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The only merciful thing


I hope everybody saw Dapper Dan Newhouse’s latest screed, wherein he pats himself on the back for a number of things, not least supporting the new Republican bill to renew CHIP. Give me a break.

CHIP never should have lapsed: kids don’t quit getting sick just because the governing party has their collective hair on fire to hand tax cuts to rich folks. That’s just one more indication of the rot we’ve come to expect.

But trying to re-up CHIP with a bill that’s loaded with poison pills, then trying to fasten the blame for failure on people who really give a damn, is stooping pretty low even for Dan. Sure, the bill gets kids back some coverage, but, at the same time, it tosses most of a million poor folks off THEIR coverage. It also knocks $10 BILLION out of preventive care, which is getting on toward adult money.

And it wouldn’t be a Republican bill if it didn’t take a shot at one “entitlement” or another. In this case, it’s Medicare. Dan wants rich folks to pay more for it, which, at first blush, doesn’t sound like a completely kooky idea. But, fact is, they already PAID for their Medicare, just like everybody else who ever earned a paycheck, and the current premiums are just kind of an ex post facto admission fee. This ostensible “justice” is a backdoor which means testing, which ultimately turns Medicare, designed as a universal benefit, into something more like welfare, which makes it a whole lot easier to attack and, ultimately, destroy.

This guy. We first elected him because he claimed not to be a lunatic or an idiot, unlike his perennial opponent. But that was back when he mostly got his dough from his constituents. Now he’s in the bag for the Kochs, grafting full speed from them and other corporations, and we don’t matter so much.

Reichert, Chaffetz, Smith, Hensarling, Corker, Flake … a lot of big-name Republican congress-critters are bailing on the current kakistocracy. Apparently Dan didn’t get the memo. We should help him.

Alan Fahnestock


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