Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in August, 2016

For those that believe in Truth, Honor, and the American Way the first ad of the general election campaign by Donald J. Trump is a doozy.  PoliticusUSA  has the fact=checkers on overtime analyzing this piece of fabricated history…Image result for Image, four seconds

All total, theTrump ad managed to jam seven lies into 30 seconds. Trump is airing an ad that tells a lie to voters once every four seconds.

When Democrats suggests that Trump is running a campaign of lies, this is exactly what they are referring to. If Donald Trump is talking, or in this case, if his campaign is running a commerical, the odds are good that he/it is lying.

Never has a candidate been so willing to pile so many lies on top of each other at such a rapid pace. Donald Trump is trying to lie his way to the White House, which is why it is vital that each of the GOP’s nominee’s false statements get the scrutiny that they deserve.

As Donald Trump tries to gin up some controversy around the marital troubles of a member of Hillary Clinton’s staff the old phrase about pointing the finger at someone else came to mind…

Robert Reich has penned this opinion piece that makes the case Why Single-Payer Healthcare Is Inevitable…

The best argument for a single-payer health plan is the recent decision by giant health insurer Aetna to bail out next year from 11 of the 15 states where it sells Obamacare plans.Aetna’s decision follows similar moves by UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s largest health insurer, and by Humana, another one of the giants.Single Payer

All claim they’re not making enough money because too many people with serious health problems are using the Obamacare exchanges, and not enough healthy people are signing up.

The problem isn’t Obamacare per se. It lies in the structure of private markets for health insurance – which creates powerful incentives to avoid sick people and attract healthy ones. Obamacare is just making this structural problem more obvious.

In a nutshell, the more sick people and the fewer healthy people a private for-profit insurer attracts, the less competitive that insurer becomes relative to other insurers that don’t attract as high a percentage of the sick but a higher percentage of the healthy.

Eventually, insurers that take in too many sick and too few healthy people are driven out of business.

If insurers had no idea who’d be sick and who’d be healthy when they sign up for insurance (and keep them insured at the same price even after they become sick), this wouldn’t be a problem. But they do know – and they’re developing more and more sophisticated ways of finding out.

Health insurers spend lots of time, effort, and money trying to attract people who have high odds of staying healthy (the young and the fit) while doing whatever they can to fend off those who have high odds of getting sick (the older, infirm, and the unfit).

As a result we end up with the most bizarre health-insurance system imaginable: One ever better designed to avoid sick people.

If this weren’t enough to convince rational people to do what most other advanced nations have done – create a single-payer system that insures everyone, funded by taxpayers –  consider that America’s giant health insurers are now busily consolidating into ever-larger behemoths.

You have heard it a million times in attack ads, conservative pundit appearances, and chanted incessantly by politicians that are millionaires currently living on the public’s dime – Obamacare should be “repealed and replaced.”  Of course you will listen in vain to hear what will take it’s place.   The very best this crowd can come up with is some mumbo-jumbo about selling insurance across state lines and other discredited policies that either limit care for those with insurance or eliminate care for millions of Americans.

The Progressive Populist helps us celebrate this Sunday with When Facts Meet Rhetoric; The Success Of Obamacare…

he law is not Utopian. Utopia exists only in fiction. But the law has accomplished some major feats. In this season of rhetorical outrage, it is time to broadcast those statistical successes.

The Act sought primarily to expand outreach. Before passage, roughly 44 million Americans were uninsured, with at least as many “underinsured,” paying for policies that covered little care, at exorbitant costs. The linkage between employment and health insurance was never robust: many employers didn’t, or couldn’t, pay for health insurance. Many employees couldn’t pay the cost-sharing premiums. And part-time, temporary, “contract,” and self-employed workers were akimbo in the employer-based system.

Today, the number of uninsured has shrunk to roughly 33 million. From 2013 to 2014, the percentage of uninsured dropped from 13.4 to 10%..

Before Obamacare, high school and college graduates found themselves with diplomas, yet without coverage. Their parents’ policies did not routinely cover them after age 19 unless they were full-time students. Their health care costs tend to be minor: those new graduates have yet to encounter the expensive diseases of their parents. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, arthritis – all may lie in their future, but not in the immediate present. Yet insurers said “no.” Today’s policies let people (whether dependent or not) stay on their parents’ policies until age 26. In 2009 30% of this age-cohort had no insurance; in 2014, 14%.Image result for Image, Obamacare

Since 1965, poor Americans with children relied on Medicaid, the joint federal-state insurance program; but poor people without children generally did not qualify. Furthermore, states could set low eligibility limits. The Act opened the doors of Medicaid, allowing states to expand coverage, raise income eligibility. (Initially, the law demanded that states open their Medicaid doors; the Supreme Court ruled that states had the choice). To date, 31 states have expanded Medicaid: in these states, the number of uninsured has, predictably, shrunk. In the states that refused, bowing to ideology over compassion (or even common sense, since the federal government included generous subsidies to states for expansion), the number of uninsured has not shrunk dramatically. (Income-eligibility in those states is $8,870 for a family of three).

The Act let people enroll, with subsidies dependent on income, in a private-sector plan via a “health exchange.” The media detailed the messy roll-out of the plans, the high costs even with subsidies, the eagerness of some large insurers to drop unprofitable “lines.” All true – and all potentially addressed by a “public plan” option. Nevertheless, the exchanges bolstered coverage.

Furthermore, the law took aim at the trifecta of horror: “pre-existing condition” exemptions, low caps on services, fine-print exclusions for basic services.

The Affordable Care Act is not perfect: we still have too many Americans without coverage, too many people paying too much, too high costs overall, especially for super drugs. Regional disparities persist: in Massachusetts, 3.3% of residents have no insurance; in Texas, 19.1% (partly reflecting the numbers of undocumented immigrants). We need to reform this law.

Sadly, though, this election promises no reforms. Donald Trump wants only to win, not to govern. He has issued no meaningful proposals vis a vis Obamacare, other than “repeal.” And his followers don’t care.

The book Hillbilly Elegy is generating a lot of buzz this election season.  Terri Gross of NPR conducts this interview with the author J.D. Vance.  This book focuses on the culture of poor and working class folks many of which are currently supporting Donald Trump.  Why?  Listen to find out…

This is FRESH AIR. I’m Terry Gross. My guest, J.D. Vance, is the author of the new best-seller “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir Of A Family And Culture In Crisis.” He says the book is about what goes on in the lives of real people when the industrial economy goes south. He writes about the social isolation, poverty, drug use and the religious and political changes in his family and in greater Appalachia. He grew up in a Rust Belt town in Ohio in a family from the hills of eastern Kentucky. Until the age of 12, he spent summers in Jackson, Ky., with his grandmother and great-grandmother. Vance joined the Marines, which helped him afford college. After attending Ohio State University, he went to Yale Law School where he initially felt completely out of place. He has contributed to the National Review and is now a principal at a Silicon Valley investment firm.Hillbilly Elegy

J.D. Vance, welcome to FRESH AIR. There’s a paragraph from your new book that I want you to read. It’s on Page 2.

J D VANCE: There is an ethnic component lurking in the background of my story. In our race-conscious society, our vocabulary often extends no further than the color of someone’s skin – black people, Asians, white privilege. Sometimes these broad categories are useful. But to understand my story, you have to delve into the details.

I may be white, but I do not identify with the WASPs of the Northeast. Instead, I identify with the millions of working-class white Americans of Scots-Irish descent who have no college degree. To these folks, poverty’s the family tradition. Their ancestors were day laborers in the southern slave economy, sharecroppers after that, coal miners after that, and machinists and mill workers during more recent times. Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks or white trash. I call them neighbors, friends and family.

GROSS: Thanks for reading that. There’s, you know, the line where you make a point of saying that your people were day laborers in the slave economy of the South. Reading between the lines there…

VANCE: Sure.

GROSS: …What are you saying about class and race with that statement?

Yahoo Finance takes a look at American’s retirement future and states The 401(k) is worsening retirement inequality.  The shift from pensions to 401(k) plans is widening the gap between the haves and have-nots among retirees…

The shift from pensions to 401(k) plans is making retirement inequality much worse—and education is what separates the haves from the have-nots, a new study has found.

College graduates have always been able to get better jobs. What’s new in recent decades is that traditional pensions have all but vanished, replaced by 401(k)-style plans.Image result for Image, hung out to dry

In 1980, 38 percent of private sector workers had a pension and 19 percent a 401(k). By last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the numbers had more or less reversed—just 15 percent had a pension and 43 percent a 401(k).

That shift is creating “double disadvantages for the less educated,” wrote University of Kansas sociology professor ChangHwan Kim and U.S. Social Security Administration researcher Christopher Tamborini in a paper presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual conference on Tuesday.

When you combine the GOP push to weaken pensions and promote 401(k)’s that was the hallmark of the Reagan administration with the current plans of Republican Paul Ryan to move Medicare from a guaranteed benefit to a “premium support” model that will shift the costs onto retirees a challenging retirement is made even more so by today’s Republican party.  Their refusal to raise the cap on Social Security or negotiate drug prices to lower Medicare costs completes the picture of the GOP as willing to leave seniors out to dry so the wealthy can become even wealthier.


Tell me again why white, working class Americans are supporting the Republican Party?

Maureen Dowd  shares her perspective on the Trump apology tour in An Open Letter From Mr. Donald Trump…

To Whom It May Concern:

Trump is sorry. Trump is humble. Trump is scared. Trump doesn’t want to get crushed.

So if I have offended anyone, or because I have offended everyone, I’m sorry.Image result for Image,sorry

I’m sorry that I realized too late that all the great put-downs that helped me put away the 16 dwarfs don’t translate well to the general election.

I’m sorry that I’m causing the Republicans to lose control of the Senate and I’m sorry they wish I’d never been born.

I’m really not that sorry to be causing trouble for Paul Ryan, who’s going to lose seats in the House. He’s a prig and I wish he had lost his primary to that tattooed guy who likes me.

I’m sorry I pretended I was going to release my tax returns. Of course I didn’t pay any taxes. I have the all-time greatest real estate deductions and depreciations.

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