This morning President-elect Donald Trump announced Obamacare critic-in-chief Rep. Tom Price as his choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Pending Senate confirmation, Price, a six-term Republican legislator from Georgia who has been proposing alternatives to the Affordable Care Act since it was signed into law in 2010, will play a central role in the new administration’s plans to dismantle it. And while he’s made it clear that scrapping the ACA is is a top priority, as the most powerful man in healthcare, he’ll have authority over way more than just insurance coverage.

As HHS Secretary, Price–an orthopedic surgeon before being elected to the legislature in 2004–will assume command of the government’s largest social programs: Medicare and Medicaid. He’ll also have wide authority over agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health. Not to mention a hand on the purse strings: HHS is the largest single source of funding for medical research in the world. How exactly he will wield that power is yet to be determined, but policy analysts say a look at his voting record gives some good clues.

“It’s notable that the President-elect appointed a real conservative as opposed to someone more populist,” says Paul Ginsburg, Director of Public Policy at the University of Southern California’s Schaeffer Center, and a Brookings Institution Senior Fellow. “It breaks with the theme of some of the other appointments.” Over the years Price has described himself as a fierce opponent of government waste and an advocate for lower spending. He’s also voted against federal funding for abortion and family planning groups like Planned Parenthood, along with a bill that would have provided four weeks of parental leave for federal employees and a law that now requires the FDA to regulate tobacco as a drug. And he’s in favor of privatizing Medicare–those who qualify would be provided a voucher to be used as a subsidy for private insurance.

There are also clues in Price’s ACA replacement plan–the Empowering Patients First Act–which is the most detailed of all the Republican proposals to replace Obamacare (including Paul Ryan’s), and the least generous, especially to the sick, old, and poor. It would leave in place the basic structure of the insurance exchanges but replace the existing income-based subsidy system with age-based tax credits, making the individual market more advantageous for the young and healthy. The plan also lets insurers charge sick people more if they lapse in coverage–up to 150 percent of the standard premium. It also would repeal the expansion of Medicaid, a program that provided more than 12 million low-income Americans with coverage, and replace it with nothing. While these wholesale cuts didn’t make it into the GOP’s comprehensive “Better Way” agenda that Ryan announced in June, many other ideas from Price’s plan did.

Ginsburg says the fact that Republicans have had such a difficult time coming together on an alternative plan is grounds for skepticism that it will truly provide similar coverage. “Repeal has come much more quickly from the lips of Republicans than the word replace,” he says. And he notes that the people who should worry most are the 22 million Americans who’ve received coverage under ACA. Based on the Republicans’ plan, they’re the ones most likely to to be left behind in the overhaul.

But others think Price’s experience will help to focus and unify efforts to reform Obamacare in his new position. “Deals are not a conservative or a liberal instinct, they’re a legislative instinct,” says Tevi Troy, CEO of the American Health Policy Institute and former deputy secretary of HHS. The big picture, he says, is that Obamacare mandates too big of a benefit package, which kept premiums high and thwarted enrollment, especially by young people. “Price wants to build on what works and find ways to drive down costs overall so you can incentivize people to purchase health care coverage on their own,” he says. “And he knows how to make compromises–he’s a very smart choice from that perspective.”
Historically speaking however, Price’s willingness to compromise only goes as far as a complete and total re-do of the existing health care laws. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal over the summer he said, “I wouldn’t draw any lines in the sand other than that the plan we’re on doesn’t work.”

And as HHS Secretary, Price will have executive control over the vast regulatory apparatus that directs the national healthcare system. Some advocates worry he’ll be able to use this to chip away at Obamacare before legislators even move to a vote. “Dr. Price has long advocated policies that until now have not gone into effect,” says Cindy Pearson, the executive director of the National Women’s Health Network, including, for example, the requirement that insurers have to cover every type of FDA-approved contraceptive. And because that requirement is a regulation, not a law, it could be undone without any legislative action–simply by not enforcing it. The same is true for federal guidelines that punish states’ efforts to not provide abortion services by denying Medicaid programs. “Now he has the executive power to actually do something,” says Pearson. “And women will get hurt.”

While groups that advocate for women’s health and LGBT rights are sounding the alarm bells on the Price nomination, Ginsburg says it’s important to remember that the Republican war on Obamacare started a long time ago. “Appointing Tom Price to be HHS Secretary doesn’t really change much, it just makes the process better focused.”

Despite the political sea change, or perhaps because of it, ACA enrollments are surging since they opened on November 1. In fact, the day after the election about 100,000 made plan selections on the federal exchange–the highest daily number since enrollment began. Voter’s remorse perhaps? Or maybe just a last-ditch effort to get in while they still can.

25 Comments

  1. 960,000 shares is not a lot for a news story involving the Pope and you have no idea as to the motivation for those shares. They could just as easily be ridiculing the story as showing any belief in it’s veracity. They could even be warning their friends that the story is false. This is a false comparison.

    The actions of one mentally unstable individual does not constitute “most” people. Just another fallacious argument. I still hold with “most people are sensible enough to be able to differentiate fake from real.” and your argument has does nothing to challenge that position.

    Any public figure has their tweets fact checked and any error is very quickly highlighted. Sensible people filter the noise.

    You really should try approaching this from a different viewpoint. Just for an instance suppose that there are large numbers of ordinary people who disagree with you. Just suppose these are rational, intelligent, educated people who are thinking deeply about their current situations and making a choice that they believe will be the best for their future. Then try thinking why an ordinary, sensible, educated American might be voting for Trump as opposed to Clinton.

    Try this: http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-….

  2. Facts Appear Directly Below

    At this point, you’re just trolling.

    • You make assertions.
    • I ask you for sources/data/facts to support your assertions.
    • I refute your assertions, citing polls, quotes, facts, etc.
    • You reply with straw man arguments (attributing to me things I never wrote).
    • You make a new set of assertions.
    • You call me arrogant and/or stupid.
    • And the cycle repeats…

    So we’re going to go back and deal with one point at a time. Here’s the first:

    You made the following unsubstantiated assertion: “Those [fake news] sites didn’t draw massive numbers whatever you may think, and most people are sensible enough to be able to differentiate fake from real.”

    I replied “Both of those claims are demonstrably false. For example, a fake news story entitled “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement,” was shared more than 960,000 times on facebook. And it was totally false. A 2015 poll found that 44 percent of Republicans still believed fake news claims that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. Donald Trump retweeted a fake news graphic purporting to show the percentage of whites killed by blacks and other homicide data delineated by race. Almost every figure in the graphic was wrong, some dramatically so. Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, Retired general Michael Flynn, tweeted a link to a fake news story that claimed the NYPD had evidence of new Hillary Clinton emails that proved her involvement in, or knowledge of, money laundering and sex crimes with children.”

    Since I wrote that, 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch of Salisbury, North Carolina walked into a Washington, DC pizza restaurant brandishing, and firing, an assault rifle. After he was apprehended, he told authorities he was there to “self-investigate” the fake news story known as “Pizza Gate,” which alleged that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta were running a child sex operation out of the Comet Ping Pong pizza restaurant. The story alleged that there were tunnels under the restaurant through which child sex workers would travel.

    The restaurant’s owner and employees were threatened on social media in the days before the election after the fake news stories appeared. The threats persisted, with some even aimed at children of Comet Ping Pong employees and patrons. The restaurant’s owner was forced to contact the FBI, local police, Facebook and other social-media platforms in an effort to remove the articles for the safety of himself, his patrons, and nearby store employees and owners (who had also received death threats).

    Now your job is to either provide a refutation or to concede the point. That’s all. Nothing more. No name calling. No personal attacks. No insults.

  3. Folks: Please stop and focus on the real problem. No one want to get sick but we all will get sick some day. The insurance rate is going up and up every freaking year. Why? It’s for sure not that Obama want to raise rate and make it not affordable. As a matter of fact, all industrialized country have a single payer system that ensure everyone with healthcare and private insurance if they can afford more services. Under the single payer system, the cost for healthcare is less than the US and everyone is cared for. In our system, we have so many overheads and cost more because of so many insurance companies are there to make money. Each have their own set of rules and networks that make navigating the system so complicated that we have no ideas what the real cost is.

    Healthcare is a necessity that we all need for a peace of mind. We need to make sure that everyone can be cared for when they get sick without worrying about going bankrupt. It’s been done in all industrialized countries and their citizens are not up in arm about their care. Why can’t we do it? Any fix that maintain the current private insurance system will make our system more expensive and more complicate to manage.

  4. You keep making the same mistakes in your arguments and it all stems from attitude of unjustified moral superiority which leads to arrogance. You assumption of a moral superiority because you voted for one candidate and not the other is simply sickening.

    The rhetoric of the progressives is appealing to communists, dictators and other authoritarians who try and drown out any dissent or even reasonable discourse. Extremists can be found on both sides of the argument. Far more people have been murdered in the name of leftist politics than in the name of conservatives.

    There are many types of bias, you are simply demonstrating most of them. There is inherent bias in polling simply through the cultural biases of those framing the questions. There is cultural bias in what you deem to be normal.

    IQ has been demonstrated to have inbuilt cultural bias. If you are an example of high IQ then it is obviously not a good measure. We can exchange anecdotes about who is higher or bigger, but it has very little relevance. You just assume because you have a high IQ you are smart, but that isn’t what it means. Many highly intelligent people have held views others find abhorrent.

    I have lived in poor areas of the world, not the supremely affluent US. My own father started work at 14 after a minimal education, irrespective of his IQ. I grew up in a deprived area with few resources, where very few kids went to college, not because they weren’t smart, but because they couldn’t afford to. Most kids left school at 16 and went straight into the workforce. I was lucky, got educated until I was 18 and got accepted, and yes it was for Astrophysics, but due to family circumstances I couldn’t take up the place and had to start work. Later in life I gained qualifications through distance learning.

    It is the primary reason for the current populist reactions of peoples around the world. They are sick and tired of being spoken down to by liberal elites who just know their viewpoints and opinions are “better”. They’re sick and tired of your self-serving arrogant bullsh*t. The progressives of North America are very out of touch with much of the rest of the world.

  5. Facts Appear Directly Below

    Let’s get this important bit out of the way first:

    You wrote: “And another logical fallacy is demonstrated. You keep trying to conflate extremists with people who disagree with you.”

    You’ve spent days lying about what I have said and implied. I wrote “White supremacists, KKK members, and neo-Nazis saw in Trump a candidate who represented their views, and they were energized and emboldened, publicly supporting him. Since his election, they have come out of the shadows, brazenly holding public gatherings.”

    Instead of addressing the disturbing fact that Trump’s rhetoric and stated policies were so appealing to those reprehensible people, and so closely aligned with their views, you weakly replied that he didn’t “seek” their support (a claim for which you could produce no evidence).

    You wrote: “You assume a position of moral superiority with no justification…”

    Justification? I didn’t vote for a candidate that promised a “Muslim ban,” advocated murdering the families of terrorists, came out in favor of torturing prisoners of war, admitted to sexually assaulting women, made disparaging remarks about the attractiveness of numerous women in the media and the political arena… The list goes on and on.

    ———-
    You wrote: “I believe polls have a significantly higher rate of inaccuracy than is generally quoted.”

    And yet you stated with certainty that Trump got more of the college-educated white male vote. Because some poll said he had a 4% margin with that group?

    You wrote: “You’ve shown demonstrated no knowledge of inherent bias during these comments, but instead have stuck rigidly to a position of demonstrated bias.”

    You are now conflating the use of the term as it relates to the science of statistics with how it relates to how it affects individual viewpoints. It seems that you are the one who is demonstrating a lack of understanding of the term.

    You wrote: “Education is not a measure of intelligence”

    That’s your inherent bias at work since I never suggested that education was the means by which I was gauging my own intelligence — or yours. It wasn’t. Without revealing a specific score, less than 1% of people in the U.S. have an IQ as high as mine. As to the relationship between IQ and liberalism, I’ll let you google it.

    You wrote: “, just access to certain resources.”

    So what resources would someone with a childhood IQ of 92 likely need to get an advanced degree in astrophysics from Cal Tech? Or was that yet another claim for which you have no evidence?

    You wrote: “It is a common fault amongst liberals. It is also a common fault amongst college educated people as well. “

    Unless you have some data to back up that claim, it appears to be nothing more than an expression of your bias against liberals and college-educated people.

  6. I believe polls have a significantly higher rate of inaccuracy than is generally quoted. I believe pollsters have generally lost the ability to identify a statistically valid sample in many cases.

    Why do you think I’m talking down to you? Is that because it is what you normally do to others, as indicated by your comments as well as your moniker? You’ve demonstrated no knowledge of inherent bias during these comments, but instead have stuck rigidly to a position of demonstrated bias.

    And another logical fallacy is demonstrated. You keep trying to conflate extremists with people who disagree with you. You assume a position of moral superiority with no justification and pontificate from on high, hence my calling you arrogant, because it is what you demonstrate.

    ROFLMAO. No you are not smarter than me. That you think so is highly amusing. It is a common fault amongst liberals. It is also a common fault amongst college educated people as well. Education is not a measure of intelligence, just access to certain resources. I have had enough cognitive testing to fully understand my own capabilities and biases.

  7. Facts Appear Directly Below

    You wrote: “So you still believe polls?”

    Yes, and so do you. That’s why you cited poll results showing that “more white people with college degrees voted Republican than Democrat.”

    You wrote: “Perhaps you should try learning about inherent bias.”

    Perhaps you should stop talking down to me since it’s unlikely that you are more knowledgeable about statistics than I am.

    You wrote: “You continue to denigrate people who have a different opinion to your own.”

    If you consider KKK members, white supremacists, xenophobes, and the uneducated as your intellectual and moral equals, I won’t argue with you. But they are not mine.

    You wrote: “You continue to display an astounding level of arrogance…”

    You continue to display your frustration at dealing with someone who is genuinely smarter than you.

  8. So you still believe polls? Perhaps you should try learning about inherent bias.

    You still believe only the other side lies? All sides lie. It is what politicians do in order to gain power.

    You are still ignoring root causes and believing the myths generated by your own sides identity politics.

    You continue to denigrate people who have a different opinion to your own.

    You continue to display an astounding level of arrogance and misunderstanding as to the causes that have given rise to the resurgence of populist politics.

    I pity you and your narrow worldview.

  9. Facts Appear Directly Below

    I understand that you are frustrated by the facts not lining up with what you wish to believe. But poll after poll has shown that Trump voters were shockingly misinformed, often parroting Trump’s own wildly inaccurate or even wholly fictitious claims. Politifact rated over 70% of Trump’s statements as “mostly false,” “false” or “pants on fire false.” And polls showed that his supporters largely believed what he was telling them.

    Polls show that Trump supporters believe there has been a massive increase in illegal immigration from Mexico under Obama when, in fact, it peaked in 2007 under Bush and has been declining under Obama. They believed that Obama was “soft” on illegal immigrants when, in fact, he deported more of them than any prior president in U.S. history. Trump supporters believed Trump’s claims that illegal immigrants commit violent crimes at an alarmingly high rate. In fact, illegal immigrants commit violent crime at a lower rate than do U.S. citizens born in this country.

    A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling showed that Republicans believed by a 64/27 spread that unemployment increased under Obama and by a 57/27 spread that the stock market had gone down during his presidency. When you think about that level of misinformation, you should be horrified. The stock market has gone up by nearly a factor of three and the unemployment has been slashed to about half of what it was when he took office. (In that same poll, Democrats and independents overwhelmingly believed what was actually true).

    You wrote: “The fact is that more white people with college degrees voted Republican than Democrat.”

    Are you trying to prove my earlier point that Trump appealed to white supremacists — apparently of all education levels? Looking at the electorate in total, college graduates backed Clinton by a 9-point margin (52%-43%), while those without a college degree backed Trump 52%-44%. By contrast, in 2012, there was hardly any difference between the two groups: College graduates backed Obama over Romney by 50%-48%, and those without a college degree also supported Obama 51%-47%. So Trump attracted a far less educated voter base than did his GOP predecessor.

    And yet again, I marshaled facts and statistics to support my position when I was replying to something you readily admit was a personal attack.

  10. Yes, it is a personal attack. It is exactly the same as the personal attack you are making by describing opposition voters as “uninformed and misinformed voters lacking in intelligence and reasoning skills”.

    The fact is that more white people with college degrees voted Republican than Democrat.

  11. Facts Appear Directly Below

    You wrote: “The fact that you do not understand your arrogance is…”

    You’ve descended into personal attacks. Perhaps you are hoping to goad me into defending myself by revealing my IQ, academic and professional achievements, awards, publications, etc. so that you can accuse me of bragging or of being insecure. Well, good luck with that.

    I guess that’s easier than answering the questions I posed or providing the evidence I asked for in order to back up your claims. I’m not going to waste my time cutting and pasting something you (and others) could simply scroll up to see.

    Have a good day and thanks for discussing things with me.

  12. Facts Appear Directly Below

    You asked: “Why pay the monthly payments at all if you have to come up with 10 large?”

    Because you are much better off owing $10K than dying from cancer.

  13. The fact that you do not understand your arrogance is a fundamental reason why so many people have been alienated by the establishment.

    Your side is infallible, the other side is ignorant, bigoted and stupid.

    Your attitude sums up why Hilary lost and why demagogues are getting so much support these days.

    If one sides gives me some respect whilst the other doesn’t who do you think I’m going to vote for?

  14. Facts Appear Directly Below

    It’s not arrogance; it’s honesty. It’s ridiculous to expect educated, intelligent people to be respectful of people who espouse xenophobia, racism, anti-Muslim bigotry, etc.

    You wrote: “You assume they are misinformed and uninformed.”

    No, I don’t assume anything. I’ve looked at data on demographics, and polling data showing the shocking lack of knowledge and the prevalence of false beliefs among Trump supporters.

    You wrote: “A tiny minority whose support was not sought. This is as bad as using commie scare tactics.”

    Whether he directly *sought* their support isn’t the issue. That he *attracted* their support with his rhetoric and by surrounding himself with the “alt-right” extremists is what is disturbing. But you are making things up. You don’t know whether he sought their support and or how many people are are either in those groups or sympathetic to them.

    You wrote: “Religious groups feel persecuted by the left. Who else would they vote for? They has just as much right to their beliefs as you do to yours. “

    Having a right to believe something doesn’t make your belief correct or deserving of equal respect. Nor does having a right to hold a belief give you a right to act on it, whether it’s the belief that God wants you to bomb an abortion clinic or discriminate against gay people. Who else could they have voted for? Someone who was trying to uphold the Constitution and respect the separation of church and state that our founding fathers espoused.

    You wrote: “The FBI was just doing it’s job…”

    The FBI’s “job” was not to send a vague letter 11 days before Election Day prior to reviewing emails to find out if there was anything of consequence in them. Nor was it the FBI’s job to leak information to GOP operatives about potentially damaging actions that the FBI would take against the Democratic candidate. So I challenge you to back up your claim: Show me any law or regulation that required Comey to send that letter to Congress.

    You wrote: “As opposed to the huge influence of the mainstream mass media, which apart from one or two minor exceptions was totally behind Hilary.”

    Actual news media are supposed to have a much greater influence than teens in Macedonia and the Balkans making up fake news. You can’t spend years covering politics in the U.S. and not be horrified when a GOP presidential candidate is espousing torture, the murder the families of terrorists, bans on Muslims entering the U.S., and jailing his political opponent.

    You wrote: “Those sites didn’t draw massive numbers whatever you may think, and most people are sensible enough to be able to differentiate fake from real.”

    Both of those claims are demonstrably false. For example, a fake news story entitled “Pope Francis Shocks World, Endorses Donald Trump for President, Releases Statement,” was shared more than 960,000 times on facebook. And it was totally false. A 2015 poll found that 44 percent of Republicans still believed fake news claims that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. Donald Trump retweeted a fake news graphic purporting to show the percentage of whites killed by blacks and other homicide data delineated by race. Almost every figure in the graphic was wrong, some dramatically so. Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, Retired general Michael Flynn, tweeted a link to a fake news story that claimed the NYPD had evidence of new Hillary Clinton emails that proved her involvement in, or knowledge of, money laundering and sex crimes with children.

    You wrote: “As long as you demean those who have a different opinion to yours you are not going to persuade.”

    I’m not going to persuade those people by being kind, humble, and pleasant either. They’ll just label me as a rube who believes mainstream, liberal media rather than the “real news” from sites that report stories like “CLINTON DOCTOR WHO CONFIRMED HILLARY’S BRAIN TUMOR FOUND DEAD” (total fiction — no tumor and no such dead doctor) and “FBI agent suspected in Hillary email leaks found dead in apartment in murder-suicide” (it never happened) and “BREAKING: FEDERAL AGENTS JUST CONFIRMED HILLARY KILLED VINCE FOSTER AFTER THEIR AFFAIR.” Okay, that last one was true, but I’m sworn to secrecy, so I can’t share what I know. 🙂

  15. The world you are living in has lots of arrogant people who believe that they are “better”, more “informed”, more “educated” who have their opinion of “facts”. In my view both sides are equally guilty of using demeaning language to the other.

    1. You assume they are misinformed and uninformed. Perhaps they are just tired of being ignored and insulted. The “Deplorable” comment was a huge mistake that you are repeating with your comments.
    2. A tiny minority whose support was not sought. This is as bad as using commie scare tactics.
    3. Religious groups feel persecuted by the left. Who else would they vote for? They has just as much right to their beliefs as you do to yours.
    4. The FBI was just doing it’s job and many feel that Hilary got off lightly. Most research shows this had little effect on voting and is just an excuse being used by the campaign to avoid taking responsibility for the failure.
    5. As opposed to the huge influence of the mainstream mass media, which apart from one or two minor exceptions was totally behind Hilary. Those sites didn’t draw massive numbers whatever you may think, and most people are sensible enough to be able to differentiate fake from real. They are also sensible enough to see the bias of organizations like CNN which was shockingly obvious during the campaign and is still ongoing.

    What you are totally ignoring is that there is widespread support for some of Trump’s policies, especially around the economy and immigration. Hilary had nothing to counter with. Her economic message was “more of the same” which has patently failed for lots of people.

    As long as you demean those who have a different opinion to yours you are not going to persuade. The political elites on both sides have lost the trust and support of large parts of the electorate through their collective arrogance, and that is what opened the door to a demagogue like Trump.

  16. Facts Appear Directly Below

    You asked a question, so I answered it in detail, taking my time to write a thoughtful reply. I hope that you will extend me the courtesy of reading it.
    ——

    You wrote: “Unfortunately you are living in your own private echo space.”

    I’m living in the real world of educated, informed people, where facts matter, words mean things, and claims require substantiation.

    You wrote: “If Hilary is so good why did she lose?”

    1. Because uninformed and misinformed voters lacking in intelligence and reasoning skills make poor choices. And there are many of them. They buy into the propaganda on right-wing talk radio, television, books, and websites. They like the simple-minded idea of “making America great again” even though the person who claims he will do so has never identified when it was great, why it is no longer, or what he will do to return people to that (imaginary) time.

    2. White supremacists, KKK members, and neo-Nazis saw in Trump a candidate who represented their views, and they were energized and emboldened, publicly supporting him. Since his election, they have come out of the shadows, brazenly holding public gatherings.

    3. The Christian right saw Trump as someone who would appoint Supreme Court justices who would rule in favor of laws restricting access to abortions and who would interpret religious beliefs as being a get-out-of-jail-free card for anyone who wanted to discriminate against LGBT Americans.

    4. James Comey, head of the FBI, put his thumbs on the scales, announcing right before the election that the FBI was revisiting the Clinton email investigation based on emails found on Anthony Wiener’s laptop (never mind that they found them months earlier and sat on them until less than two weeks before the election). This was coordinated, overtly, with the Trump campaign, with Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani admitting on national television that he knew the letter was coming weeks in advance.

    5. The huge influence of for-profit fake news sites. In Veles, a small town in Macedonia, locals, mostly teens and college students, launched more than 140 U.Sm politics websites with names like USConservativeToday.com and USADailyPolitics.com. They published a mixture of plagiarized far-right news, fictional, sensationalized far-right “news,” and some that was both fictional and plagiarized. Those sites drew massive numbers of right-wing viewers and that resulted in the creators reaping monetary rewards from online advertising that appeared on their sites. When the perpetrators tried to create equivalent sites aimed at liberal audiences, they failed to generate much traffic, probably because liberals are not that stupid or gullible.


    Because I live in the United States, I have had a decades-long front row seat to the anti-Clinton, anti-Obama, anti-liberal, anti-Democrat industry. And make no mistake about it; it is a massive, for-profit industry encompassing print, television, radio, and Internet publishing. People like Ed Klein have become millionaires peddling their baseless, hate-filled drivel. Real journalists, across the political spectrum, have referred to Klein’s books as “junk journalism,” “strewn with serious factual errors, truncated and distorted quotes,” “devoid of credibility,” “thoroughly discredited,” “smut,” “sordid,” “poorly written, poorly thought, poorly sourced,” and, most succinctly, “bullshiít.” But that seems to have no effect on an angry right-wing mob that is eager to believe every hate-filled tome he publishes. And he’s just one example of many to make a living peddling that kind of hate.

  17. Unfortunately you are living in your own private echo space.

    Not everything is defined by your personal viewpoint or US politics.

    If Hilary is so good why did she lose? She had the most money, was supported by most of the media, had the largest organization…etc., etc.. Open your eyes.

    For Trump to win, Hilary had to be astonishingly bad.

  18. disqus_7EcB0kPDrU

    Hey it’s great to know someone reads this junk! Nice portrait, by the way. Not to beat a dead horse, but $400 per month with a 10K deductible is unaffordable. At least to me. Why pay the monthly payments at all if you have to come up with 10 large? The Affordable Care Act was voted for by every Democrat. Every Republican voted no. So how did Republicans block single payer, when they all voted no anyway? Why didn’t the Act include single payer? I agree, the Republicans are crooks too, in the big drug companies pockets. But now President Trump isn’t your typical Republican, so maybe now something will be done with the drug companies. Whatever Price has in mind, will be developed with the input of President Trump as well as others, so it might be something good. Still remains, Obamacare has been a disaster, so what’s to come has got to be better. Angry voters have been voting against it since inception.

  19. Facts Appear Directly Below

    You wrote: “The cheapest plan for me, a healthy, non smoking 61 year old male, was $1200 per month.”

    That means that the cheapest policy offered to anyone of any age in your area was $400 per month with a $10K deductible. That’s because the rates are capped at a 3:1 ratio, meaning that the highest premium cannot be more than three times the lowest premium for the same policy.

    You wrote: “There are deeper problems with healthcare in our country. It is too expensive!! I believe that greedy crooks, like the drug companies, are ripping us off. Obamacare didn’t take one tiny look at this problem, it just rewarded the crooks ripping us off”

    Obama was a vocal proponent of a single payer system (Medicare for all) in which we would have no for-profit insurance companies. So were many other Democrats. But the GOP has made it abundantly clear that they would block any attempt to go to a single payer system.

    It was the Republicans who, in 2003, made it illegal for Medicare to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices! That’s right, they demanded that Medicare use your taxes to pay whatever the drug companies demanded, with no negotiation for better prices. The GOP is in the pocket of the drug companies.

    You wrote: “If Mr.Trump, and his advisors, ( he has appointed a doctor for heading the health Dept.), come up with a new plan, it has to be better than Obamacare.”

    The Empowering Patients First Act that Tom Price put forward is a nightmare compared to Obamacare. It would repeal the expansion of Medicaid, a program that has provided more than 12 million low-income Americans with health insurance, and provide no replacement for it. It would replace subsidies based on income with tax credits based on age — so if you’re young, poor, and rely on subsidies, you’re screwed under his plan.

    Expecting a doctor to cut medical costs is like expecting a lawyer to reduce attorneys’ fees.

  20. Facts Appear Directly Below

    Words have meanings and speculation means conjecture without firm evidence. What upset you about the (deleted) analogy was that it was accurate. It shows the fallacy, and sometimes peril, of pretending that a person’s past behavior is not predictive of their future behavior.

    “Single-payer national health insurance is a system in which a single public or quasi-public agency organizes health financing, but delivery of care remains largely private.” (Source: Physicians for a National Health Program) That’s what you’ve described.

    Your personal opinion of Hillary Clinton has nothing whatsoever to do with reality. She has an admirable record of distinguished public service stretching back over decades, both in elected office and as our Secretary of State. We don’t need any more foreign nationals attempting to discredit her on the Internet with vague accusations of sinister wrongdoing (e.g. “a closet full of skeletons”). We had enough of that during the election.

  21. We can agree to disagree on speculation versus prediction. In politics they are the same thing. I think your analogy is deplorable.

    No, it is not a insurance system. It is purely an operation expense system. The cost is a budget item paid from general taxation.

    Your personal opinion of Hilary Clinton has nothing whatsoever to do with her rating and performance as a candidate. As a candidate she was deplorable (that word again) with a closet full of skeletons. It should have been almost impossible to lose to Trump but she managed it.

  22. disqus_7EcB0kPDrU

    Obamacare is for most people, a disaster. That’s why nationwide, Republicans have been winning and Democrats losing. I investigated Obamacare when it arrived. The cheapest plan for me, a healthy, non smoking 61 year old male, was $1200 per month. Even with subsidies, completely unaffordable. To boot, there was a $10,000 per year deductible! You can’t keep your Dr., and or plan that you like either. Clearly, Obamacare has to go. I hope that a new plan is beneficial to you and your wife, as well as beneficial to everyone in the country. There are deeper problems with healthcare in our country. It is too expensive!! I believe that greedy crooks, like the drug companies, are ripping us off. Obamacare didn’t take one tiny look at this problem, it just rewarded the crooks ripping us off, and because the system was unworkable, many insurance companies were going broke as well. Look at the source of Obamacare. Obama was a community organizer. Most of the Democrats are attorneys. The guy who wrote the plan, or much of it, called the voters, suckers. If Mr.Trump, and his advisors, ( he has appointed a doctor for heading the health Dept.), come up with a new plan, it has to be better than Obamacare.

  23. Facts Appear Directly Below

    I apologize for assuming you were a U.S. voter.

    You wrote: “You are speculating about future behaviour based on Tom Price’s past behaviour. “

    That’s not speculating; it’s predicting. To speculate is to “form a theory or conjecture about a subject without firm evidence.” A person’s consistent, past behavior over several years is usually a very good predictor of their future behavior.

    By analogy: “Joan, you’re just speculating about the convicted child molester’s future behavior based on his past behavior. He hasn’t taught at your child’s school before. You have fears based on his past behavior, but they are just your fears, until you actually find out if he a**-rapes your son.”

    You wrote: “The government can act as healthcare provider and outsource the service delivery, removing insurance from the equation.”

    You’ve just described single-payer, a system in which the government is the insurer. Like a private insurer, they administer a fund from which they pay private providers for services rendered.

    You wrote: “They’ve just disgraced their own legacy by putting forward the two of the worst candidates it would be possible to find.”

    Don’t even imply an equivalence. Hillary Clinton is extremely qualified with decades of experience in elected and appointed offices. Donald Trump is none of those things and I even question if he is mentally competent, much less qualified.

  24. I didn’t vote. Luckily I’m not American so didn’t have your envious choice. I’m just an independent external observer.

    You are speculating about future behaviour based on Tom Price’s past behaviour. He hasn’t worked for Trump before and no-one really knows what is coming. You have fears based on Tom Price’s past behaviour, but they’re just your fears, until some actual details are published.

    You obviously don’t understand the kind of system I’m talking about because you are fixated on insurance. The US system is based on insurance, but that is just one model of many that are available. The government can act as healthcare provider and outsource the service delivery, removing insurance from the equation.

    I really don’t care about Democrats and Republicans. From where I stand both parties are totally corrupt and obnoxious. They’ve just disgraced their own legacy by putting forward the two of the worst candidates it would be possible to find. I think the better they implode and something new replaces them the better for the US and for the rest of the world.

  25. Facts Appear Directly Below

    Both Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, while serving as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, were called homeland security czars.

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