Tag Archive: health care

Democratic and Republican healthcare plans reflect very different values

Maternity and newborn healthcare, on the Republican chopping block.

Maternity and newborn healthcare, on the Republican chopping block.

Republicans yesterday were forced to pull their American Health Care Act (AHCA) for lack of Republican support. House Speaker Paul Ryan and his GOP colleagues made more changes to the bill, were subjected to more arm-twisting, and are reportedly voting on it today. While it’s conceivable that House Republicans can ultimately agree on a bill that has enough giveaways for recalcitrant members, the so-called “healthcare” bill is as good an example as any of the vast difference in values between the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the Democrats unite against Donald Trump

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during primary season.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during primary season.

Today in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders held a remarkable unity rally in which Sanders enthusiastically endorsed Clinton for president. Standing in front of a giant American flag with his beaming former rival, Sanders said:

Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process. And I congratulate her for that. She will be the Democratic nominee for president, and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.

Sanders went on to say, “I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton, and why she must become our next president.”

Both Clinton and Sanders gave substantial speeches at the boisterous event, which highlighted each of their strengths and interests. For example, Sanders focused on economic issues, while Clinton spoke passionately about gun violence, saying, to big cheers, “surely we can agree that weapons of war have no place on the streets of America.” However, one area on which Clinton and Sanders both clearly agreed was the need to defeat Donald Trump in this year’s presidential election. For instance, Sanders said that Trump’s position on health care is the “same old Republican contempt for working families,” while Clinton said, “Donald Trump thinks wages are too high. . . . He does want to get rid of the federal minimum wage altogether.”

President Obama slams Republicans on Affordable Care Act

President Obama held a press conference yesterday (see video above), and it turned into a masterful attack by the President against Republicans on the Affordable Care Act:

Messaging Maxim #6: Keep it Stupidly Simple

President George W. Bush announced his Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in his May 6, 2006 weekly radio address. In implementing Medicare Part D, the Republican Congress was all for extending deadlines for health insurance programs until President Barack Obama extended the March 31, 2014 Affordable Care Act signup deadline. But what was perhaps more striking about Bush’s announcement was its almost childlike simplicity of the language and delivery:

The average premium that seniors pay is a third less than had been expected, just $25 per month instead of $37 per month.

Thanks to this new coverage, America’s seniors are now getting the modern medicine they need at prices they can afford.

During George W. Bush’s presidency, Democrats made plenty of fun of Bush’s “Bartles and Jaymes” simplicity of speech. Before that, Democrats mocked the simplicity of presidential candidate and then President Ronald Reagan. But such simplicity often works. Indeed, Reagan became known as “The Great Communicator.” For these reasons, we now list Messaging Maxim #6: Keep it Stupidly Simple.

Affordable Care Act extension could be a political winner for Democrats

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrates 4th anniversary of Affordable Care Act, 3/23/14.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi celebrates 4th anniversary of Affordable Care Act, 3/22/14.

Last night, major media outlets reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is granting a limited extension of the March 31 deadline to enroll for coverage under the Affordable Care Act for 2014. According to these reports, enrollees who certify that they began the enrollment process by March 31 will be given a brief extension to complete the process.

Predictably, Republicans moved swiftly to attack the ACA extension. For example, on Twitter, many users linked to an early FoxNews” report of the extension, and commented negatively, such as @puristflyfisher, who wrote: “If Obamacare doing so well why more time needed to sign up.”

Aside from the valid reason that this limited Affordable Care Act extension is warranted because of previous difficulties with the healthcare.gov website that has been overwhelmed with 1 million visits this past Monday and over 1.2 million yesterday, the extension could be good politics for the Democrats. Here are some reasons why:

President Obama sells the Affordable Care Act

Chuck Todd of NBC News created a media firestorm last week when he blamed President Barack Obama “for not selling” the Affordable Care Act (“ACA“) a/k/a “Obamacare,” and said that media figures like himself had no responsibility to counter Republican lies about the ACA. Well, President Obama answered Chuck Todd and the Republican lie machine yesterday with a blazing speech at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Maryland (see video above). Some of the highlights from President Obama’s speech were as follows:

The three realities that could destroy the Republican Party

Republicans seem to be enjoying this week of small shiny “scandals.” They’d better celebrate while they can, because there are three realities that, if unaddressed, could effectively kill the Republican Party’s national success:

The Republican Supreme Court’s Voting Wrongs

Incredibly, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is under attack, and that attack has made its way all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Perhaps not so incredibly, some of the right wing Republican justices who hold a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court trashed the Voting Rights Act during oral arguments today. The grand trash prize goes to Justice Antonin Scalia, who, during the argument, called the Voting Rights Act a “perpetuation of racial entitlement.” Scalia was joined by fellow Republicans Anthony Kennedy, who said that “times change” (implying that one or more sections of the Act may have outlived their usefulness), and Chief Justice John Roberts, who stated similarly that “things have changed in the South.”

The Republicans’ Hurricane Sandy problem

Multistate disasters like Hurricane Sandy, which is currently battering the Northeast, present a big problem for the Republican Party and its anti-government ideology. Here’s why:

How to Beat the Republicans on the “Government” Issue

Republicans have been running against “government” at least since Ronald Reagan‘s 1980 presidential campaign. Willard Romney fired the latest salvo in the Republican War On Government last Friday when he stated that we should not have “more firemen, more policemen, more teachers,” as President Obama wants, but rather, we should “get the message of Wisconsin” (referring to Governor Scott Walker‘s victory in his recent recall election) and “cut back” on these essential public servants. Some pundits called Romney’s statement a “gaffe”, and even Governor Walker, who targeted public employee unions in Wisconsin after taking office, disagreed with Romney.

Apparently, Romney’s gaffe was in going from the general Republican talking point (attacking “government” or “unions”) to the specific (targeting teachers, cops and firefighters, many of whom are beloved in their communities, for firing). California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger learned a similar lesson in his first year of office, and the rest of his time as Governor was doomed. The lesson is that a good talking point, which can be made in the most general terms, does not always translate to a successful specific policy. This indicates that, when Republicans spew the usual talking points attacking “government” and “government workers”, we should put Republicans on the spot by asking them which specific programs and which specific workers they would cut.

We should: