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Tag Archives: Susan Collins

McConnell and Collins Have a Deal to Try to Save Obamacare

Congressional Republicans deployed a brilliant strategy to gut Obamacare by camouflaging within the tax cut bill language ending the insurance purchase mandate. Had they tried to run that as a “standalone” measure, it no doubt would have been defeated, as was their initial effort earlier this year to wreck Obamacare.

The requirement that everyone purchase insurance helps Obamacare survive by guaranteeing income to insurers that they lose by being forced to cover everyone – including the sickest people – and give them the same basic coverage no matter their needs. By requiring younger, healthier people who would forgo insurance to pay for it, insurers get the cash they need to pay the bills of the least healthy. Without this requirement, insurers would take a big hit and have no reason to participate in the health care “exchanges” providing insurance to individuals.

But in order to get the vote of moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine for the tax cut, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell agreed to move legislation that would have taxpayers restore “cost sharing” payments to insurance companies, which would help them deal with the expected decision of many healthy young adults to stop buying insurance. This would, of course, undermine the whole purpose of eliminating the mandate.

Fortunately, it appears that House Republicans are going to reject the idea, which the Senate wants to include in a separate spending package. Conservatives likely will not agree to again grab defeat from the jaws of victory on Obamacare. Barack Obama’s signature achievement – other than doubling the debt, vastly weakening our national security, and growing the economy at the lowest rate of any post-World War II president – likely is on its way out, while Collins will be left with a face-saving deal she can blame the House for not agreeing to.

Obamacare Repeal Dead as Collins Votes No: Strip Her Chairmanship

A third Republican this afternoon announced that she opposes the latest effort by Sens. Graham and Cassidy to partially repeal Obamacare, putting an end to the effort as Republicans now lack the 50 votes needed to pass the measure.

Republicans were elected to repeal Obamacare and their power stems from people who trusted them when they said they would do this. This is another blow to the Republican Party, which is beginning to many conservatives to seem as irrelevant as the Democrats are virulent.

The three Republicans opposing this measure have a right to their opinions, but they don’t have a right to their power, which stems from Republican voters who put the GOP in the majority and therefore in charge of committees. With that in mind, Collins should be forced to give up her chairmanship of the Aging Committee, John McCain should be removed as chair of the Armed Service panel, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska should get the boot as chairwoman of the Senate Energy Committee.

From Collins’ statement:

I have three major concerns with both the proposal that we were discussing last week and the newest version that was put together this weekend:

First, both proposals make sweeping changes and cuts in the Medicaid program. Expert projections show that more than $1 trillion would be taken out of the Medicaid program between the years 2020 and 2036. This would have a devastating impact to a program that has been on the books for 50 years and provides health care to our most vulnerable citizens, including disabled children and low-income seniors.

Medicaid is going broke. It is not sustainable at current spending levels. And it’s not clear that people have better health outcomes who are on Medicaid.

Second, both bills open the door for states to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Some states could allow higher premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions, potentially making their insurance unaffordable. States could also limit specific categories of benefits for Affordable Care Act policies, such as eliminating coverage for mental health or substance abuse treatment.

Forcing people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional – despite the Supreme Court ruling – and making the young purchase it amounts to a massive subsidy paid by them for their elders. They’re already paying for seniors’ Social Security and Medicare. But not everyone with every pre-existing condition can just wait until they get sick to purchase health insurance. There have to be some penalties for not accounting for risks, instead simply making other people pay for it.

Third, physicians, patient advocates, insurers, and hospitals agree that both versions of this legislation would lead to higher premiums and reduced coverage for tens of millions of Americans.

Who cares what they think? And premiums are already going up under Obamacare.

The CBO’s analysis on the earlier version of the bill, incomplete though it is due to time constraints, confirms that this bill will have a substantially negative impact on the number of people covered by insurance.

Many of these people will not have health insurance because they choose not to. Others won’t be much worse off, if at all, than they are under Medicaid.

AND IN THE LONG RUN WITH UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE THE QUALITY OF CARE DECLINES AND PEOPLE DIE.

Maybe you, maybe me.

Republicans Serve Lobster During Obama Lunch

Updated 9:40 pm ET

Really, nobody in Washington gets it.

Senate Republicans served up a lunch of lobster salad and blueberry pie as they gathered on Capitol Hill Thursday to listen to the newly cuddly President Obama.

lobsterThe economy’s in the tank, federal workers and others are losing their jobs because of the sequester, and senators are feasting on lobster.

To Obama’s credit, he didn’t eat any, but this is either because he was too busy speaking or possibly because he has to have a food taster – who perhaps was out with food poisoning or something. Otherwise he would have certainly dived in. Lobster is hardly foreign to the Obamas.

The lunch was hosted by Sen. Susan Collins, who is from Maine. Okay, fine, they got lobsters there, but every state has fish swimming around somewhere and that doesn’t mean senators should rip the roe out and serve caviar either.

This comes on the heels of the lobster thermidor meal Obama dined on with several moderate GOP senators at the Jefferson hotel last week. Filet of prime beef was also served as THE POLITICIANS TRIED TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO CUT THE BUDGET.

Sure, Obama picked up the tab, but does the symbolism of such a dinner occur to no one?

When – as she departed from today’s lunch – Collins was informed by protestors that the people can’t afford lobster, she replied, “Let them eat crab.”

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Top Republican: Benghazi Attack Planned, Security Lax

The top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security Committee said Thursday that the assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was a premeditated terrorist attack, expressing shock that the administration hadn’t provided better security at the outpost. “I’m just stunned and appalled that there wasn’t better security for all of the American personnel at that… Continue Reading