- Supporters of the Obamacare celebrate after the Supreme Court upheld the law in the 6-3 vote in Washington, D.C. | Photo: Reuters
Published 8 March 2017 (6 hours 27 minutes ago)
The bill’s sponsor also championed a bill to declare magic a national treasure.
Obamacare may be replaced with the “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017,” a new bill introduced in the U.S.House of Representatives that would repeal the Affordable Care Act and favor a privatized system.
The act, introduced by Representative Pete Sessions last week, is similar to one he introduced last year with nearly the same name: “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan Act of 2016.” The 2017 version would cut employer and individual mandates while keeping a few features like keeping coverage for pre-existing conditions.
“He wholeheartedly believes in this plan, and he believes that Republicans have the best plan for health care,” his spokesperson told USA Today. Sessions, a Tea Partyer, previously made headlines for introducing a bill to declare magic a national treasure and a valuable art form that deserves to be “preserved, understood, and promulgated.”
Several alternatives to the ACA have been introduced, the leading one Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act, unveiled Monday.
Top U.S. doctors’ organization and several hospital groups came out strongly on Wednesday against the plan, backed by President Donald Trump, as Democrats mounted a fierce battle to thwart the bill.
Two lower house committees began debating the plan and considering amendments two days after it was introduced by Republican leaders.
But they face resistance from conservatives in their own party who have condemned the bill as too similar to the law it is meant to supplant. Democrats, meanwhile, have denounced it as a gift to the wealthy that will take insurance away from millions of people.
Doctors and other providers said the bill would probably cause many patients to lose insurance and raise healthcare costs. The American Medical Association urged senior lawmakers in a letter to reconsider drastic changes to Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor.
Obamacare enabled 20 million previously uninsured people to obtain coverage, about half through a Medicaid expansion the new bill would end.
by teleSUR / nrc-RT
Banks and other financial companies expecting to make more than US$200 billion from anticipated deregulation laws spent record amounts on lobbying in the last election cycle, according to an advocacy group report released Wednesday.
The financial sector spent a staggering US$2 billion on political activity from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2016, including US$1.2 billion in campaign contributions — more than twice the amount given by any other business sector, according to the study from Americans for Financial Reform.
That works out to US$3.7 million per member of Congress and is the most ever tracked by the group, which analyzed spending data going back to 1990.
However, the actual amount is probably higher, because the data did not include so-called “dark money,” which are funds donated to political advocates by nonprofit groups.
Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Prudential Financial and Goldman Sachs Group all spent more than US$10 million each, the report said.
Goldman Sachs released Tuesday an investment analysis saying that large money center banks stood to profit significantly from the kind of financial deregulation expected from Republican President Donald Trump’s administration and a Republican Congress.
As much as US$218 billion in excess capital could be returned to shareholders or reinvested in the banks themselves if all the deregulation the industry is seeking comes about.
Among senators not running for president, Charles Schumer (D-NY), now the minority leader, received the largest amount, with US$5.3 million coming from financial firms. Mike Crapo, the Republican chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and who was also in the top 10 in the Senate, received US$2.1 million.
Jeb Hensarling, the Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee who favors financial deregulation, received US$1.9 million.
Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” and crack down on lobbying activities in the U.S. congress. However, he has packed his administrations with millionaires and billionaires who worked for many of the firms involved in the lobbying.
It is also unlikely that Trump would seek radical changes to lobbying laws and regulations as many Republican lawmakers benefit handsomely from such activities.
Former presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and many of his supporters have been very vocal against corporate-friendly lawmakers and members of the Democratic Party.
However, the party recently elected business-friendly Tom Perez as the chair of the Democratic National Committee, defeating Congressman Keith Ellison.
US Media Silence as Pentagon Deploys Rangers Armoured Regiment on the Ground in Syria
21st Century Wire says…
Yesterday reports emerged of a US heavy armoured convoy heeding through northern Syria, heading towards a forward position near the flashpoint city of Manbij, near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.
Not surprisingly, this news – which would normally be strewn across all headlines and TV news leader boards – has been completely blacked-out by the US media, aside from some website mentions.
Naturally, Americans have to go to RT to get news about what the US military is doing in far-flung destinations. Here is a video report by RT’s Ruptly News Agency which shows the US servicemen leading a convoy of Stryker armoured vehicles in the Syrian countryside:
US ground assets have been deployed this week in Syria, presumably to link-up with US-backed militia, including the newly created ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) who include regiments of the YPG Kurdish “People’s Protection Units”, positioned near the outskirts of Manbij.
According to military blog SOFREP, call signs indicate that this US battalion is based out of Fort Benning, Georgia. “By looking at the call sign tag on the back of the Stryker, it is evident that this is 3rd Ranger Battalion out of Fort Benning, Georgia, which has been confirmed via other sources.”
This clearly indicates that the Trump Administration is in the process of actively building up its military presence in Syria. To what degree is unclear, although early indications suggest a similar commitment to what the US has laid-on in Mosul in their joint operation to retake that Iraqi city away from ISIS control.
Currently, the US is at odds with NATO ally Turkey over the Pentagon’s support of the Kurdish YPG whom Turkey has designated as a terrorist organization. This could be a point of contention going forward, as the US, Russia and Turkey conduct trilateral negotiations this week in Antalya, Turkey this week.
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