just me but I think people like having their taxes cut


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Olimometer 2.52

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For the next three days I’m going to be flat out.  Fr. Stephen Imbarrato of Priests for life who you’ve seen hosting EWTN’s series Defending life, will be doing several events in several cities for WQPH 89.3 and I’ll be covering him and those who attend the various, events, masses and dinners over Divine Mercy Sunday.  You can get tickets for the various dinners and lunches here and the events are open to the public so I hope to see you in Boston, Malden, Medford and Fitchburg particularly at the Eucharistic Procession on Saturday in Fitchburg.

If you are only interested in mass there will be four two of which he will be the celebrant.

Sat 8 AM  St. Joseph’s Church Medford  Fr. Imbarrato celebrant

Sat Noon St. Bernards Church at St. Camillus Parish Fitchburg

Sat 5 PM Madonna of the Holy Rosary 118 Theresa st. Fitchburg 

Sunday 4:30 PM  Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine Boston Fr. Imbarrato celebrant

(the Final Mass will be preceded at 2:30 by confession and a Holy Hour)

Full details are here.


Speaking of life the most pro-life president of my lifetime has once again taken concrete action defending it.

America’s largest provider of terminations, Planned Parenthood, described the new measure, which has delighted pro-life conservatives, as “designed to undermine women’s health”.

The new law nullifies a rule finalised in the last days of the Barack Obama administration that effectively barred state and local governments from withholding federal funding for family planning services, regardless of whether groups offering these services also performed abortions.

The new measure cleared Congress last month with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

The Yahoo article describing this drips with contempt but this was also a win for States as Hotair noted:

When the vote was cast, Senator Joni Ernst praised the bill. “It should be the right of our states to allocate sub-grants under the Title X program in the way that best fits the needs of the people living there,” Ernst said according to a report in the NY Times. She added, “Unfortunately, like many other rules issued during the Obama administration, this rule attempted to empower federal bureaucrats in Washington and silence our states.”

I think it’s really something that the items this president has managed to advance have been pro-life.  I’m ecstatic.


Also at Hotair it seems like the most prolife president in my lifetime will be meeting with Pope Francis after all:

Just to John Gizzi’s point, I just want to make sure I note that we will be reaching out to the Vatican to see if a meeting, an audience with the Pope can be accommodated.  We’ll have further details on that.  Obviously, we’d be honored to have an audience with His Holiness.

Gronk scores? (Well, we’re used to that.) What’s odd about this is that several questions had come between Gizzi’s exchange and this later answer. The question on the table when Gronkowski interrupted was about NAFTA. No one had followed up on Gizzi’s question, but Spicer returned to it anyway. Hmmm.

At least as late as last night, the Vatican still hadn’t heard from the White House, either. America Magazine’s Gerard O’Connell reports that the Holy See’s diplomatic office is happy to arrange the meeting if they get the request:

While Francis has been a mixed bag great on confession and the danger of the devil and weak on Dogma (we still haven’t seen an answer to the four Cardinals dubia on the Amoris Laetitia footnote concerning marriage and communion)  on the issue of abortion he has been very clear in both speeches and encyclicals condemning it, although if you listen to democrats and the media it’s as if he never has.

Meanwhile Trump has so far been falling on the Paul of Tarsus vs the Simon the Magician side of the conversion scale.

They should have a lot to talk about.


Speaking of life guess what’s alive again? An Obamacare repeal compromise:

You can understand why the compromise might appeal to both the conservative and moderate wings inside the GOP. For the Freedom Caucus, it means red states will be able to shed onerous federal regs and offer a greater variety of health-care plans, replete with lower premiums for consumers. For the Tuesday Group, the fact that waivers are available but not mandatory means that blue states will be able to keep the more robust ObamaCare rules intact if they like. In that sense, the plan bears a slight resemblance to Bill Cassidy’s and Susan Collins’s proposal, which would have repealed ObamaCare and then let each state choose whether to “reimplement” it or to build their own tailor-made system. The new GOP deal doesn’t go that far but it’s a step in that direction vis-a-vis EHBs and community rating. If you believe a Freedom Caucus source who spoke to CNBC, there are 25 to 30 FC members ready to flip to yes to vote for this deal — a bit surprising given libertarian suspicions that waivers will be harder for states to obtain than everyone thinks.

And of course if it defends Planned Parenthood as well that’s going to be a biggie too.

There is a lot of talk about the first 100 days but I think that’s arbitrary, I’d just worry about getting it done period because it it gets done then we can always do more later.


You know what might also be alive again?  Ann Coulter’s speech not just At Berkeley but invited BY Berkeley which claims they have…

identified an appropriate, protectable venue that is available on the afternoon of May 2. While it is not one we have used for these sorts of events in the past, it can both accommodate a substantial audience and meet the security criteria established by our police department. Earlier today, we informed both the Berkeley College Republicans and the Coulter organization of this development, and we look forward to working with them. We will disclose the exact location of the venue once we have finalized details with both organizations.

Hotair explains the volte face:

She was going to show up anyway and create a security clusterfark for them when the usual suspects inevitably started smashing windows. That was the nuclear option. Berkeley doesn’t care about bad press from the right; the fascist left wears that as a badge of honor. They don’t care about First Amendment lawsuits either. But if the town is going to burn on the 27th and they’re going to get sued by the victims for not having done more to provide security, then sure, they’ll spring into action and find a “protectable venue.” If this standoff is destined to happen, better from the school’s perspective that it happen in an environment they can sort of control than one they can’t. Coulter forced them to choose. Any other conservative speaker with the guts and the dough to provide their own security, just in case, can probably get other public universities to back down with the same threat.

Coulter has told them they can go pound sand she’s coming the 27th anyway:

Hours later, Coulter shot down the invitation in a series of tweets and said she will speak at Berkeley on Thursday as planned not only because she “can’t do May 2,” but “THERE ARE NO CLASSES AT BERKELEY THE WEEK OF MAY 2!!!”

That week is “Dead Week,” a time when classes are suspended so students can study for exams.

“It’s at an awful time,” said Naweed Tahmas, 20, of the Berkeley College Republicans student group that invited Coulter. Also, the last day of instruction is three days later.

“Do not fall for b.s. Berkeley press release claiming they ‘rescinded’ cancelation,” Coulter tweeted. “GOOD NEWS FOR CA TAXPAYER! You won’t be required to pay $$$$ to compensate me & my crew for rebooked airfare & hotels. I’m speaking on 4/27.”

Your move Berkeley.


There was an interesting piece on Jake Tapper in the Washington Free Beacon worth quoting:

In a candid interview with GQ published Tuesday, Tapper acknowledged that after his tough interviews of administration figures like Kellyanne Conway, he picked up a following from many critics of President Donald Trump.

“It’s nice to be recognized, but I also know that a lot of the people who are happy with me now are not going to be happy with me in four to eight years,” he predicted.

Tapper said that he was just as tough on Obama, and earned his share of grief for it at the time.

“A lot of people sending me nice tweets today were cursing me when I was asking questions about Benghazi in 2012,” he said.

“President Obama was not friendly to the press, but the press was very friendly to President Obama,” Tapper told GQ. “I mean, President Obama did not like me, and I understand why. I was a pain in his ass and I didn’t drink the Kool-Aid, and, you know, a lot of other people did.”

This is what I’ve been saying for years, that once a Republican was elected, conservatives would think Tapper had turned on them, but he’s never been with us, he’s just been a reporter who actually reports.  Yeah he’s gotten a thing wrong or two on Trump (who he clearly doesn’t like) but I’m not going to throw Jake out of the bus for being what he’s always been, a journalist who asks a lot of tough questions that make people in power uncomfortable, whoever they are.


Some culture?  Olivia De Havilland (who I think my wife resembles) is the last great star of Hollywood’s golden age still alive, from Captain Blood (1933) to Gone with the Wind (1939) she’s done it all and this week demonstrated the class of that bygone generation in reply to questions concerning a new mini series Feud about Hollywood circa 1963.

De Havilland is played on the series by fellow Oscar winner Catherine Zeta-Jones as a regal friend and supporter of Davis, but she was not consulted by the show’s creators — Murphy recently told THR that he “didn’t want to intrude on Ms. de Havilland” — so THR emailed her (yes, she uses email) to ask for her thoughts about the show and the women at the center of it.

“I have received your email with its two questions,” De Havilland replied. “I would like to reply first to the second of these, which inquires of me the accuracy of a current television series entitled Feud, which concerns Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and their supposed animosity toward each other. Having not seen the show, I cannot make a valid comment about it. However, in principle, I am opposed to any representation of personages who are no longer alive to judge the accuracy of any incident depicted as involving themselves.”

Added De Havilland, “As to the 1963 Oscar ceremony, which took place over half a century ago, I regret to say that I have no memory of it whatsoever and therefore cannot vouch for its accuracy.”

I’m with Vulture.com here

Now, time to find a throw pillow large enough to embroider with every word of this email.


Susan Sarandon is one of the Stars of that series playing Joan Crawford.  She is an ultra leftist but as this story shows, she is an honest one:

“It doesn’t matter if you’re outspoken about Trump, because Hollywood hates Trump,” she says. “But it was brave of Richard to say what he said. He was drawing attention to the things that everyone has agreed not to pay attention to. That’s the sin.”

She’s talking about Richard Gere who has been blacklisted in Hollywood for the crime of Supporting Tibet and criticizing China and even indy films are iffy now:

Gere is now appearing in “Norman,” the story of a Jewish “fixer” who gets involved with an Israeli politician. He’ll soon star in “The Dinner,” a modest story about two couples arguing over their adult children’s troubles.

Pure indie filmmaking. Yet even some indie films are off limits to him now.

“There was something I was going to do with a Chinese director, and two weeks before we were going to shoot, he called saying, ‘Sorry, I can’t do it,’” confides Gere. “We had a secret phone call on a protected line. If I had worked with this director, he, his family would never have been allowed to leave the country ever again, and he would never work.”

It’s a reminder that China is the same dictatorship it always was, but just imagine if they told Hollywood to lay off of Trump or no $.  It would be fun to see which Hollywood types would bite their tongues off.  Sarandon wouldn’t, that’s why I respect her.


An earlier item mentioned Gronk that is Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski who was part of the Pat’s continent that visited the White House and caused the Patriots to call out the New York Times for Fake News:

and they posted a tweet comparing two compatible super bowl win visits

If you want to know why so many non-New England fans hate the patriots it’s because most can only dream about tweets that say “The last time the [insert their home team here] won two Super Bowls in three years”

and while the NYT has offered a mea culpa (via hotair)

You’ll notice that the 800+ retweets that got is a lot less that the Times original 50,000+


Finally while the Boston Bruins (down 3-1) and the top seeded Boston Celtics (down 2-0) are nearing first round playoff elimination and the Boston Red Sox season just starting (10-6) 3rd place in the East have are all newsworthy I think the big story is the real likelihood that Superbowl Hero Malcolm Butler might be done in New England:

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler has signed his restricted free-agent tender, which opens the possibility that the team could trade him.

Because a player can’t be traded unless he is under contract, Butler’s status was in limbo until he signed the $3.91 million tender.

Here’s why it makes it likely that he’s done here

The thinking would be similar to what the club did in 2016 when it shipped defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for a late second-round pick. The Patriots knew they were unlikely to sign Jones to a big-money extension after the season when he became an unrestricted free agent, so they decided that getting something valuable for him one year earlier was a worthwhile investment. They ultimately turned the pick they received for Jones into two players — starting guard Joe Thuney and promising receiver Malcolm Mitchell — en route to a Super Bowl championship.

Butler might even bring the Patriots a greater return in a year in which the club’s earliest selection in the draft is currently early in the third round, No. 72 overall. If the Saints were willing to return the first-round pick they received from the Patriots (No. 32 overall) in the Brandin Cooks trade, that might be enticing for Bill Belichick. Or a combination of high second- and third-round picks might even be viewed as more valuable to Belichick for a player who is unlikely to return to the team in 2018 after New England invested five years and $65 million in free-agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Of course they might just decide they want to extraordinary CB’s this year to make the defense even more airtight.

He’s one of the few people to whom a Superbowl victory can be directly traced and is rightly considered by the NFL as the top Interception of all time:

I’d be sorry to see him go but if he ends up with a big contract elsewhere I’m happy to see him cash in, he earned it.


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I don’t make it a practice to comment on potential legislation before reading it. Speculation takes too much bias and rumors into account which tends to sway the reader (and author) in directions before the truth is even known. I’m making this exception because if reports that Vice President Mike Pence has negotiated a deal with the Freedom Caucus turn out to be true, it could be the best move made by the administration on health care since taking office.

Then again, it might be a big nothingburger.

The good news: limited waivers for the states. This means states have opportunities to bypass certain provisions of the AHCA that would allow them to help drive down premiums.

The bad news: essential health benefits carry over from Obamacare. This will limit the decrease (and even perpetuate increases) in premiums for the vast majority of Americans.

We’ll see how it pans out, but here’s the thing. I know many if not most Republicans are in favor of repealing and replacing Obamacare with the AHCA. It would boost morale and take away certain chunks of the oppressive economic burden that Obamacare has placed on us. However, the details are terrifying to anyone who believes in limiting government and defending the freedoms we hold dear. The original AHCA was a repackaged version of nationalized medicine that would push us further down the road towards financial oblivion and what we’ve seen of the proposed changes don’t change that. It would potentially slow down skyrocketing insurance costs, but it wouldn’t reverse them. In essence, it’s not a solution to Obamacare but a way to spread out the ill effects. We will still be paying way more than we were just a few years ago. We will still be ballooning the national debt and making little impact on our outrageously unbalanced budget.

Full repeal is the right way to go. That’s not to say that we need to return to the pre-Obamacare era. Changes need to be made, but those changes should come based upon reactions and analysis once it’s repealed rather than trying to plug all of the potential holes ahead of time. If we repeal Obamacare and allow the free market to guide the government on changes to be made, the end result will be much better. We can already plan for some of the changes such as opening up competition across state lines. We can work with charities, communities, and local governments to fill the gaps and prevent people from falling through the cracks. By repealing Obamacare fully in stages over the next 1-3 years and then watching how consumers, health insurance companies, and markets react, we can make intelligent decisions rather than speculative ones.

Of note is that the Freedom Caucus is supporting the amendments to the bill. We’ll see what that really looks like. Getting government out of health care is the only truly conservative/federalist way of fixing it. If they’re willing to negotiate, I would hope it’s because they believe in the plan and not because they’re feeling pressure from donors and the White House.

Only time will tell and speculation at this point is premature, but it will be interesting to see just how revamped Ryancare 2.0 really is. The bright spot I’ve seen in initial reports is that leftist publications like WaPo and HuffPo seem to hate the idea, so that’s good.

If the party wants me and people like me they’ll have to earn me. When the GOP can convince me that they are serious about growing the party, when they convince me they are serious about treating the tea party et/al as valued members as opposed to a source of temp labor and occasional funds. I’ll be happy to return to the Republican Party in as public a fashion as I’ve just left it.

DaTechGuy Feb 2 2013

Four years ago I quit the GOP because I was offended by what I saw covering the vote for state party chair. Friday’s Obamacare debacle confirmed that my decision was the right one.

 

Cowardice, alone of all the vices, is purely painful – horrible to anticipate, horrible to feel, horrible to remember;

The Screwtape Letters Number 23

The GOP House leadership are a bunch of cowards.

When Obamacare passed they railed against it.  When the 2010 elections came by they campaigned against it and were rewarded with control of the house and the repeal bill began to pass.  When the GOP took over the Senate in 2014 the repeal bills continued.  Over and over first under Boehner and then under Ryan the House leadership bravely passed repeal bills that they knew would never become law.

And then Donald Trump was elected.  And suddenly the repeal bills that were good enough to pass, were suddenly not.

They remind me of the professional protestors of the left or the illegal alien advocates.  As long as they were confronting police in cities that wouldn’t harm them or prosecute them they were lions, but once they found themselves in a situation where they would be prosecuted like Trump inaugural, or arrested by ICE they cried for mother.

Rep Joe Barton explained it perfectly

Prior to the vote being canceled, Rep. Joe Barton, a member of the Freedom Caucus who would have supported the legislation, said its failure would be a “huge black eye” for Republicans. Afterward, he attempted to explain the outcome. 

“Sometimes you’re playing fantasy football and sometimes you’re in the real game,” Barton said. He elaborated that House Republicans knew, with each past repeal vote, that Obama would have vetoed it. “This time, we knew if it got to the president’s desk it would be signed.”

And so when it came time to govern and lead, the House leadership ran away like the cowards they were.  They deserve to face primaries and be replaced.

if he [General Bragg] could not win in just the way he wanted, he did not care about winning at all, or anyhow he wanted no personal share in such a victory

Shelby Foote The Civil War A Narrative Fredericksburg to Meridian p 744

And while were at it, lets primary the fools of the Freedom Caucus.

The freedom caucus had a chance to defund Obama, albeit in an imperfect vehicle, and not only that, they had a bill that addressed other key conservative priorities.  It provided room for tax cuts that could stimulate the economy, and even more importantly would have defunded planned parenthood meaning that Democrats wanting to re-fund them would have needed to repass such legislation.  Furthermore they knew their fellow house GOP members for the cowards they were, they knew they didn’t have the guts to bring up the old bill, yet knowing this they were too proud and too stupid to take the run scoring single to begin the drive and instead swung for the fences and struck out.

But that’s not the only thing they knew, they also knew that Donald Trump is  a  late convert to conservatism just as Saul of Tarsus was a late convert to Christianity,  And just as that selfsame saint didn’t waste his time with people who won’t listen.

On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said. Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles

Acts 13:44-46

The GOP caucus supposedly filled with Christians who know their scripture should have recognized that this president, if he can’t make a deal with his own caucus would, like Paul, be happy to make one with someone else.

“As you know, I’ve been saying for years that the best thing is to let Obamacare explode and then go make a deal with the Democrats and have one unified deal. And they will come to us, we won’t have to come to them.”

If the Freedom caucus didn’t like this version of Obamacare repeal how much less will they love a deal made with Democrats that will almost certainly continue funding for planned parenthood.

Now if these guys had been serious and smart there was a simple way this could be handed to satisfy everyone.  Last year’s Restoring Americans’  Healthcare Freedom Reconciliation Act should have been reintroduced, and voted on in the house and if it failed and we have every reason to believe it would fail because if the establishment cowards of the house didn’t reject it, the squishes in the senate like Collins, Murkowski et/all would have killed it there presuming of course that the parliamentarian of the Senate didn’t save them the trouble by allowing Senate Democrats to filibuster.  Once that failed then Ryan could have offered his half a loaf as the best shot to get things done.

But because the House GOP (and likely the senate) were too cowardly to support the old repeal bill, and the Freedom caucus was too stupid to accept half a loaf the American People in general and GOP votes in particular are stuck with Obamacare for at least another year, but we’re also stuck with Planned Parenthood funding continued and believe me rabid pro-lifers like myself will not forget that the GOP left that prize slip through our fingers.  To paraphrase Charlton Heston from the classic movie El Cid

Sire, you risk having no GOP majority at all

I say primary the lot of them, I’m sure we can find 218 other republicans who aren’t cowards or fools willing to govern.  I’ll give the last word to Charlton Heston from El Cid:


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If you are not in the position to

He still held to the all out attack as the key to victory. But there were others in the fleet who knew more that he about exactly how to press home that attack on the water.

He summoned Penn, Lawson and the other experienced seamen among his officers to his ripped and patched flagship. Facing them in his great cabin under the poop, he bluntly told the what he wanted to do and asked them how to do it, noting for emphasis:  “Your advice shall be as binding on me as an Act of Parliament”

Broadsides & Boarders Albert P 117

Any Jackass can kick down a barn door, it takes a carpenter to build one.

Sam Rayburn

There is no doubt that the failure of the Obamacare repeal bill is a failure for the Trump administration, the celebrations and glee on the left and all over cable news demonstrates how bad a failure it is, but while it’s a big failure for Trump it will be a bigger failure for conservatives if they have to explain why Obamacare remains the law of the land to voters in 2018.

Lucky (or unlucky) for them  Donald Trump while a person who has a lot of experience in success is not unfamiliar with failure, either in business or politically.

We saw Trump lose Iowa, we saw Trump looking like he couldn’t get the delegates to clinch before the nomination.  We saw the Trump campaign hit reef after reef and heard the same experts who spent the last 24 hours predicting his doom do the same over and over again.

Yet in the end he would win.

I could be wrong but I think this might be Trump’s George Monck on day 1 of Gabbard moment.  Like England’s Admiral Monck fighting his first action at sea that day, he charged straight ahead heedless of the conditions because that’s what he always did on land and took a beating from his more experienced foe Dutch Admiral Tromp.

After that first day he consulted with subordinates more experienced in naval warfare and when he came back the next day winning a decisive victory.

If there is one thing we’ve seen from Donald Trump is that he’s more than capable of learning from his mistakes and his setbacks.  His willingness to learn and adapt is why he is president today.

The media is confidently predicting doom and defeat I predict that Trump, being Trump will learn from this defeat and use those lesson to pass the rest of his agenda before returning to Obamacare.  In fact I strongly suspect that he will learn a lot more from this defeat than my friends and allies in the freedom caucus will learn from their victory today, who while keeping themselves pure have apparently forgotten how to count.

So I’m going to go out on a limb and make a prediction.

Before the next election, perhaps even before the end of the year, we will see a deal made and a new healthcare bill passed on Trump’s terms.

The only questions will be:   What will those terms be? and Who will the deal be made with?

May we conservatives be smart enough to make sure we like the answer to those questions.


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