A Big week and a Reality Show

The “most expensive congressional race ever” and the Senate Republicans releasing their health plan would be a big week even without Trump tweets. Of course, Trump continued his tweets.  He and the Republicans applauded their success in retaining a couple of historically heavily Republican seats.  They seem to be saying, even if only one in three Americans thinks the President is doing a good job we can still retain control of congress over the lame old Democrats. We think this will prove to be Pyrrhic Victory.  If the Democrats had won they would’ve sat back and looked to ride the anti-Trump momentum to victory. No new leadership, bright candidates, ideas and organization would be needed. The Republicans would’ve had a wake up call to get their act together. Given his knowledge void, Trump would’ve possibly spent time learning about the issues both foreign and domestic. This would’ve left him with little or no time to tweet. Congressional Republicans might come up with health care and tax plans that didn’t look as if they were thought up by “old man Potter”.  Alas, they won and the tweets go on and the Senate Republicans gave us something we never thought possible, a plan worse than Obamacare. The same kind of unworkable Obamacare hodgepodge covering even fewer people. Now they face the 2018 election with an unpopular President who really fires up the Democratic base while they will have to defend a really bad health care law.  We’ve seen this play before in 2010.  Obamacare cost the Democrats the house even with a more popular President. Add new Democratic  leadership and bright candidates.  No callow youngsters living outside their chosen districts.  Hillary and Nancy Pelosi joining Harry Reid in the closet.  Well, maybe the Senate Republicans will fail to pass their Health care law. In that case, their impotence would be on display for all to see.  Harry Truman showed how you deal with a “do nothing Congress.” Either way the Democrat’s chances actually look better for 2018.

All this before we look at the latest Trump tweets. 41 days after threatening to release tapes of his Comey conversations, he finally tweets he doesn’t have any.  Really? Has anyone ever managed to look more guiltily when we’re not even sure a crime has been committed?  Going all the way back to the primaries and his refusal to release his taxes aroused our  suspicions. His disinterest in Russia’s Ukraine incursions and seemingly conceding Crimea to Putin, brought his praise of the Russian strong man into focus. When the damaging to the Democrat’s emails were traced to Wikileaks and by association the Russians, rather than blasting the Russians for interfering with our election he called on them to do more. Associates including his son-in-law failing to disclose meetings with Russians, only thickened this stew.  If Flynn’s lies and Trump’s actions in response doesn’t give you a creepy feeling, someone should check your pulse.

What to make of this? A doofus who keeps doing weird stuff? A Russian pawn? Just maybe it’s a Trump reality show to distract us. Here we have someone with signs front and back declaring “I’m Guilty”.  Given  a certain amount of clues, the contestants try to figure out  the crime. Sort of like Jeopardy, we know there is a criminal, but what is he guilty of?  This is getting huge ratings. You folks at home can play too.

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Divorced from Reality

The  extreme reaction to President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords brought  home just how divorced from reality elites in our country (and indeed worldwide) have become.  This was a strange agreement where 197 nations have signified their good intentions. Some state what they might do about global warming sometime in the future while others signed up for some handouts from a “Green Climate Fund”. It contains no enforcement mechanisms and apparently everyone can change anything they stated originally. Even in the  happy but unlikely circumstance  everyone does exactly what they promised, it would have little measurable effect on future climate. No solutions or even cost benefit analysis were offered.. Just a bunch elites gathering in Paris to make themselves feel good about themselves. Like Christians taking communion, the feel they have kept the faith through symbolism. They’re good Christians and if you didn’t well, see you in  hell.  Never mind you really haven’t done any actual good. The symbolism is everything. In fact, what are we actually withdrawing from? It’s not a verifiable treaty. If it was it should’ve been submitted for Senate approval. It was this pile of feel good holy grails that would have been resoundingly rejected by that august body. Even the far more serious League of Nations Treaty President Wilson signed failed to be ratified. (It didn’t stop World War II either but we digress).  Wilson and Obama could sign anything, but to obligate the nation they needed to convince the Senate and by extension the nation of the worth of their endeavors. Wilson had enough faith to bring the League to the Senate and the country. Obama knew these Paris Accords were so flawed he didn’t even try. Yet elites from both our major parties are rending their garments and crying the world is coming to an end. Why? The Paris Accords only symbolically recognized a problem, while doing little nothing to solve it. It just muddied the waters.

We need to realize we have real problem when we don’t do the real work to solve problems, We make only gestures. We have endeavored to point this out in health care. Instead of finding a reasonable way to give all our people real healthcare, both major parties offer up jumbled messes  leaving millions without coverage. More pre-existing conditions created through employment change to be dumped on someone. But just as with “climate change” both sides are ready to go to the barricades over these non-solutions. No wonder people question our leaders. They seem incapable of determining and tackling realities. Fighting over at best half measures inspires confidence in no one.

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How can we possibly take on all the pre-existing conditions in the country when just those under Obamacare are so costly under the Republican State pools alternative?  After all, Dave’s Plan covers virtually everyone  including the far more numerous covered under employer plans.  Won’t this explode the number with pre-existing making the plan unaffordable? This would be the case if everyone now with employer-provided insurance suddenly lost it and had to apply individually, but there is no reason for this to be the case.  These plans for the most part consist of the broad universe of health that insurance companies need to offer affordable insurance. We know that because they’re doing it now. These insurance companies whether directly or as administrators of employers self-insured plans know and accept these groups now.  Given the chance to sign up plan members as a group would give them the healthy to sick ratio they have already have. These are people healthy enough to work regular jobs.  Further signing the group would save them large acquisition costs while contributing to the wide base the company needs for true experience.

It may be in the insurance companies interest to do group transfers to their individual policies, but why would the employers facilitate the move?  Management of entities now offering health insurance tends to be older than the overall group. Being older they would be more likely to have more health problems.  They wouldn’t want to now get insurance on their own.  Better to have our XYZ Company plan move in mass to our an insurance company’s individual plans. Self interest is a mighty motivator. In any case employers will have to facilitate the move from  company savings plans to individual accounts so this would go right along with those transfers. In any case, the prospects of a much lower corporate tax, makes employer-provided insurance less attractive. This at a time when more companies need a fluid labor force.

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