President Obama on Trumpcare

 Posted by at 17:16  Politics
Jun 222017

President Obama reacted to the health care bill put forth by the Republicans today. It is somewhat longer than the 140 character tweet our current “president” is capable of composing, so it may take you a minute longer to read…

Our politics are divided. They have been for a long time. And while I know that division makes it difficult to listen to Americans with whom we disagree, that’s what we need to do today.

I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.

We didn’t fight for the Affordable Care Act for more than a year in the public square for any personal or political gain – we fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course.

Nor did we fight for it alone. Thousands upon thousands of Americans, including Republicans, threw themselves into that collective effort, not for political reasons, but for intensely personal ones – a sick child, a parent lost to cancer, the memory of medical bills that threatened to derail their dreams.

And you made a difference. For the first time, more than ninety percent of Americans know the security of health insurance. Health care costs, while still rising, have been rising at the slowest pace in fifty years. Women can’t be charged more for their insurance, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, contraceptive care and preventive care are now free. Paying more, or being denied insurance altogether due to a preexisting condition – we made that a thing of the past.

We did these things together. So many of you made that change possible.

At the same time, I was careful to say again and again that while the Affordable Care Act represented a significant step forward for America, it was not perfect, nor could it be the end of our efforts – and that if Republicans could put together a plan that is demonstrably better than the improvements we made to our health care system, that covers as many people at less cost, I would gladly and publicly support it.

That remains true. So I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win, that there’s a reason we all chose to serve in the first place, and that hopefully, it’s to make people’s lives better, not worse.

But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite. It would raise costs, reduce coverage, roll back protections, and ruin Medicaid as we know it. That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses, from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which found that 23 million Americans would lose insurance, to America’s doctors, nurses, and hospitals on the front lines of our health care system.

The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It’s a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child’s cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that’s tough to fathom. But it’s what’s at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need.

That might take some time and compromise between Democrats and Republicans. But I believe that’s what people want to see. I believe it would demonstrate the kind of leadership that appeals to Americans across party lines. And I believe that it’s possible – if you are willing to make a difference again. If you’re willing to call your members of Congress. If you are willing to visit their offices. If you are willing to speak out, let them and the country know, in very real terms, what this means for you and your family.

After all, this debate has always been about something bigger than politics. It’s about the character of our country – who we are, and who we aspire to be. And that’s always worth fighting for.

Nov 112016

Washington, D.C.Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement about the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States:

“I have personally been on the ballot in Nevada for 26 elections and I have never seen anything like the reaction to the election completed last Tuesday. The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the forces of hate and bigotry in America.

“White nationalists, Vladimir Putin and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory, while innocent, law-abiding Americans are wracked with fear – especially African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Muslim Americans, LGBT Americans and Asian Americans. Watching white nationalists celebrate while innocent Americans cry tears of fear does not feel like America.

“I have heard more stories in the past 48 hours of Americans living in fear of their own government and their fellow Americans than I can remember hearing in five decades in politics. Hispanic Americans who fear their families will be torn apart, African Americans being heckled on the street, Muslim Americans afraid to wear a headscarf, gay and lesbian couples having slurs hurled at them and feeling afraid to walk down the street holding hands. American children waking up in the middle of the night crying, terrified that Trump will take their parents away. Young girls unable to understand why a man who brags about sexually assaulting women has been elected president.

“I have a large family. I have one daughter and twelve granddaughters. The texts, emails and phone calls I have received from them have been filled with fear – fear for themselves, fear for their Hispanic and African American friends, for their Muslim and Jewish friends, for their LBGT friends, for their Asian friends. I’ve felt their tears and I’ve felt their fear.

“We as a nation must find a way to move forward without consigning those who Trump has threatened to the shadows. Their fear is entirely rational, because Donald Trump has talked openly about doing terrible things to them. Every news piece that breathlessly obsesses over inauguration preparations compounds their fear by normalizing a man who has threatened to tear families apart, who has bragged about sexually assaulting women and who has directed crowds of thousands to intimidate reporters and assault African Americans. Their fear is legitimate and we must refuse to let it fall through the cracks between the fluff pieces.

“If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate. Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.

“If Trump wants to roll back the tide of hate he unleashed, he has a tremendous amount of work to do and he must begin immediately.”

Nov 022016

President Obama campaigned for Hillary Clinton at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina this afternoon. He was as fired up as I have seen him since his own campaign in 2008. Watch and listen…

But above all… VOTE!

The full transcript of President Obama’s remarks follows the break.

Continue reading »

Jul 292016

If there was one speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that should guarantee that Donald Trump never sees the inside of the Oval Office, this is it:


UPDATE: Here is Trump’s response to Mr. Khan. This alone should disqualify him from ever being president of the United States.

DNC 2016

 Posted by at 12:36  Democrats, Election 2016, Politics
Jul 292016

It’s been an amazing week, hasn’t it? I haven’t had much of chance to write about it here, but it really has been a busy and thrilling week. In case you somehow missed it last night, here is Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech. I thought she did a heck of job.

Meanwhile, here is Donald Trump’s reaction to the Democratic National Convention…

Do you really think we can trust this guy with the nuclear codes?

P.S. The “little guy” to whom Donald refers is Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City. Click here to watch his DNC speech.

Clinton on SCOTUS

 Posted by at 15:32  Election 2016, Politics
Mar 292016

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivered what I consider to be the most important speech thus far in the 2016 election season. She spoke in Madison, Wisconsin about Republican obstructionism in general and of the Supreme Court nominee in particular. She talked about how the Republican party found itself in its current state. She talked about several important issues that you should probably care about. Regardless of your current ideology, you probably should take time to listen to the entire speech.

I was amazed at how little attention the media paid to this speech. It deserved a lot more. Seems they are too obsessed with The Donald to spend time on anything else.

Mar 012016

I am sure you have been paying attention to the primaries and caucuses that occurred this evening so I’ll not bore you with all the details. Suffice it to say that tonight Donald Trump almost assuredly won the Republican presidential nomination and Hillary Clinton won the presidency of the United States.

The Republican party died tonight. Please forgive my lack of tears.

Oct 212015

Vice President Joe Biden announced today that he will not be candidate for the presidency in 2016…

About time. Personally, I don’t like that he blames the death of his son for this decision. It was his son, after all, who really encouraged him to run. Plus, grief is something that every family deals with. You do not put your whole life on hold. Most of us get two or three days of bereavement time, then it’s back to work.

If Vice President Biden had gotten into the race earlier he would have had my support. I believe he is a very intelligent and very dedicated man. However, as he said, the window has closed. I could not have supported his candidacy at this late stage.

So, who am I supporting? Stay tuned. I’ll let you know.