Will some people ever get it?

Thoughts and prayers are nice. Recovering from disaster requires money and tens of thousand of people who aren't in it for a profit.

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What every American needs to say to the GOP, and what they need to do every election day

This is exactly how I feel toward the GOP.

There can never be another compromise with them on anything. Ever.

Trump is all the proof any thinking person should need to accept the reality that conservatives and Republicans are waging a war on decency, intellect, intelligence, and the future.

The Republican Party is the enemy of everything this country is supposed to be about.

What to do?

Show up on every election day to vote against every Republican at every level of government, from school board and town council to Congress and the Presidency. If we don’t, we don’t get to complain, and we can’t be angry and outraged about the country sliding down the slippery slope toward the kind of hate-filled, corrupt, and stupid kleptocracy embodied by Trump.

Complain that the system is rigged.
Complain that there’s not enough difference between Democrats and Republicans.
Complain about Big Money in politics and anything else that bothers you.

But, stay home or throw away your vote, and you need to understand that you’re helping the GOP.

It’s that simple.

Hey, #liberals and #progressives, Republicans are not our allies. Stop playing the fool.

John McCain? John Kasich? Lindsey Graham? Now, Peggy Noonan?

Peggy-fucking Noonan? Now she’s being lauded for her WSJ piece as some sort of voice of reason because she found some modicum of self-serving political courage to criticize Trump and the GOP???

Oh, she’s so brave.

(Side note: For those who don’t know her, Noonan’s claim to fame was putting only slightly more intelligent words into St. Reagan’s and GHWB’s dimwitted heads than either of those two intellectually challenged conservatives could come up with on their own.)

How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”So, I issue this plea with all due respect and humility to my fellow liberals and progressives; please stop with the, “Oh, he’s/she’s one of the good ones,” bullshit. PLEASE!

Noonan, McCain, Graham, Kasich, and all these newly minted “good ones” fall into the same who-gives-a-fuck-what-they-have-to-say category as Rick Santorum who, unlike these new Republican “reasonables”, proved once again and just yesterday on CNN that he is an unmitigated sycophant happy to say and do anything, including defending Trump, just to get air time. Why the fuck he is paid any attention at all by any media outlet is a mystery.

Which brings me to this question. Can you guess what media strategy so-called reasonable Republicans are starting to use? (Hint: It includes criticizing a certain someone they all helped to get elected.)

Me? I’ll start taking Republicans at their word when they start acting more and talking less.

As for my fellow liberals and progressives who are starting to turn a warm and welcoming smile toward some Republicans, this is your cue to stop willingly playing the fool.

I write this because I’m starting to see this in too many places and from too many liberals and progressives. There seems to be a drift by some lefties toward wanting to make room for and to even extolling the all too obviously disingenuous virtues of people like Kasich, McCain, and Graham.

We must resist their siren song. We can’t be so eager for reasonableness and sanity that we allow ourselves to fall for their politically calculated appearance of reasonableness.

ArsonistConservatives are the very people who set the world on fire. They and their actions going back to Reagan are what made a cretin like Trump possible. Now that the Earth is being scorched, they want us to believe they are in the fight to put out the flames with us?

Bullshit. They are doing what they do best; playing Americans for the fools we all too often are.

If we on the left agree to set the ethical, moral, and intellectual bar at a president who is now seemingly half a step away from flinging his poo at press conferences, we are allowing right-wing, empty-headed, narcissists like Noonan, soft-spoken ex-Lehman Brothers directors like Kasich, and hack politicos like McCain and Graham to try to appear as reasonable and to be more appealing to Americans generally.

And, that’s commendable? Laudable?

That’s no accomplishment at all. It does nothing to move this country to the left if we start giving credit to anyone for anything when it’s Trump they are compared against. It’s not just meaningless, it’s ridiculous.

We must give Republicans and conservatives no quarter nor any credit for doing anything more meaningful than serving their own ends by criticizing the horror of a person that they put into office.

The bar for me is still set where it always has been; liberal and progressive values that put people, the planet, and peace above the backward, destructive, and discriminatory ideology that is conservatism and Republicanism.

So, again I say to my fellow liberals and progressives, don’t be fooled, and stop playing the fool.

This country is where it is now because of conservatism, because of Republicans and their failed policies, and because of people like McCain, Graham, Kasich, and many who, yes, are far worse.

Every conservative and all of the right-wing own some part of Trump. For any of them now to try to convince us that they, too, are upset, angry, and concerned about Trump is like the arsonist now claiming to be worried about the neighbors’ houses.

They now want us to believe we’re all on the same side; unified against Trump.

Perhaps they even want us to believe that they are coming to their senses.

They may even want us to start thinking and believing they have agreed with what all of us Trump detractors have been saying since that idiot man-child came out from behind his failed businesses to be their candidate and the candidate of the hateful, the uninformed, and the aging white conservative voter.

Well, I’m calling bullshit on all of them. So should you.

What I see happening now just proves that they are nothing more than self-serving hypocrites and lying political hacks.

All they want now is to keep turning this country in their favor, and all they may need to realize that is to win a few of us liberals and progressives to their side.

Don’t do it. Don’t start complimenting them for pretending to care when all they are doing is being politically savvy.

Call them out for their culpability. Call them out for their guilt in helping to set this country on fire.

All conservatives and all Republicans are not equally guilty. Not all of them threw equal amounts of gasoline on the fire. But, they all threw some.

The conflagration that is Trump is on them.

Every conservative and every Republican owes this country and the world an apology. Then and only then can they have any credibility in helping the left to take down this abomination that is Trump, and only if they work with us to replace it with a progressive and liberal agenda.

If what we do is to once again move to the right by once again compromising and even embracing the right, then we truly are the fools.

 

The difference between healthcare and health insurance explained (mostly for Republicans and Trump’s acolytes)

People like GA Republican Rep “Buddy” Carter and the rest of the GOP are either misleading Americans or out-and-out lying to them.

They either don’t know the difference or are intentionally obfuscating the difference between healthcare and health insurance *choices* by either unwittingly or knowingly talking about them as if they are one and the same, and that Americans are somehow being held back from making choices because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

 

The only people who won’t have choices and who will be left behind by the GOP are people who aren’t covered by employer-subsidized health insurance and who aren’t poor enough to be covered by Medicaid. The so-called “free market” cannot solve this issue of access to healthcare in an affordable way for EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN.

It’s a Business – That’s the Problem

Health insurance as a business exists solely because healthcare has become too expensive to be a service one can pay for out-of-pocket.

Doctors stopped accepting chickens decades ago, and a 1.2trillion dollar industry – the insurance industry, that is, of which 55% is in the life/health side of the business – has absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose as a business by actually insuring people who need healthcare.

Why does healthcare cost so much? Lots of reasons, I think, but mostly for two reasons.

Capitalism at its Worst

The first is because we’re all just greedy enough and selfish enough in capitalist America to actually put a price tag on healthcare and on life itself.

As every good capitalist would tend to agree, the more expensive something is, the better it must be (or at least many of us have convinced ourselves of that premise).

So, if healthcare costs a lot and some people are priced out of it, c’est la vie. That’s capitalism and free markets at work, right? (“Yeah! Tell those lazy poor people to get a job!”….and all of that dysfunctional and inhumane nonsense we hear all the time from libertarians and conservatives.)

The second reason healthcare is so expensive is one that many may not realize. It’s *how* it’s paid for in America.

30% of the cost of delivering healthcare in America is tied up in “administration.” That’s a euphemism for processing claims; claims that are paid by insurers whose profit motive is to take in billions in premiums and to not pay or to pay claims as slowly as possible.

Make no mistake about it. Private health insurance companies are the real death panels.

Compounding the problem of administrative overhead costs is that every health insurer has a different way to process claims. It’s why 1 in 4 people who work in healthcare work in administration.

In 2015 there were 859 health insurance companies in the the U.S. Even if all you count are the top 25, that’s still 25 ways a healthcare provider will have to know how to process claims if they want to be paid. That, or they turn away patients who have health insurance they don’t know how to process, or they outsource claims processing to a third party. Whatever decisions they make, it all adds up.

Single payer eliminates it all.

You Had 8 Years and Trumpcare is the Best You Can Do?

As for the embarrassment that is the GOP abomination presumably 8 years in the making, “choice” is among the many lies “Buddy” Carter and the rest of the GOP are trying to sell you on now.

I worked for a company that provided technology to insurance carriers. Not agents, the insurance companies themselves. I saw it from the inside. Here’s how the industry works in a nutshell.

Insurance companies come up with products – the plans they want to sell. They have to file the products with each state’s Department of Insurance where they wish to sell said product(s). Each state decides independently as to whether they allow said product to be sold to their citizens.

One of the many Protections in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that insurers did NOT like (they only liked the mandate) was the elimination of junk insurance. It’s called that because that’s what it is.

Junk insurance were plans like the one I had to have a few years back when I was laid off, couldn’t afford COBRA coverage, and didn’t want to risk being “tagged” as uninsured by a future employer and their insurance company. I went to the open market in those pre-Obamacare days.

The plan I found and that I could afford was UnitedHealthOne Saver 70. It was $275.00 per month. It had a $12,500.00 deductible, paid only 70% after that was reached, and didn’t cover office visits or prescriptions.

That’s the kind of “choice” the GOP and insurance companies want back. A cheap plan that for all practical purposes guarantees the insurer will never have to pay benefits on because the insured will never go to the doctor because that’s another out-of-pocket expense, and they can’t afford the 12-grand anyway before benefits would kick in.

If Ryan and the GOP get their way with Trumpcare’s threat of a 30% buy-back-in penalty, junk insurance will fit the bill perfectly. It will make millions off of poorer Americans who will never file a claim but who will buy junk as a hedge against that future buy-back penalty.

Insurers Put Profits Over People. Period.

The insurers who are whining and crying and gnashing their teeth as they abandoned the Obamacare health insurance exchanges in some states didn’t abandon their health insurances business (although it must be understood that some insurance companies were so greedy they did stop selling health insurance because of the PPACA’s 80/20 rule).

The insurers who have left state exchanges did so because they couldn’t make enough money in those places and from people who were previously uninsured but who are now able to get healthcare for which the insurance company must pay.

Which brings us back to Rep Carter. He’s either an idiot or a liar or both.

I take that back. What he is is a Republican politician.

In my view, the sooner Americans come to their senses and stop voting for Republicans at every level of government, including the state and local levels, the better off we all will be, and the sooner we’re likely to move to a healthcare system that serves us better and which every American can benefit from regardless of their income.

 

Sources

INSURANCE INDUSTRY AT A GLANCE

The Reason Health Care Is So Expensive: Insurance Companies

Top Health Insurance Companies

Administrative costs are killing U.S. healthcare

Rate Review & the 80/20 Rule

 

Blogs I’ve written in the past on the topic of health insurance

More #PPACA Red Herrings: Renewals and Benefits

The ‘Protection’ in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Health insurance companies keep making the case for single payer

If you’re pissed at HRC, you might be a…..

“When Hillary Clinton claims that half of Trump’s supporters qualify as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic,” data is on her side.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates was right when he wrote those words in The Atlantic piece, “Hillary Clinton Was Politically Incorrect, but She Wasn’t Wrong About Trump’s Supporters”

Among the sources he links to is the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

Here are some data that proves Hillary is right.

Islamophobia

From Coates’ article: “…76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States”

banning-muslims-from-entering-u-s-june-2016

 

Racism (and religiosity)

Just over twice as many – 13% compared to 6% – think whites are THE MOST discriminated against group when compared with African-Americans. By almost a 7-to-1 margin, Republicans think Christians are THE MOST discriminated against group as compared with African-Americans.

most-discriminated-group-june-2016

 

56% of Republicans say there is a lot or some discrimination against whites.

perception-of-discrimination-against-whites-june-2015

Homophobia

59% of Republicans oppose gay marriage, and….

opinion-on-gay-marriage-november-2015

 

….64% say it’s ok to refuse service to gays and lesbians.

refusal-of-services-to-gays-and-lesbians-june-2015

 

False Equivalencies

There’s no way I could possibly hope to document all the data that points to the ideological and political truths that Trump, his supporters, and the party that nominated him cannot deny.

What Busters and the rest of the Hillary haters should stop doing is pretending that the two candidates or their respective parties have anything at all in common.

Data doesn’t lie. Neither should you.

So, if you’re pissed at Hillary for telling it like it is, then you might be a……