Tag Archives: U. S. Senate

Obamacare repeal begins. For real this time.

WASHINGTON, DC — On 4 May 2017, the U. S. House of Representatives overcame fear-mongering from opposition party members to pass the American Healthcare Act.  The American Healthcare Act is a bill that begins the process of repealing and replacing the prior Administration’s signature healthcare law.  Noteworthy within the prior Administration’s law were a large number of taxes, mandated benefits to be included in all health plans, employer mandates and the prohibition against health insurance companies pricing health plans by the health of the customer.

A brief review of the summary of the American Healthcare Act shows that this bill does repeal many of the taxes included in the prior Administration’s healthcare law, as well as  individual and employer mandates.  It looks like the bill may also open up the definition of what coverages are allowed/required in ‘qualifying health care plans.’  More freedom is seldom a bad thing.  The bill also allows health insurers to price their offered coverage according to the age and health condition of customers whilst also assisting those with ‘pre-existing conditions’ and severe health conditions in paying for their own coverage.

Further, it appears to allow States to decide whether to roll back the Medicaid expansion.  Federal Funding for the Medicaid expansion will continue to remain available to States through 2020.

The American Healthcare Act has several hurdles yet to be crossed before it can become law.  It must still be debated, amended and voted on in the U. S. Senate. It must have differences in the House and Senate versions worked out by a Joint Committee.  The final version must pass both houses of Congress.  Finally, the President must sign it into law.

This bill appears to go a long way toward removing the shackles the prior healthcare law placed on the entire U. S. economy with the taxes and mandates.  Employers will be free to give more hours to part-time employees and to expand their businesses by hiring more total employees, without the mandate to provide expensive healthcare coverage.

Without the mandates, philanthropists, public-spirited organizations and religious denominations will have to step in to ensure that noone falls through the cracks.

The bill passed the House by a margin of 217 to 213, with no members of the Democrat Party voting for it.

Opinions expressed herein are my own and in no way reflect those of Texas Army National Guard, the Texas Military Department, the U. S. Army or the U. S. DoD.  All of these organizations have their own public affairs offices and spokespersons, which do not actually include me.



Summary and full text of the American Healthcare Act


Wall Street Journal

Tell US Senate to stop Iran Nuclear Deal

So, the Great Powers have made a deal with Iran.  The UK, France, Germany, China, Russia, and the US have concluded a deal with Iran that lifts sanctions very soon, provides them with access to $150 billion in frozen assets, allows them to buy conventional weapons from Russia and China, and leaves one-third of the known nuclear enrichment centrifuges in place and requires them to ship 98% of their known plutonium out of the country.  It has an inspection regimen… that allows for inspections of known nuclear sites with twenty-four days’ notice.  But what about the sites they haven’t admitted to, the centrifuges that the West hasn’t already found and the plutonium that we don’t already know about?  Exactly.  Who knows?  Here’s some of what we do know:

  • National Security Adviser Susan Rice admitted to Wolf Blizter of CNN that Iran could use some of that $150 billion to fund military and terrorist activities.
  • President Obama admitted that Iran funds Hizballah and Hamas/Palestinian-Gaza which both point missiles at U. S. ally Israel. Gaza has launched thousands of missiles from Palestinian neighborhoods into Israeli cities.
  • Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that Iran is the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism.
  • Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Martin Dempsey, stated that his military advice to the President was to keep the sanctions against Iran in place as long as possible.
  • The UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, IAEA, says that Iran lies and blocks inspectors’ access to nuclear sites.

So, why would we trust Iran to keep to the terms of the deal?  Why would we make a deal that could allow them to spend more money on terrorism?  I don’t know.  It’s a terrible deal for Israel and a terrible deal for US national security. But if we have any chance of scuttling this deal before the UN Security Council makes it a Security Council Resolution we all need to contact our Senators now and tell them to stop it.  Senate.gov has email contacts for all U.S. Senators.

Thank you for reading. These opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers, the Texas National Guard, or the DoD.