affordable care act

My Healthcare Plan, Dammit

The newest Republican version of healthcare just passed the House and was instantly declared D.O.A. in the Senate.  Which is good; it’s not enough of a fix.  Then again, neither was the A.C.A. (otherwise known as Obamacare).

I’m not going to get into all the whithertos and whyfores right now; you can get that on every news channel.  (Besides, I’ve already written about it a couple of times.  Both are great articles; read them.)  Instead, I’m going to tell you (more…)

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The Week So Far: Russian Dressing

Major media outlets are still focusing on Russia this week, which is hardly surprising.  There’s scandal, great sound bytes (can someone say “Russian dressing”?), and there’s always the chance that someone’s career can be ended over essentially nothing.  If that doesn’t sell papers and draw viewers, nothing will. (more…)

Healthcare: Ask Not

When last night’s vote on H.R. 1628, the Republican healthcare bill, was cancelled, Democrats across the country were overjoyed.  In particular, the minority leaders for the House and Senate, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, were delighted to take ownership for the bill’s defeat.  Speaker Ryan was evidently quite disappointed in defeat, and President Trump was quick to cast blame.

On the face of it, that’s the whole story.  Obamacare (the ACA) is the law of the land and likely to remain so for another year at least.  The Republicans tried and failed; the Democrats won an unlikely (more…)

On Reform

There’s tons of articles about Trump’s character, how he won the election, obstructionism then and now, and so on.  Yesterday the media message was all about fake news; right now the big thing is his cabinet confirmation process, and tomorrow there’ll be something else, depending on what people choose to be scandalized about.  But in the mean while, things will be happening, and we shouldn’t lose sight of them amid all the hype.

So let’s boil it down to essentials:  We’ve got a brand new president coming in, and his platform was Reform. (more…)

Is Puerto Rico Getting Screwed — Again?

You may not realize this — a surprising number of Americans don’t — but Puerto Rico is a part of the United States.  During the 1898 war with Spain, it was one of several territories conquered in an overt land-grab designed to promote American sea power throughout the Caribbean and Pacific Ocean.  It currently has a population of well over 3 million, all American citizens.  They have no right to elect the President; they have no representation in Congress.

At present, the territory is experiencing a public debt crisis that is out of control.  The opinion of the present territorial administration is that it cannot be solved without the assistance of the central government of the United States.  The Senate proposed an economic aid bill with $3 billion in aid; the House version, which has just been approved by committee, has expanded the bureaucracy but removed the aid.  (Update:  This version is the one that finally passed.) (more…)