Hey, Republicans: Put Up or Shut Up

Martin Longman sums it up:

The Republicans have had tremendous success with what they know best, which is being a very good minority party. They can counter-message and use procedural tools in obnoxiously innovative ways to obstruct. They can simply refuse to even hold hearings for presidential nominees or insist that those positions don’t even need to be filled. They excel at this stuff, but they do not excel at legislating or doing oversight of the federal government and its agencies.

Their plan here is the plan of a minority party. They want to force the Democrats to do something rather than figuring out a way to do it themselves. They have no idea how to replace Obamacare without blowing up the private insurance industry, costing hundreds of thousands of people their health insurance, and taking all the political blame. So, they’ll just try brinksmanship and maybe those clever law-writing Democrats will rescue them at the end of the day out of some bleeding heart do-gooder sense of decency.

So far, the Democrats appear to be happy to let the the Republicans twist in the wind.

Schumer is taking a hard line when it comes to Republican plans to repeal the law, and whether or not Democrats would work across the aisle on a replacement if Republicans are successful in rolling it back. “And if they think we’re going to come in and save their butts when they screw it up? No.”

Schumer also proposed “Make America Sick Again” as a new Republican motto.

The Trumpster issued a new tweetstorm in the wee hours in which, among other things, he called Chuckie Schumer the “head clown.” This was followed by a call for Republicans and Democrats “to get together and come up with a healthcare plan that really works – much less expensive & FAR BETTER!” Yeah, that’ll work.

Schumer fired back today.

“Now, we understand that President-elect Trump is in a difficult spot, that Republicans are in a difficult spot. They want to repeal ACA, and have no idea how to replace it,” he said. “But instead of calling names, [the] President-elect should roll up his sleeves and show us a replacement plan that will cover the 20 million Americans who gained coverage, that will cover students or post-college students, 21 to 26, who want to stay on their parents’ plan, that will show how we cover people with pre-existing conditions.”

“So I’d say to the President-elect and the Republicans that this is not a time for calling names. It’s time for them to step up to the plate if they want to repeal, and show us what they’d replace it with,” Schumer added.

Also, too, yesterday dear Bernie Sanders brought an oversized print of one of the Donald’s old tweets and put it on display in Congress.

Sanders said Trump should either admit he was lying or say he will veto any forthcoming cuts.

“Millions of people voted for him on the belief that he would keep his word,” he said. “If he was sincere, then I would hope that tomorrow or maybe today he could send out a tweet and tell his Republican colleagues to stop wasting their time and all of our time. And for Mr. Trump to tell the American people that he will veto any proposal that cuts Medicare, that cuts Medicaid or that cuts Social Security.”

And when Trump made those promises on the campaign trail, I suspect his followers assumed he knew how he would make it happen. But it’s obvious he doesn’t have a clue.

See this article by Drew Altman in today’s New York Times — “The Health Care Plan Trump Voters Really Want.”

Surveys show that most enrollees in the Affordable Care Act marketplaces are happy with their plans. The Trump voters in our focus groups were representative of people who had not fared as well. Several described their frustration with being forced to change plans annually to keep premiums down, losing their doctors in the process. But asked about policies found in several Republican plans to replace the Affordable Care Act — including a tax credit to help defray the cost of premiums, a tax-preferred savings account and a large deductible typical of catastrophic coverage — several of these Trump voters recoiled, calling such proposals “not insurance at all.”

And it isn’t insurance at all.

One of those plans has been proposed by Representative Tom Price, Mr. Trump’s nominee to be secretary of Health and Human Services. These voters said they did not understand health savings accounts and displayed skepticism about the concept.

When told Mr. Trump might embrace a plan that included these elements, and particularly very high deductibles, they expressed disbelief. They were also worried about what they called “chaos” if there was a gap between repealing and replacing Obamacare. But most did not think that, as one participant put it, “a smart businessman like Trump would let that happen.”

However, they also said this:

They were unmoved by the principle of risk-sharing, and trusted that Mr. Trump would find a way to protect people with pre-existing medical conditions without a mandate, which most viewed as “un-American.”

I don’t find the need for the mandate that hard to grasp, and I’m not exactly brilliant when it comes to number things.

But it does seem to me that if these people get their insurance ripped out from under them, with nothing to replace it but some blah blah health savings account blah, even they may notice they’ve been had.

19 thoughts on “Hey, Republicans: Put Up or Shut Up

  1. In twitter today I went unnoticed (as usual) with this.

    Doug Hughes ‏@DougHughesDCfly 7 hours ago
    The GOP with 7 years to make a better health care plan have NO plan and no way to make a plan so they blame dems for not making the plan.

    So we’re on the same wavelength, for sure. The problem with promising unicorns, which all the candidates did some of (including Bernie) is that if your party gets control of the House Senate White House and arguably the US Supreme Court – voters expect unicorns. The GOP convinced voters that without the mandate and without subsidies everyone can have cheap medical coverage in the free market because – magic and unicorns.

    Republicans today (it wasn’t always true) ONLY want bipartisan so that any unpopular part of any ‘bipartisan’ bill can be blamed on the democrats. In a rare bit of strategy, democrats aren’t trying to carve out compromise legislation that will save part of health care. They are standing back and saying – “Repeal it – if the new system don’t work, you own it.”

    Trumpcare won’t work – it can’t. The reason that the GOP – for 7 years – hasn’t written a plan is because nothing based on unicorns and the free market fairy is going to work. And they’re stuck with that – and a base who expects a unicorn any minute.

    Last thought – but it may be worth the trouble – the devastation will NOT be limited to the 20 million of dark complexion who the rubes imagine that Obamacare benefits. With the mandate gone and with the pre-existing condition clause intact, premiums will skyrocket. Without the subsidies that the rich paid for, the increased burden falls to the consumer and that includes especially the rubes who expect a health care unicorn.

    Be careful what you wish for, GOP… you got it.

  2. The Republicans are totally screwed:
    Everyone knows they can’t put-up, because they are completely inept when it comes to legislating and governing – and they sure as Hell can’t shut-up!

    So, what do they do?

    It’s tough to drop back 15 yards and punt.
    It’s also embarrassing, since they just started this game, and on their first first-down at the Democrats 5 yard line, they can’t figure out how to play this game! And all of this after months of boasting, posturing, and preening.

    I see a major FUMBLE!!!!!

  3. If they’re smart, and that’s doubtful, they’ll repeal the “Obamacare”, rename the exact same legislation the Real American Patriot Freedom Health Care Plan and “replace” the ACA with itself and call it a day.

  4. c u n d gulag:

    It wasn’t months, it’s been years. Since Day 1 of the ACA they’ve been screaming to their followers that it was bad, flawed, and would drive up the debt. What were they doing all those years – doesn’t seem like they were planning on implementing their slogan, does it?

    Not to mention, they want to delay the effect of their plan, since they don’t want their screw up to effect the midterms in 2018, or their hopes at retaining the Presidency in 2020. These folk want to loot and rule over the remains of their handiwork, and blame the Democrats for why only the 1% can have nice things.

  5. Here’s a suggestion for you GOP boyz and girlz:
    Instead of screaming “REPEAL AND REPLACE!” – because you fear doing the former, and have NO ideas of how to do the latter – how about quietely whispering ‘Retreat and rename?’

    Republicans/Conservatives in this country have no interest in legislating and/or governing.

    They just want to rule.
    THAT’S where there’s no work to do, except figure out grifts, staffing the grifts with capable grifters, and then watching over them like hawks. Because, there’s no griftee more gullible, than another grifter. And there’s no greater thrill in the grifting world, than grifting someone who thinks s/he is a “Master Grifter!”

    That’s why Putin will very quickly de-pants t-RUMP.
    t-RUMP thinks he’s “The Master Grifter!”
    The reality is that he’s like than moronic teenage newbie who just finished his copy of “Chess for Idiots,” and thinks he’s ready to take on a Grand Master.
    Sure, if you’re an “Idiot Savant,” you’d have a chance. But, as we all know, t-RUMP’s got the first part of that term down pat – but he’s no sort of savant.

  6. Oh, and to further explain how needlessly stupid and cruel the Republicans are, read this:

    Instead of thinking up legislation to help people and society – aka: “We the People” – or new ideas of how to replace Obamacare, this – THIS! – is what the Republicans have been doing in their spare time!

    Republicans must go to sleep counting ways to torture sheep to death.
    Of course, they don’t want “silence” while theyre being torured to death – they want “The Shrieking and Shitting and Pissing of the Lambs.”
    Otherwise, what fun is it going to sleep?

  7. I probably shouldn’t comment, because, I really don’t know what to expect. I see a range of possibilities, none of them are very good. The reins of the Republican Party seem to have been passed further to the right and further up the the economic scale. But, these super rich right wingers have been pulling the strings for years, the biggest difference is that they aren’t hiding the real levers of power anymore. The means that at least some of them, feel immune to the political consequences of their actions.

    In addition, Trump is the “perfect storm” of a president. He lacking in experience and knowledge, he has a personality disorder, he is arrogant, corrupt and without compassion. He has questionable ties to mobsters and foreign despots. He is like a Russian oligarch transplanted into the oval office. There are a thousand ways he could fail, but, unfortunately, he is an expert at shifting blame, and he has a crack propaganda team set up.

    So, the possibility that the remnants of the New Deal and Great Society programs, along with the ACA will be destroyed along with the lives of the people that depend on them is real. I no longer believe in compassionate conservatives, moderate Republicans or any of that. If they ever existed at all, they are either seduced by the attraction of power or hiding under their beds. But, if the health care and safety net programs are are gutted and misery and chaos ensues, it will be an indicator of just where the power is seated and how fearless our masters have become. If they balk and choose to pursue their corporatist agenda on other issues, it will show that they still have fear of the people.

    I can’t remember his name but, Ayn Rand had a fixation on a serial killer. She wrote that “for him, other people simply didn’t exist.” Does that remind you of anyone?

    I’ll make up for my word salad with some levity. This video might come in handy, if on some dark day in the future, we have to do some self diagnosis.


  8. I’m going to copy this with the caveat that I haven’t checked it, but my gut says it’s valid and consistent with what Trump is doing. If it’s correct then health care and the wall will be the major distraction for Trump’s actual objective – making Russia Great Again, by helping the Russian oil economy.

    Here’s some interesting background information:

    1) Trump owes Blackstone/ Bayrock group $560 million dollars (one of his largest debtors and the primary reason he won’t reveal his tax returns)

    2) Blackstone is owned wholly by Russian billionaires, who owe their position to Putin and have made billions from their work with the Russian government.

    3) Other companies that have borrowed from Blackstone have claimed that owing money to them is like owing to the Russian mob and while you owe them, they own you for many favors.

    4) The Russian economy is badly faltering under the weight of its over-dependence on raw materials which as you know have plummeted in the last 2 years leaving the Russian economy scrambling to pay its debts.

    5) Russia has an impetus to influence our election to ensure the per barrel oil prices are above $65 ( they are currently hovering around $50)

    6) Russia can’t affordably get at 80% of its oil reserves and reduce its per barrel cost to compete with America at $45 or Saudi Arabia at $39. With Iranian sanctions being lifted Russia will find another inexpensive competitor increasing production and pushing Russia further down the list of suppliers.
    As for Iranian sanctions, the 6 countries lifting them allowing Iran to collect on the billions it is owed for pumping oil but not being paid for it. These billions Iran can only get if the Iranian nuclear deal is signed. Trump spoke of ending the deals which would cause oil sales sanctions to be reimposed, which would make Russian oil more competitive.

    7) Rex Tillerson (Trump’s pick for Secretary of State) is the head of ExxonMobil, which is in possession of patented technology that could help Putin extract 45% more oil at a significant cost savings to Russia, helping Putin put money in the Russian coffers to help reconstitute its military and finally afford to mass produce the new and improved systems that it had invented before the Russian economy had slowed so much.

    8) Putin cannot get access to these new cost saving technologies OR outside oil field development money, due to US sanctions on Russia, because of its involvement in Ukrainian civil war.

    9) Look for Trump to end sanctions on Russia and to back out of the Iranian nuclear deal, to help Russia rebuild its economy, strengthen Putin and make Tillerson and Trump even richer, thus allowing Trump to satisfy his creditors at Blackstone.

    10) With Trump’s fabricated hatred of NATO and the U.N., the Russian military reconstituted, the threat to the Baltic states is real. Russia retaking their access to the Baltic Sea from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and threatening the shipping of millions of cubic feet of natural gas to lower Europe from Scandinavia, would allow Russia to make a good case for its oil and gas being piped into eastern Europe.

    Sources: Time Magazine, NY Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian UK.

  9. I get a sense that the tide is turning, somewhat. Not completely, but at least to the extent that the GOP and the Trumpanzee are starting to realize being in complete control is not without consequences. And this can be exploited by the democrats.

    The GOP can’t continue to act as an obstructionist opposition party, trashing everything in sight to keep their base angry and distracted, and expect the democrats to come in and wipe their behinds.

  10. Some high school kids came and took away the little kids key to a candy factory. Now the little kids are crying and the teens are trying to shut them up and figure out how to keep making candy. Unless one of them can find a way to keep the sugar and corn syrup suppliers paid the whole enterprise is doomed.

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  12. If the GOP were smart, they’d get former Fox News bimbo Monica Crowley on this file .right away.

    She’s got the very kind of talent they need for plagiarizing Obamacare and turning it into Trumpcare…

  13. “a healthcare plan that really works – much less expensive & FAR BETTER!”

    Sounds like single-payer (e.g. Medicare for all) to me.

  14. So, they’ll just try brinksmanship and maybe those clever law-writing Democrats will rescue them at the end of the day out of some bleeding heart do-gooder sense of decency.

    Here’s the thing, and I don’t know whether the Democrats will do it, because — well, you know, they’re Democrats.

    Explain, at every turn, that in fact they DO have a plan — it’s called the Affordable Care Act. And six months or a year from now, when the Republicans scream “THE DEMOCRATS AREN’T HELPING US REPLACE THEIR PLAN THAT WE DESTROYED BECAUSE WE’RE ANGRY TODDLERS!,” they calmly reply: “But we ARE helping. Our suggestion is, keep the Affordable Care Act.”


    I don’t know whether it will happen, because while Republicans (to use the words of Charlie Pierce) never consider any defeat permanent, too many Democrats consider every defeat permanent.

  15. Yeah Bonnie, sometimes “tit for tat” feels good, I can’t deny it.

    Of course, I don’t agree with a lot of Sam Harris’s opinions and observations, but, I watched a video of his the other day and he observed something obvious, and put it simply and well. It went something like this. “In our society, a person’s opinions on gun control are a very good indicator of their opinion on climate change, for example, when the two have nothing to do with each other. But, the phenomenon displays the tribalism that we are experiencing.”

    That’s exactly how it is. We have formed two tribes and we each have a set of beliefs. The sets are disparate and opposed. We are at war, essentially. Democracy withers without dialogue and compromise. It dies without trust and belief.

    I heard a woman on a local news show describing an experience that her daughter had as part of a program that placed young African American people as congressional pages. Her daughter was shocked that when our state legislators were “debating.” The side opposed to the speaker, paid absolutely no attention. “One would play ‘Candy Crush’ with his cell phone.”

    I can’t say that her experience was a surprise, but, I probably had a smidgeon of irrational hope left over from my youth. Sometimes hopes dies hard. The dialogue, the debate and the thoughtful consideration of policy are all just illusion. The war is real.

  16. goatherd,
    I’ve long termed what we’re going through since the CRA and VRA were signed, “The Cold Civil War.”

    And it is.
    And it may soon get hot, just like the original Civil War did, when Lincoln was elected.

    Now, the person who’s the least Lincoln-like human ever, has won the Presidency.
    So, the coming “hot” war will involve racism, AND Fascism!
    Two horrible tastes, that taste worse together.

    And we’ll have to fight, to make sure that racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, and a “treasure” of other bigoted shit, doesn’t become our normal standard.

  17. Goatherd; i had to look it up as i remembered the same but not the name. the bastard you are struggling to recall is one William Edward Hickman, and when you read his perfidies you will agree with that moniker. that she could ever idolise the man says a lot about her world view, and i would suggest also her acolytes today…..

    the google hit i got chasing it down may be a worthwhile reminder, certainly in mind of He about to be inaugurated….


  18. Yes, Nonny, that’s the guy. Thanks.

    CUND, Almost anything is possible. I find myself fantasizing about some of the coastal areas opting out, California, Oregon and Washington would make a nice little country. But, certainly with the same complications, violence and risk as Civil War V 1.0.

    When I think about the future, some unsettling images rise up out of my anxiety. I hope none of them come about. There are way too many guns around here, and everywhere else too. So it’s far too easy to slip into a “Twilight Zone” scenario. Right wing wackos are pretty much part of the landscape here, and they’re feeling frisky lately.

    It’s probably better for my mental health not to speculate.

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