To mark the second anniversary of Obamacare, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) delivers the Weekly Republican Address, calling for repeal and replacement of the Democrats’ health care law. On the eve of next week’s historic Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the law, McConnell says it’s time to replace Obamacare with common-sense reforms Americans want, reforms that lower costs and which put health care back in the hands of individuals and their doctors, rather than Washington bureaucrats.
“Hello. I’m Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senator from Kentucky and the Republican Leader of the United States Senate.
“A little more than two years ago, at a moment when Americans were just learning some of the details of President Obama’s proposed health care law, the former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, made a comment that’s really come to embody the Washington mentality for many Americans.
“Commenting on the questions that many Americans had been voicing about the President’s health care bill, former Speaker Pelosi said that Congress would have to pass it in order to find out what was in it.
“Well, two years have gone by and this is what we know: the President was certainly right to join a call for health care reform. But the giant bill that he and others rammed through Congress has made things worse.
“That’s why, as we mark the two-year anniversary of the signing of Obamacare this week, Republicans in Congress are more committed than ever to repealing this unconstitutional law and replacing it with the kind of common-sense reforms Americans really want, reforms that actually lower costs, and which put health care back in the hands of individuals and their doctors, rather than unaccountable bureaucrats here in Washington.
“As it happens, this year’s anniversary happens to fall on the eve of historic Supreme Court arguments on Obamacare. Beginning on Monday, the nation’s highest court will hold three days of arguments to decide, among other things, whether the law’s mandate that Americans must buy government-approved health insurance is consistent with the U.S. Constitution. As one of many public officials who filed a brief before the court opposing this bill, I believe it isn’t. But even if the court disagrees with me, the consequences of this bill are reason enough to make repeal a top priority.
“As we look back at how we got to where we are today, most people would probably agree that America’s health care system has been in critical need of reform for years. Among other problems were the rising costs of health care for families, job creators and taxpayers, the exposure of too many families to potentially catastrophic health care costs, and the lack of coverage for millions of Americans.
“Yet rather than solving the most pressing problems in the old system, the Democrats’ partisan health care law has made many of those problems far worse. Costs and premiums are rising, Medicare has been raided, states now struggle to keep pace with even costlier federal mandates than before, and the economy is being sapped as new mandates hold back employers from creating new jobs.
“What’s more, Americans continue to oppose Obamacare in large numbers. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll showed that 72 percent of Americans, including most Democrats, believe the government mandate to buy health insurance violates the Constitution. This, along with a growing list of unintended consequences and broken promises, are causing many of its original supporters to take another look.
“Far from curing a rise in health care costs, Obamacare is now expected to increase health care spending by more than a quarter of a trillion dollars, and federal health care spending and subsidies by nearly $400 billion. Health care premiums for American families are expected to skyrocket by $2100 per year.
“And the White House has now admitted what they refused to acknowledge when they forced it into law: a key component of their deficit reduction claims, the CLASS Act, which is designed to deal with long-term care, can’t possibly be implemented in a financially sustainable way.
“Now they tell us.
“As for the law’s broader impact on the economy, here too the reality has proven far less appealing than the President’s rhetoric. According to the director of the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare means 800,000 fewer jobs over the next decade. One recent private sector analysis concluded that the President’s health care law is ‘arguably the biggest impediment to hiring, particularly hiring of less skilled workers’.
“States have their own challenges. Many couldn’t afford federal health care mandates before Obamacare mandated dramatic increases in Medicaid rolls — and the costs to pay for it. Needless to say, even if states are able to meet the costs of covering as many as 25 million more Medicaid patients, the quality of care for those who rely on Medicaid would almost certainly suffer.
“In my own state of Kentucky, an estimated 387,000 more people will be forced into Medicaid — at a time when the state is already struggling to provide benefits to the recipients who are currently enrolled. Kentucky’s governor — a Democrat — is on record saying he has no idea, no idea how Kentucky will meet its responsibilities if this law forces several hundred thousand more people into the state’s Medicaid program. The math just doesn’t add up.
“And then there are America’s seniors, millions of whom have learned since the passage of this bill that the health care they have and like won’t necessarily be there in its current form for them anymore.
“President Obama was right to attempt a reform; he joined a long list of members of both parties who want to see our health care system improved. But Obamacare clearly isn’t the answer. And two years after its passage, Americans have now come to their own conclusion. They don’t like it, they think it’s unconstitutional, and they want it repealed.
“The time has come to clear the way and start over, to replace this unconstitutional law with common-sense, step-by-step reforms that lower costs and Americans support.”
Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There
The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.
These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by Rutger Bregman
… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.
Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry
In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.
To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.
But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.
But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…
The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.
Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:
Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:
The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.
Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.
Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!
I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.
After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.
The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.
But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.
Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.
In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.
Your most humble and obedient,
… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.
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