Conservacare Fight, Iconic Arch Collapse
Thursday, March 9, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 61
Conservacare: As Republican leaders charge in with their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, political riots are erupting on both the left and the right. And that’s just within the Republican party.
In spite of that, House Speaker Paul Ryan expressed confidence yesterday saying, “This is monumental exciting conservative reform. … This is what we have dreaming about doing.” He said, “We know that if we do nothing, the system collapses. We know that if we just repealed it, the system collapses. This is why we have to pass it with something better.”
While President Trump and the Republicans promise they will devise something cheaper and better than Obamacare, early analysis of their bill suggests that within several years millions of Americans who have health insurance now will lose it.
The powerful American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has come out against the bill because it is expected to cost older Americans more for health insurance. The American Medical Association and American Hospital Association also has joined the opposition.
The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent writes that the Republican reforms may hurt a lot of people who voted for Donald Trump; non-college whites, older and low-income Americans, all of who benefited from Obamacare’s subsidies and expanded Medicare.
About the political fight Sargent writes, “There are conservatives (mostly in the House) who actually want repeal, because they don’t think the government should be spending and regulating to expand coverage to poor and sick people, and instead want free markets to fulfill this goal. And there are other Republicans (mostly senators and governors) who want to say they’re repealing Obamacare (since they’ve railed against it for years in the abstract) while actually minimizing just how much of the coverage expansion gets rolled back in their states. Trump is more or less in the second camp, since he doesn’t want to be the guy who kicks millions off insurance or shatter Trumpism’s aura of ideological heterodoxy.”
Spin Room: In the craziness following President Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by President Obama, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said yesterday that the president is not under any kind of Justice Department investigation. That would seem to indicate that Trump’s tweeted claim is not true. But then, sigh, Spicer said, “The tweet dealt with wiretaps. “The other is an investigation. They are two separate issues.”
Brand Name President: The Trump organization has suddenly been granted 38 trademarks in China, raising suspicion that the company still owned by the president is using his position to expand the company.
Maryland’s Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin said, “For a decade prior to his election as president, Donald Trump sought, with no success, to have lucrative and valuable trademarks granted in the world’s biggest market. He was turned down each and every time. The floodgates now appear to be open.”
Permawar: Islamic State fighters dressed as doctors attacked a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, yesterday, killing 30 people and injuring many more. The attack opened with a suicide bomb at the gate to the fortified hospital and resulted in a six-hour gun battle.
The Obit Page: Fred Weintraub, the original owner of The Bitter End coffee house in New York, who promoted the early careers of Lenny Bruce, Peter Paul & Mary, Randy Newman, Nina Simone, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and more, died in Pacific Palisades, Calif. at age 88.
Weintraub left home, his family, and a baby carriage business to found what became the Greenwich Village bohemian music and comedy incubator. He left New York for Hollywood, where his first film project was the documentary “Woodstock” that captured a fleeting moment in American youth and music.
Geology News: Malta’s famous stone arch known as the “Azure Window” that framed a view of the coastal Mediterranean collapsed in a storm. The arch was suffering wear and tear from thousands of tourists who walked over it even though it was illegal. Witnesses said the arch came down first, followed by its supporting pedestal on the other side. The arch had been a symbol of the glamor and beauty of Malta.