The health care debate heats up

There will be a town hall style debate on the new health care bill on Monday at 9:00pm on CNN. It will feature Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy on one side and Bernie Sanders and Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar on the other. It should be a good debate since I doubt that any senator has studied the issue of health care more than Sanders. But unfortunately I don’t get cable TV and will have to read about it later.
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Not even the health industry likes the Graham-Cassidy bill

It turns out that even the major players in the health industry don’t like the Graham-Cassidy bill.

Backers of the GOP Graham-Cassidy health-care bill — Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., plus President Trump via Twitter — maintain it doesn’t touch protections for those with pre-existing conditions. And Cassidy also says the legislation will cover MORE people than current law does.
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Senator Bill Cassidy – just another bald-faced liar

Jimmy Kimmel excoriates the senator from Louisiana who is the co-author of the so-called Graham-Cassidy health care bill that the Republicans are trying to jam through Congress with minimal debate before the September 30the deadline. Cassidy had earlier promised Kimmel and millions of others that any bill that he proposed would provide a list of protections for people but what he is actually proposing has none of them. Kimmel delivers a righteous rant on the topic, explaining clearly why this bill is so bad and why it must be defeated.
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What the latest Obamacare repeal bill will do

We can expect to see a flurry of activity concerning health care within the next two weeks. The reason is that according to the arcane rules of the US Senate, changes to Obamacare that need only 50 votes to pass must not only be within certain parameters but must also be passed by September 30. After that, any changes must go through the normal process and will require 60 votes to break a filibuster and the Republicans have only 52 votes.
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The health industry fights back against single-payer

One sign that Bernie Sanders’s single-payer health care plan is more substantial than earlier efforts is the quick and angry response of the parasitic health industry. They seem to be fearful that this movement might gain steam and are seeking to nip it in the bud. The major health insurance companies are already out with strong statements.
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The missing foreign policy element in Clinton interviews

Glenn Greenwald writes that one notable missing element in Hillary Clinton’s book tour and media appearances has been the ignoring of the role that her disastrous policies of military intervention played in her defeat. He says that many media commentators seem to think that it was only domestic issues that played a role because it was absurd to think of Donald Trump as some kind of peace candidate. But Greenwald says that Trump shrewdly manipulated people’s anger over the state of endless wars that Clinton helped expand and perpetuate.
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Bernie Sanders introduces ‘Medicare For All’ bill

Today at a press conference Bernie Sanders will present his plan for a universal single-payer health plan. It will be based on a gradual expansion of the Medicare program over four years to eventually cover everyone, not just those currently over 65 years or those who are younger but have disabilities and a few illnesses. People zero to 18 would be eligible for the coverage in the first year. In following year, the eligibility age would be lowered to 45. The next year, it would drop again to 35. In year four, everyone else would be included. The advantage of expanding Medicare instead of creating a new system is that it does not require a new bureaucracy and those who are on Medicare like what they have.
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The attempts to sabotage Obamacare

Now that the attempts to repeal Obamacare failed in the US Senate, a peevish Donald Trump vows to sabotage it by cutting off administration support for it, mainly by withdrawing the subsidies for the program that made it affordable. The problem for Trump is that some of the Byzantine features of Obamacare that are embedded in the law will tend to neutralize his efforts. For example, if the subsidies are cut, then the tax credits get increased, resulting in a net loss for the government. Kevin Drum tries to explain this trade-off and why cutting the subsidies may actually be a good thing.
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Obamacare repeal is not yet dead

In the wee hours of this morning, the US Senate voted down the ‘skinny repeal’ of Obamacare bill and then adjourned for the August recess without having achieved their goal of starting the process of dismantling Obamacare. The final vote was 51-49 with three Republicans (Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and John McCain) joining all 48 Democrats in voting against the measure. As one could have predicted, McCain has hogged media praise for his gosh-darned maverickiness in voting against his party at the last minute while Collins and Murkowski, not to mention the 48 Democratic senators who have long held firm, are largely ignored.
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