Republican(s Don’t)Care | CA-21

I don’t believe the American Health Care Act (AHCA =House verision of the Affordable Care Act repeal) or the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA =Senate version) has much to do with Donald Trump at all. He now understands health care for all is complicated in our economy but it is something government has (at the very least) an obligation to try to meet.

No, whatever passes the three branches of government under Republican control will be a Republican act. And if you listen to them, the reasoning for this is it will give our citizens more choice and reduce premium costs.

But here is the thing, that is demonstrably not true. It’s wishful hoping. Here is an infographic from that illustrates those states that expanded and their increase in roles of the insured due to Medicaid and those states that didn’t and the numbers of potentially eligible that are likely to remain uninsured.


And although it is not incredibly clear in that infographic as to whom is most affected by the lack of expansion, there is this (From The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation) that might help drive the message home.

Lookit, if you are one of seven people who read this blog, I think you know my feelings about how important race is to the themes and policies of our national politics. This graph may be one of the most illustrative of (what I feel is) that reality.

So, no, it isn’t about choice, it is about reducing the size and scope of the federal government. I understand no Republican can say that at this point in time as you try to pass the BHCA or AHCA, so let me say it for you.

Because as all of us paying attention know that real choice would have been to vote in the public option with the ACA. And we know what the results of that choice would have been, which is why Republicans (and a couple of Democrats) couldn’t let it pass.

In other news, there is this…

From a tweet by Mike Levin, an environmental lawyer who has stepped up to run against Darrell Issa of CA-49, here is the current margin in those Congressional Districts where the Republican member is vulnerable.



Top among these is CA-21 where David Valadao last won election in 2016. Remember the conservative PAC asked us to let us know what we think about his vote to decimate the ACA? I agree with them, Californians should.

Yes, Representative Valadao won by 13 points in 2016, but Hillary Clinton carried the District (centered on Kings County in the Central Valley) by 15 points and Democrats in the district out-register Republicans 46% to 29%.

I honestly wish that Humboldt or Californian Republicans would be on board with this. The evidence is clear, we can insure more people with the ACA AND it set up to work with moving people into gainful employment. But Republicans are not stepping up and standing up for what could be argued is a conservative approach to universal health care, therefore, I think we as a people have to stand up against them. It can start with CA-21 and finding a candidate who can thank David Valadao for his work against the ACA with an extended vacation.

More on the CA House delegation’s vote on the AHCA here.  It’s pretty simple really – all Dems were forit all Reps aginit.


Q: Should We Strive to Elect 53 Democratic Representatives to Congress?

A: Apparently so.

Lookit, this is not on the Democrats.  This is on the Republicans, their agenda, and how they sell that agenda to Californians.

The Republican AHCA (American Health Care Act) really speaks for itself.  It’s not something any Republican Congressman can spend much time defending except to say the word “choice” a couple of times hoping that we wont catch on, but then to focus on the fact they just did what they could to replace Obamacare (which I should be calling the Affordable Care Act – ACA).

As I was reviewing the 10 California Republicans that voted for the AHCA, their districts, the number of  registered Democrats v Republicans in, margin of victory, etc, I came across this nugget from Representative Paul Cook (R – Yucca Valley).

A plan that should correct Obamacare’s shortcomings: Paul Cook

Here are the quotes that stand out:

•After nearly two years of discussion within the White House, they forced through Congress a 2,000-page behemoth called the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, by a purely party-line vote.

Unlike other major changes in federal health care policy, such as the Medicare expansion under President George W. Bush, the ACA had no bipartisan input or support.

•The Obama administration’s refusal to build a bipartisan consensus, coupled with the inherent and increasingly expensive flaws of the ACA, meant that the ACA would be unlikely to endure political change in Washington, D.C.

Lookit, this is all baloney, pure and simple.  If you have were unfortunate enough to have paid any attention to the right wing talkers since 2009, this was all about the above.  A bill that had too many pages that no one read, a Party and President that refused to work with the other side, and politicians that didn’t even read the bill.

That was the rhetoric, there was no policy to back up their gripes because they didn’t want what they might call a “big government” policy.  Their goal was and is to allow the market to do it’s thing (not the whole story, but that is the main gist).  If that means some people don’t get insured it’s kinda their fault b/c, well, because they should be working, and not find themselves between jobs for too long.  Not only that, but after paying for food and shelter they should have enough left over to pay for insurance.

The fact there wasn’t a policy behind the conservative 24-7 grievance-information complex which focused on government’s intrusion into health care and the African American President who lead the charge was made clear in the process that gave us, on May 4th, the AHCA.

What is so frustrating about this entire process, and how I can understand exactly where Republicans are coming from, is the ACA itself was an olive branch to the conservative principles of the other side.  It was based in large part on RomneyCare in Massachusetts which was based largely on a right wing think tank’s response to HillaryCare in the early 1990’s.

This is why, I don’t feel an iota of remorse calling for 53 of 53 Californian Representatives hailing from one Party.  Californian Republicans do not have the power to distinguish themselves meaningfully from the worst anti-government rhetoric and policies of the national party and the cost of having an agenda that results in policies that work against the majority of their constituents should be electoral extinction.

Below are the results of the (party-line) vote for the CA delegation to the 115th Congress from  If you are interested in the raw data or can’t view the image below, I compiled the CA delegation’s votes on this Google Doc. (You’ll have to go to the second tab).


My suggestion going forward?  Listen carefully to what the Republicans have to say about why they voted for the AHCA given their constituent’s needs and find out if it makes sense to you.  Remembering that in the House each one of these Representatives comes up for re-election every 2 years.

That’s 2018 people!  Let’s get to work.   (or keep on doin’ what we’re doing).

Can Republicans Reconcile The Big Lie?

The big lie, since I’ve been aware of politics in the Jimmy Carter era, is that America is best governed by a federal government which provides only for the common defence and works to promote general welfare through state governments, non-profit organizations etc.

That is the baseline for conservative and libertarian rhetoric.  That is what gets the Freedom Caucus insurgents elected over establishment candidates in Republican primaries.

This is ridiculous on it’s face.  Do the Republican voters really wish to do away with Social Security or Medicare which are federal programs?  Of course not.  At least not their own benefits, but they are willing to listen if you are talking about Medicare or Social Security of the next generation.

With this in mind, here are some select quotes from yesterday’s American Health Care Act House vote debacle which continues to today with a dictate from President Trump to bring the AHCA to a vote.

From Ezra Klein at Vox

(Title:  The health care bill could be Donald Trump’s Iraq War)

The core philosophical disagreement here is real and worth hashing out. Whereas liberals see access to health care as a right, conservatives see it as more akin to transportation — important, and perhaps worth subsidizing at low levels, but if someone can’t afford a car, it’s not the government’s responsibility to buy them one, much less buy them a nice one. This is the viewpoint the AHCA reflects.

It is not the viewpoint elected Republicans are selling. Instead, their rhetoric fits the sort of plan that Sen. Bernie Sanders might offer. Donald Trump won the 2016 election promising to protect Medicaid from cuts and ensure coverage for all. After the election, he reiterated the vow, telling the Washington Post “we’re going to have insurance for everybody” with “much lower deductibles.”

And click the link below to watch Topher Spiro, an expert on Health Policy at the Center for American Progress call out Betsy McCaughey’s credibility on the topic of health care as she is the person credited with  originating the “death panel” lie that helped create a largely baseless (or at the very least confused) animosity against the Affordable Care Act.

From John Amato’s blog

“McCaughey tries to counter that the AMA doesn’t represent all doctors, as if that matters to her argument, and claims “lots of doctor groups” want the ACHA to pass.

“Name one.” says Spiro. She ignores the question. Of course.

Just a little context from yesterday’s edition of the intertubes as we enter day two of the House vote on the AHCA.

Who knew that ungoverning could be so difficult?

update:  3/26/17 8:30 am… (2 days late)

Answer:  Nope.