"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"It is impossible for me to say in my book one word about all that music has meant in my life. How then can I hope to be understood?--Ludwig Wittgenstein

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Monday, November 14, 2016

Welcome to the Monkey House

So, there won't be a "gap" between repeal of Obamacare, and replacement of Obamacare, according to the President-elect.

"We’re going to do it simultaneously. It’ll be just fine. That’s what I do. I do a good job. You know, I mean, I know how to do this stuff. We’re going to repeal it and replace it. And we’re not going to have, like, a two-day period and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing," he said. "It will be repealed and replaced. I mean, we’ll know. And it’ll be great health care for much less money."

Of course the only way that works is to gain control of both drug supplies (make the government the sole buyer, and negotiate prices accordingly) and health care provision (single-payer, IOW).  So, more moonshine and snake oil; quelle surprise.  Leaving that aside, the Trump team emphasizes this effort is imminent:

"He also has talked about convening a special session on January 20 after he is sworn in as President of the United States to do this very thing, to repeal and replace Obamacare," [Kellyanne Conway] said on "Fox News Sunday." "It would be a pretty remarkable move."

Even more remarkable because she seems to think that would work.  The Texas Lege often has a special session, because it only meets for 6 months every two years.  A special session meets for 30 days, and unless there is absolute unanimity of purpose in both houses, it takes 30 days (or two weeks minimum) to get the legislation passed the session was called for.  But Conway thinks Congress can do it in a few hours, because it works that way, right?

No, seriously, they don't know how this works:

According to a report on Sunday from The Wall Street Journal, Trump’s victory surprised his own top advisers, so much so that the team didn’t prep the president-elect in the day-to-day operations of the West Wing. As a result, Trump now has to have a crash course in how to president:
During their private White House meeting on Thursday, Mr. Obama walked his successor through the duties of running the country, and Mr. Trump seemed surprised by the scope, said people familiar with the meeting. Trump aides were described by those people as unaware that the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing had to be replaced at the end of Mr. Obama’s term.

Funny thing, though; if you're going to replace Obamacare, you need to have legislation written to present to a vote, which apparently is going to happen without hearings or any of the usual Congressional legislative action.  So where is that legislation?

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) refused to answer whether his plan to replace Obamacare would still provide free birth control to women with insurance.

"Look I'm not going to get into all the nitty-gritty detail of these things," Ryan told CNN’s Jake Tapper in a Sunday interview on “State of the Union.”

"With all due respect, I don’t know that the average woman of childbearing years out there who relies upon contraception provided by health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act I don’t know that she would think that that’s just a nitty-gritty detail," Tapper replied.

Ryan continued to dodge the question, saying he could not provide “details about legislation that hasn’t been written yet."
"Right but is that important to you?” Tapper asked about blocking or providing birth control to women. “Would that be a principle of whatever replaces it?"

"I’m not going to get into hypotheticals about legislation that hasn’t even been drafted yet," Ryan replied.*
The right hand really has no clue about how this whole "governing thing" works. Besides, the GOP has only had 7 years to draft the replacement legislation for Obamacare.  These things take time, you know.  But ending Medicare?  Ryan is ready to do that on Day One.

Priorities, people.  And besides, Trump really knows how to do this stuff; said so himself.  Isn't that good enough?

*Or, alternatively, Ryan is more concerned about the political blowback from ending birth control subsidies than he is about ending Medicare entirely.  But that's so Byzantine it makes my head hurt; or it makes Ryan a benighted fool who can't see the forest for the trees.


Blogger The Thought Criminal said...

Paul Ryan is quite prepared to throw millions, tens of millions of people out of health insurance, including, I'm sure, many of the people who were duped into voting for Trump.

This is going to be catastrophic, I'd guess, but it's just a guess, that the value of health insurance and hospital stocks could plummet.

I'm certainly not in favor of all the pain this is going to cause but I think the people who asked for it will have to experience what they asked for before they'll wise up, if then. It's too bad that we're all going to feel the pain of it.

My expectation is that by June Republicans are going to be the most hated entity in American public life.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Rmj said...

The problem with inflicting pain on the people who elected Trump is those people, like Trump, are masters at blaming someone else for their woes.

We're already paying the price for that. Expecting it to get bad enough they cry "Uncle!" is not really a, shall we say, "viable option"?

I really don't think Ryan gets his way on this, anymore than W. did when he tried to reform Social Security. In fact, much of what Trump claims he's going to do is already a dead letter, despite the GOP Congress. Ryan might move his insane bill through the House (though no guarantees. Gohmert is dumb, but he's not stupid, and the House is full of Gohmerts), but it will die in the Senate, where 51 votes won't be enough to carry the day, and even Ted Cruz and John Cornyn would be replaced for going on record in support of it.

5:21 PM  

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