A Bit More on Health Care Coverage

Senator Susan Collins (R, ME) is worried about health care plan availability to our poor, which she thinks would be endangered were President Donald Trump to act on his thoughts regarding cutting off the funds the Feds pay to health coverage plan providers to get them to charge (artificially) lower deductibles and copays from the poor.

It really would be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens if those payments were cut off. They’re paid to the insurance companies, but the people that they benefit are people who make between 100% and 250% of the poverty rate.

Obamacare and Choice

There are 3,142 counties and equivalents (Louisiana has parishes, Alaska has boroughs, three States each have an independent city, Virginia has 38 of them, and State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations does things entirely differently) in the US.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expects that 40 of those counties will have no health care coverage plan providers at all in 2018, and 1,332 of those counties—over 40% of them—will have only one such provider.

YGTBSM

Yet again.  This one is from Watts Up With That.

A bloke bought a sheep property of half a million acres in western Queensland for $2.0 million. Instead of running sheep on it, he now gets $350,000 per annum under the federal government’s Direct Action scheme for not using the grass on his property. The idea being that the grass locks up carbon and reduces Australia’s carbon emissions. A neighbouring property gets $600,000 per annum.

Sanctions and Wariness

Congress has passed and sent to President Donald Trump a bill that increases sanctions against Russia, particularly its energy sector, and against Iran and northern Korea.  It also adds limits Trump’s ability (and State’s) to ratchet those sanctions up or down in real time in response to Russian—or Iranian or northern Korean—behavior, a fillip that adds a question to whether he’ll sign it (his veto likely would only delay the thing; the bill was passed with veto-proof majorities in both houses).

Germany is “wary” of those sanctions.

The Betrayal of Lisa Murkowski

Lisa Murkowki is a Republican Senator from Alaska who voted against even opening debate on repeal and replace of Obamacare.

Murkowski has betrayed her constituents.  She betrayed them this week by trying to block debate on repeal and replace.  Or, she betrayed her constituents when she lied to them in 2015 with her vote in favor of repeal in the full knowledge that her vote didn’t matter because then-President Barack Obama (D) would veto the matter.

Republicans and Obamacare

In a Wall Street Journal editorial about Republican Senators’ timorous attitude toward actual repeal and replace of Obamacare now that what they do matters, the editors had this remark toward the end of their piece:

One vote to watch would repeal ObamaCare with a two-year window to replace it, which is similar to a bill that 51 Senate Republicans voted for in 2015. We’ll see how many have changed their minds.

We’ll see how many have changed their minds.  The rest of that sentence is this: …now that their vote has actual consequences, and they can’t hide behind their virtue signaling.

International Censorship

France wants to enforce a “right to be forgotten” law (recently enacted by the EU that allows persons to demand publicly available information about them to be erased from links in search engine results) inside other nations than the EU membership—inside the United States, for instance.  Google, et al., is demurring, and France has taken the matter to the EU’s highest administrative court, the Court of Justice.

The case will help determine how far EU regulators can go in enforcing the bloc’s strict new privacy law….

It’s Time

…to sweep the ones we can’t trust from the Republican Party of Castrati and from Congress.

When Republicans voted on the repeal-only bill in 2015, they knew Mr Obama would veto it, making their vote largely symbolic. Of the GOP senators currently in the chamber, 49 voted for it at the time.  …

Moreover, many GOP lawmakers have already acknowledged that they would vote differently now that the stakes are far higher….

Now that these persons have to take action more concrete than virtue signaling, they’re exposing themselves as porch dogs.  They’re betraying their country, and more specifically, they’re betraying their constituents, to whom they promised for the last seven years, they’d repeal Obamacare and replace it.

Questions for Susan Collins

Susan Collins is the Republican Senator from Maine whose refusal to vote for the health care reform bill on offer (and any of the prior efforts) is centered on her insistence that the bill’s cuts to reductions to growth in Medicaid payments to the States—Maine in particular—are too great.  Collins needs to be asked, and required to give straight, substantive answers to, a number of questions.

What is Maine’s government doing to reduce the costs to its citizens of health care and of health coverage?

What is Maine’s government doing to make health care available to its citizens in the absence of health coverage?

The Cruz Amendment

Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) has a provision in the latest Senate health bill that’s on offer, one that would allow sellers of actual health insurance to sell non-Obamacare compliant policies on the condition that they also sold Obamacare compliant plans on the ObamaMart.  The idea, and it’s a sound one, is that those plans, better tailored their customers’ needs, would soon have commensurately lower premiums, deductibles, and copays and thereby be more affordable.

Health plan sellers don’t like it, though.

While this setup could offer healthy people less expensive policies, insurers and actuaries say it would likely prove dysfunctional over time, pushing up rates and reducing offerings for people buying the compliant plans.