Monday, June 3, 2013

Last Call For The High Risk Pool Fools

House Republicans really do seem to be completely incapable of any sort of competent governance, because even when they try it, they fail miserably.  For example, House Republicans have gotten a lot of 100% deserved criticism that their plan to repeal Obamacare does nothing to help the tens of millions of Americans who would still be without affordable health insurance.  So what's Eric Cantor's answer?

Why, giving them crappy, unaffordable health insurance, or course!

The original bill, championed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), transferred $3.6 billion from Obamacare’s $10 billion prevention and public health fund to the law’s temporary high-risk pool aimed at covering sick people for the remainder of this year.

The altered version wipes out Obamacare’s prevention fund entirely and uses the money to fund state-based high-risk pools which have nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act.

“To address the concerns raised several weeks ago, an amended version of the bill has been drafted,” Cantor wrote Friday afternoon in a memo to House Republicans, which was provided to TPM. “The amendment does not utilize or fund the existing [Obamacare high-risk pool] program, which will expire at the end of the year. Instead, the amendment provides funding for state based high risk pools, the framework that represents the conservative policy answer to helping Americans with preexisting conditions.”

Now keep in mind that these high-risk state pools were temporary measures to provide some insurance to people who had none.  It didn't work out too well, but that's why it was a temporary measure.  The cogitators in the House GOP want to make this permanent and call it a solution.

State-based high risk pools, which already exist in many states, are a favorite GOP alternative to Obamacare. While they make some strides in covering people with pre-existing conditions, they are very expensive without younger and healthier people in the system as a counter-balance. (The temporary high-risk pool created under Obamacare quickly ran out of money, too.) States tend not to be able to afford — or want to spend the money — to adequately cover their residents under high risk pools.

So once again these clowns choose pretty much the worst way to govern.  Surprise!

Ride Of The Young Guns

The College Republican National Committee (yeah, who knew, right?) is blasting the GOP leadership over the increasing loss of America's young voters in a new report examining what went wrong with 2012 and voters under 35.

In the report, the young Republican activists acknowledge their party has suffered significant damage in recent years. A sampling of the critique on:

Gay marriage: “On the ‘open-minded’ issue … [w]e will face serious difficulty so long as the issue of gay marriage remains on the table.”

Hispanics: “Latino voters … tend to think the GOP couldn’t care less about them.”

Perception of the party’s economic stance: “We’ve become the party that will pat you on your back when you make it, but won’t offer you a hand to help you get there.”

Big reason for the image problem: The “outrageous statements made by errant Republican voices.”

Words that up-for-grabs voters associate with the GOP: “The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”

“[The] Republican Party has won the youth vote before and can absolutely win it again,” the report says, pointing to presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush who were competitive with that demographic. “But this will not occur without significant work to repair the damage done to the Republican brand among this age group over the last decade.”

So in order to win over young voters, the GOP has to be...more like the Democrats.  Considering the Democrats have already staked out this territory, good luck with that, kids.  Republicans are a dead-end party that will not go gentle in that teabag night until the Tea Party cancer is ripped out and disposed of.  That's going to take getting rid of them at both the national and the state level, and the latter part of that isn't going to happen for another decade or so at the minimum.

Meanwhile, the country will try to survive the storm, I guess.  But if the future of the GOP has basically given up on the party as a going concern, and their big idea to save the party is "We need to pretend to be more like the Democrats on social stuff and still stick it to poor people" then I'm betting that when the rubble clears, the Democrats will have a long run ahead of them.

The issue of course is how much of the country gets reduced to that rubble in the meantime.

Thy Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

At least women always know where they stand with the GOP.  After repeated refusals to pass legislation to guarantee fair pay, a woman finally steps forward and explains that women don't want fair pay.  Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn says that women being recognized in the workplace is "more important" than equal pay for the same duties and responsibilities.

Thanks for clearing that up, doll.

During a roundtable discussion on NBC's Meet The Press, former White House advisor David Axelrod asked if she would support a law promoting workplace gender equality. Blackburn responded:
"I think that more important than that is making certain that women are recognized by those companies. You know, I’ve always said that I didn’t want to be given a job because I was a female, I wanted it because I was the most well-qualified person for the job. And making certain that companies are going to move forward in that vein, that is what women want. They don’t want the decisions made in Washington. They want to be able to have the power and the control and the ability to make those decisions for themselves."
Not only did she dodge the issue with some truly Palin-esque babble there, she manages to act a fool and contradict herself while insulting just about every woman everywhere.  She calls recognition more important, seemingly without understanding that most people work for money and that raises and bonuses are perfectly acceptable forms of recognition.  Apparently, if you don't accept a "good job" in lieu of being paid as much as the man sitting next to you, it's time to suck it up and be a team player.

Because there is no logical argument against promising to pay men and women fairly, she then clarifies that she is all about equality because she wants to earn her job by being the most qualified, not because she is a woman.  Dandy, but how about the most qualified also being paid the most competitive wage, even if the worker is a woman?  That makes sense to everyone but Republicans.  To speak on behalf of women and say that we don't want the decisions made in Washington is atrocious.  Women fought hard for fair pay and workplace equality, and were shot down by a unanimous GOP vote.  Then she pops a useless but empowering phrase about how women can make those decisions for themselves.  Just what decisions are we talking about?  Because unfair pay practices are legal, what choices do women have exactly?  I suppose we can choose whether we are underpaid by this guy or that guy.

It's hypocritical to believe that government shouldn't intervene to enforce fair treatment of women, and then turn around and use government to further take away their rights and freedoms.  It's way more hypocritical to sell out your gender to jockey for position in an organization determined to oppress them.  It's the height of hypocrisy to support unfairness while claiming to be giving women what they really want.  Funny, I haven't heard a single woman ever say she wanted a smaller paycheck, higher insurance costs, less access to screenings and lifesaving medical treatments and insurmountable odds.  I guess we're just lucky enough to find it everywhere we go.


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