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Friday, October 21, 2016

The old joke went that the Republican solution to any problem from bad jobs report to a cloudy Monday was “cut taxes!”

It was funny because it was true. Days after the 9/11 attacks, White House officials were reportedly on the phone with Capitol Hill saying that the stunned economy necessitated huge capital gains and dividend tax cuts, even though they knew a war was probably coming.

Marco Rubio (R-FL) has perfected the GOP’s new version of this old trope: using every problem as a justification to repeal Obamacare.

The U.S. senator picks a letter a week to answer on YouTube. This week, “Larry” from Florida repeated the “IRS will be in charge of your health care” backwash that has been circulating in the right-wing media from the Drudge Report to AM radio.

Repealing President Obama’s signature achievement is as popular now as cutting taxes, probably because the Affordable Care act raises taxes on the richest 2 percent to help working families afford health care.

But the connections between health care reform and the IRS are dubious, says the Washington Post‘s Fact-checker Glenn Kessler:

Clearly, Republicans would like to raise doubts about the health-care law by associating it with the stench of the IRS scandal. But it’s a bit much to suggest that the IRS would now be running health care in the United States, especially since the law leaves the employer-based system largely intact. After all, as Republicans frequently note, the Department of Health and Human Services has been charged with writing the thousands of pages of regulations that will govern benefit packages, the running of health-care exchanges and the like.

The IRS, by contrast, is mostly the bill collector. It will validate whether people have insurance, but as we noted last week, it will have no access to private health-care data. As McClatchy News put it — in an article cited by [National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Andrea] Bozek — “The Internal Revenue Service is an important cog in the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.” A “cog” does not mean it is in charge of people’s health care.

Rubio has alienated many conservatives by embracing immigration reform with a path to citizenship that will not be held up by constant demands to secure a border that’s more secure than it has been in decades. So even though Rubio knows there’s no hope of repealing Obamacare until 2021 — or more likely, no hope of repealing it ever — he’ll keep repeating this empty talking point until he finds one that works better.

AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • Lynda Groom

    Gee Marco, nice non-sequitur you’ve got there. What a dunce and he is suppose to their up and comer. Looks like the purge of old party ideas is just not working out too well.

  • TZToronto

    As things stand today, members of Congress and their aides will have to buy their health insurance the same way other people do. Their gold-plated health care would be a thing of the past. However, in a rare instance of cooperation, Democrats and their Republican brothers and sisters may be working together to keep this from happening.

    • Lynda Groom

      The last I checked there was nothing moving through the halls of Congress asking for an exemption. As you said they are on track to be buying their health care via exchanges starting next January.

      • Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of guys and gals.

    • bckrd1

      Yes they will but the taxpayer is still subsidizing it so they will be paying little to nothing for it. That has to change. How can they represent the average American and their families if they are not subjected to the same treatment and expense we are? They can’t. They think they are entitled to quality healthcare while trying to deprive the rest of us the same. I heard yesterday on the news that in Florida, my State, that the top politicians pay about 8$ a month for their share of the premium and 30$ a month for their family to have insurance. Now why can’t the rest of us get that same deal? Imagine the money that would and could be spent on other necessities if we citizens were not paying 50-100 times that each month.

  • docb

    More party line bagger tripe…Marko is looking to 2016 and bagger support..Now that the bat zombie bachmann is gone he can assume her position!

  • frankelee

    Don’t a majority of Rubio’s supporters believe the apocalypse is right around the corner anyway? Why not let these things resolve themselves?

    • charleo1

      A majority of Rubio supporters also believe the Cuban embargo is
      going to bring down the Castro regime, any day, now.

  • 4sanity4all

    The more Marco Rubio says, the stupider he looks. I guess if you have to have the same insurance the rest of us do, it’s not good enough for you. So you would rather that no one in the country have a fair chance to get insured, because you would have to get your health insurance the way the rest of us do.

  • Sen. Marco Rubio’s decision to join the insurance industry supporters is a sign of desperation. He is beginning to realize that the field of GOP candidates for President in 2016 is growing faster than weeds in Florida, and he knows his candidacy is rapidly becoming an irrelevant distraction.

    • Independent1

      Domninick, by pushing for repeal of ACA, Republicans are actually going against the current trend of the Healthcare Insurance Industry. (I don’t think the industry is particularly enthused about what the GOP is doing). Healthcare providers like Cigna are starting to realize that ACA opens up a huge market for them for selling individual insurance policies. Here are some excerpts from an article in the Washington Post that provides a little background on that:

      Health insurer CIGNA goes live this week with a $25 million ad campaign aimed at beefing up its individual market business. As the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, individual policies make up only 1 to 2 percent of CIGNA’s current revenue; most profits come from employer-based insurance. But the health reform law makes the individual market newly lucrative: The CBO projects that, by 2019, the number of Americans buying their own insurance will double. All told, the consulting group expects insurers’ revenues to “more than double from 2011 to 2019, to about $1.2 trillion.” That additional profit will grow out of the health reform law’s creation of a new market.

      The health reform law makes two changes that are expected to drive millions of Americans into the individual market in 2014. First, it makes buying insurance by yourself affordable, with public subsidies for anyone making less than 400 percent of the federal poverty line. Second, it requires nearly all Americans to buy insurance. Those two policies, taken together, will push a lot of people into buying insurance coverage. And if they don’t have an employer-sponsored health plan, they’ll probably purchase one on the individual market. It’s that combination of changes that has Boston Consulting expecting 13 million more Americans to be individual market subscribers come 2019.

  • midway54

    Every day brings still another reason that this character has no business in the Senate. An opportunist hack, he owes his place there to the large community of redneck yahoos and crazed Teabaggers within Florida.

  • ObozoMustGo


    There is no such thing as a “worst reason” to kill Obozocare. All reasons are good. I’ll give you leftist freaks an example:

    The sun rises in the East. Therefore, Obozocare should be repealed.

    See how easy that is? That’s a perfectly good reason to strike down that monstrosity of legislation that NO ONE read before it was crammed down America’s throat illegally. Now, even DemonRATS are starting to run from it. Like they should.

    Have a nice day!

    “Uhhhh… We have to pass the bill BEFORE we can find out what is in it.” – Nancy “one more face lift and I’ll have beard” Piglosi

    • howa4x

      Easy to run around and yell repeal. tell me how you would insure 32 million Americans. What will you tell people like me who can keep their kids on my policy till 26. If you repeal it they are off. You right wingers yip about tyranny because you have to buy health insurance. Why don’t you yip because you have to buy homeowners and car insurance? Excuse me trailer insurance I mean.

      • Independent1

        howa4x, if Obozo and rest of his GOP lovers had their way, there would be no government help for anyone in getting medical care or any form of retirement help. The GOP fought against Social Security during FDR’s time and against Medicare during LBJ’s time. Republicans have also been against unions, having corporations give their employees pensions and even the concept of 401ks. So if Obozo and his ilk had had their way over the past 80 years or so, America would most likely look like a 3rd world nation with millions of more homeless (as only the wealthy would have been able to set themselves up for retirement (there would be on Social Security, No pension plans from corporations and most likely nothing like a 401K). And millions would probably be dying at a younger age as few would have been able to afford health insurance (you’ll note that more and more corporations are fighting against providing healthcare to their employees which is what the GOP has wanted all along). So when the GOP says they want to repeal the ACA, they have no intention of replacing it with anything – they expect everyone to fall back on their major philosophy – I HAVE MINE, IT’S UP TO YOU TO GET YOURS!!!!

        • howa4x

          see my response to him about socialized medicine

          • Independent1

            Thanks!! Great response!! It’s a little hard for me to grasp that there are still people as clueless as Obozo with respect to understanding that people are not an island – that when they are irresponsible and don’t buy health insurance, or don’t wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, or don’t buy liability insurance when they’re driving a car – that they’re simply setting things up so when something catastrophic does happen to them, like an accident or devestating illness like cancer, the costs to fix the problem are foisted on everyone but themself which is totally unfair.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Howie… A very large number of people that do not have health insurance do so by their own choice. Especially young people who see no need to blow their money when they are perfectly healthy. The only plan someone in their 20’s really needs is a very low cost catastrophic plan. But such plans are illegal now under Obozocare, aren’t they, because the only point of Obozocare is to have young people redistributing their income to the older people. Obozocare is nothing more than a socialist income redistribution scheme that will result in the slow destruction of our medical and healthcare industry, and another boat anchor on our economy with yet another socialist plan that drives up government debt pushing us further to national bankruptcy. There is NO panacea in this stupid scheme that no one read before they voted on it. As to those who supposedly had no health insurance and wanted, not a single one has ever been turned away from care if needed because they could not pay before. Even illegal immigrants got care if needed. Even then, the Medicaid systems at the state level offer coverage for those that cannot affort it themselves.

        By the way, Howie, you and the leftist freaks out there constantly make the illogical leap from confusing health INSURANCE with health CARE. They are 2 different concepts. You’ve been duped by the big government statists that have convinced you to turn over your freedom to them in exchange for the phony promise of getting someone else to pay for you and others you think need being paid for.

        Health insurance should follow the same model that car insurance or homeowners insurance markets use. Highly competitive and highly efficient, and relatively low cost while reflecting the risks of the individual. The more government is involved in healthcare, the higher the costs go uncontrolled. Your argument for government control is a phony argument because you assume the infalibility of politicians and bureaucrats while presuming ill intent on the people that make up the private markets. You have been duped, Howie.

        Have a nice day, Howie!

        “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” — Charles de Montesquieu

        • howa4x

          We don’t have health care in this country, we have illness intervention and if you met anyone after a long stay in a hospital they are usually worse. it costs so much because it is all about making a profit. You think it’s socialism but in reality it is capitalism at its best. first off it is not Obamacare but really Romney care since the plan that Governor Romney put in place in Massachusetts is almost Identical to the one adopted. In fact Romney made an appeal that every state adopt his plan.

          Let me start by telling you why the illness intervention system is capitalism in it’s purest form. Big pharma realized a number of year ago that if we make drugs that maintain someone’s illness, like diabetes, we can make more money than if we come up with a cure. Plus if there are side effects which most of them have, then we can offer different drugs to counteract the original one. So for example if you are on high blood pressure medication the side effect may be diabetes as well as ED.

          Most every doctors office is an Llc and they make a profit many different ways. 1st is the exam so there is a payment for that. 2nd ordering a test which they get paid for, 3rd is a revisit to prescribe your prescription, 4th is a revisit for complications from the medicine, and 5th way is to monitor you while you are on the drug which can be a revisit over and over for many years

          Now lets see how hospital’s make money. they have very expensive equip like cat scans and PET thermal imaging , operating rooms and 4-500 beds that cost anywhere from 500/day to 5000/day I know this because I was on the board of one for 10 years and we discussed quarterly profits( not very socialistic is it? )
          Now lets talk about the ACA. the insurance companies( who make huge profits and are traded on Wall st) came to the table and made a trade off. The issue was like good capitalists they were dropping high risk patients from coverage, and sometimes even after they had a surgical procedure for pre existing conditions. so the trade off was the insurance companies wouldn’t drop anyone if younger people were made to buy insurance. Now we are not talking about the older people since they are covered under that great socialized medicine program called Medicare, and poor people get Medicaid. The ACA expanded Medicaid coverage to a to a greater % of poverty and offered that to the states. Most red states rejected that.
          Now let’s talk about the uninsured. they are mostly the working poor those making too much for Medicaid and don’t make enough to get insurance. Most private doctors won’t
          see this population so they go to the emergency room to a primary care visit. Now this cost $500. just to walk in the door because they are unbundled private corporations. Not socialized clinics. When the bill can’t be paid it is sent to the states under a program called uncompensated care. The tax payers pay for this coverage and in NJ last year it was 1.7 billion.
          California has successfully implemented the ACA and in the 1st quarter they saw a premium drop of 9% due to the completion in the health exchanges. Young people can buy a striped down catastrophic policy that’s offered. So now I want to reverse the question according to your assertion that young people are being forced to get insurance. So how about this scenario. A 25 something person, who doesn’t buy insurance goes out and wraps his car around a tree. The cost to put him back together with rehab included cost somewhere near $100,000 over his car ins policy. Who pays? Not the parents since it is a young adult and over 21. So who picks up the 100k. if you want to let him off buying insurance then the taxpayer will pay. is that fair?
          so there is no where in this system that you can call it socialized medicine except Medicare/Medicaid. Everything else is fee for service so a profit can be made by everyone. What do we get for the most expensive system in the world? to be ranked in overall health of the population just behind costa Rica at number 34. How does that grab you nuts?
          Have a wonderful day!!

          • ObozoMustGo

            Howie… You leftist freaks constantly cite the old and completely discredited UN study on healthcare as though it is gospel. It is not. The study was rigged to rate countries on criteria that was built to include the existence of single payer socialized medicine. Since the US did not offer single payer socialized medicine, of course they would rank it low. You dopes on the left misconstrue and LIE about that stupid study to infer that US medical care is lower quality, when in fact it is not. The US has the highest rate of medical tourism in the world. Go to the Mayo Clinic and about 1/3 of the patients there are wealthy people from around the world that choose the best when their own health is on the line. The same is true at many top hospitals in the US. They vote with their wallet and their feet, not some socialist idiot at the UN creating a crooked study with a predermined result in mind. There isn’t a person on the face of the earth that would willingly choose to go to a Costa Rican or Cuban hospital before an American one if given the choice. And you know it! So stop lying, Howie.

            Further, who pays for care and what the quality of medical care is are TWO SEPERATE ISSUES. You leftist love to confuse the 2, as if there’s not some socialized system no on gets care. NOT TRUE. The fact is that we do not have, and have not had, a free market in healthcare since the government stuck it’s nose in the industry in the 60’s with the invention of Medicare. Which by the way, is going broke by its own Trustee’s admission. And all the leftist freaks are happy about the announcement that they’ll be broke 2 years later than they thought. Can you imagine a business bragging about the fact that they’ll be bankrupt 2 years later than they thought? The executives would be strung up for such nonsense, as they should be. But when government says it, you idiots on the left proclaim victory. The growth in the cost of healthcare has escalated with the growth of government involvement in it. It’s shocking to me that you have no clue why this is.

            The fact is that health insurance should be like INSURANCE, not a wealth redistribution Ponzi scheme that convinces people they can get something for nothing because someone else is paying for it. What we have right now is pre-paid healthcare, not insurance. There’s no correlation between what you pay and what it costs. In fact, can the average person even answer the question of what a doctor visit costs? Of course not. They only know their co-pay, and that’s all they care about. The really don’t care what it costs.

            In your example of the 21 year old, he should pay for his own coverage like he pays for his own rent one month at a time, presuming he’s not on the government dole already. Garnish his wages following a lawsuit until it’s paid, if needed. Why should I pay for it? Why should the hospital eat the costs? He’s an adult and he’s responsible for the consequences of this own actions. But hey, individual responsibility and consequences of behavior is something that’s anathema to leftist freaks, isn’t it? What you all really want is freedom FROM responsibility, not freedom with responsibility.

            In summary, we will have to agree to disagree, Howie. Lefitst freaks believe healthcare is a right when it is not. One person does NOT have a right to the labor of another person. We conservatives know this and know that healthcare is like any other product or service. Some can afford better than others and that’s just the way life is. Certainly we have a moral obligation to help the poor, but we don’t need politicians and bureaucrats controlling every aspect of our lives to do that. Get a grip on that basic fact and understand the way human behavior and economic incentive drives ANY market under ANY circumstances, free or government run. Do you actually believe for 1 second that if we had completely socialized medicine (instead of the hodgepodge we have now) that the political leaders and bureaucrats would have exactly the same services we citizens do? Of course not. We’d all be equally miserable while the politicians and bureaucratic leaders have the gold standard. This is the way it is in every country with government provided healthcare. The people get the crap, the leaders get the gold standard and that usually means they come to America for treatment of serious illness. At least so far they still do.
            By the way… what the hell are doing complaining about very expensive MRI’s or CAT Scan machines? Of course they’re expensive. THEY WORK! They’re tremendous advantages in the delivery of health care services. Take the profit motive out of the system and such technological advances go away.

            Have a nice weekend, Howie!

            “There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially
            similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent — William Graham Sumner’s
            famous example of B and C decided what D shall do for A. The first may be wise or unwise, an effective or ineffective way to help the disadvantaged — but it is consistent with belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. The second seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty.”
            – Milton Friedman

          • howa4x

            First off I’m not a leftist freak but a registered independent, and think both parties are assholes. Your response is different for the original premise which was that we have socialistic health care under Obama’s ACA. Are you satisfied that we have capitalism in health care? The fact that all the insurance companies are traded on Wall st should tell you it’s not socialism. Privately run hospital systems like Humana are also traded on Wall st, Humana also runs an insurance company that was accused of purposely denying care to raise profits. This is why there is government regulation, to prevent abuse. Aetna was projected by analysis’s to hit 20% profit on investments. When they only achieved 18.5% their stock was downgraded. To counter that they purged 8.5 million higher risk people off their roles and onto the heap of the uninsured. Dose any of this sound like socialism to you? Part of the reason the ACA came about was to stop the practice of dropping people for pre existing conditions, and for denying or delaying needed care to raise profits. These are all facts not some left wing conspiracy. As I told you I was on the board of a hospital for 10 years and on the State health planning board for 4 yrs. The problem with the uninsured is that private practice won’t see them in the office, and there is a shortage of clinics with narrows the portal of entry to emergency rooms. This is the most inefficient and costly way to treat anyone and was Bush’s plan to deal with the problem of the uninsured. Now I may be wrong but I though all you conservatives wanted to save money not spend it needlessly.
            If we want to save real money we have to get this population into primary care which is cost effective and in order to do that they need insurance. Now we can debate whether it should be public or private. The other thing the law mandates is that 80% of you premium dollar go directly to your care. If it doesn’t then you get a refund. I don’t know many people that would be opposed to that.
            This is in the law because if you take a premium dollar and look at where it goes, the first 20 cents went directly to wall st in the form of profits. the next 40 cents went to running the insurance company. Example the CEO of CIGNA made 24 million one year. That’s a lot of premium dollars. Then another 3 cents goes to capital investment like Cat scans and new beds. the next 12 cents goes to Big Pharma, and the remaining 25 cents went toward patient care. So where is the majority of the money going? You are a smart guy.
            One of the reasons that Medicare is going broke is the way it reimbursed doctors and hospitals. Doctors/hospitals get paid for every test they run regardless if it was medically indicated or not. An example of this is giving an 90 yr old woman a pap smear.(actually happened) To bend the cost curve there the law now says testing has to fit into an overall medical plan, so there has to be a goal not just here is a 70 yr old and let’s run every test we can think of. The other reason is that we are the only country in the world that doesn’t negotiate with Big Pharma on price. the republicans actually passed a law that says we can’t so we are the only fools anywhere that pay full price. So at your next tea party meeting you might want to bring that up since everyone is always looking to cut something.
            Now here is the best news of all for you. I would guess by everything you have written that you live in a red state. Most of them are not participating in the ACA so that all of you will not get any of the protections that are in it and will pay higher premiums. So you will get what you want . Why make all the fuss? We in the Blue states look forward to the benefits we will receive under it. Judging from California’s experience they will be a lot.
            Have a wonderful day and nice chatting with you!

        • Justin Napolitano

          Obozo, you are a complete moron. Insurance, by its nature, is for assuring that should something bad and unexpected happen to you you will not be forced into bankruptcy. If you are a good driver you will never collect on you auto insurance. If you run a tight business you will never collect on your business liability insurance. If you never have a fire, storm damage or accident on you property you will never collect on you home owners insurance. The whole idea is that everyone pays but only a few collect. your stupidity is unmatched

          • ObozoMustGo

            Nappy you fool. You’ve called me stupid, and then you agreed with me. Perhaps this is actually a rare bright spot of yours, come to think of it. That’s exactly what INSURANCE is for. The catastrophic things that would be too costly to handle on your own. All the small stuff, you take care of yourself. Health Insurance should be the same. Until we can figure out that attempting to pass on ALL costs for everything to someone else while subjecting ourselves to paying ALL costs for everyone else, healthcare in America will continue to decline and costs continue to escalate. The only real answer to lowering costs and increasing access is to follow a completely free market model where the government is just a referee and not a participant. Just like a good old fashion INSURANCE market that you described.

            Have a nice day, Nappy!

            “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” — Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850)

  • howa4x

    The question to ask Rubio is what are you going to replace it with? It is easy for republicans to say repeal but then what. They had 32 million without insurance all during the time of Bush and couldn’t come up with one plan That caused 50,000 men women and children die every year due to lack of access to the healthcare system. The biggest threat to Rubio on this issue is what is going on in California and Massachusetts with their implementation of this law. So far both states are having success in reducing premiums and expanding care. As the act takes hold in the blue states and it increases access and reduces cost, it will be a tough argument for any republican running. Add to that all the red staters who will see what is going on and realize they have been shut out of healthcare due to ideology. If I were a republican I would say very little about this subject.

    • bckrd1

      Their “plan” (haven’t really got one) was to insure 3 million people. Gee, that will help.

  • ococoob

    Boy, political assholes like Rubio must think Americans are stupid. C’mon we see the phoniness in this.

  • ococoob

    Can’t ANYONE see that the harpin’ on scandals is the GOP’s way of deflecting attention away from their incompentence governing the nation? Where’s the damn jobs here?

  • DurdyDawg

    This backseat poser is nothing more than a snot nose Pub butt sniffer who can’t get enough of his plastic bottle swill everyone assumes is water.