Tag: Obamacare

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are back from celebrating Christmas and are ready to bestow more of their prestigious Three Martini Lunch Awards. Today, they discuss their choices for the worst political scandals of the year, with both having nomination having connections to the 2016 campaign. They also discuss their limited options for best political theater of the year and try to figure out what the worst political theater was in a year full of cringeworthy moments.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America cheer House and Senate passage of tax cuts and tax reform, noting the vast majority of Americans will see bigger paychecks while the Obamacare individual mandate gets repealed and energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is given the green light. They also recoil at reports that Senate Republican leaders may have agreed to Obamacare bailouts and taxpayer-funded abortions in exchange for Sen. Susan Collins voting for the tax bill. And they discuss Rosie O’Donnell offering two million dollars apiece for Collins and Sen. Jeff Flake to vote against the tax legislation.

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Heart Failure: A Win-Win for Obamacare

 

One of the features we got when we got Obamacare was a new program aimed at reducing hospital readmission rates for various expensive diseases. The primary disease targeted by this new program was heart failure. Heart failure was chosen for the simple reason that spending on this condition accounts for 43% of all Medicare spending, which amounts to up to $38 billion each year.

Obamacare stipulated that hospitals that failed to sufficiently reduce the 30-day rate of readmission for their patients discharged with heart failure would be financially punished. This punishment was set at an amount equal to 3% of the hospital’s total annual Medicare payments. (That’s total Medicare payments for every Medicare patient, not just the ones with heart failure.) Given the shaky margins under which many hospitals operate, and given the size of their Medicare populations, this level of financial punishment was potentially not survivable. It was the medical equivalent of the NCAA death penalty.

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Richard Epstein explains the contents of President Trump’s new executive order on healthcare, explores the controversy around a White House proposal to cut subsidies to insurers, and explains why conservatives who fretted about President Obama’s use of executive orders shouldn’t be bothered by this exercise of executive power.

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Bill recaps his meeting with President Trump and speech at the Values Voter Summit. Then he talks with Andy McCarthy about Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran deal and end the Obamacare insurance bailouts. Bill also talks about U.S. forces crushing ISIS and the ongoing war against radical Islam with Brian Kennedy of the American Strategy Group. Finally, Bill continues his conversation with Steve Wynn. The two discuss race in America and how American’s true colors have shown bright in the wake of the recent hurricanes

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Making Health Care Great Again

 

President Trump has issued a long overdue Executive Order (EO) opening up health care markets to a new regime of choice and competition. Of course, his liberal detractors are up in arms. In their joint statement, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi concluded that Trump had “apparently decided to punish the American people for his inability to improve our health care system. It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America.” John Cassidy of the New Yorker called Trump’s latest move “a spiteful act of vandalism.”

There are difficulties, both practical and legal, in undoing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which never should have been implemented in the first place. But for our health care system to survive, it is necessary to bleed out the enormous cross-subsidies in which one group of insureds pay premiums to supply coverage to another group. It’s an unstable situation, but one that now keeps the health care exchanges afloat. These cross-subsidies are necessarily large because the ACA’s list of essential medical services mandates coverage for expensive and ill-defined items like habilitative services.

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A Sellout, A Hypocrite or Worse, Part II: A Lament

 

In what I thought was a couple years ago, but find was nearly six years ago, I posted about my dilemma at the time: I was renting, married with four children and employed full-time, but couldn’t afford the employer-offered healthcare product(s) for my entire family. I had trouble reconciling myself as a bona fide right-winger (much farther to the right of the average Ricochetto or Ricochetta), and the idea of enrolling my children onto Wisconsin’s Badgercare program, the local Medicare services. The response was positive, agreeing with my findings that the market had been horribly affected by the continuing horrendous idea of having healthcare given by employers, rather than via private providers as we do for all other insurance products.

I’ve since moved companies twice; in 2015 I started working for a company that ultimately let me go this past August (it wasn’t a good fit from the start, and I can’t blame them too much). I start with a new company at the end of October, at a higher-than-expected (and higher-than-before) rate of pay: I don’t mind telling you, via the anonymity of Ricochet, that I’ll be making $60k, quite a good salary here in “north-east” Wisconsin (Oshkosh – Appleton) area in the Retirement Plan Administration industry (compliance testing, government reporting, ERISA expertise for 401(k)s, 403(b)s, old style “pension” plans, etc.).

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Michael Ramirez on NFL, Obamacare, North Korea, Hillary Clinton, and the Culture Wars

 

Michael RamirezOn this week’s episode of Whiskey Politics, we welcome back Michael Ramirez and discuss some of his latest provocative art. Michael’s a two-time winner of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and a three-time Sigma Delta Chi, Society of Professional Journalism Award winner.

Michael is a former Senior Editor and the Editorial Cartoonist for Investor’s Business Daily, the former editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times, and has been featured on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, The Bill O’Reilly Show, and Rush Limbaugh. You have also likely seen his artwork in New York Times, USA Today, Washington Post, the New York Post, Time Magazine, National Review and US News and World Report. Nowadays you can find his weekly contributions at the Daily Signal and the Weekly Standard. Ramirez is also in demand as a highly acclaimed international speaker.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America believe the judge made the right decision in sentencing former congressman/predator Anthony Weiner to 21 months in prison for transferring obscene material to a minor. They also discuss the latest GOP health care bill going up in flames as some Republicans think it’s not conservative enough and others think it’s too conservative, making the likelihood of anything getting done on this issue in this Congress very slim. And they’re disturbed as Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle – and former Army ranger – Alejandro Villanueva apologizes to his teammates, coaches and the Steelers organization for being the only one on the field Sunday for the national anthem.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America agree with President Trump’s disapproval for national anthem protests but also believe it is wrong for the president to suggest anyone be fired for their constitutionally-protected beliefs. They also unload on those who took a knee during the anthem, which turned into a referendum on Trump – a fight Trump is sure to win. Thy hammer three NFL teams for refusing to take the field for the anthem, blast the Pittsburgh Steelers for condemning their own player who is an Afghanistan war vet for defying the decision and honoring the anthem, and shake their head as Bob Costas frets that the anthem is only used to honor military instead of teachers and social workers. Finally, they slam John McCain for once again breaking his promise on health care reform and planning to vote against the latest Senate bill. They also question Rand Paul’s decision to oppose it.

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are pleasantly reminded the Democrats are also deeply dysfunctional as former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. says he doesn’t know what his party’s economic agenda is. They also sigh as late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel suddenly becomes the media’s benchmark for whether the latest GOP health care bill is a good idea. And they groan as four NFL players want to institute a month dedicated to social activism, similar to how the league devotes a month to breast cancer awareness.

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Today on the Daily Standard podcast, senior writer John McCormack talks with host Eric Felten about the prospects for Graham-Cassidy, the GOP’s last chance this year at undoing Obamacare.

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On this AEI Events Podcast, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Ohio Gov. John Kasich discuss their proposal to stabilize the individual insurance market and to make a series of other health reforms with Vox’s Sarah Kliff. The two governors stressed the importance of stabilizing the individual insurance market in the near term and maintaining a bipartisan approach. They spoke of the need for compromise as the health care debate moves forward.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) changed how the health insurance market works, making coverage available to everyone regardless of their health status. This year’s premium increase and the departure of insurers from some local markets have raised concerns that those markets are unstable. Uncertainty about the federal government’s commitment to promoting this market and paying insurers for new cost-sharing reductions required by the ACA has created new concerns for 2018.

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The Three Martini Lunch is on vacation for the week and will return on Monday, September 11. Please enjoy this encore presentation of a recent podcast.

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America condemn Republican Senators John McCain, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski for failing to deliver on their campaign promises to repeal and replace Obamacare during a vote late Thursday night, while also stressing the mistakes made by GOP leaders and the major flaws in the “skinny repeal”. Jim mocks new White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci for threats and vulgar comments about his colleagues, underscoring already fractious conditions in the new administration. In an attempt to end the week on a good note, Jim and Greg discuss a new poll showing that more fans stopped watching the NFL last season because of the national anthem protests than for any other reason.

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