The Big Lies: “Preexisting illness is not covered under that AHCA.”

If one listens to Democrat Party officials or their media sycophants one comes away with two impressions. First, Obamacare should be renamed, “The Preexisting Illness Coverage Bill.” Second, the American Health Care Act should be renamed, “Death To Those With Preexisting Illnesses Act.” Ya’ gotta love these guys. They know how to grab public attention.

So are they correct? In a remarkably informative article, Guy Benson enlightens us about the truthfulness of these Democrat talking points.

[Source: Fact Check: It’s a Lie That the GOP Healthcare Bill Abandons People With Pre-Existing Conditions, by Guy Benson]

Former President Obama chimed in yesterday. “It takes little courage to aid those who are already powerful, already comfortable, already influential,” Mr. Obama said, “but it takes great courage to champion the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm.” When it comes to condescension Mr. Obama has no peers. This statement basically says “if you you voted with me you walk with the angels. If you didn’t vote with me you are a scumbag.” Well, Mr Obama, I spent nearly 50 years actually attending to the needs of “the vulnerable and the sick and the infirm” and I DIDN’T VOTE WITH YOU! You’re healthcare bill SUCKS!

Point one: There are 321.4 million Americans. At peak enrollment how many of them were insured by Obamacare’s Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan? The answer is 115,000 or 0.0004 of the populace. I certainly am NOT saying that these people are unimportant. What I am saying is that they are a small group that can be appropriately helped without the federal government taking over healthcare and 1/6 of the US GDP.

Wait, wait, say you! The Democrats (like Kamala Harris) are saying there 129 million Americans with preexisting conditions! I cannot vouch for the accuracy of that number but can state unequivocally that prior to Obamacare, the vast majority of Americans with health insurance were already in plans that were required to offer them coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions. Employer-based plans were required to offer coverage to everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions. So were Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs like the VA. Employer- and government-based plans, prior to Obamacare, represented 90 percent of Americans with health insurance. The truth is that not even 129,000 signed up for the Obamacare, let alone 129,000,000.

Point two: Does the AHCA “leave these poor souls out in the cold?” Definitely NOT! [From the Benson article]

  • Layer One: Insurers are required to sell plans to all comers, including those with pre-existing conditions. This is known as “guaranteed issue,” and it’s mandated in the AHCA. No exceptions, no waivers. I spoke with an informed conservative news consumer earlier who was stunned to learn that this was the case, having been subjected to 24 hours of unhinged rhetoric from the Left.
  • Layer Two: Anyone with a pre-existing condition and who lives in a state that does not seek an optional waiver from the AHCA’s (and Obamacare’s) “community rating” regulation cannot be charged more than other people for a new plan when they seek to purchase one — which, as established above, insurers are also required to sell them.
  • Layer Three: Anyone who is insured and remains continuously insured cannot be dropped from their plan due to a pre-existing condition, and cannot be charged more after developing one. So if you’ve been covered, then you change jobs or want to switch plans, carriers must sell you the plan of your choice at the same price point as everyone else. Regardless of your health status. This is true of people in non-waiver and waiver states alike.
  • Layer Four: If you are uninsured and have a pre-existing condition and live in a state that pursued (and obtained after jumping through hoops) a “community rating” waiver, your state is required to give you access to a “high risk pool” fund to help you pay for higher premiums. The AHCA earmarks nearly $130 billion for these sorts of patient stability funds over ten years.

Now one can have a reasonable argument as to whether or not $130 billion is sufficient, but one cannot argue that the AHCA dumps those with preexisting conditions.

Roy Filly

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The Big Lies: The “24 million.”

The Democrat Party gave us Obamacare. Their notion of “insurance for everyone” did insure 24 million more Americans. They tell us now that these 24 million Americans will be dropped from the insurance rolls under the new American Health Care Act. Let’s look at the reality of “the 24 million.”

Ten million of those insured because of Obamacare got insurance under duress (the individual mandate) and the Democrats fail to mention that that roughly 5.6 million people paid a tax penalty instead of buying health insurance. For example, many Americans felt it was in their best interest to pay a mandatory penalty of almost $1,000 because they found it preferable to the $400 or $500 monthly cost of an ACA health plan.

Fourteen million got health insurance handed to them at someone else’s expense. They were added to the Medicaid rolls. Who wouldn’t accept “free” health insurance? But “free” for these individuals comes out of the pocket of others. The Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) found that adult Medicaid enrollment in 24 of the 29 states that accepted Medicaid expansion exceeds projections by an average of 110 percent. As a result, states’ share of Medicaid expansion costs will rise from five percent to 10 percent by 2020, leaving taxpayers in those states on the hook for bloated budgets.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicted that in 2016 there would be 23 million getting policies through the exchanges, but only 10 million have done so. The CBO also estimated that only 10 million would be added to the Medicaid rolls by 2016. As of the first quarter of last year, 14.4 million adults had enrolled in Medicaid. Therefore, the exchanges faltered and medicaid “flourished.” Thus far 16 of the 23 non-profit, state-chartered co-ops created by Obamacare to sell “affordable” insurance plans have gone bankrupt.

Taxpayers not only must pay for those added to Medicaid but also have seen their own insurance become essentially nullified. Those “cheap” Obamacare plans are, in actuality, VERY expensive. Deductibles for individuals enrolled in the lowest-priced Obamacare health plans will average more than $6,000 in 2017 a new analysis finds. Families enrolled in bronze plans will have average deductibles of $12,393, according to the study by the consumer insurance comparison site HealthPocket. Before Obamacare only 55 percent of healthcare plans had a deductible. Now eighty-one percent have an annual deductible. Kaiser Family Foundation found that increasing costs led roughly half of American families to cut back on medical care in the previous 12 months. Someone should remind Democrats that “health insurance” is not healthcare.

The nation’s health care tab will exceed $10,000 per person this year. That is an all-time high. You do remember how Obamacare was going to “bend the health care cost curve down,” don’t you? But if your deductible is $12,393 one’s insurance never kicks in, on average. Therefore, you get no benefit from your premium.

Roy Filly

 

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What’s in a name?

A friend and reader, Mr. Dick Toomey, also has a blog sight called Fodder. I have previously posted some of Mr. Toomey’s posts with his permission. He has a unique way of looking at things.

He has graciously allowed me to post his most recent missive. I highly recommend that you read on. I consider myself (probably inappropriately) to be a wordsmith. The issue of the meaning of “liberal” versus “conservative,” purely as words, never crossed my mind in now well over 2000 posts. (By the by, most of the emphases below were added by me).

Roy Filly

It Needs A Name.

By, Dick Toomey

According to the revered Heritage Foundation, the modern American Conservative movement was born in 1953 with the publication of Russell Kirk’s masterwork — The Conservative Mind. Kirk deserves profound acclaim, as do many other legendary heroes of Conservatism — among them, Goldwater, Friedman, Buckley, Reagan, Gingrich — even media stalwarts like Limbaugh and Levin. Too bad all of that stunning brainpower doesn’t include the name of one mediocre marketer of average intellect. Too bad some competent people with common sense didn’t convene to create a compelling brand name that would coincide with compelling brand principles. But, typical of many “think-tank” scholars, Kirk and other stalwart authors ignored their audience. They planted the seeds of Conservatism all across fertile political fields; and in doing so, forever alienated the majority of voters under the age of 35 — those living and those yet to be conceived (in the Biblical sense). They failed to consider that millions of people would reject the word “conservative” — but not because they would reject Conservative beliefs. They reject the word — the word. They reject it simply because no self respecting millennial wants to be thought of as “conservative.” As that famous intellectual Gomer Pyle was so fond of saying, “Surprise, surprise!” Because who can blame them? Nobody should. “Conservative” is the wrong term for a political ideology that is potent, powerful and productive. If you think you’re a Conservative, take a simple test to prove it. List the known synonyms of “conservative” that you can find in any thesaurus or dictionary. Do it. Do it now. Ready? They are:

Bourgeois, Controlled, Conventional, Die-hard, Fearful, Firm, Fogeyish, Fuddy-duddy, Guarded, Hard Hat, Hidebound, Holding, Illiberal, In a Rut, Inflexible, Obstinate, Old Guard, Old Line, Orthodox, Prejudiced, Reactionary, Redneck, Right of Center, Right Winger, Sober, Stable, Traditional, Unchangeable, Uncreative, Un-Daring, Unimaginative, White Bread.

By contrast to these published definitions of “conservative,” you should also familiarize yourself with the “liberal” counterparts:

Advanced, Avante-Garde, Broad-minded, Enlightened, Flexible, Free, High-minded, Humanistic, Humanitarian, Intelligent, Interested, Left, Loose, Lenient, Libertarian, Magnanimous, Permissive, Rational, Reasonable, Receptive, Receiving, Reformist, Tolerant, Unbiased, Unbigoted, Unconventional, Understanding, Unorthodox, Unprejudiced.

These words are not perceptions. These words are published in the most respected anthologies. These words and definitions are taught, used and accepted in the best schools — grammar schools, high schools and colleges. Conservatives are “Right Wingers.” But Liberals are not “Left Wingers.” Liberals are “Understanding.” Conservatives are “Obstinate.” Conservatives are “reactionary.” Liberals are “rational.” With few exceptions, Conservative is synonymous with negativity, antagonism and deprecation. Liberal is synonymous with thoughtfulness, intelligence and enlightenment. These perceptions may be false but nothing can change them. Conservative gurus in academia and in media work tirelessly to reverse these wrong impressions in an effort to sway young voters — to believe that Conservatism is in their self interest and can indeed be “cool.” They will be successful — when Hell freezes over. At best, Conservatism is an anemic name for a muscular doctrine. Conservatism didn’t elect Trump. The true Conservative candidates lost. The self-avowed Conservative Inner Circle rejected Trump and still does, along with the GOP Beltway Boys. If the Democrat Party had placed in nomination an authentic American Centrist — someone other than their anointed serial criminal or whacko Socialist — Donald and Melania would  be living happily together in Manhattan, doing what billionaires do. Trump didn’t create a new brand, but he did create a new coalition — a coalition that doesn’t walk lock-step with the GOP or any other established party. The Outsider defeated the Establishment. But demographics are not on the side of the new coalition without attracting millennials in much greater numbers. The case has to be made and marketed. The window is open — temporarily. It needs a name.

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The list of Obamacare taxes repealed by the AHCA.

The estimate for Obamacare taxes on the American population ranges from $883 billion to more than $1 trillion. The list of taxes was longer than I thought it would be. But, of course, the Democrat Party never met a tax they didn’t like.

[Source: List of Obamacare taxes repealed, by John Kartch]

-Abolishes the Obamacare Individual Mandate Tax which hits 8 million Americans each year.

-Abolishes the Obamacare Employer Mandate Tax. Together with repeal of the Individual Mandate Tax repeal this is a $270 billion tax cut.

-Abolishes Obamacare’s Medicine Cabinet Tax which hits 20 million Americans with Health Savings Accounts and 30 million Americans with Flexible Spending Accounts. This is a $6 billion tax cut.

-Abolishes Obamacare’s Flexible Spending Account tax on 30 million Americans. This is a $20 billion tax cut.

-Abolishes Obamacare’s Chronic Care Tax on 10 million Americans with high out of pocket medical expenses. This is a $126 billion tax cut.

-Abolishes Obamacare’s HSA withdrawal tax. This is a $100 million tax cut.

-Abolishes Obamacare’s 10% excise tax on small businesses with indoor tanning services. This is a $600 million tax cut.

-Abolishes the Obamacare health insurance tax. This is a $145 billion tax cut.

-Abolishes the Obamacare 3.8% surtax on investment income. This is a $172 billion tax cut.

-Abolishes the Obamacare medical device tax. This is a $20 billion tax cut.

-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on prescription medicine. This is a $28 billion tax cut.

-Abolishes the Obamacare tax on retiree prescription drug coverage. This is a $2 billion tax cut.

There you have it. The Senate needs to get to work to end this legislative travesty known as Obamacare!

And thanks to CAG for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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Yes! The first major step to end Obamacare.

The House of Representative passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) yesterday. That will not be news to anyone who reads The Rugged Individualist. The next major hurdle is Senate Republicans, not Senate Democrats – although Senate Democrats may not all be “no” votes. That Obamacare is teetering on the brink of collapse no longer matters. One way or another it will go into the trash bin of history where it belongs.

There probably isn’t a single Republican Party representative, senator, or even party member who is completely happy with the AHCA. But many who “are unsatisfied” are not really sure what’s in it. Hopefully they are not like Nancy Pelosi who informed Americans at the time Obamacare was coming up for a vote that “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

No one read the entire Obamacare Bill before the vote. It was 2700 pages in length. The AHCA is a mere 126 pages in length. And the regulations for Obamacare are 30 times longer than the law itself.

Here are several things worth knowing about the AHCA [Source: Ten things you need to know about the House GOP health care bill, by Eric Pianin]:

Partial summary of the AHCA [Modified from the Pianin article]:

  1. The plan eliminates most Obamacare mandates. There is no longer a tax penalty for failing to purchase health insurance (the individual mandate). The “tanning booth tax” is repealed – it was, after all the dumbest thing ever! However, a few popular provisions will be preserved, including allowing children to remain on their parents’ health insurance policies until age 26 – not popular with me but it was generally popular.
  2. It will replace Obamacare’s premium subsidies for low and middle-income people with a “refundable” tax credit plan. This will assist many Americans when buying insurance on the open market. The highest support level will go to older Americans (but too young for Medicare) who will face higher premiums and medical costs than younger, healthier people – you know, the way insurance is supposed to be.
  3. The bill ends the multiple tax increases in Obamacare including a 3.8 percent tax on investment income and a 0.9 percent hike on income over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. The ridiculous Obamacare tax on medical devices also ends. The AHCA does away with Obamacare taxes that add up to $883 billion over the coming decade.
  4. States can now opt out of two draconian mandates in Obamacare. First is the requirement of insurers to provide consumers with 10 “essential benefits” – so 63 year-old men will not have to buy pregnancy care and mammograms. Insurers can now scale back those “essential benefits” to reduce premiums and bolster sales to younger, healthier consumers who don’t need or want many of those benefits. States can also opt out of requiring insurers to charge people with pre-existing medical conditions the same premium as those without (the main reason so many Obamacare exchanges went belly up). House Speaker Paul Ryan and  President Trump insist that the compromise amendment (drafted by Rep. Tom MacArthur) would preserve the ban on price discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions. (Critics state that the > $130 billion that the AHCA sets aside to subsidize risk pools for Americans with preexisting conditions would be inadequate – as if Congress never added money to a spending package when it was necessary.
  5. The expanded Medicaid program would be phased out. The Affordable Care Act expanded traditional Medicaid to cover able-bodied single adults making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Medicaid changes in other significant ways. The AHCA transforms medicaid from an entitlement to a block grant. States for the first time would receive a lump sum instead of a per-capita payment for Medicaid patients. States will also be granted more leeway to alter eligibility requirements, such as imposing work requirements for able-bodied people. There are 72,000,000 individuals in the United States enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). When the Democrats say that 14,000,000 Americans will be “thrown off the healthcare rolls”  they are talking about the 14,000,000 Obamacare added to Medicaid!
  6. When fully implemented, members of Congress will be subject to the terms of the bill. Members of Congress received special treatment under Obamacare, including top of the line coverage and substantial premium subsidies. House members amended the bill before final passage on Thursday to remove their special treatment from the bill.

Hope this helps.

Roy Filly

 

 

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Google leans left and rewrites history!

It is difficult for Republicans to grasp an enormous advantage of the Democrat Party. We all know what it is but it’s difficult to gauge its enormity. It’s like the number “trillion.” We know it’s big, but we simply can’t fathom just how big it actually is. The Democrat Party “advantage” is a media machine driven to support its notions – whether or not they are good, bad, accurate, etc.

[Source: Google’s Liberal Slant Literally Rewriting History, Changes Definition of “Fascism,” by Andrew West]

“The Resistance” has been trying to paint Donald Trump as a fascist. Google, it appears, is trying to help them. If you Google “fascism” one finds the following: “an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.”

By contrast, if one looks in THE DICTIONARY (Merriam Webster) one finds “a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

That sounds like the Democrat Party under Obama to me. It appears that sufficient time has passed for Americans to forget that the Italian, German, and Russian totalitarians were creatures OF THE LEFT.

If we look at the news stories of the day we find:

  • violent resistance to the nomination, and subsequent election, of President Trump.
  • “black bloc” tactics being employed by radical leftists
  • inability for the voice of “opposition” to take the stage
  • rewriting history to make the “other guy” the “bad guy”

Left-wing violent protesters say their violence is justified because they are “anti-fascist.” It is just the most recent example of the left-wing media using its power to assist the Democrat Party “pot” calling the Republican Party “kettle” black!

And thanks to JP for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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Politics in cartoon form.

At least he plans to take a shot at it. Every one of the 74,608 pages of the federal tax code that he can eliminate will be good for America.

Apropos of today’s earlier post.

Ya’ gotta’ feel sorry for the poor guy.

Think about it! All these liberals need to do is put on Brown Shirts.

Roy Filly

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Counting days? The Democrat Party came up with the wrong number.

The Democrat Party and their media sycophants spent the past week or so demeaning the “first 100 days” of the Trump Presidency. I have some bad news for the Democrat Party. After subtracting “the first 100 days” there are 1361 days left in Donald Trump’s first term – and I predict he will be a two-term president, so let’s make that 2822 days remaining in the Trump presidency.

But today we focus on the first 100 days of “The Resistance.” The Democrat Party mantra of the day is “The Resistance.” Hillary Clinton stopped crying and came out of hiding long enough to say she’s back to being an “activist citizen” and “part of the resistance.” (And. by the by, she went on to say that she should have won the election. Quelle surprise!)

Have you, like me, asked yourself, “What are they ‘resisting'”? “The Resistance” has a pretty bad track record from my perspective.

It began with a woman’s march. Let me state from the outset that I am as “pro woman” as one can be. But what message did they intend to send by marching with hats designed to look like female external genitalia? And why would a mother place a hat like that on her daughter? Among Republicans I am socially liberal, but that was weird! Does the Democrat Party think that will win the hearts and minds of all those “middle American” voters who switched from Obama to Trump in the last election? (And can one liberal reading this missive inform me of a single “right” that has been taken away from women by President Trump – or, in fact, anything that woman do in America from day-to-day that has “changed”?)

[Source: The past 100 days have been a disaster . . . for Democrats. By Marc A. Thiessen]

Next they focused on every reason why they lost the presidential election except the real reason – Americans didn’t like Obama’s policies or his “execution of the Office of the President.” Hillary was simply a “four-more-years candidate.”

They rolled out every excuse imaginable (and, by the by, Hillary just reiterated the whole story line):

  • Comey
  • Wikileaks
  • The Russians and Vladimir Putin

The narrative that Trump colluded with Vladimir Putin seemed to evaporate when Trump launched missile strikes against Bashar al-Assad, Putin’s Syrian ally. This was followed by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s speech before the U.N. Security Council that blamed Russia for failing to stop Syria’s use of chemical weapons. No sooner had she finished her diatribe on Russia than Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s charged that Russia is arming the Taliban. If Putin helped Trump, he “got rolled” in the current vernacular of the Democrat talking points!)

Now the media was declaring a new Cold War — talk about two narratives that simply don’t meld!

[From the Thiessen article] But most damaging has been the Democrats’ seemingly nonstop efforts to further alienate the millions of Americans who twice voted for Barack Obama but switched to Trump last year. The president’s critics have pointed to a Post-ABC News poll, which showed that Trump had not expanded his base of support since he took office. Well, Trump did not need to expand his base. He won the election and the poll suggested that if the election were held again today, he would not only defeat Hillary Clinton again but also win the popular vote this time. (I guess Hillary missed that poll when she stated she would have won except for Russians, Wikileaks, James Comey – all of which have flooded the press but appear to have had NO IMPACT – RF.)

Fully 96 percent of those Americans who voted for President Trump say they would not change their vote today. Therefore, in the first 100 days of “The Resistance” Democrats made no inroads. Quite the opposite, today just 28 percent of Americans say that the Democratic Party is in touch with the concerns of most Americans today — 10 points behind Trump.

I happen to be a pro-choice Republican, but was appalled when the newly elected Democratic National Committee Chairman, Tom Perez, used vile language and stated that pro-life candidates are no longer welcome in the Democratic Party: “That is not negotiable.”

While I cannot find a single “right” that has been lost because of a “Trump policy,” it is easy to find a fundamental right that is being denied by the “liberals.” What is that, ask you? The First Amendment right to freedom of speech, answer I. (How can they still use the appellation “liberal.”) Left-wing mobs attacked Charles Murray at Middlebury College and threatened violence to stop Ann Coulter from speaking at the University of California at Berkeley. And these are only the most recent episodes.

The “liberals” have harkened back to the “Zero Population Growth” era. Not because of “starvation” – that has been totally debunked – but because of “Global Warming.” However, their message was vile in the extreme! The so-called “March for Science” had an honorary co-chair (Bill Nye – the “Science Guy”) who touted the extraordinary position as to whether people should be punished for having “extra kids.” I invite any sane person to take a look at their children and identify the “extra one!”

The Democrat Party is not the “loyal opposition.” They are “The Resistance.” Their indignant hyperventilation is having an opposite effect on the very Americans they will need to win a future national election. But they won’t change. If anything they will become increasingly strident!

Roy Filly

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The F35. Why are we spending all that money?

There has been a lot of “talk” about the F35. The cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program found itself in President Trump’s crosshairs. The program is the most expensive military weapons system in history (figure $100 million per plane at present). The reason one hears so many variants of the cost of the F35 is that its cost has been coming down.

The F35 is actually several planes designed for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps (this is a vertical takeoff variant). Why should we spend all this money?

The following video helps to understand why, despite cost overruns and delays, the project continues to move forward (and, yes, the video was produced by Lockheed Martin – so, put that into your computation as needed).

And thanks to BC for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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Surprises: Are “ya’ fer em or agin em?”

It strikes me that the difference between those that favor “big government” solutions over “small government” solutions is a willingness to be surprised. The Democrat Party and their constituents hate surprises. They want their government to “protect” them from “surprises.”

How does government “protect us from surprises,” ask you? The answer is simple, answer I. The government writes laws and regulations that attempt to minimize the risk of “a surprise.” But, in actuality, what Americans dislike are “bad surprises,” not “good surprises” – not at all an illogical point of view. The problem is that “laws” and “regulations” that attempt to minimize “bad surprises” typically also greatly diminish the likelihood of “good surprise.” The following video explains.

And thanks to JM for sending this to me.

Roy Filly

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