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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Do Your Job

Category: GOP Politics
Posted: 02/14/17 12:51

by Dave Mindeman

The silence is deafening.

With the Michael Flynn resignation, questions upon questions come to the surface and cry out for answers. Yet, with the Republicans controlling the reins of power, their lack of curiousity is troubling.

For over a year and a half, the House Investigations Committee with Chair Jacob Chaffetz scrutinized to the minutest detail, everything about Hillary Clinton's e-mails. No stone was left unturned. It hurt her campaign and hurt her credibility. Yet, they found nothing.

But, in the case of Flynn, we have had troubles brewing below the surface indicating that he was compromised long ago. He has had unpublicized Russian contacts that were looked into even prior to the election. The Justice Department, the FBI, and most of the intelligence apparatus were aware of the possibility, prior to the election, during the transition, and now openly stating it. Why they didn't give public statements on that, while insisting on broadcasting every move in the HRC investigation is still a very disturbing mystery.

But even with all of these revelations, the GOP Congress refuses to act. They have taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution and these United States....and here, we have a real national security threat that they choose to ignore.

You can't take partisanship into this realm. This is beyond Republican and Democrat. It is about our country. I guess the idea of America First doesn't apply if it is about a potential Republican embarrassment.

In the 1973-74 Watergate investigation, it was a Republican Senator, Howard Baker, who led the charge and asked the hard questions. To him, it wasn't about what was best for his Party - it was about the country.

That is the real America First attitude that we need right now. We do not know how far this reaches and what may have already been compromised by this White House and its web of deceit and chaotic function. But we can find out. We can ask the questions. We can have a government that actually does look out for the interest of the people and not some partisan protectionism.

Come on Congress -DO YOUR JOB!
comments (4) permalink

Congressman Lewis Lacks An Honest Assessment Of Healthcare

Category: Congressional Races
Posted: 02/13/17 14:03

by Dave Mindeman

Jason Lewis likes to make blanket statements without any real facts to back it up. His latest is another doozy...

"Minnesota had one of the best insurance pools, high-risk insurance pools in the country and it was undone by the ACA."

Minnesota did have the best one....of really, really bad insurance options. High risk insurance pools are a last resort means to cover people who cannot get insurance any other way. Most of those were people who had pre-existing conditions with chronic illnesses before the ACA, and the insurance companies could refuse to insure them.

Minnesota's plan was a little better than most because the state backed it with a subsidy. In its final year of operation, it cost Minnesota $173 million to keep it afloat.

And when Jason Lewis says the MCHA was "undone" by the ACA - it is a little misleading. The situational facts are that MCHA was not needed anymore because pre-existing conditions was no longer a factor on who gets insured and Minnesota Care was expanded to cover the rest of those affected.

But Jason Lewis thinks that bringing the MCHA (a catastrophic insurance back-up) is the answer to repealing the ACA. He seems to be saying that the MCHA is better than the Affordable Care Act.

And let's be honest - that is flat out wrong.

The MCHA high risk pool had a wide variety of premiums....

Craig Britton of Plymouth was forced to buy MCHA coverage because of a pancreatitis diagnosis. He paid more than $18,000 a year in premiums.

I'm not sure how that fits into the affordable category. Britton was at the high end of the scale. But he was not alone on paying quite a bit more...

MCHA priced premiums for policy holders at 25 percent more than conventional coverage.

Frankly, this coverage had to cost more because the risk pool was limited to the chronically ill people who could not get insurance via the regular method.

Again, the MCHA was disbanded because the ACA moved all of those people into the general risk pool - and made subsidies available to them. Of course, that meant the insurance carriers had to spread that risk around and obviously, premiums for everybody went up....but that could have been less of a problem if the insurance companies had planned for it better and if Congress had not taken away the re-insurance option that would have paid for unexpected coverages beyond their assessments.

I don't know if Lewis fully understands what he is talking about in this regard because to think of the MCHA as a better option than the ACA is just false. The MCHA plans had high premiums, high deductibles and had few coverages for prevention and often no coverage for prescriptions drugs.

As a pharmacist, I often had to tell that an MCHA patient that their prescription was only a discount program and not actual insurance coverage. A $180 prescription would require $165 out of pocket. And most of those discount plans are offered without going through the MCHA.

So, Congressman Lewis, I hope we can get a more honest assessment of healthcare, from you, in the future, because if these high risk pools are your answer, then you really have no answer at all.
comments (1) permalink

America: Home Of The Brave, Except For...

Category: Donald Trump
Posted: 02/12/17 12:47, Edited: 02/12/17 12:47

by Dave Mindeman

America, land of the free...home of the brave.

Yes, Americans are brave....

except maybe about refugees. After all, there might a terrorist or two among the thousands searching for a home. We can't take any chances.

except maybe about voting. We might have a few voter fraud votes in the billions that are cast in our democracy. Have to find a way to protect ourselves from those potential, phantom illegal votes.

except maybe about our Mexican border. We are uneasy about that border with Mexico because it seem to be porous and fraught with dangers. We need to protect ourselves from this foreign power.... maybe a $50 billion wall would make us more brave.

except maybe about immigrants. We have so many illegal ones, but all of those other immigrants don't look and act like us. And in these dangerous times we can't be too careful. Maybe we need to stop as much of that as possible. Maybe that would help us to be more brave.

except maybe about trade with other countries. We have to protect American goods. Trade deficits are getting too high. Need to put more tariffs on imports and fight those looming trade wars. Our economy is so weak. Maybe that will make us braver about trade.

except maybe about taxes. Our taxes are just too high. Corporations have such trouble making bigger profits. We don't really need to pay for the budget. We should cut taxes. It will make us braver.

except maybe about protesters. Protesters are making us less safe. They can get too violent and we need more laws protecting us from protesters. We can't let them say and do whatever they want. We have to squash some of this dissent. That will make us braver.

except maybe about Muslims and Islam. Because they don't act Christian enough. That makes us uncomfortable and fearful. We need to fix that and be suspicious of all of that. If we can make our country a more Christian country, that will make us braver.

Yes, America is the land of the brave....except for a few things that we are afraid of. Once we get all of those worked out, we can be a braver land, fearful of nothing and land of the mostly free. Mostly.
comments (1) permalink

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