Steamboat Pilot & Today

Steamboat Pilot & Today

Melanie Sturm: Solution for Trump election freak-out

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You wouldn’t know it from the stock market’s record-breaking tear since Hillary Clinton snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, but the mood among Trump-averse Americans remains bleak.

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Melanie Sturm

Blinkered with rage and disbelief because Clinton won more votes than any other presidential candidate in U.S. history (except President Barack Obama in 2008), the despondent blame her stunning upset on nefarious reasons such as whitelash bigotry, as CNN’s Van Jones fumed election night, leading many to sever relations with friends and family.

For partisans inhabiting thought silos influenced by social media’s curated tribalism, the election was rigged, if not by hacked voting machines in rustbelt states or by hacked journalism’s “fake news,” then by Russian email hackers who exposed Democrat dirt, including revelations about how Democrat primaries were rigged against Bernie Sanders.

No credible intelligence source maintains Russia tipped the election in Trump’s favor, only that it meddled to sow chaos and discord regarding the election’s integrity and the winner’s legitimacy. With Clinton supporters clamoring to hack the 227-year old Electoral College, demanding its electors think again about making Trump president, you can almost hear Vladimir Putin’s evil, maniacal cackling.

The scheming of 2016’s losers negates Clinton’s laudable concession speech, politicizing and muddling serious matters such as Russian malfeasance and cyber-security and sullying the electoral process by which presidential power peacefully transfers under the world’s oldest constitution.

Unfortunately, political elites — including Trump, the master media manipulator — are being played by Putin, whose long-term strategy is to discredit American-style democracy and the liberal order we lead. Considering the post-election freak-out, it’s as if the combatants are double agents working for Russia.

All Americans should agree that covert Russian influence in our democracy is an intolerable threat. It’s one reason Mitt Romney considered Russia our top geopolitical foe, a claim famously mocked by Obama, who scolded, “The 1980’s are calling. They want their foreign policy back.”

That wisecrack followed the Obama-Clinton reset with Russia and Obama’s assurance to former-Russian President Medvedev (caught on an open-mic) that he’d have “more flexibility” after the 2012 election — such as disregarding Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian and Georgian territories. Meanwhile, foreign cyber-intruders have repeatedly hacked federal agencies, without much consequence.

Now, despite dismissing Clinton’s Espionage Act violations related to her unsecured email server and her foundation’s international solicitation fraud, and after denouncing as un-American Trump’s assertion that the election might be rigged, Dump-Trumpers insist Clinton would be president-elect but for Russian cyber-rattling.

On his “The Messy Truth” program, CNN’s Jones heard otherwise from two-time Obama voters who switched to Trump, flipping six states.

“If she’d spoken to the blue-collar worker, she’d have won,” said Ohioan Scott Seitz about Clinton, who hardly campaigned behind her “blue wall.”

In the industrial heartland, left behind in America’s asymmetric recovery, long-suffering voters believed Trump would address the issues affecting their livelihoods, preferring Trump’s message of “I’m with you,” to Hillary’s “I’m with her,” as Seitz framed it. Clinton’s elitist sneer about Trump’s “basket of deplorables” didn’t help.

Rather than grapple with their staggering electoral losses since 2010 — Congress, governorships, state legislatures and now the presidency — or their aged and weak leadership bench, Democrats prefer to fundraise off claims that Russian saboteurs stole the election, and Trump-voters are stupid or racist.

If the past 18-months have taught us anything, it’s that Trump shouldn’t be underestimated, nor should his outsider appeal. According to his “Art of the Deal” playbook, “controversy sells,” and he’ll manufacture it, if necessary, as he showed en route to the White House.

Speaking bluntly and carrying a big Twitter stick, Trump outlasted 16 primary rivals, the well-funded Bush and Clinton dynasties and an unprecedentedly hostile media, which he trolls to perfection.

Like all reality-TV stars, Trump is a survivor who’ll outlast the current freak-out, too, assuming he revives blue-collar jobs. Hopefully, his compulsion to trumpet cronyist deals such as Carrier will fade as his economic growth plans make America ripe for private-sector deal making again, as the stock market expects, even amid rising interest rates.

Among history’s greatest dealmakers were America’s founders, whose constitution was a heavily negotiated compromise designed to assure that unaccountable power couldn’t be centralized. They believed the boundless potential of individuals operating free from government intrusion would make America great, and they were right.

Unfortunately, as ruling elites have circumvented constitutional guardrails, concentrating power in the ever-growing, unaccountable federal bureaucracy, presidential elections have become life-or-death slugfests. Now, half the country quakes in fear that the other half will punish them if they gain power.

The solution is not to further erode constitutional guardrails by defacing the Electoral College; it’s to return the role of Congress, the Supreme Court and the president to their original proscribed limits.

Think Again – Wouldn’t it make America great again if we didn’t have to care so much about who won the White House?

Melanie Sturm lives in Aspen. She reminds readers to Think Again. You might change your mind. She welcomes comments at melanie@thinkagainusa.com.

Comments

Tim Keenan 2 months, 1 week ago

I don't know about other "Trump-averse" folks, but I'm afraid for the future based on who he has chosen to surround himself with, his constant need for self-gratification, and his continued vengeful, petulant attitude. His attitude speaks for itself. As far as what he might do: https://cei.org/sites/default/files/CEI%20Agenda%20for%20Congress%202017%20-%20%20FINAL.pdf Just read the table of contents, and remember that far from the pie-in-the-sky wish list of a big-industry funded, scorched-Earth, anti-worker organization, this could very well be the blueprint for the next Congress.

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Debbie Milstead 2 months, 1 week ago

Tim-

You shouldn't live in fear. It can only get better-

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Eric Morris 2 months, 1 week ago

Why should people in North America care if Crimea (originally Russian anyway and voted democratically to rejoin) and two regions bordering between Georgia and Russia are under Russian control? Is it possible that if the Russians did hack (which I doubt), it is precisely because the US sides with Georgia and Ukraine and is surrounding Russia with NATO satraps?

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Martha D Young 2 months, 1 week ago

Melanie - Ever heard of a plutocracy? That's our form of govt. today. It's not the bloated govt. bureaucracy that's standing in the way of progress; it's all the corporations (see Trump's cabinet member selections) and the fat-cat insiders who are running the show. For example, look at the unregulated health insurance industry. Its profits continue to grow while healthcare costs for US citizens soar apace.

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grant howe 2 months, 1 week ago

The rich defending the rich. Long live the rentiers!

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Ken Mauldin 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Martha - The US health insurance industry is highly regulated with relatively low profits.

The link below is one of many that confirms the Health and Insurance Industry is among the most regulated industries in America.
https://media.ibisworld.com/2013/09/17/10-increasingly-regulated-industries/

Also, health insurance companies have relatively low profit margins that have been declining, not growing, as demonstrated by this link from the WSJ:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/insurers-under-pressure-to-improve-margins-on-health-plans-1455154838

Can you share where you got the idea that our health insurance market is unregulated with growing profits? I can't find any source that supports that assertion and what I can find about those metrics tells the opposite story.

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Martha D Young 2 months, 1 week ago

Have you looked at the salaries the CEOs of health insurance and managed care companies are given? Have you considered the increasing and deductibles insured souls pay for less coverage? Are you aware of the diminishing payments offered to "preferred providers" who sign onto a network?

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Ken Mauldin 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Martha, Thanks for your reply. Salaries aren't given, they're earned through the fulfillment of contractual responsibilities. While some salaries may seem too large, private companies can pay whatever they decide to pay to hire the employees that they choose. In your original post that I responded to, you didn't mention CEO salaries, only regulation and profit.

Our family premium has gone from $850/mo to $1500/mo with twice the deductible, so I'm very aware of the changes and resulting problems due to the implementation of the tragically misnamed Affordable Care Act. I suppose that we agree that the US health insurance market is a disaster, but disagree on the causes and remedies. I think America was clearly better off before the very-poorly-thought-out ACA and a complete repeal would be my preference.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 1 week ago

Considering the rate of uninsured was growing rapidly prior to the ACA and now the uninsured has been cut in half, it is hard to say that we were "clearly better off before". Medicare was facing escalating costs from people becoming eligible for coverage after years of being uninsured and delaying needed medical care.

Your issue of premiums is arguably nothing specifically to do with ACA, but with State of Colorado defining insurance zones that places us in a high cost, high usage zone. State could have said that Colorado is one market.

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Ken Mauldin 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Scott - You're wrong. Our insurance is provided through our work through another state and not associated in any way with Colorado's choices or impositions regarding health insurance. It's twice as much for half the coverage deductible 100% because of ObamaCare.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months, 1 week ago

To quote Slick Willie's favorite reptile, it's the economy stupid. If it does well, preezy-to-be shouldn't have too much trouble 4 years hence. If not, then his populist huckster bully boy jive will get old in a hurry.

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Ken Mauldin 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Grant - Considering these are publicly traded companies, this trend seems unsustainable at the present pace. However, I have no complaint at all if the stockholders (owners) and the Boards of these companies choose to continue these compensation packages for the CEO. They are private organizations and their compensation packages are up to them as they risk diminished revenue, depleted capital reserves and ultimately bankruptcy for not operating an economically viable organization.

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George Fargo 2 months, 1 week ago

Hey, Aspen Melanie, guess what is the only thing in DC that didn't get hacked. That's right, Hillary's "unsecured email server".

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Brian Kotowski 2 months, 1 week ago

Slick Willie: Comey cost us the election

Very devious of Comey to have smuggled that unsecured server into the Clinton bathroom; which was secure enough for Billary to evacuate their bowels and bladders. The Watergate perps have nothing on Preezy's FBI director.

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Lock McShane 2 months, 1 week ago

It is the health insurance industry's quest for profits that is causing their downfall. Health insurance is a unsustainable paradigm, and the health of the citizens is best taken care of by taxes to cover everyone's health costs, as demonstrated by most of the industrialized world.

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Ken Mauldin 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Lock - Since our healthcare market is terrible and other countries are doing a better job that we should emulate, can you provide any examples of the other countries in the industrialized world where Americans travel to receive better healthcare? Although you seem to think they provide better care that we should copy, I'm not aware of a single example of another country that Americans travel to for superior healthcare.

These other western countries that you refer to are only better at implementing socialistic policies and not a single one is better at innovation in medicine and delivering actual healthcare. There's a big difference between having insurance and receiving exceptional, state-of-the-art medical care.

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Lock McShane 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Ken

Many Americans travel to other countries for medical care. Just search for “Medical Tourism”. And our healthcare is not superior, as we rank 37th in the World Health Organization's list of world health systems. Plus we pay twice as much for inferior care.

In the 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, only Iceland at 0.2% and Germany at 11% have Primary Private Health Insurance; we have 53.1%. Iceland has 100% coverage and Germany has 99.9%. We have 84.9% coverage.

We spend almost twice as much for mediocre care than the rest of the world. Why are you defending such a poor system?

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Ken Mauldin 2 months, 1 week ago

Again, there's a big difference between coverage and care. Cuba and Venezuela must have close to 100% coverage, but anyone with a serious medical problem there wishes they were here.

I'm not defending our current system at all. I think it's terrible and should be completely repealed. When we had a system of healthcare that was based on competition and consumer choice we provided the best care in the world. Granted, we didn't have the highest coverage, we had the highest level of care. Economics (a.k.a. reality) requires that we can't have both; the most coverage and the best care. That McDonald's serves the "most" hamburgers is a good example of this. I prefer the innovation that comes from competition and free choice vs. every single person in every condition being forced to pay for coverage that provides a more expensive and lower quality of care for everyone.

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Jim Kelley 2 months, 1 week ago

I'm going to really freak out if Trump doesn't fix our easy bike trails.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months, 1 week ago

Speaking of freaking out... The American left: winning hearts and minds, lol. Now that it's official, this must be the point at which people have to die. Because tolerance.

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Lock McShane 2 months, 1 week ago

Ken,

Can you please elaborate on “When we had a system of healthcare that was based on competition and consumer choice we provided the best care in the world.” When was that? And did we provide the best care to everyone, or just to those with the money to pay for it?

Picking Venezuela and Cuba as examples of 100% coverage is cherry-picking the data. How about France, which is #1 in the world for health care, with 99.9% coverage, at less than half the per-capita cost than the US? They have the best care with the most coverage for less cost. Eliminating the health insurance companies gives better care for less.

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Lock McShane 2 months, 1 week ago

How about we give everyone adequate care, and if you ant the best care, then you can pay for it out of pocket?

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Brian Kotowski 2 months, 1 week ago

Another Obamacare co-op bails, leaving only 5 up & running for 2017

Assuming the GOP grows a spine & nukes Barry's Boondoggle, the Dem/lapdog media narrative will be that the diabolical Rethugs killed the last 5. Never mind that 18 others did nothing more than gorge themselves on our dime, before going broke all on their own.

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Ken Mauldin 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Lock - It was based on competition when I had a choice about the provider and level of coverage I purchased, I could choose my doctor or hospital and my premium and deductible were half what is is now. A.K.A. Before ObamaCare, about 8 years ago.

France has produced very few medical innovations since going socialist and rely on market-driven healthcare markets to provide advancements. French medical innovation peaked with Pastuer and Calmette (both, pre-socialism by almost 100 years) and it's been mostly downhill from there.

When you say "we should give everyone adequate care," I reply that you're free to "give" as much of your money for your pet-social projects as you please and prefer that the tax-payers be left out of any more government imposed ponzi schemes. Yes, I'd rather have the best health insurance and health care that people pay for themselves than have the crappy, limited, "McDonald's" version of healthcare that everyone is force to buy at double the cost and deductible, which has been my own, personal experience.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months, 1 week ago

Waitaminit... we were told to expect a savings of $2500 annually. It's been what - 6 years now? That's 15k in your pocket, Ken. You're not trying to 'fake news' your way thru this discussion, are you?

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Lock McShane 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Ken

It seems to me that you are blaming the wrong entity for our current problems with our healthcare system. It is the insurance industry that is the problem, not the ACA. Before the ACA, the insurance companies were successful because they would insure the healthy and deny coverage for the sick. The ACA was supposed to get everyone into the insurance pool, both healthy and sick. But it didn't work out as planned as the sick joined up and the healthy stayed away.

It is the insurance companies that are restricting choice and competition. You should be covered no matter what provider you get your care from, instead of the restrictive networks that penalize choice. The insurance companies don't embrace innovation; they deny covering new technologies.

One of the reasons we are 37th in the world on health outcomes and #1 in per-capita health spending is that we don't have easy access to basic health care. Seeing a doctor regularly is the best way to reduce healthcare costs by preventing conditions from advancing into more expensive treatments. This requires access to providers without complicated hoops to jump through. You should see your doctor and walk out without having to deal with all the complications of who is paying what.

“I'd rather have the best health insurance and health care that people pay for themselves” This sounds to me that you want healthcare to be available only if you can pay for it. If you want to pay for your own healthcare, then you should just pay for it all without the insurance companies.

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Ken Mauldin 2 months, 1 week ago

Hi Lock - You couldn't be more wrong. My family and many others are paying twice for less as a direct result of the ACA. You probably also recognize that I don't place much confidence in the views of the socialists at the WHO that prefer quantity of access over quality of care.

Once again, your last statement reinforces my observation that you don't understand the difference between insurance and care, as you continue to incorrectly assert that it's a Boolean choice. I want to pay for the best health INSURANCE that I choose that provides coverage to the best CARE that I can choose. You know, the way I had it before ObamaCare wrecked it for the whole country by stifling competition and denying consumer choice.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months, 1 week ago

Among the most asinine of the pre & post Obamacare regs is the proscription against interstate purchasing. NY, to cite just one example, imposes guaranteed-issue requirements based on pie-in-the-sky ratings dictated from Albany. The result is that the coverage available to the young & healthy proved so expensive that nearly half of them just dropped out; the dropout rate (nationally & in NY) has gotten worse under Obamacare. My uncle (who lives in Buffalo) was obliged to purchase coverage only from NY, and it had to include pre-natal care & drug counseling. That he has neither a uterus nor an addiction was immaterial. I don't know if those specific mandates have changed under Obamacare; I do know that his premiums & deductibles have become significantly more expensive, just as mine have here in CO.

The removal of the interstate barriers will be a good place to start, if the GOP can finally be compelled to put its money where its mealy mouth has been since Barry shoved this boondoggle down our throats.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months ago

The Trump freak out continues: Mississippi church member charged in 'Vote Trump' arson

It was initially being investigated as a hate crime. Not sure where that stands now, since the suspect is a black congregant of the church that was torched. If he's charged without the hate element, I guess we can conclude that black on black arson isn't hateful.

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Lock McShane 2 months ago

Brian, I don't think that you and your uncle are considering that policies could be more expensive if the requirements you have no use for are removed from the policy. Insurance becomes less expensive for the consumer as the pool of participants grows. By removing the requirements, the pool is shrinking and becomes more expensive.

Ken, if what you are looking for is the BEST CARE, at the LOWEST PRICE, then the Private Insurance Industry, that you defend, is failing you. The PII costs more than other systems, as demonstrated by our much higher per-capita spending of our system compared to those countries that have a universal healthcare system. If PII is so great, why are we the only major industrial country to use it extensively. It is comparable to our continued use of the English System of Measurement, which is inferior to the Metric System.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months ago

The bottom line is that the Obamacare "fix" has driven up costs & reduced choice; that's why millennials (whose eager participation was supposed to pay for it) are staying away. All of preezy's blather about $2500 in our pockets every year, & “if you like your plan/doctor you can keep your plan/doctor” turns out to have been wishful thinking at best, and outright lies at worst. Even Billary were trashing it during the campaign. And it's not as if the land mines in Preezy's command & control approach weren't foreseeable; that's why a clear majority of Americans opposed Obamacare from the jump.

Obamacare ignores human nature & basic economics. It forces providers to furnish unnecessarily comprehensive & expensive policies. Many healthy people (like my uncle) are principally interested in catastrophic coverage. Preezy's answer: you're too stupid to know what's good for you, so step up and pay. It's no different than going to the Toyota dealership for a $15k Yaris and learning the only option is the $32k 4Runner; and you'll be penalized if you don't take the SUV.

I believe the 2017 penalty for non-enrollment is $700. That's significantly less than many will pay for coverage they don't really want anyway, so the incentive couldn't be more obvious or predictable (especially for the young & healthy): skip Obamacare. Instead of incentivizing them with choices enabling them to tailor a coverage that best fits their needs, we coerce them to bend over for 'one size fits all', and then punish them if they refuse to grab their ankles.

Perhaps most fatally, Obamacare has failed to control costs. That's why we've gone from 23 co-ops to only 5. Earlier this year, the Chicago Trib profiled Blue Cross Blue Shield, the main Obamacare provider in the Preezy's home state. For every dollar they took in, they spent something like $1.30 providing services & care; and that seems to be typical nationwide. Forget about turning a profit, they're not even breaking even. Hence all the recent headlines announcing massive price hikes coming our way. Which will suppress enrollment and participation even more.

Pre-obamacare was no garden of Eden. Obamacare is undeniably worse.

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Lock McShane 2 months ago

Brian, your examples demonstrate why the Private Insurance Industry is unsustainable. It only works by denying policies and payments to sick people. The Health Insurance Companies are going to go out of business, and not too soon.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months ago

Zealots on my side of the aisle take it as an article of faith that Obamacare was deliberately designed to be the miserable failure that it is, so that zealots on your side could mount the soapbox & proclaim Single Payer, It's The Only Way!! Fortunately, Hillary lost. Which doesn't mean we're out of the woods. Trump has been on every side of this issue, just as he's been on all sides of every other. Time will tell.

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Lock McShane 2 months ago

The ACA was designed to fail because it was designed by the Republicans, who love to see government fail.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months ago

Um, right. Sabotaged by the GOP when Preezy waltzed into town controlling everything; including a filibuster proof Senate. Thanks for playing, and Merry Christmas!

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Ken Mauldin 2 months ago

We've been through this before. The claim that the GOP designed ObamaCare is a liberal talking-point lie, as clearly demonstrated by the fact that not a single Republican in Congress voted for the passage of the Bill.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months ago

Actually, this is the 1st time I've been exposed to the asinine claim that Obamacare is the GOP's fault. Huffpo, MSNBC, Mother Jones, & Democratic Underground are regular stops for me, and I've not encountered that assertion in those fevered lefty swamps. Interesting.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months ago

Tis the season when the Dems eat their own: Harry Reid blasts 'worthless' DNC in blistering critique of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

On the bright side, the front runner for DNC chair is an anit-semitic, homophobic, anti-American segregationist with documented ties to jihadi scum. So they've got that going for them.

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Lock McShane 2 months ago

An individual mandate coupled with subsidies for private insurance as a means for universal healthcare was considered the best way to win the support of the Senate because it had been included in prior bipartisan reform proposals. The concept goes back to at least 1989, when the conservative Heritage Foundation proposed an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer health care. It was championed for a time by conservative economists and Republican senators as a market-based approach to healthcare reform on the basis of individual responsibility and avoidance of free rider problems. Wikipedia

The reason no Republican voted for it was that it was proposed by President Obama, and they had pledged to oppose anything he did.

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Scott Wedel 2 months ago

Actually, ObamaCare is generally working. Millions of previously uninsured now have health insurance at a relatively low cost to government.

It has a few specific issues that could relatively easily be fixed. It is possible to join to get medical treatment for existing issues and then drop coverage. It is also possible to remain uninsured, but still show up in emergency rooms to receive medical care. Those flaws are increasing the costs for those that have joined.

The other big flaw in not in ObamaCare itself, but in state controlled insurance regulators that create zones and prevent people in one zone from buying lower cost insurance offered in another zone. If people here could buy insurance from either Denver or Grand Junction area providers then there would be much lower cost options. Ironically, Veterans are expected to go to the VA facility in GJ, but rest of population is not allowed to spend their own money for GJ based health insurance.

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Jeff Kibler 2 months ago

It's great for those previously uninsured that now receive heavily subsidized insurance. Not so great for the 50 million that lost their insurance or can no longer afford the outrageous premiums and sky high deductibles.

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Scott Wedel 2 months ago

Nowhere near 50 million people have lost their insurance. In fact, more people have insurance than before. Also, in fact, in most markets the rate of health insurance rate increases has slowed than prior to ACA as the costs of treating uninsured has been reduced. The problems are in some state defined insurance zones like here where the number of uninsured is relatively high, is more expensive to provide health care and have a higher rate needing medical care. If citizens here were allowed to buy health insurance outside of local area and drive to receive medical care, as is the situation for our Veterans, then that would solve our health insurance costs.

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maynard short 1 month, 3 weeks ago

FYI, I buy insurance from a Grand Junction Health Care Provider! !

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Tim Keenan 2 months ago

"On the bright side, the front runner for DNC chair is an anit-semitic, homophobic, anti-American segregationist with documented ties to jihadi scum. So they've got that going for them." Interested to know which swamp you pulled that out of. If you mean he doesn't kowtow to Israel like the rest of the American establishment, I consider that a very good thing.

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Ken Mauldin 2 months ago

There are basically two "teams" in the Middle East and America has always sided with the team that respects other religions and wants to live in peace instead of the team that destroys antiquities, marries children and kills or subjugates those of other religions.

After the recent election results, the DNC electing a new chair that supports sharia law in America is like a gift. I hope they do it and wish Mr. Ellison the best of luck.

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Tim Keenan 2 months ago

Lol; I'd love to know where you heard that, but I'm sure you didn't actually. And I'm very interested to know how Saudi Arabia fits into this neat little equation of yours.

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Tim Keenan 2 months ago

"his misleading criticism of Israel as a human rights violator..." The articles I read that linked him to the Muslim Brotherhood also said stuff like this, which completely negates their credibility imo. International human rights law applies to every nation -- not just the ones we don't like. These are the same people who claimed that the Muslim Brotherhood was linked to Hillary Clinton through Weiner's wife, or something. Plenty of right-wing Christian radicals speak at CPAC along with more mainstream figures. Does this taint everyone who attends the conference? So I guess it depends. If you believe Trump is a neo-nazi because he said in the past that David Duke was a great guy, then I suppose you can claim Keith Ellison wants to bring Sharia Law to America. How far do you want to play the association game?

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Jeff Kibler 2 months ago

Did Trump say that Duke was a great guy? Per the Clinton News Network he denounced Duke and the KKK: http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/03/politics/donald-trump-disavows-david-duke-kkk/index.html

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Tim Keenan 2 months ago

He said Duke was a great guy years ago, before he denounced him under pressure this past year. You know, typical Trump.

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Ken Mauldin 2 months ago

I call BS on that claim. Unless you can provide a citation or reference, it should be considered just another sensational lie about Trump. I'll await your reference where Trump called David Duke "a great guy."

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Jeff Kibler 2 months ago

Under pressure? More like harassment and badgering from the dolt-left media machine. Trump denounced the KKK over a dozen times before he jokingly said he didn't know anything about them. Funny how Hillary wasn't incessantly badgered about Klansman Robert Byrd or Obama about terrorist Bill Ayers.

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Brian Kotowski 2 months ago

Or the racist/eugenist Margaret Sanger. Or dodging sniper fire in Bosnia. Or scapegoating Benghazi on a youtube vid, and jailing the filmmaker for a year.

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Tim Keenan 2 months ago

Here's a classic bit of Trump prevaricating about a guy he has known for 25 years. This was August, 2016: CNN’s Jake Tapper: “I want to ask you about the Anti-Defamation League, which this week called on you to publicly condemn unequivocally the racism of former KKK grand wizard David Duke, who recently said that voting against you at this point would be ‘treason to your heritage.’ Will you unequivocally condemn David Duke and say that you don’t want his vote or that of other white supremacists in this election?”  Trump: “Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. Okay? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So, I don’t know. I don’t know, did he endorse me or what’s going on, because, you know, I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about white supremacists. And so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about.”  Tapper: “But I guess the question from the Anti-Defamation League is, even if you don’t know about their endorsement, there are these groups and individuals endorsing you. Would you just say unequivocally you condemn them and you don’t want their support?”  Trump: “Well, I have to look at the group. I mean, I don’t know what group you’re talking about. You wouldn’t want me to condemn a group that I know nothing about. I would have to look. If you would send me a list of the groups, I will do research on them. And, certainly, I would disavow if I thought there was something wrong.”  Tapper: “The Ku Klux Klan?”  Trump: “But you may have groups in there that are totally fine, and it would be very unfair. So, give me a list of the groups, and I will let you know.”

With that kind of evasive response, he must be an excellent dancer. And the guy picked Steve Bannon to be an integral part of his White House team. A guy whose website published all kinds of nonsense. Does that mean that Trump agrees with everything  on this website?

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Ken Mauldin 2 months ago

Hi Tim - Thanks for your reply. Your retort, however, is non-responsive to your original allegation. It appears that you completely made up the claim that Trump called David Duke "a great guy."

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Tim Keenan 1 month, 4 weeks ago

I have better things to do. Besides, this is Trump; there's no need to make stuff up. However, the claim I made was based off an email. I can't find any support for it, though. But my original point is still very much valid. Is Trump a neonazi because he brought on a strategic director who ran a website that published all kinds of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim crap?

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Brian Kotowski 1 month, 4 weeks ago

"...this is Trump; there's no need to make stuff up."

Except that you do, lol. I suspect my loathing of Donnie Douchebag exceeds yours, yet I don't find it necessary to "bear false witness," as our Christian friends might say. Heathens like me just dismiss you as a prevaricator at best, and a liar at worst. False news, anyone?

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Steve Lewis 1 month, 4 weeks ago

I have to take it the Pilot continues to print Melanie Sturm columns because her partisan scolds and pot stirring increase website traffic. Where is the value to readers? Does this piece educate?

The column is barely rational. One Sturm sentence acknowledges a grave issue, "the Russian influence in our democracy is an intolerable threat." But before and after that remark, the rest of her column consistently turns our focus away from that serious event to small minded jabs at Democrats: its sour grapes, Obama was weak, Clinton's flaws, mis-guided punditry.

The Pilot is obligated to pass on similar writing from local readers, and I like reading what neighboring conservatives feel. Thank you for doing that. But when it comes to choices of syndicated columnists, please do better.

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Tim Keenan 1 month, 4 weeks ago

I'm pointing out that the right loves to play the association game with figures on the left: Obama and Ayers, Obama and Van Jones. But they don't seem to apply the same set of rules to people of their persuasion.

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Tim Keenan 1 month, 4 weeks ago

This all got started when Ken said that Keith Ellison wants to bring sharia law to America. Except I'm quite sure he said no such thing. As proof, Jeff cited articles that imply that because he has attended conferences with more radical speakers, he must believe as they do. Ken's claim was factually baseless, but apparently that doesn't matter anymore.

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Jeff Kibler 1 month, 4 weeks ago

What articles did I cite? I presented a simple search from https://duckduckgo.com/?q=ellison+sharia+dnc&ia=web. Pick and choose, I said.

Es macht nichts. Is that neo-Nazi enough for you?

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Ken Mauldin 1 month, 4 weeks ago

Tim - Obama was close friends with admitted domestic terrorist Bill Ayers and launched his political career from Bill Ayer's living room. Van Jones was a White House Special Advisor. Obama was clearly involved with both of these people, yet there's no evidence that Trump ever met David Duke one single time.

Keith Ellison openly attends multiple, radical Islamic conferences that promote Sharia in the US and Donald Trump has never attended a single KKK Rally in his entire life. Stop making things up and maybe you'll find conservatives to be more open-minded people than you imagine them to be.

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Brian Kotowski 1 month, 1 week ago

The Clinton Foundation Shuts Down Clinton Global Initiative

"But as soon as Clinton lost the election, many of the criticisms directed toward the Clinton Foundation were reaffirmed. Foreign governments began pulling out of annual donations, signaling the organization’s clout was predicated on donor access to the Clintons, rather than its philanthropic work. In November, the Australian government confirmed it “has not renewed any of its partnerships with the scandal-plagued Clinton Foundation, effectively ending 10 years of taxpayer-funded contributions worth more than $88 million.” The government of Norway also drastically reduced their annual donations, which reached $20 million a year in 2015."

I guess it's tougher to whore yourself out to foreign entities, once you no longer have access to the power & influence they want to buy.

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Brian Kotowski 1 month, 1 week ago

Rand Paul previews Obamacare replacement

On Sunday, Paul gave a preview of his and argued that in requiring insurers to offer more robust plans, Obamacare drove up prices and pushed people out of the market.

"One of the key reforms that we will do is, we're going to legalize the sale of inexpensive insurance," he said. "That means getting rid of the Obamacare mandates on what you can buy. We are going to help people save through health savings accounts, as well as a tax credit."

Those less expensive options, which were prevalent on the market before the 2010 reform was signed into law, would offer less robust care but also, as supporters argue, be more neatly tailored to what consumers view to be their specific needs.

Under Paul's program, the bargaining power created by the state and federal exchanges would be replaced with a provision that allows individuals and associations like small businesses to create their own markets.

"There's no reason why (a business owner) with four employees shouldn't be able to join with hundreds and hundreds of other businesses that are small to become a large entity to get leverage to bring your prices down," Paul told Tapper.

He added that those negotiations with insurance companies could also be used to guarantee the availability of policies that "can't cancel you and guarantees the issue of the insurance even if you get sick."

Imagine that: insurance that acts as insurance.

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John Weibel 1 month, 1 week ago

Lock have you looked at how France eats versus the us? Maybe our health/sick care considered outcomes versus costs relate more to the crap we ingest.

If your going to fix this problem you best raze the structure and begin with a new foundation. That foundation being what we put in our bodies. Roundup has been found in mothers milk, setting up the disruption of gut bacteria in the youngest of this countries citizens.

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John Weibel 1 month, 1 week ago

Steve, you point out; The column is barely rational. One Sturm sentence acknowledges a grave issue, "the Russian influence in our democracy is an intolerable threat."

Is it not equally intolerable for thugs in the US to hire people to incite violence at another's rally to discredit them and their supporters?

Is it not intolerable for our government to be providing support for Saudi Arabia's bombing of Yemen - refueling thing planes in mid flight essentially committing war crimes.

Is it not intolerable that Emails and evidence reveal that Ghadafi's topple wwe related to the petro-dollar or something like that as opposed to the "public story" that Clinton shared?

Is it not intolerable that a leaked speech, showed Clinton pointing out how she has both a public and private stance. The private one's probably would be classified.

not defending Trump in any way, but many, as NPR had a story on, refuse to listen to thought forms that discredit those they support or ones coming from individuals with whom the disagree on other points as they must be wrong on all counts.

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