Thursday, March 9, 2017

This Cartoon Should be Self-Explanatory


But What Do YOU Think of 
Paul Ryan's Three-Stage Plan to 
Replace Obamacare?

The GOP Freedom Caucus ain't much for it.

Do you have any BETTER ideas? 
If so, let's hear 'em.



  1. What Do YOU Think of Paul Ryan's Three-Stage Plan to Replace Obamacare?

    I haven't yet researched all the particulars.

    But I have heard a lot of the debate and complaints related to thereto.

    Two thoughts:

    1. Perhaps this matter of healthcare reform is so thorny because it is something that cannot be solved at the federal level.

    2. As long as employer-based health insurance is available -- particularly for employees of any government agency (local, state, or federal) -- the free market cannot work unhindered. I've noticed that those with employer-based health insurance are not very concerned about healthcare reform -- as long as their children can stay on the parents' policy until those children reach age 67. We the taxpayers are picking up the lion's share of employer-based health insurance premiums for all government employees. THINK ABOUT THAT!

    1. Well, the same principle is at work when we property owners must pay School Taxes, even though we have no children of our own –– and never have had.

  2. I have my doubts about Phase Two and Phase Three. I don't trust those Congress critters.

    1. I do too! I could NEVER bring myself got trust a RINO any more than I could trust a DemonRat.

      I think Paul has his Eye on the Prize (the presidency), and frankly hopes Mr.Trump will fail, so that HE (Rya) could move in and take over one day.

      I believe that Paul Ryan is ANOTHER Internationalist who is working underhandedly for The Oligarchs.

  3. The ACA s not entirely "rotten," as many who think of themselves as Conservative-Libertarians would contend.

    Obamacare has been a great blessing to the millions who never had access to health insurance before, or who had reached their lifetime benefits cap, as happened to a friend of mine who is cancer patient. HE would have DIED if Obamacare hadn't kicked in at just the right time to keep his treatments going.

    The trouble with the ACA is –– like all Marx-inspired Utopian Schemes –– it robs Peter to pay Paul.

    And it has robbed many people of the comfort of being able to choose which doctor, which surgeon, which hospital and which laboratory they want to use –– a voice often critical to the success of dealing with complex chronic medical conditions.

    In addition the ACA has RAISED TAXES on the Middle Class, raised PREMIUMS –– on some areas to stratospheric levels, and has raised the average DEDUCTIBLES to the point where the policy is almost unusable, except for CATASTROPHIC "Major Medical" situations.

    Meanwhile, it has done absolutely NOTHNG to keep costs down.

    So what people think of Obamacare depends entirely on their socio-economic status. It DOES help the "poor," but it DEGRADES and DIMINISHES the quality of medical care for the Middle Class. The Rich, of course can AFFORD to absorb these costs, and purchase the kind of medical attention they want PRIVATEY, but at gfreagtl inflamed cost over what i would have been if Obamacare hadn't arrived on the scene

    There HAS to be a better way to deal with this problem and "Single Payer" is NOT it. "Single Payer" would only guarantee that everything veterans and their families find objectionable about the VA would be transferred to all the REST of us.

    In other words rich and poor alike would have their chances of DYING while waiting on long long lines to get treatment of highly dubious quality greatly increased.

    1. FT,
      Obamacare has been a great blessing to the millions who never had access to health insurance before, or who had reached their lifetime benefits cap, as happened to a friend of mine who is cancer patient. HE would have DIED if Obamacare hadn't kicked in at just the right time to keep his treatments going.

      That's good about your friend. Not so sure about that stat of millions, though.

      But the reality is that those caps were established to protect medical providers so that they'd be available at all.

      As for those who never had access to health insurance before, some of that is true. What is ALSO true, is that many have had access to health insurance but have CHOSEN to opt out so that their weekly paychecks are larger. In some companies, participation in the company's health insurance plan is optional. Such was the case for the last company for which Mr. AOW last worked, and most employees CHOSE to opt out.

      Good thing that Mr. AOW didn't! Because he'd never had a lapse in health insurance coverage, we were able to get private medical insurance when the COBRA benefits expired. $900/month, but 8 weeks later Mr. AOW had a stroke. It's a good thing we had sacrificed so as to pay that $900/month (which continued until Mr. AOW qualified for Medicare due to disability -- 24 months, I think). Lots of franks and beans for our suppers! Not an exaggeration! We had to cut a lot of other corners, too.

    2. FT,

      As a result of the ACA, medical providers now require up front about 1/2 of the applicable deductible -- otherwise, no treatment, scan, or surgery. I ran up against this problem last year when I had to pay so much before I could access the medical provider, including the operating room.

      Mind you, I never had ObamaCare per se, but rather a grandfathered private policy.

      The exception to paying the deductible up front: going through the emergency room, where the up-front deductible is not required. Most often, however, one cannot get the necessary scans or surgeries by going directly through the ER.

      Fortunately, because Mr. AOW and I have always been savers, we have always had the funds to pay our deductibles. To manage saving that much, we never got our European tour, ocean cruises, many vacations, and other luxury items. We were also able to avoid having to buy new cars because Mr. AOW was such a fine mechanic and kept our hoopdies running (until he had a stroke, that is, at which point I bought my first and only new car).

      So, Mr. AOW and I have missed out on a lot -- and have missed making what would have been wonderful memories.

      BTW, Mr. AOW and I never had a mortgage because I inherited the family homestead. If not for that fortuitous circumstance, we could never have saved enough to pay for the illnesses which struck us at a relatively young age.

    3. FT,
      The trouble with the ACA is –– like all Marx-inspired Utopian Schemes –– it robs Peter to pay Paul.

      And it has robbed many people of the comfort of being able to choose which doctor, which surgeon, which hospital and which laboratory they want to use –– a voice often critical to the success of dealing with complex chronic medical conditions.


      A type of ponzi scheme!

    4. The trouble with the ACA is –– like all Marx-inspired Utopian Schemes –– it robs Peter to pay Paul.

      This has always troubled me. Yet if Paul cannot afford effective health insurance because of low wages, often working two and even three jobs, what is Paul to do? Die? Rob a bank? What?

      Health care has become a huge national problem and regardless of whatever road we ultimately take it likely will remain a problem. My view today is it should have been addressed many years ago. But like AOW sais, with great company health insurance I really was ever concerned at the time. Now I'm on Medicare with a supplemental.

      I feel sorry for the future generatins.

    5. That IS the rub, Anonymous.

      I doubt very much if this congress –– or any other congress –– will ever be able to devise a "solution" to the crisis generated by the passage of the ACA that could possibly satisfy all sectors of society and be truly fair –– which really means INDULGENT –– towards EVERYONE needs real and imagined.

      I, personally, think the whole concept of "Modern Healthcare" has been grossly oversold.

      We are MORTAL. Someday ALL of us must DIE. There is no cure for MORTALITY, and many health problems are GENETIC in origin.

      The idea that if only we had enough MONEY, took enough highly expensive PILLS, had as many OPERATIONS as we imagine could help us, that somehow we could ESCAPE death is just NONSENSE.

      Also, the current notion that if only we adopted what-is-known-today-as "A Healthy Lifestyle," we could escape the dread diseases we are doubtless GENETICALLY PROGRAMMED to have to deal with someday is also absurd.

      The famous case of JIM FIXX who jogged hundreds of miles a week to escape cardio-vascular disease and then DROPPED DEAD of a HEART ATTACK at an early age ANYWAY is a good case in point.

      We CAN eat more sensibly, and thus avoid obesity, and many of the problems that go along with it. We can also exercise moderately or do Yoga, etc., but there is NO "behavior" we could adopt that will immunize us against ALL disease and infirmity.

      I, personally, believe our MENTAL ATTITUDE has more to do with establishing and maintaining good health than many of these other things we harp on so obsessively.

      One of my Great Aunts iced to be 101, She was as poor as the proverbial church mouse, lived alone in a tiny apartment in New York City, WORKED till she was EIGHTY-EIGHT, because she HAD to, and sustained herself primarily on a diet of Kellogg's Special K, with milk, Sara Lee Brownies, which she loved, and BALONEY SANDWICHES with Gulden's mustard spread on on WHITE bread. Once in a while she'd have a banana or some canned fruit cocktail, but that was about it.

      The secret of her success? She had GREAT Christian faith, prayed every day, NEVER WORRIED, NEVER let herself get UPSET, always claimed to be GRATEFUL for the few good things she had had in life, and was ALWAYS CHEERFUL, FRIENDLY and TRUSTING to all.

  4. NEVER, in the HISTORY of the United States, has an outgoing President worked so hard to undermine the legitimacy of his successor.

    1. That is probably true, although I have no information on the history of the presidency to back it up, but WHAT HAS THAT GOT TO DO WITH the current HEALTHCARE DEBATE?

      Please try to comment in future ON the topics we choose.


  5. No one has ever made the point that needs to be made in ths debate more tellingly than KIPLING, of course. In my never humble opinion the following could never be posted or pondered often enough. We should remember he published these sage observations in NINETEEN-NINETEEN!

    As I pass through my incarnations
    ___ in every age and race,
    I make my proper prostrations
    ___ to the Gods of the Market Place.
    Peering through reverent fingers
    ___ I watch them flourish and fall,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings,
    ___ I notice, outlast them all.

    We were living in trees when they met us.
    ___ They showed us each in turn
    That Water would certainly wet us,
    ___ as Fire would certainly burn:
    But we found them lacking in Uplift,
    ___ Vision and Breadth of Mind,
    So we left them to teach the Gorillas
    ___ while we followed the March of Mankind

    We moved as the Spirit listed.
    ___ They never altered their pace,
    Being neither cloud nor wind-borne
    ___ like the Gods of the Market Place,
    But they always caught up with our progress,
    ___ and presently word would come
    That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield,
    ___ or the lights had gone out in Rome.

    With the Hopes that our World is built on
    ___ they were utterly out of touch,
    They denied that the Moon was Stilton;
    ___ they denied she was even Dutch;
    They denied that Wishes were Horses;
    ___ they denied that a Pig had Wings;
    So we worshipped the Gods of the Market
    ___ Who promised these beautiful things.

    When the Cambrian measures were forming,
    ___ They promised perpetual peace.
    They swore, if we gave them our weapons,
    ___ that the wars of the tribes would cease.
    But when we disarmed They sold us
    ___ and delivered us bound to our foe,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said:
    ___ "Stick to the Devil you know."

    On the first Feminian Sandstones
    ___ we were promised the Fuller Life
    (Which started by loving our neighbour
    ___ and ended by loving his wife)
    Till our women had no more children
    ___ and the men lost reason and faith,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said:
    ___ "The Wages of Sin is Death."

    In the Carboniferous Epoch
    ___ we were promised abundance for all,
    By robbing selected Peter
    ___ to pay for collective Paul;
    But, though we had plenty of money,
    ___ there was nothing our money could buy,
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said:
    ___ "If you don't work you die."

    Then the Gods of the Market tumbled,
    ___ and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled
    ___ and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters,
    ___ and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings
    ___ limped up to explain it once more.

    As it will be in the future,
    __ it was at the birth of Man
    There are only four things certain
    ___ since Social Progress began.
    That the Dog returns to his Vomit
    ___ and the Sow returns to her Mire,
    And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger
    ___ goes wabbling back to the Fire;

    And that after this is accomplished,
    ___ and the brave new world begins
    When all men are paid for existing
    ___ and no man must pay for his sins,
    As surely as Water will wet us,
    ___ as surely as Fire will burn,
    The Gods of the Copybook Headings
    ___ with terror and slaughter return!

    The Gods of the Copybook Headings (1919)
    ~ Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

  6. What's with all the Kipling! LOL! (I like him too)

    Ryan isn't really repealing and replacing Obamacare so much as he is tweaking it quite a bit. He's getting rid of the mandate, but putting out oddly structured tax credits that seem more like a pay-off to the insurance industry for getting rid of the mandate, but still won't do much to encourage younger people to be insured, and doesn't provide nearly enough for older people to get insurance. Then there's Medicaid, where the idea seems to be to balloon the program a few years out, and then pull it out and see if those removed fall into a private market at around 2k a year for younger workers, and 4k for older (a pipe-dream). Then there's these new policy type ideas. I don't know. The whole thing sounds like a step side-ways at best, backwards in all likelihood. I'm hoping the Senate can clean it up, but such a version would not please the House. The best thing that could happen is if the system was just left in place for now, only to be continually undermined by it's opponents in the states.


    1. "Morning, Jersey!

      You might want to review all the stuff I posted a Farmer's Letters, then get back to me with your thoughts on how all those varied poems and quotations really say the same thing in essence, –– and then tell us how those sentiments might apply to our Healthcare Dilemma.

      Could be an interesting assignment.

      Other readers are welcome to do the same too, of course.

  7. My idea is to get the federal government out of anything that is not involved with National Security.

    1. That's a true PALEO-CONSERVATIVE policy, Kid. I was BORN a Paleo-Conservative, but have become more and more of a LIBERTARIAN in the past twenty-five years, though the Libertarian Party isn't worth squat.

      In addition to National Security –– i.e. DEFENSE –– I believe developing the Interstate Highway system was a good idea, and believe too we ought to do whatever we must to keep our Bridges, Tunnels, Water Mains, Reservoirs, etc. in top condition. That's only good common sense.

      You do know, of course, that it was our historic poor treatment of the Negroes that bought us to our present sorry state, right?

      IF we had behaved in a more enlightened , humane fashion, we wouldn't be suffering as we are today.

      UNFORTUNATELY, as the Bible tells us, "We Reap What We Sow."

  8. For all its toil and torment, broken dreams and betrayed ideals life is always worth living –– even at the worst of times. Let us try not to waste our precious time in fruitless argumentation over trivial details, bitter denunciation, mockery, too much idle speculation, or wanton dissipation.

    Shelley here reminds of what we all just face sooner or later –– and of the heartbreak felt by those left behind when all opportunity to love and make amends becomes forever lost.

    __ The Cold Earth Slept Below __

    The cold earth slept below;
    ____ Above the cold sky shone;
    ______ And all around,
    ______ With a chilling sound,
    From caves of ice and fields of snow
    The breath of night like death did flow
    ______ Beneath the sinking moon.

    The wintry hedge was black;
    ____ The green grass was not seen;
    ______ The birds did rest
    ______ On the bare thorn’s breast,
    Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
    Had bound their folds o’er many a crack
    ______ Which the frost had made between.

    Thine eyes glow’d in the glare
    ____ Of the moon’s dying light;
    ______ As a fen-fire’s beam
    ______ On a sluggish stream
    Gleams dimly—so the moon shone there,
    And it yellow’d the strings of thy tangled hair,
    ______ That shook in the wind of night.

    The moon made thy lips pale, beloved;
    ____ The wind made thy bosom chill;
    ______ The night did shed
    ______ On thy dear head
    Its frozen dew, and thou didst lie
    Where the bitter breath of the naked sky
    ______ Might visit thee at will.

    ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

  9. Little Eddie Munster left a flaming bag of poo on Mr. Trump's doorstep.

    Could this be a Ryan plot to hang this hideous bureaucratic carbuncle around the president's neck and sink him?

    1. Could this be a Ryan plot to hang this hideous bureaucratic carbuncle around the president's neck and sink him?


  10. Barack Obama’s brother Malik Obama tweeted out a birth certificate on Thursday allegedly belonging to his brother Barack.

    The certificate is from a hospital in Mombassa, Kenya.

    1. Possibly of interest, IF there's really anything to it, but it fails to address the problems we are having getting rod of the ACA. Please try to address the topic of the post next time you visit.

  11. Recently, John M. Berger said this at Z's site -- and I've come to think that this may well be the case:

    Sometimes I just wonder if we are seeking more medical coverage than we are willing or able to pay for. If that’s the case this issue will never be solved.

    1. I, personally, think we are "seeking" more medical coverage than we properly NEED.

      IF we had never adopted Medicare, people would not be living such outlandishly long lives –– time virtually imprisoned in increasingly costly, always unsatisfactory nursing homes sometimes for years on end.

      IF we had never adopted Medicare, the COSTS of Doctor's visits, Prescription Drugs, Surgeries and Hospitalization would never have risen as they have at rates more than twice that of Inflation.

      The more "help" we think we ought to demand as a "RIGHT" from GOVERNMENT the higher the COST of LIVING in general becomes for ALL.

      A cursory study of the price and condition of REAL ESTATE in those Socialist Workers Paradises the Left loves to boast about with their trumped up statistics that supposedly show how vastly INFERIOR the United States of America is to places like EUROPE, CUBA and VENEZUELA, etc. would show you that WE have so much MORE to offer even the poorest of our citizens than those benighted places we ought to be ASHAMED of ourselves for constantly grousing about the condition of our lives.

      Try living a month or two in Syria, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Somalia, Egypt, Zimbabwe –– or Paris France! –– as an invalid, and THEN decide just how "terrible" our country really is.

      We need to get a firmer grip on REALITY, learn to ACCEPT with GOOD GACE the limitations life imposes on us, learn to COUNT our BLESSINGS and express GRATITUDE for the many GOOD things we do, indeed, have in this country, and QUIT all this QUIBBLING.

      If God had wanted us to live PERFECT, UNTRAMMELED LIVES, HE would have made us STONES –– not MORTALS.

    2. I seek immortality! It's only my "right"!

  12. ____ TO the LEFT ____

    You have nothing to gain
    With your claim to be sane.
    It is arrantly bogus,
    And designed to befog us.
    What you claim to know
    Proves your mind didn't grow
    Past the primitive stage
    Of infantile rage,
    So you haven't the brain
    To stay out of the rain!

    ~ Anne Animus

  13. A VERY cute poem. Certainly found myself chuckling during the reading. Known a few the poem aptly describes.

    On the other hand all human advancement has generally been the result of thinking liberally, or put another way,thinking outside of the box. Pushing the boundaries of known science and conventional beliefs.

    Liberal thinking tempered by a degree of conservative caution makes sense. Yes?

  14. The repubs have had over six years to come up with something to replace obamacare and they haven't done squat. They do talk a good game but little in the way of action. What has his highness speaker done since he was appointed, more squat.
    The democraps want a single payer system and the republicons want to not have to think about anything. They are to busy worrying about the antics of the twitter in charge to do much else.
    Whatever is done will not be good for anyone much like obamacare is now.

    1. Rand Paul certainly has come up with a comprehensive plan that addresses the issue, and I believe Tom Price has too. Both men are trained physicians with many years of successful practice in the field before they entered politics, but internecine warfare in the GOP between the RINOS who selfishly adore the status quo and hate Trump's eagerness to make sweeping changes, and the Freedom Caucus with young go-getters like Jim Jordan and Tom Cotton who are the only true Conservative-Libertarians in the party is constipating the progress of the Trump Agenda –– a deliberate ploy to make a monkey of Donald Trump who seems to have more enemies than Polio and Bubonic Plague combined.

      Paul Ryan seems to have set himself up as a snake in the grass who is determined to thwart President Trump without declaring Open Warfare if possible. Needless to say Ryan whim backed with some enthusiasm when he was Cypher Romney's running mate has turned out to be a BIG disappointment.



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