Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Last Call For Crossing The Rubio Con, Con't

It's official, Sen. Marco Rubio really is going to run for re-election after his disastrous presidential run.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will seek reelection to a second term, sources familiar with the decision said Wednesday, a complete reversal from his earlier plans that gives the GOP a significant boost in its efforts to block a Democratic takeover of the Senate. 
Rubio becomes the immediate frontrunner in a battleground race that Democrats had been slightly favored to win, though he faces a primary and a potentially tough general election to secure a second term.

Indeed, the first Quinnipiac poll measuring Rubio getting back in the race after his heavily rumored return last week finds Rubio coasting to an easy win over both his potential Democratic opponents.

In Florida, Sen. Rubio leads U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy 47 - 40 percent and tops U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson 48 - 40 percent. Murphy and Grayson are ahead of several largely unknown Republican contenders.

That's somewhat surprising, but we'll see how long this lasts once Rubio comes under attack.

"With Republican national leaders worried about keeping control of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Marco Rubio might ride to their rescue if he decides to reverse field and seek re-election," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

"This Quinnipiac University poll finds Sen. Marco Rubio in good shape when matched against his two potential Democratic opponents," Brown added.

"None of the other Republican candidates for Sen. Rubio's seat has a lead over either of the two Democrats, Congressmen Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson. But if Rubio's last-minute decision is to seek re-election, he could be in the driver's seat."

Until he crashes the car.  We'll see.

Bevin Dis-Kynects Medicaid In Kentucky

And so seven months after taking office, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin makes good on his threat to wreck the country's most successful Medicaid expansion under the ACA and replace it with Indiana's broken plan where everyone pays a monthly premium for Medicaid "out of dignity".

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday he's seeking a Medicaid waiver from the federal government. 
If the Medicaid waiver is approved, Bevin said it will result in $2.2 billion in taxpayer savings. 
Bevin announced his "transformative and sustainable program" called Helping to Engage and Achieve Long Term Health, or HEALTH. Under the plan, Kentucky would impose premiums on able-bodied adults from $1 to $15, depending on their income levels. 
Bevin said requiring Medicaid expansion users to pay for their own premiums will give them "dignity and respect." The program is about teaching people, he said, emphasizing it is a "learning experience."

One catch though, for people who have been on Medicaid for "years" it seems that $15 a month may not "fully cover" benefits.  Also, it seems that Gov. Bevin will "use health care dollars" to address the state's opoid addiction epidemic, but he doesn't say how.  On top of that, there are several things that will no longer be covered by HEALTH that Medicaid in Kentucky covers now, like "non-emergency transportation". Also, Bevin says that the program will go statewide but start as a "trial" in "select counties" first, by which I'm betting he means Fayette and Jefferson counties. You know, Lexington and Louisville.  Where those people live.

That's how he'll get away with it with the voters until after he's up for re-election in 2019.

Oh, and finally, he's taking 400,000 hostages.

Bevin said if the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services does not grant the waiver, he will still move ahead with his plan to repeal Medicaid expansion in the state.

Understand that this is an open threat to 400,000 Kentuckians: accept being one of the poorest states in the nation where Medicaid recipients have to pay monthly premiums, or Bevin will kick them off health coverage completely.

Because "dignity".

By the way, you can laugh at Kentucky being stupid all you want to, but I won't spend too much time on it. Should the Republicans win in November, the Bevin HEALTH plan is coming to your state, too.

King Of Money

Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King decided he wanted to score some cheap points by introducing legislation stopping the Treasury from putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, but not even his fellow House Republicans want to touch that one in an election year.

U.S. Rep. Steve King has introduced anamendment in Congress that would prevent Harriet Tubman, an abolitionist and supporter of women's suffrage, from replacing President Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

However, the House Rules Committee agreed Tuesday night to deny floor consideration of proposal, which would have prevented the Treasury Department from spending money to redesign paper currency or coins.

The Iowan Republican's amendment, which was first reported by the Huffington Post, would scrap the federal government's plans to replace Jackson on the $20 bill with a picture of Tubman, a black woman who was born in to slavery in 1822 and later escaped. She subsequently made repeated missions on the Underground Railroad to rescue black people from slavery. During the Civil War, she served as a Union Army scout and spy.

"It's not about Harriet Tubman, it's about keeping the picture on the $20," King said Tuesday night, according to Politico, pulling a $20 bill from his pocket and pointing at President Andrew Jackson. "Y'know? Why would you want to change that? I am a conservative, I like to keep what we have."

Politico quoted King as saying it is "racist" and "sexist" to say a woman or person of color should be added to currency.

"Here's what's really happening, this is liberal activism on the part of the president, that's trying to identify people by categories and he's divided us on the lines of groups. … This is a divisive proposal on the part of the president and mine's unifying. It says just don't change anything."

Well, refusing to change anything is the definition of political conservatism alright, but I'm not sure what's more directly insulting, that King feels a famous civil rights leader who risked her life to help end slavery shouldn't be on the $20, or that the Treasury department honoring her is "divisive" in some way.

When your proposal is so transparently racist, sexist, and stupid that it can't even get out of your own party's House Rules Committee, you might want to re-examine your political stunt checklist, Steve.


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