HEALTHCARE IS COMPLICATED

Trump Unqualified as Insurance Czar

The House of Representatives’ poorly written healthcare act is very much like a guy with a hangover eating a habanero pepper omelet the next day. Crap in, crap out.

They might claim that it’s the hair of the dog, but in reality, it was just what they shouldn’t have done. When the House narrowly passed the American Healthcare Act on May 4, 2017 (by only two votes), with 20 Republicans voting against the bill, the Donald played right into Democratic hands.

And here is why:

  1. The GOP accused Democrats of not reading the Obamacare act before they voted on it. Trump forced his party members to do the same thing and thus sabotaged those running in 2018. We must remember the 213 Representatives who voted NO on this one.
  2. The de facto party leader, Donald Trump, said that everyone would get coverage and that pre-existing conditions would be covered, while the same leader let the Freedom Caucus roll him and agree to the deal for a state opt-out for insurance companies.
  3. House members made it seem that they were either expecting their older “brother” the Senate to fix their work or, worse, they were just appeasing Trump and showing that they have more division within their party. I used the word “brother” on this one because the committee writing the Senate version of the bill consists of 13 men. Why?

We are hearing lots of talk about Healthcare and Insurance companies. The typical gripe on Obamacare is that there are so few insurance companies in certain states.

Why doesn’t anyone on TV talk about the efforts of state insurance commissioners? Some have blocked the expansion of companies into their States. For example, many people don’t know that it took GEICO many years to get into the Massachusetts market. WHY? Well, the large insurance companies based in Boston blocked any insurance companies that offered what was defined as “discounted” insurance. Boy, that is restrictive. That has since been resolved, but it begs a bigger question.

Why would the President keep rotating that hackneyed phrase that he believes in  states’ rights and wants to give the states more control over Health Insurance? Once you give the states MORE control over healthcare, why even have a national healthcare act? And when all the states raise taxes the President might think he won’t get blamed, but he should think again and stop listening to people like Steve Bannon.

Because of Obamacare, we are no longer debating that there should be a national healthcare plan.  We are now just debating what it should be and who should pay for it. But when the first person with a pre-existing condition dies, Donald Trump and the Republican party will have blood on their hands. That Republican lie about death panels will then be rolled out by the Democrats. Only this time people will believe it.

With all the companies Donald Trump ran in his past life, we are sure that he heard debates about healthcare for his employees. His involvement was probably tertiary with him; either telling someone to do business with someone’s company he liked, or just saying get the price down.

Now, we have Tom Price running around and saying repeatedly how great the plan is, while never addressing any questions. His presentation, like those of most Trump underlings, is just a mini campaign-like speech fraught with fact-free slogans and fallacies. Is it because he doesn’t know what he is talking about, or is it a case of specifics left out so no mistakes are made?

Anyone running a business would ask a few questions before voting on a plan. The first is how much will this cost? The second is what does it do for my workforce? I remember that middle-class rationality of how it would be great to have a “real” businessman run the government.  Well, where can we get one? Or, better yet, where can we get a real businesswoman?

Donald Trump has admitted that healthcare is complicated. Obama once opened an explanation with a remark on how complicated the subject was and Jon Stewart called him out. Stewart challenged Obama by forcefully explaining that it’s the President’s job to help us understand complicated matters.

Let’s face it, a simple man cannot grasp the complexities of things and then turn them into a well-thought-out plan. Trump does hate, sarcasm and bullying well, but on the mattes of state, he’s clumsy and foolish. Sad!


PRESIDENT OUT OF TOUCH

Has Trump Ever Read the NAFTA Agreement?

He fails to see that the world has changed. He may love Twitter and uses it as a weapon, but that’s only the tip of the technological iceberg that’s floating toward his ship. He has the technology to know every fact, but fails to take the time to use it to our advantage.

His weakest point is the fact that he sells his misinformed opinion before getting the facts. I truly wonder if he has ever read the NAFTA treaty and fully comprehends how it works for American businesses.

Mexico purchased an estimated $2.4 billion of corn from the U.S. in 2015, according to Forbes Magazine. Now Mexico is threatening to take their corn business to Brazil. Mexico is currently our 3rd largest goods trading partner with $531 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015. Goods exports totaled $236 billion; goods imports totaled $295 billion.

The United States buys $297.7 billion worth of goods from Canada, which is 76.3% of total Canadian exports. Canada is currently our 2nd largest goods trading partner with $575 billion in total (two way) goods trade during 2015.

What NAFTA did in a nutshell was to create a “National Treatment” of all goods and services from the three countries: US, Canada and Mexico. The agreement basically means that for traders outside the zone, they had to treat all three countries as equal when it comes to the rules and regulations.

It also eliminated any tariffs on goods and services. For example, if Mexico makes a car and sells it in the US, they pay no tax on that good. As well, if Canada produces lumber and sells it in the US, they pay no tariff on the shipment. Why is this good?

Well, imagine that if all the US products and services were taxed by Mexico and Canada. We would be most likely also pay a tax to ship, therefore increasing the price of our goods in those two countries and would stimulate an opportunity for other countries to worm into Mexico and Canada with a better price and displace US companies as the preferred vendor. The additional taxes we might impose would not protect the bulk of profits our companies are making right now by selling goods to Mexico and Canada. This would hurt the US economy.

NAFTA helps settle disputes between our three nations and not to belittle another advantage by mentioning it last, but we have Intellectual Property Rights Protections under NAFTA. Without NAFTA, a Canadian or Mexican factory could produce knock-offs of our products and ideas and sell them around the world without much pushback from a world court.

Like the fat kid at the table, the Donald wants to take all the cookies from the other kids. And after he has taken all the cookies, he gets all huffy when he realizes that the other kids will get their own cookies from someone else and he will get none. He never comprehended that his actions hurt him, even when he felt he was getting his unreasonable share.

Trump floated the threat of signing an executive order (4-26-2017) to withdraw from NAFTA and got calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada to discuss the renegotiation of the treaty. The President Goof-ball smiles, because he thinks he has won something. He once again has only been shown to be the bully he wants to be.

As these countries look to their Plan B, which means opening up trade with other nations to secure the goods they purchase daily from the US, Trump sits in his little oval office with his big plans that will eventually increase prices on everything we import. He is out-of-touch with the global world that was created by technology, not ideology. If you are a free-market capitalist, then you will certainly see that Agent Orange is putting something in the punch bowl.

If he was truly for the common man and on a quest to create new jobs, he wouldn’t keep cutting the budgets and destroying our relationships with customers for our products. He may think he knows how it works, but when Mexico stops buying corn from US, what will he tell that Iowa farmer?

Can we really afford to stop $500 Billion in trade with our NAFTA partners? I’m still waiting for all the greatness and winning. Markets want certainly, not gamesmanship and insolent deal making.

 

 

 


THE WAR AGAINST WISDOM

Trump’s Anti-People Priorities

We have seen the real Donald Trump and his actions prove that he is against people and their bodies and brains. As the President slashes and murders policies and programs that were designed to protect people, the environment and promote education, we will all suffer from his war against wisdom.

On Earth Day 2017, we had the usual parades, but this year’s celebration included a March for Science to promote “science?” WHAT? When did we get to the point where SCIENCE needed to fight for respect? The misconceptions that have been fed into Trump’s deformed brain are obviously the product of other small thinkers who have avoided facts. When you say, something is a hoax, you have to show the facts in science.

The idea that we can eliminate concepts like the Environment Protection Agency and curb the destruction that is taking place in rivers, streams and the air we breathe is so rash and irresponsible. When we have another water crisis, like Flint, we can all blame the Donald for the disaster.

Most military experts agree that job one of the United States State Department is to produce facts and solutions in simmering spots around the world. Before we send in the Marines, we expect our state department to figure out how to solve the problem before we get into wars and conflicts. Why would Trump cut jobs and decease the infrastructure of State when the world isn’t getting any safer? Even Russia complained about the lack of personnel in the department.

And in Education: As the Center for America Progress reports: Trump budget would slash $9 billion—13 percent of the U.S. Department of Education’s funding—while investing $1.4 billion of new money in school choice, including private school vouchers, sending a clear signal that the Trump administration prioritizes ideologically driven voucher schemes over great public schools. Of course, the middle class may benefit if they have a private school that fits their dogma in their district, but most of the people who voted for Trump will suffer with poor public schools. In ten years, we can all blame Peggy DeVos and Donald Trump for poorly prepared graduates who can’t get jobs.  

On Earth Day, President Tweet wrote: “I am committed to keeping our air and water clean but always remember that economic growth enhances environmental protection. Jobs matter!” With this, the President has staked out a position that no money in his budget should be spent on anything that monitors, analyzes or works to solve climate change. Just because a company makes a lot of money doesn’t mean they will protect their workers or the environment. As a Pittsburgher in the 40s and 50s can tell you, the air wasn’t so clean while US steel companies made tons of money.

And what piece of the pie grows in the Trump budget? There will be a $54 billion increase in Military spending, but due to his mystical promise to lower the national debt he must cut something else out of the budget.

His minions appear to be going after spending as if they are more out to undo the Obama agenda without regard for progress. Trump’s departments and commissions are holding up money to projects that have already been approved. Why?

The Federal Transit Administration put a $650 million federal grant for electrification of a San Francisco Bay Area train system in purgatory. The delay would stop California’s high-speed rail project, which sounds like the infrastructure upgrade Trump kept touting during the campaign. The train line is more than thirty-years old and needs to be upgraded for environmental and safety reasons. The actions are anti-people policies that do more harm than good.

FactCheck.Org

According to Fortune magazine, if “parity” reigns, and both sides of the discretionary budget rise $54 billion in fiscal 2017, total debt and deficits over the next decade will balloon by around $1.4 trillion, including interest expense on the extra debt.

So, Donald Trump lied to America when he said he would lower the debt in his first year. The facts on the issue are clear, his proposals are no different than Obama or Bush on spending money. We all have to remember, when Clinton passed a very unpopular tax increase in his first year he was able to lower the deficit. These are facts and the thickness of the ice at the north pole are facts, not opinions.

Science was used by the Wright Brothers to figure out how to fly. We sure hope President Donald J. Trump understands that every time he steps on to Air Force One, he is benefiting from science. We don’t need a March for Science, we need to fund science and education to keep America great. Does Agent Orange understand this? Sad!