Friday, August 17, 2018

ObamaCare vs TrumpCare

Jerry referenced the opinion piece by Alex M. Azar II is U.S. secretary of health and human services that was posted on WAPO.  There is some truth to it and yet it is also worth serious review and analysis.   Obamacare forgot about you. But Trump didn’t.  I copied it here for your convenience.
For all the discussion of Obamacare since its passage, it is too rarely known that the law effectively split the United States’ individual insurance market in two .

One group of Americans — about 8 million enrollees in 2017 — now pay, on average, less than a quarter of the cost of their health insurance, receiving ever-growing taxpayer subsidies to insulate them from Obamacare’s high premiums. But there is a second group of Americans who have faced the full premium increases driven by the law’s broken regulations. Roughly 5 million Americans, as of 2017, have chosen to pay those premiums without any subsidies, while 28 million other Americans remain uninsured, many priced out of coverage entirely.

The law’s skyrocketing subsidies have kept subsidized insurance enrollment fairly steady — although more than 50 percent below what was once expected. But Americans who make too much to receive subsidies have begun to opt out of the insurance market en masse. An independent analysis found that the entire unsubsidized individual insurance market shrank by more than 40 percent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2018. In other words, Obamacare has forced unsubsidized Americans to choose between unaffordable insurance and no insurance at all.

This is unacceptable. It is one reason the Trump administration recently expanded an affordable insurance option the previous administration had all but discarded, providing new choices for these forgotten men and women.

Americans will once again be able to buy what is known as short-term, limited-duration insurance for up to a year, assuming their state allows it. These plans are free from most Obamacare regulations, allowing them to cost between 50 and 80 percent less.

President Trump said on June 19 that association health plans will "rescue Americans from Obamacare."

Insurers will also be able to sell renewable plans, allowing consumers to stay on their affordable coverage for up to 36 months. Consumers can also buy separate renewability protection, which will allow them to lock in low rates in their renewable plans even if they get sick.

Unsurprisingly, experts believe there will be healthy demand for these affordable options. Up to 2 million Americans, and possibly more, are expected to enroll within the next few years.

Such plans were offered for terms of up to 12 months for decades until, in an effort to push Americans into Obamacare, the previous administration restricted the plans to 90 days and prohibited insurers from renewing them beyond that time period. This eliminated them as an option except for the shortest transitions between other sources of coverage.

But these short-term plans can be a good option for many Americans priced out of Obamacare’s regulations — especially small-business owners, independent contractors in today’s “gig economy” and younger Americans transitioning between school and employment.

The Trump administration has gone to significant lengths to ensure customers know that these plans are not subject to the same regulations as Obamacare plans and that they are not the right choice for everyone. In fact, we require more robust warnings about the limits of these plans than President Barack Obama’s administration did.

Some have raised concerns about the possibility that short-term plans will pull healthy consumers out of the Obamacare exchanges, driving up premiums. But estimates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services actuary suggest any such premium increases would be minimal and would not affect subsidized consumers. This is, in part, because those without subsidies who were previously enrolled in Obamacare plans have already left those plans in droves because of premium hikes under the law. For these consumers, short-term plans can offer an affordable option. Our decision to allow renewability and separate premium protections could also allow consumers to hold on to their short-term coverage if they get sick, rather than going to the exchanges, which improves the exchange risk pools.

Fundamentally, this administration believes in more options, not fewer, for consumers. Expanding short-term insurance is just part of President Trump’s larger agenda to improve health-care choice and competition for Americans.

The president signed legislation that will end the individual mandate penalty starting in 2019. Repealing the mandate and expanding short-term plans mean that millions of middle-class Americans who couldn’t afford health insurance will now be able to do so. The Labor Department has also made it easier for small businesses and self-employed Americans to band together to purchase more affordable insurance through association health plans. And last year, the Trump administration took rapid, decisive action to help stabilize the Obamacare markets and end ways to game the system. We have also worked closely with states to develop solutions that can bring down premiums and expand choices.

Starting about two months from now, thanks to this president, insurers and states will have more freedom to offer consumers more options. Obamacare remains broken at its core, but this administration isn’t shutting out the law’s forgotten Americans. Instead, we’re finally giving them affordable choices.

Here is what Kiplinger Finance had to say about the "bargain plans". And here is a Politico piece describing Trump Admin spin.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Freedom of Speech

These stories are all very interesting:
"Additionally, Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations – wild outbursts on the internet and television – about this Administration. Mr. Brennan’s lying and recent conduct, characterized by increasingly frenzied commentary, is wholly inconsistent with access to the Nation’s most closely held secrets and facilitates the very aim of our adversaries, which is to sow division and chaos. " Trump

Of course, the Trump True Believers will believe him.  That is what they do.  Thankfully most of will see this as petty revenge by a petty man who truly does seek to sow division and chaos through lies and incorrect statements. Thoughts?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

MN Primaries

I am finding it hard to see Jeff Johnson as a Trump Republican...  However one must remember that this is a national news guy stating an pre-determined view.  My guess he had no idea the conflicted views Minnesotans had regarding Pawlenty.

Even VOX was tracking our results...  Thoughts?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Romney for President

I think our country really screwed up when Romney lost in 2012...  Just think..

We would have had 4 fewer years of Obama in office and Trump would never have gotten in.

However the ever diverging Far Left and Far Right voters keep rejecting moderate politicians.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Is Laura Ingraham Speaking for Many?

When I watch the FOX News channel while visiting Mom and Dad I find it almost surreal what Ingraham, Hannity and the other Opinion folks say. There is pretty much no real news, just a lot of propaganda spewing that apparently folks from Tribe Conservative are happy to hear because it aligns with their beliefs.

I want to give her the benefit of the doubt that she is not a big time racist, however it is real hard given the vitriol she spewed...  I mean when she has to clarify her message and tell the Klan folks that she does not support their views...  She certainly said something stupid.  Now the question is ...

Did she learn something that she will do differently next time?

CNN What Laura Said
The Hill Laura Saudi
DH Laura Clarifies Her Message

Monday, August 6, 2018

National Debt and Higher Interest Rates

This is an interesting opinion piece regarding why the National Debt will get more attention in the coming years...  And yet the same Republicans who cried foul when Obama was President are silent now days...

CRFB Summary
G2A Hope Our Kids Forgive Us

Jury Notice Page 2

Here is what I learned last night and today... And how I explained it to my co-workers...
Good Morning,

Well it looks like I will be working from the Hennepin County Gov’t Center juror pool waiting room until they release me…  I read Page One and did the on line work as directed, including giving them phone and email contact information. So I assumed I was all set up… :-)

Unfortunately Page 2 explained how I had to call in by LAST Friday if I wanted to be “on call”… :-(

 The good news is they do have WIFI and Free coffee on Monday only… Now if I only drank coffee... :-o

Talk later and wish me luck… And remember to Read Page 2 when dealing with the government… :-)


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Mueller Probe Harming USA?

CNN Trump says Sessions should Stop Mueller Investigation
"This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!"

What is funny about this of course is that most of us would not even know that a probe was on going except that Trump brings it up every chance he gets.  I mean Mueller has been keeping his head down, investigating and filing charges where appropriate.

CNN Lawyers Try to Walk Back Tweets
FOX News Stop the Investigation

All this and Trump now saying that Collusion is not a Crime makes me wonder how close Mueller is getting to Trump or his family members...

Blevins Protest Commentary


A man sitting in town shooting a gun.
A man runs from police and takes gun with him.
A man repeatedly ignores officer commands
A man pulls gun from pocket .
The police shoot the foolish man......

And they choose to protest instead of praise the officers.

I will never understand these folks.

Monday, July 30, 2018

School Updates by Erin

Redefining Capital Gains?

From Sean:
"Oh, hi, it's just the Trump Administration mulling over executive action to give wealthy folks another $100B tax cut.  NYT: Trump Administration Mulls a Unilateral Tax Cut for the Wealthy"

Get in Line with the Program

I found these comments by Bannon humorous.
NW Bannon Tell Koch's to Get with the Program

I mean the Koch brothers are wealthy, old, popular, smart and real Republicans. (ie free trade, pro-business, lower government cost, etc)  Why would they care what Bannon thinks...
Axios Charles Koch Criticizes Trade Actions
Yahoo Koch Network Pushes Back

I mean the mess is of Trump's making, the GOP will need to deal with the potential consequences in Nov.