Health Care Hurdles?

Senior White House officials say the health care bill is open for negotiation and could possibly be changed along the way to passage.  And when the final bill is presented, the administration and the congressional leadership will make it a binary choice if you vote for it or you watch Obamacare collapse and insurance companies flee this year.

The question now is does President Trump have any leverage on skeptical Republicans or even some Democrats to push the health care bill across the finish line?  Senior officials say the President will make a number of trips to push the healthcare bill.  The White House is not yet confirming a trip Saturday but the "Louisville Courier Journal" is reporting officials there are preparing for a presidential visit to Kentucky.

Kentucky is, of course, home to Senator Rand Paul, one of the most vocal critics of the American Health Care Act as it stands today.  Worth noting that candidate Donald Trump won 118 of Kentucky's 120 counties in November, six more counties than sitting Senator Rand Paul won in his reelection bid.

That election math may play out with House members too.  For the Conservative Freedom Caucus, candidate Trump overwhelmingly won each member's district and their state as well.  And Trump actually got more votes than several of the representatives in the caucus.

In Freedom Caucus Chairman Congressman Mark Meadows district--North Carolina's 11th congressional district-- President Trump won 16 of the 16 counties , 76 of 100 counties in North Carolina, and he came just shy of the congressman's vote total in that district.

In Florida's sixth district, candidate Trump got more votes than Freedom Caucus Congressman Ron DeSantis, winning all four of the four counties in that district, 58 of 67 in Florida.

In West Virginia's second district, candidate Trump got almost 20,000 more votes than Freedom Caucus Congressman Alex Mooney, overwhelmingly winning all 17 counties in that district in West Virginia.

It is not just the leverage on health care, but also on the Judge Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court.  The pressure will be on 11 Senate Democrats who are up for reelection in 2018 in states where candidate Donald Trump won more than 80 percent of the counties.



In Missouri candidate Trump won 111 out of 114 counties in the state where Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill is running for reelection.

In Montana, Democrat Jon Tester runs in a state where candidate Trump won 50 out of 56 counties.

West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin is running for reelection in the state where all 55 counties voted for the Republican Donald Trump.

And finally in Indiana, Democrat Joe Donnelly is running in a state where 88 of 92 Hoosier counties went to Donald Trump.

There are seven other states just like that which is why outside groups supporting the Trump administration are already running issue ads in many of these 11 states.  One can be seen at the top of this post.

 

Presidential Candidate Governor Jindal says the Supreme Court caved on Gay Marriage to public opinion

Presidential Candidate and Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal joined "Special Report" panelists in the center seat to answer questions about last week's Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage and health care. 

Jindal argued that presidents need to stop nominating Supreme Court Justices that interpret the law to their advantage and any future nominees should be ones that rely on a strict interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Jindal told viewers that the "easiest way to fix this is to appoint justices who will actually read a dictionary, read the Constitution."

Jindal said it was a bad week for the rule of law especially when one of the justices stated that words no longer had meaning. But it was the gay marriage ruling that really questioned Jindal's belief in the Supreme Court system.

Jindal, who converted from Hindu to Christianity many years ago, said it's his belief is that marriage is between a man and a woman. He admitted that many others may be leaning towards a different definition of marriage but Jindal questioned those who make their decisions based on public opinion and not what's sacred to them. "The easiest thing for any politician to do... is simply read an opinion poll," Jindal exclaimed. He also noted that changing political stances might work for others but not for him saying "that's what the Court did. That's what the president has done. I'm not evolving with the polls."

Ebola Fact vs. Fiction: Dr. Mary Schmidt, Infectious Disease Expert

Dr. Mary Schmidt is board-certified in infectious diseases and internal medicine. She has practiced infectious diseases in the northern Virginia community for 22 years. She also has a  Master’s Degree in Public Health  from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  She is an associate professor of medicine at George Washington University, Virginia Commonwealth University and is an associate professor in the Department of Public Policy at George Mason University. She has published in major journals and has given presentations at national specialty meetings.

 

Live Free or Die: Obamacare in New Hampshire

 

A lesbian opts out of Obamacare, questioning why she should pay for reproductive care she doesn’t want or need. A grandmother loses her doctor, and takes on the government. An entrepreneur worries about layoffs, and a young doctor retires rather than dealing with Obamacare. But a young unwed mother of two champions the subsidized benefits of the law. These are some of the stories we tell from the first year of Obamacare in a state that boasts about its independent spirit - Live Free or Die - and is a microcosm of the troubled rollout of the health care law, highly relevant to the national experience. And to the balance of power in the Senate.  As much as Democratic Sen Jeanne Shaheen wishes the law were designed differently, a Fox News investigation shows how she has had a hand in health care reform for decades.

CLINTON FILES: Hillarycare roadmap drafted in first week of Clinton presidency

By James Rosen

In the first week of Bill Clinton’s presidency, White House aides drafted a roadmap for the approach to health care reform that would be undertaken by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, including warnings about prickly lawmakers who would be key to the process.

An unsigned memorandum dated January 28, 1993 and entitled “Discussion with Hillary Clinton” – the document does not make clear if it is summarizing the contents of a discussion that was already held with Mrs. Clinton, or would soon be held with her – offered an early blueprint for her ultimately doomed health care reform effort.

The memo stated that the initiative should take the form of a “framework” rather than “a detailed bill,” citing the fact that other recent legislative efforts – tax reform under President Reagan in 1985, deficit reduction under President George H.W. Bush in 1990, among others – had been devised that way.

The memo also cautioned against adopting a “here’s the bill, there’s not much time, take it to the Floor quick” approach, saying such a tactic “might fail” because “many Members [of Congress] would feel excluded” and “interest groups will object that their concerns, even those that are small or reasonable, have been excluded from the hearing and markup process.”

A separate document, an undated memo that White House policy adviser Chris Jennings sent to Mrs. Clinton in advance of a critical session with lawmakers, sought to prepare the First Lady for potentially clashes, possibly owing to personalities. Jennings described Rep. Peter Stark (R-TX), then chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, as “one of the most knowledgeable and (sometimes) feared health care legislators on Capitol Hill.” Calling Stark a “fierce advocate” for his policy agenda, Jennings added that the Texan had been “paying a price” for his tenacity in that he was “probably one of the more disliked Members in the Congress.”

Similarly, Jennings warned the First Lady about Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), at the time the chair of a key subcommittee on the Energy and Commerce Committee, now serving out the end of his twentieth term, having announced his retirement. “Known as a Medicaid guru, Waxman has pushed for increased coverage for poor populations in the absence of a national health care program,” Jennings wrote. “Since his main thrust for increased coverage to the indigent has been turning Medicaid coverage options into mandates, Waxman is widely unpopular with states and Governors. Although not well-liked at the state level, he has tremendous respect among consumer interest groups.”

 

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