Thursday, May 4, 2017

The overall report card on the day's proceedings

I suppose the biggest news is that the House passed the revamped AHCA bill. This is one of developments that falls in the category of something that is far from ideal, but is on balance favorable, even if nearly undetectably, and had to be supported given the confluence of time frame and votes.

Damn it, that's just the way it works in a representative democracy in a fallen world. You'll be a dejected creature indeed if you can't live with anything less than the gleamingly perfect enactment of a public policy measure reflective of all the tenets of your worldview. It has never happened, and it won't in your lifetime.

But then this subsequent development may surpass it for the status of biggest news:

Senate Republicans said Thursday they won't vote on the House-passed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but will write their own legislation instead.
A Senate proposal is now being developed by a 12-member working group. It will attempt to incorporate elements of the House bill, senators said, but will not take up the House bill as a starting point and change it through the amendment process.
"The safest thing to say is there will be a Senate bill, but it will look at what the House has done and see how much of that we can incorporate in a product that works for us in reconciliation," said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
"We are going to draft a Senate bill," added Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. "That is what I've been told."
The working group has been meeting for weeks, said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the group.
"What we have to do is build a consensus among our conference and that is what the working group is designed to do," Cornyn said. "To get to a compromise we can agree to and then present it to the larger conference."
Cornyn said there is "really no deadline" for the group to produce a bill. "We are just working toward getting 51 votes," he said.
Then there is Squirrel-Hair's meeting with Abbas.

The way that should have gone down is that, as soon as Abbas entered the room, the president would say, "Does Fatah still have as a central aim driving the Jews into the sea? Answer honestly, and if the answer is yes, get out of this office and get off the North American landmass."

Cut back over to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, and let's zoom in on another bill that House Pubs did themselves proud on:

House Republicans voted today to approve a bill that would defund to Planned Parenthood abortion business.
This was the second attempt to get enough votes on the reconciliation bill that would not only defund the nation’s biggest abortion corporation but also repeal major portions of Obamacare. The first attempt to pass the bill saw liberal Republicans oppose the repealing Obamacare portion and conservative Republicans not happy as well because it did not repeal Obamacare fully. Republican leaders reworked the legislation, called the American Health Care Act, and Republicans passed the measure today despite Democrat objections.
The House voted 217-212 for the bill to defund Panned Parenthood with Republicans voting 217-20 for it and Democrats voting 192-0 against it. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The pro-life bill would eliminate more than $390 million (over 86%) of over $450 million in annual federal funding to Planned Parenthood, from all mandatory spending programs. The measure also redirects funding to community health centers which outnumber Planned Parenthood facilities 20 to 1 and offer a wider array of health care services, but not abortion. AHCA also repeals Obamacare abortion subsidies, adds reforms to give states more flexibility and lower costs, and provides families more options.
The bill would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and it applies as well to the CHIP and the Title V and Title XX block grant programs.
Importantly, the bill ensures Obamacare will not fund abortions. National Right to Life explains:
“As enacted, the PPACA contains multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion, and abortion-expanding regulatory mandates. A 2014 GAO report revealed that over 1,000 federally subsidized plans nationwide were covering elective abortion. The American Health Care Act would repeal the provisions of law that created this system, and prohibit any future federal tax credits from subsidizing the purchase of plans that cover elective abortion, thereby restoring the longstanding principles of the Hyde Amendment with respect to federally funded health coverage.”
“National Right to Life praises the Republican leadership for putting this bill together and making sure the most vulnerable members of our society are protected,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “Over two million Americans are alive today because of the Hyde Amendment. This new health care bill ensures that we are one step closer to getting the federal government entirely out of the business of subsidizing abortion.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told LifeNews he is delighted by the vote.
“Today is a day that should and will be remembered. The House GOP today fulfilled its nearly decade old promise to pass a bill that replaces Obamacare with a law that is pro-life and reduces premium costs for the American people,” he said. “We are proud of the House Freedom Caucus for working diligently in coalition with conservative groups and others to make this day possible. After entrusting the GOP with authority to lead the country based upon their campaign promises, the House GOP has made good on turning promises into policy. Now it is time for the Senate to follow in the House’s footsteps and pass the AHCA, so that this vital legislation can be signed into law by President Trump who understands the value of every person, born and unborn.”
I'm going to say a B minus overall. Health care bill opens up the door of possibility and establishes a clear direction for Pubs, an obvious A plus for the thumbs-down-on-killing-fetal-Americans-with-adult-Americans'-tax-dollars bill, and a D minus at best for hosting a real chunk of dog vomit at the post-American White House.

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