We Are Being Fooled Again!

Why would we ever believe Republican and Democrat statements about their Healthcare plans? Are we really that gullible?

Both the ACA (Affordable Care Act) and the AHCA (American Health Care Act) are frauds, beginning with their respective names. Neither one is about “Healthcare.” They are both about insurance. The ACA is about spending gigantic sums—billions of dollars—moving it from taxpayers’ pockets to poor people. The AHCA is about keeping a political promise made by every Republican for the past seven years: to “Repeal and replace” the ACA.

Neither of these two cynical goals has anything to do with Healthcare. Actual Healthcare is about highly trained practitioners, most of whom work unworldly hours to care for patients. To put a human face on it: Healthcare is about nurses who check on us every hour to ensure that everything is in order and that we are as comfortable as possible. They probably save millions, just being there for patients who may be experiencing the worst moments of their lives. Nurses are Healthcare. But we have far too few of them because we have far too few doctors to treat all patients that need care.

Doctors, of course, are the heart and soul of Healthcare. They diagnose, order tests, and often predict medical issues for patients who are unaware of dangers ahead. Caring for patients, they often raise morale by eliminating worries about non-existent maladies. Doctors are Healthcare.

There are an estimated 810,000 doctors working in patient care in the US, available to 326,474,013 people. That’s one practicing doctor for every 403 people. To improve Healthcare, we probably need to double that number.

SO LISTEN UP CONGRESS! Stop arguing about health insurance numbers. Put your efforts toward real Healthcare. Start with importing more offshore doctors by increasing the H1B quotas, and removing other impediments. We currently have 85,000 doctors from this source. Can we bring the total to 200,000?

Create more educational opportunities by setting up free tuition scholarships, building more medical schools, and training qualified instructors. Let’s build our doctor population to at least 1,500,000.

KEEP LISTENING CONGRESS! Both parties can share accolades from the American people if you actually improve Healthcare. But if you persist with this politically driven insurance numbers game, one party, possibly both of you, will feel the wrath of angry voters.

The ACA passed by a tiny margin in the Senate when the Democrats held a majority in both the Senate and the House. The Republicans now control both chambers but can’t come up with anything that’s much different from the ACA. The winners last time were the Democrats, and the result has nearly destroyed the party.

Republicans: Though they won’t say this out loud, Democrat leaders are praying for you to pass your own albatross, freeing them from blame. They will then flood the cable news shows with scenes from town hall presentations showing angry people whose lives are as bad as they were under the hated ACA.

Be smart. Don’t lie. Solve the actual Healthcare problem. Forget about your lobbyist buddies. They’ll get over it.

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The Democratic Party Isn’t Dead But Desperately Needs New Medicine

(Author’s note:  America needs a two-party system, with equal power and participation for both parties. Though this non-partisan article portrays a negative view of the Democrat Party’s current state, it presents the factual disarray with a roadmap for positive change to regain the party’s historical national leadership.)

The last few political years have not been good for Democrats, and Hillary Clinton’s loss in the presidential election is only the latest symptom of a rudderless ship making little or no progress.

FullFinalRepublicans now control the Senate and the House of Representatives. Only 17 states have Democrat governors. Only 13 state legislatures have Democrat majorities.

Although Democratic President Barrack Obama held the presidency for eight years, his personal popularity and a highly favorable media treatment couldn’t stop a slow-but-steady Democrat descent that began long before Obama’s wins. The president had strong support from minorities and young voters. But that support was his alone, and could not transfer to the remainder of the party. Though the hapless leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz was part of the Democrat problems, electing a new DNC chair will provide only a tiny uptick.

THE GOOD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS: THE PARTY CAN STILL CHANGE AND REGAIN MOMENTUM.

The keyword is “change.” The party needs different strategies and different leadership voices.

Democrat leaders need to reposition two or three of their loudest and most embarrassing voices to the ‘back row’ of the caucus. Though people like Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and Maxine Waters may be effective lawmakers, they are unappealing to the electorate at large. Ms. Pelosi is 76 years old. Mr. Schumer is 66. Ms. Waters is 78. Pelosi has a net worth of more than $70-million. Waters’ net worth is around $5-million, and Schumer is also wealthy, at a bit under $1-million. How can such wealthy senior citizens relate to a Democratic constituency of youth and mainstream workers struggling to pay bills every month?

Strategically, the Democrats have limited their leadership to bashing Donald Trump, just as they bashed Bush 43 and every other Republican they could vilify through identity politics. Though these tactics may energize marginal social media hate-mongers, this strategy turns off moderates and mainstream voters in both parties.

THE PRESCRIPTION

A much stronger way to strengthen Democrat positioning is to get out in front of Donald Trump’s agenda.

  • Stop screaming about Trump’s wall, and come up with a better plan to enforce our borders. You can include e-verify, state-of-the-art electronic detection, drones, increased manpower, and programs to punish employers who hire immigrants without specific licensing. (This can be far more effective than Trump’s wall since it can also be designed to track the estimated 40 percent of illegal immigrants who overstay their visas.
  • Instead of trying to block the inevitable repeal of Obamacare, promote a Democrat program for “Obamacare II.” Write a plan that keeps the framework and theoretically fixes all of the problems. Include a single payer option that will have lower drug prices, that the party negotiates with the pharmaceutical companies. (Remember, Democrats. You don’t have to implement anything. You only have to promote it. Even if it never comes to pass, this program will raise the party’s positive visibility.)
  • Enhance Medicare, and eliminate Republican plans for a voucher system by the following strategies:
    • Fund and implement an FBI task force to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse, thereby lowering Medicare costs.
    • Sponsor and enforce “tort reform” to lower costs for malpractice insurance for hospitals and individual doctors.
    • Implement means testing so that high-income people only qualify for Medicare for catastrophic illness or injury. Negotiate lower drug prices, and lower costs for high-priced diagnostic equipment.

By promoting effective programs that are more attractive than Trump’s, the party can reclaim middle-class voters and begin winning local races all over the country.

And one more thing. Plan strategies to be promoted on a micro-target basis. Don’t fool yourselves into believing that nationwide poll numbers indicate uniform support. The overwhelming population numbers in California, and New York, along with Washington DC influence can make bad ideas seem supportable. Microtargeting can optimize support in Omaha, Madison, and Jacksonville while maintaining the support of the large Democratic masses on the coasts.