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NY Times item by Tom Friedman

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Ryan is always such an impressive speaker.  It's that 'Aw Shucks, ma'am' good lucks and earnest demeanor.  It serves him well.  I followed the coverage of that talk at the time.  I sat and listened carefully twice to the video today.  Here are some thoughts:

Ryan is calling for a repeal, with no plan specified to replace; but he buries that in rhetoric.  Okay, let's look at why he feels we have to repeal before replace (other than the 2.8 billion dollar immediate tax break to the top 1% of the population).  He wants a patient centered, cheaper plan with more options with a stable transition to the new system.  That sounds good, but we don't have that yet, because we don't have plans so this is not a reason that immediate repeal is absolutely necessary.
He tells us it was arrogant and contrary for the previous majority to put forth the ACA.  He tells us that premiums have increased, and states the worst cases (Mn being on his list at 59%).  Wait one minute.  Those increases are absolutely true, and it is appalling.  Unfortunately, he doesn't say that his figures only come from the 2.5% of all people on individual plans with not tax breaks.  Again, that is 2.5% of the 20 million under the ACA.  Why are they being targeted?  Well, because the Government could not negotiate those plans as there is no government money on the table.  For the rest of the system, yes, premiums increased, but at a slower rate than insurance rates in the period before the ACA.  So it was either a statistical blip that the ACA was actually holding down costs, or was a reflection of the ACA holding down costs.
He continues about how 1/3 of rural counties and 5 entire states have only 1 policy provider.  Also true.  These states and counties had their Govenors take their case to the Supreme Court to fight against the Medicaid expansion and enhancement that was psrt of the original ACA.  The Supreme Court agreed that states did not have to accept money for rural people for Health care.  And so they didn't.
Ryan continues that it is necessary for the Republicans to step in and stop the ACA from hurting American families any more than it already has.  He also states that Americans should all have "Access" to Health Insurance.

Oh boy.  Access to insurance, not access to health care.  I see no reason here to repeal before having a plan.

Another thing that will disappear with the ACA is OT and PT to maintain function.  Sigh.  LVST will be too rich for our blood, although we will be able to afford DH's Flu shot, which will also be cut out of Medicare as the ACA is dismantled.

 

ETA to correct wrong figure!  the immediate tax cut to the top 1% is 2.8 billion, not 7 billion as I originally and WRONGLY stated.

http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/aca-repeal-would-lavish-medicare-tax-cuts-on-400-highest-income-households

Edited by Quietstill
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Quiet, you have an amazing mind and a lot of knowledge about this.  My head is spinning. :-)  I'm glad you understand so much of it,

because I sure don't, I have to admit, and I haven't been studying it since I have had insurance outside of the ACA.  I'm so sorry that I can't even reply....  Bugger.  Sorry.

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I agree with Linda on her above post. My brain hurts when I read your posts Quiet.....way too much exercise for it, I guess!

 

You are one sharp cookie Quiet, if you're not an attorney, you should have been!

 

I will be watching "Ella"....my kitty on Friday, that much I know for sure!!

Edited by ellaangel2
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Going back to the topic in Quiet's post #372, I'd like to offer the following articles relating to the very difficult topic.  Quiet, I think in these articles you'll see the main way Obama's protection of the gay community from discrimination directly affected Christian churches' freedom of religious teachings. 

 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/july-web-only/discrimination-works-both-ways.html

 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2016/december-web-only/fairness-for-all-evangelicals-explore-truce-lgbt-cccu-nae.html

 

http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2017/january/evangelical-leaders-reject-compromise-lgbt-rights-sogi.html

Edited by Linda Garren

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Thanks for the references, I'll read them all and start thinking.

 

PS --- in regards to 'headaches,' I trust you are grateful I didn't analyze Ted Cruz's health plan! (snicker)

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Linda, I have read all the articles. The problem as I see it comes when religious organizations or people in the name of religion try to impose their beliefs on others. (Example, active political evolvement in California gay marriage law) The complicity argument is bogus. The business owner is not being forced into gay marriage, practicing birth control, only allowing others to make that choice and providing services offered to anyone else or available to an employee anywhere else in the case of Hobby Lobby. I think perhaps private faith based colleges, schools, and other institutions should be protective of the right to hire teachers, employees, admit students with a mandate that they adhere to their religious principles. To my knowledge, that has not been challenged. The distinction comes with whether it is private and instituted to serve their religious community, or whether its purpose is to serve the general public as a business entity. This is all very complex. I think the Obama policies were designed to provide a balance so individuals have a right to choose and live their lives in harmony with who they are and not how someone else sees it.

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Hi, genden.  Thank you for your comments, which are always thoughtfully written. 

 

I think that the main issue in this whole thing is that this is not about what a "religion" believes.  This is about what God has clearly taught us in the Bible. 

 

To us, Christianity is not just a choice among many lifestyles and beliefs.  That sounds intolerant, doesn't it.  But please separate our care for and God's love and care for our gay friends from their lifestyle.  As Christians, we love them but cannot ever accept or protect their way of life.

 

What I pray for is for individuals to know that they are loved by God no matter what and that He desires that all come to Him.  He can make a difference in the life of any person.  It’s their choice.

 

Your statement from above where you say, "I think the Obama policies were designed to provide a balance so individuals have a right to choose and live their lives in harmony with who they are and not how someone else sees it" sounds good and reasonable, and I understand where you are coming from.  But how has that worked?

 

I heartily agree with your statement that this is all very complex!

 

I just read through this and would like to share it with you for your consideration, as it is one of the very best things I've seen written on the subject:  http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-christian-perspective-on-homosexuality.  I'd love to get your feedback (as well as any others' feedback).

 

I've hesitated to share something else, but because of things I learned from the experience that may help others, I'm going to.  I married someone whom I didn't know was a practicing homosexual.  I found out a little over a year into the marriage.  To his credit, he had started counseling to try to get help before I even knew of this.  We then started going to counseling together.  One of the things I'll never forget the (wonderful) counselor telling us is that the compulsion for homosexual acts will remain, but that in a loving marriage that compulsion can become less, and the desire for sex together as husband and wife can grow stronger.  It takes a strong, strong commitment and love on the part of both for the marriage to become something beautiful.

 

Edit:  I left my marriage after it became clear that I was the only one working on trying to save it.  He died about 10 years later of AIDS.  I'm glad I left when I did.  It was not an easy decision.

 

Edited by Linda Garren

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genden, I don't think I replied to your thoughts about non-Christian businesses run by Christians and the problems that evolved.  So sorry.  So sorry.  Maybe someone else might like to discuss that with you.  Are there any "someone elses" available?  :-)

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Hi, genden.  Thank you for your comments, which are always thoughtfully written. 

 

I think that the main issue in this whole thing is that this is not about what a "religion" believes.  This is about what God has clearly taught us in the Bible. 

....

To us, Christianity is not just a choice among many lifestyles and beliefs. 

.....

 

 

Your statement from above where you say, "I think the Obama policies were designed to provide a balance so individuals have a right to choose and live their lives in harmony with who they are and not how someone else sees it" sounds good and reasonable, and I understand where you are coming from.  But how has that worked?

 

I heartily agree with your statement that this is all very complex!l

 .....

Kind of discussing both your and genden's comments.

 

t's actually complicated.  Very.

 

Let's talk about Little Sisters of the Poor and the Affordable Care Act before we get to 'Bakers and Bathrooms' in a future post.  If a law is passed in Congress, and it is challenged on Constitutional grounds, it is actually the job of the Executive Branch to defend the Legislative Branch's law.  The office is called the Solicitor General.  So, if this was 'an attack', it wasn't from Obama.  Actually the Solicitor General did not offer a spirited defense with the Little Sisters.  Why?  Because the case was a loser.  The Little Sisters is a duly registered religious order.  As such, it was clearly a religious tenet of the Catholic nuns NOT to offer Birth Control in their insurance plan.  Separation of Church and State says Religious organizations have the right to follow their own tenets.  The SG's office made most of its argument that the employees of the order MUST be allowed to access the ACA plan if they wished coverage for birth control, reproductive services, maternal and prenatal health.  Problem solved, and the Court ruled for the Little Sisters of the poor because employees were able to access coverage, if they desired.

 

Now we get to weirdness: Hobby Lobby.  This ruling, along with Citizens United did something brand new, never seen before despite Scalia's 'strict constructivism.' (Following the Founder's understanding, and not allowing the evolution of the law with society.)  The owners of Hobby Lobby said they were religious.  Therefore their corporation should be considered religious.  Following Citizens United (allowing Corporations to give unlimited money to candidates for office because a Corporation should have the same rights as a Citizen under the constitution),  just like any other citizen, the Hobby Lobby Corporation argued that as its owners believed in a religion, it was a religious entity and could not be required to provide insurance that covered Birth Control, Reproductive health, Prenatal and Maternal care.  The SG fought this one HARD.  And lost.  New precedent as Hobby Lobby was not registered as a religious entity, was not bound by mutually defined separation of Church and State.  Still Hobby Lobby won.  

 

Linda, you state "To us, Christianity is not just a choice among many lifestyles and beliefs."  Absolutely.  That is why the religious entity of the Little Sisters of the Poor won their suit.  That is why we have the separation of Church and State, with specified protections.  Hobby Lobby is a for profit corporation claiming religious protections while remaining a civil entity. It was using many lifestyles and a 'stated' belief to win its case.  The Hobby Lobby case was used as a hot button to show what the Obama administration was trying to do to churches, but that was seen with the Little Sisters.  Hobby Lobby was the Solicitor General trying to rein in a corporation, who used a 'professed' belief as its defense.

 

I guess what I am trying to say was I agree with Genden, the administration was just trying to protect all our rights; the rights of Religious organizations by the Little Sisters compromise, and the rights of regular joes by the fight against the Hobby Lobby Corporation.

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I have a very different take on the things Obama did and why.  But I won't get into that.  

 

Thanks for posting your thoughts, which are as always very thorough and well expressed, Quiet.

 

And have a nice rest of the evening!

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Or, coincidentally, lets take some executive actions that

1. Add $500 a year to everyone's mortgage that is on a house that is less than $200,00.

2. Pretend Climate Change (despite 97% of scientists saying it is happening) is not a problem by erasing it from the Gov. websites.

3. Cancel the Park Services twitter feed because they retweeted a picture showing relative crowd size between yesterday and previous elections (it was HUUUGE).

4. Tell the world we are going back to a Pro Nazi, Anti-antisemitism stance by chanting the discredited and shameful slogan "America First!"  (Look up Lindberg and America First)

 

I could go on, but as our president has now declared that "The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it,"  it has now become more worrisome to discuss issues the new president wishes we wouldn't (see #2, 3 and more to come I suppose.)  So much for poor Philando Castille.  And so much for free access to First amendment rights.

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Or, coincidentally, lets take some executive actions that

2. Pretend Climate Change (despite 97% of scientists saying it is happening) is not a problem by erasing it from the Gov. websites.

 

It's about time!!!  BTW, exactly what global temperature are the climate change fraudsters shooting for?  They never tell us. Since the climate change fraudsters have repeatedly been caught faking the data, is the temperature they're shooting for the fake temperature or the real temperature???

Edited by PatriotM

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... our president has now declared that "The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong. The Trump Administration will end it,"  it has now become more worrisome to discuss issues the new president wishes we wouldn't (see #2, 3 and more to come I suppose.)

 

It's about time!!!  Trump will put a stop to Obama's race baiting and the left's war on the police!

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On a positive note,  the first lady has a lot of style and grace.  The older I get the younger they get with each term.   The son Barron has great bone structure. He is a very handsome young man and really takes after his mom.   I hope he will turn out decent as he grows up under the spotlight.   Thanks for the break in politics and now back to regular programming.

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Actually, miracle.....Baron looks a lot like his father did many years ago, Trump was a very handsome man, no sign of it now, but surprising so years back. The wife knows how to present herself, walk, etc... she was a model in her past years. Very classy outfit.

 

just my little input to the not so important stuff..........

 

 

Now let's see how they all do in the White House.......sort of reminds me of an updated "Beverly Hill Billies" situation......only these "Hillbillies" are dressed up!

Edited by ellaangel2

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Actually, miracle.....Baron looks a lot like his father did many years ago, Trump was a very handsome man, no sign of it now, but surprising so years back. The wife knows how to present herself, walk, etc... she was a model in her past years. Very classy outfit.just my little input to the not so important stuff..........Now let's see how they all do in the White House.......sort of reminds me of an updated "Beverly Hill Billies" situation......only these "Hillbillies" are dressed up!

l

 

I get your hillbilly reference and find it apropo--subtle.

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They may be "well-educated" in business and bankruptcy, but not in politics and let's not forget "sexual assault"..........doesn't belong in the WhiteHouse, HE belongs in jail!

 

The real class, intelligence and education just left the white house.

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I said well educated but yes class is not something that can be bought.

I read in the paper yesterday that Obama left office with over a trillion in debt.  Is that right?  it's time for someone else to take a crack at it.   Hopefully someone with business sense can do better.   Bill Clinton was no angel either.  Let's not forget that. 

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Debt is $20.1 trillion as of the end of 2016.

 

Also, I read that Trump's criticism in his address was largely aimed at Bush 43.  Do you all think that is correct?

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Trump's deep cuts are meant to pay off half of that within 10 years.  That's why everything is being so drastically cut.  He knows we'll sink if drastic cuts are not made.  But he gets all the blame for what he was left to deal with.

 

There's no question that if Trump had presented himself and his messages differently, people would understand a lot more of what is going on and why and probably be more willing to do what we need to do.  Being dictated to in such a nasty way doesn't help anyone individually or as a country.  Please remember to read/watch both liberal and conservative news on sites that are not either far left nor far right as objectively as you can to help in understanding not only what is going on, but why. 

 

I'm sure there are also things that are very serious that enter into a lot of what is going on that we can't be told.  It's a huge responsibility for whomever is in office.  In this case, not only are we left with the incredibly unbelievable debt from the last two administrations, but our military was not kept up to par, the number of Muslim immigrants (and probably other immigrants) cannot possibly be vetted properly.  Nothing was done that I'm aware of regarding our southern border (and the guards at the border have been corrupt in accepting bribes to let people across.)  And so much more.

 

Our reputation has gone way down in other countries' eyes, and we often hear that they see how far we've fallen morally. We've been left with all of that plus a much worse racial divide and all kinds of bad feelings from the LGBTQ community.  I think one of the most damaging things Obama did and then stepped back and just left  in chaos was to open up bathrooms to whichever anyone felt was best for them to use.  Not only was that an awful way to handle that, but it leaves our women and little girls in danger.  Does anyone know if Obama ever mentioned or showed concern for that? I do think that is one of the things that will be attempted to be clarified and resolved under this new administration.

 

Sigh.  Just letting out my frustrations with what a sad situation we are in.  As a Christian I do hold out hope since Trump has a large group of people helping him grow in his faith, and also people who no doubt are helping him carefully and gently in how to say things in a more inclusive and uniting way instead of being so dictatorial, that he may improve little by little incrementally over a lot of time.  He has a s-t-e-e-p learning curve, but I do think there is hope.  I'm choosing to pray for him, and it is an amazing thing that in doing that I'm able to see that he is a human--from a very different background and environment that many of us--and that I'm able to feel for him in that sense, which helps keep my anger in check.  I think that's how God sees us many times.  Frustrated at what we do and the choices we make, but caring for and loving us in spite of it, while still allowing us all to make our choices, though some of those choices cause Him great pain since they are choices away from Him.  And that pain isn't just for Himself, but more for the person involved.

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I acknowledge that Obama made mistakes, every President has.  Yes, "Mr, Clinton was no Angel," yet he was with  consenting adults.   Trump,  "grabbed" a random woman publicly, that is against the law.

 

Not to mention his mocking a disabled man, sorry, I just can't get past these "character flaws."  

 

 

Just because Obama made mistakes does not mean Trump was the man for the job.  Also, let's not forget the "mess" he walked into, and also, let's not forget all the good he did do, easy to forget that isn't it?

 

btw - Most Presidents leave debt, although from what I understand, Clinton didn't.......Trump leaves debt with every building/business he builds (not paying workers.) Then "justifies" it with bankruptcy........characteristics of a true "low life."

 

I think he is an embarrassment to our Country.

 

As far as bathrooms, there must be a way to compromise, I have a feeling Trump will bring gay and transgender rights back to "no rights."  Being homosexual and the desire to become transgender are the way some people are born, they have "rights" too.

Edited by ellaangel2
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