Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz

Trumpcare…The Uncertain Future of America’s Healthcare System

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

“What did I do? I did my job. I slashed benefits to the bone; I saved this company money. Was I too harsh? Maybe. I don’t believe in coddling people.”

No, that wasn’t from a U.S. Congress member discussing whether or not to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That was from a 2005 episode of The Office, when Dwight Schrute is given the responsibility of picking a healthcare plan for Dunder Mifflin’s employees. It sounds like something that politicians — especially lately — would actually say though, right?

The recent healthcare debate that’s permeated the American political landscape has not felt far away from the antics of Dwight — matters of life and death have been used as polarizing political pawns in an era of great uncertainty for not only the future of the Affordable Care Act, but for our identity as a nation.

The ideological differences between those both for and against the Affordable Care Act (ACA, otherwise known as Obamacare, which was based on Romneycare in Massachusetts), could not have been more clean than in Wednesday night’s CNN-sponsored debate, entitled “The Future of Healthcare.”

The debate featured 2016 presidential runner-ups Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz, who spoke for over an hour and a half on policy and the heart of the divide when it comes to healthcare. To their credit, that was all they talked about — there were no personal jabs, mention of grabbing genitalia, or enhancement of body parts. It sadly was a refreshing reminder of how a political debate is supposed to be.

dwight_schrute.jpg

There were even instances of compromise — an almost forgotten concept recently — with both men agreeing that there is no reason prescriptions that can be purchased cheaper from other countries can’t be brought to America, and that wait-time for drug approval by the FDA can be cut down. They also expressed their joint disdain of insurance companies who care more about profits than patients.

Now to their differences, and to the divide amongst many Americans.

Ted Cruz wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and give Americans choices when it comes to their healthcare by providing an open marketplace amongst private insurance companies. Bernie Sanders argued for as single-payer system, similar to those in Canada and much of Europe, where healthcare is a right of every person, regardless of income and preexisting conditions.

Sanders was challenged on the struggle small businesses face to provide insurance for their employees, while Cruz had to answer to what Republicans plan to replace the ACA with, what happens to people with preexisting conditions, and whether or not birth control will be covered.

Turns out, a single-payer system, while it would cause increased taxes, would allow people with current and unknown preexisting conditions to maintain coverage, would not label all women as having a preexisting condition because of their potential to have a baby, and would promise that all Americans have access to decent care.

While promising to be a friend to small businesses and provide a wider variety of healthcare plans, private-based insurance — at least in the plans set out thus far by this Congress as a replacement of the ACA — fail to guarantee that average Americans will be able to afford them. And the lack of a solid plan is what is frightening.

Bottom line: healthcare is personal. No system is perfect. But surely, having no plan is deadly, for all of us.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

Donald, You’re Fired: Is This America’s Wake-Up Call?

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

Please, let this be absolute rock bottom of this election cycle because I shudder to think what could possibly be worse.

Tensions were already high leading into the second Presidential debate, when footage of a 2005 interview between Billy Bush and Donald Trump broke, the contents of which are despicable and not appropriate to dignify by repeating here.

But we know that the potential next President of the United States has perpetuated sexual assault against women. Period. Anyone who tries to word that in any other manner or justify Trump’s remarks is part of the perpetuation of rape culture in this country.

There is frankly little intelligent analysis that can be given in response to the grandiose display of narcissism and blatant denial of reality that was on display by Trump during last Sunday’s debate.

donald_trump_debate2_3-620x412.jpg

Asked four times by debate moderators, Trump refused to answer the question of, “Do you condone sexual assault?” Let’s think about that. And then he tried to switch the topic to ISIS. Despite the valiant efforts of both Hillary Clinton and debate moderators, the debate often spiraled away from actual policy discussion as Trump fervently shouted, interrupted the candidate opposing him and point blank refused to answer questions from the audience.

 

And then there were these moments that further exemplified the bigotry and hatred that truly does not represent the majority of the mindsets of those in his party:

  • Calling for the repeal of The Affordable Care Act (which he only calls Obamacare) whilst refusing to offer any actual alternatives.
  • Admitting he hadn’t spoken to his running mate, Mike Pence, about the Muslim ban and stated they were not on the same page about whether or not to have religious litmus tests in order to persecute potential immigrants based on religion.
  • Constantly resorting to the “inner cities” and other stereotypes upon mention of African Americans.

And the country, finally, is mostly awakened to the crisis unfolding.

Professional athletes have taken to social media to dispel Trump’s claims that what he said in the recently-released video was “locker room talk.” Most well-respected GOP leaders have renounced Trump once and for all, and planned to meet earlier this week in Washington, D.C. to discuss a potential game plan for ousting Trump from the ticket. Which begs the question, why is it this the scandal that has finally resonated with us?

trumps-body-language-during-debate-raises-social-media-eyebrows.jpgTrump has called Muslim Americans – who have fought for their country – terrorists and murderers, he has called POWs losers for being caught and has called Mexicans rapists. Is it because white women were attacked that there has been such backlash? If Trump had referred specifically to a woman of color in the same way, would the response have been the same? And now, where do we go from here?

If Trump is removed from the running, will this incite more violence and discourse? Lastly, how do we contend with those who still support Trump and his hateful rhetoric?

Bottom line: Hillary Clinton may have issues and scandals surrounding her campaign that in another year would stop me from voting for her. However, in 2016, until she refers to grabbing the genitalia of anyone she deems worthy of her attention, she’s got my vote. Because that is the reality of what this election has become.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

2016 VEEP Debate Recap

Author: #NAMB Guest Author, Current Events/Politics

Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence faced off Tuesday night in the first and only VEEP debate of election season.

It came with a shred of the fanfare of Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s first debate, but was quite amusing in its own right – if not enlightening…

Were there any crazy moments?
Not a specific one, but the entire debate was a series of the two of them talking over one another, Pence making faces and shaking his head, Kaine nodding at nothing in particular, and moderator Elaine Quijano interrupting and admonishing them as if they were children misbehaving in class. The self-awareness of the candidates was mildly amusing, as they knew they were making a mockery of the debate but smiled and shrugged it off the whole time.

How much time was actually spent on their own records?
Virtually none. Pence dodged nearly every question about his record, and Kaine wasn’t really asked about his. One of these men could eventually lead the free world, and while it’s understandable that Vice Presidential debates focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates at the top of the ticket, it would’ve been good to have at least one portion dedicated to their own record and policy – especially since so much of what Pence has done is alarming.

timkainehands2-300x200

What was Kaine’s best moment?
After Pence accused the Clinton campaign of being more insult-driven than the Trump campaign (which was hysterical), Kaine laid out a bunch of Trump’s insults, such as women being slobs, his comments about women’s weight, his degrading comments about African Americans and more. Kaine also quoted Ronald Reagan – a favorite of the GOP establishment – saying “some fool or maniac could trigger a catastrophic (nuclear) event,” while citing Trump as the type of person Reagan was thinking of.

Campaign 2016 VP Debate

What was Pence’s best moment?
No specific moment stood out, but his ability to deflect questions and defend everything Trump has done and said was impressive. His policies weren’t brought up, so the danger of him wasn’t exposed. But compared to Trump’s infantile debate performance that was arguably the worst since debates were first televised in 1960, he was great. But again, it would’ve been nice if Quijano brought up the fact that he’s opposed to so many things Trump has been in favor of, such as preventing Muslims from entering the country.

With this debate in the rearview mirror, the focus will now switch to the final two Presidential debates – October 9 from Washington University in St. Louis and October 19 from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

First Presidential Debate of 2016: Intense and Entertaining

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump held the first of three Presidential debates this past Monday, moderated by Lester Holt of NBC.

The debate was watched by roughly 84 million people – breaking a record for most-watched debate ever – and the only scientific poll taken had Hillary winning it in a landslide.

Here are highlights of some of their answers…

Achieving Prosperity

Lester Holt (LH) – Why will you be better than your opponent at creating jobs?

Hillary Clinton (HC) – Policies include infrastructure, technology, small business, raising the national minimum wage,  equal pay for equal work, paid family leave, paid sick days, debt-free college, increased taxes for the wealthy so that they “pay their fair share,” investing in clean energy, negotiating good trade deals and closing corporate loopholes. Trump’s plan is the biggest example of trickle down economics – calls it “trumped up trickle down economics.” Says Trump believes climate change is a hoax and that he rooted for the downfall of the housing crisis. Trump said that’s business.

Donald Trump (DT) – Told voters jobs are fleeing the country, going to Mexico and China. Agrees with Hillary on child care. We need to stop jobs from being stolen from us and companies are leaving the U.S. We need a 35% to 15% reduction in taxes, which will be great for big and small business. We need to renegotiate trade deals. All products should be taxed when they are brought in to the U.S. Asked why Hillary hasn’t made trade deals better in 30 years – not now because we’ve created a movement. Says President Obama has doubled debt in 7 1/2 years. We have lost money investing in solar energy.

LH – Defend tax hike or tax cut?

DT – Wealthy will expand companies and create jobs. This will be great for middle class. Need to invest billions into companies, and get $2.5 trillion back from overseas. This has been the worst revival of economy and we are in a bubble.

HC – Doesn’t see changes in corporate tax rates of Trump’s, says his Trump Loophole will only benefit him. Trickle down won’t work, says wealthy know they need to do their part to help middle class, debt-free college, broad based inclusive growth, not just advantages for those at the top.

LH – Questions DT about tax returns and potential business conflicts; Trump can legally release taxes during an audit

DT – Says he is still in the midst of the audit, notes his income was $694 million this year, and he will release taxes when Hillary releases emails that have been deleted.

HC – This is another example of bait and switch. Maybe he’s not as rich or charitable as he says he is and he owes $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. He has paid nothing in federal taxes. Trump says it makes him smart to have not paid taxes.

REALLY?

HC – The American people deserve to see Trump’s taxes, he’s hiding something. Says she would have handled emails differently, takes responsibility.

DT – Staff and person that set up illegal server are taking the fifth. Country needs someone who’s good with money. He has made a lot of money, it’s not bragadocious.brag

Cue the millions and millions of Mary Poppins memes that are now inevitable. 

HC – Trump’s campaign manager says Trump built businesses on backs of little guys whom he never paid, and he has taken business bankruptcy six times; that sometimes there is not direct transfer of skills business to government.

DT – “I have built an unbelievable company. I used certain laws four times. I take advantage of the laws of the nation.” Obligation is to do well for himself, family, employees, his company.

America’s Direction

LH – How will you bridge the wide and bitter gap of racism in America today?

HC – Race determines too much, including where you live, your education, and how you are treated in the criminal justice system. Wants criminal justice reform. Her plan will rectify flaws in criminal justice system, and she stated that the police also want reform. Glad to see private prisons end at the federal level – we need that on state level, as well as common sense gun control and comprehensive background checks. Need to put money into budget to re-train police to deal with implicit bias. Mental health is another big concern.

DT – Pleased that he just received the endorsement of the fraternal order of police. Inner cities are living in hell, it’s so dangerous, you walk down the street and get shot. We need to bring back law and order. Illegal immigrants are in gangs shooting people. We have to be strong and vigilant. Stop and Frisk is not racial profiling. We need more police to take guns away from people who shouldn’t have them. We need better relationships between communities and police. African Americans and Hispanics are most affected by violence – it is unfair. Stop and Frisk had tremendous impact on the safety of New York.

HC – Under current mayor, crime in New York has dropped. One murder is too many. We need to learn what actually has a good impact. No one should disagree about respecting rights of young men working in those neighborhoods.

DT – The African American community has been let down by politicians, they are only paid attention to during elections. Inner cities are upset with politicians. He then accused Hillary of preparing for the debate – and she responded with that’s a good thing.

WOW, this is really happening.

trump-clinton-debate-face

LH – Questions Trump on birther movement that has been a racist issue

DT – Says he got President Obama to produce the birth certificate and he’s proud because he wants to defeat ISIS and protect borders. “I was the one who got him to produce it.” Says that he has developed good relationships over the last little while with African American communities.

HC – Trump tried to put birther lie to bed because he knew he would be asked about it. He was sued by Justice Department in 1973 because he wouldn’t rent apartments to African Americans.

DT – Hillary treated President Obama horribly in primary. Says he was sued in 1973 and the case was settled with no admission of guilt. Was sued with many other people.

Securing America

HC – Cyber security and Russian hackers are a huge challenge. She is deeply concerned, Putin has let loose cyber attackers and Trump supports him. Trump invited Putin to hack in to the US. Will go after ISIS online, do more with tech companies to prevent ISIS from using the internet to radicalize, intensifying air strikes, and helping Arab and Kurdish allies to defeat ISIS. She is hoping within the year to push ISIS out of Iraq. Will do everything possible to take out ISIS leadership, was involved in similar efforts as Secretary of State including the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

DT – Says he has been endorsed by hundreds of admirals and generals to lead this country. We don’t know if it was Russia or China or “a 400-pound person sitting at home” who hacked the DNC.

Excuse me, what?

DT – Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of by Debbie Wassermann Schultz. Under President Obama we have lost control of things we used to have control of. ISIS is beating us at our own game with the internet. Not doing the job we should be doing.

LH – On Hillary being the first woman Presidential candidate…

DT – “She doesn’t have look or stamina to be president.” Need tremendous stamina. Have to be able to negotiate with Japan and Saudi Arabia

HC – “As soon as he goes to 112 countries and negotiates deals or stands in front of a congressional committee for 11 hours, he can say that.”

That. Was. DEPLORABLE.

LH – Are you willing to accept the other candidate if you don’t win?

HC -Supports democracy, will support the outcome of the election. This isn’t about her or Trump, it’s about you (the voters) and their families. Their future depends on it.

DT -Wants to “Make America Great Again,” people we were going to deport ended up becoming citizens under current leadership. If Hillary wins, he will absolutely support her.

Also let us not forget, Trump thinks he has a much better temperament than Hillary. He said it’s his “strongest asset by far.”

The next Presidential debates are on October 9 and October 19. The Vice Presidential debate will be held on October 4.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.

First 2016 Presidential Debate Recap

Author: Alli Jean, Current Events/Politics

firstdebatesidebyside_wide-b6740657018a34eb5e0a2a9e7a7a6c818bec6d79-s900-c85

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump held the first of three Presidential debates this past Monday, moderated by Lester Holt of NBC.

The debate was watched by roughly 84 million people – breaking a record for most-watched debate ever – and the only scientific poll taken had Hillary winning it in a landslide.

Here are highlights of some of their answers…

Achieving Prosperity

Lester Holt (LH) – Why will you be better than your opponent at creating jobs?

Hillary Clinton (HC) – Policies include infrastructure, technology, small business, raising the national minimum wage,  equal pay for equal work, paid family leave, paid sick days, debt-free college, increased taxes for the wealthy so that they “pay their fair share,” investing in clean energy, negotiating good trade deals and closing corporate loopholes. Trump’s plan is the biggest example of trickle down economics – calls it “trumped up trickle down economics.” Says Trump believes climate change is a hoax and that he rooted for the downfall of the housing crisis. Trump said that’s business.

Donald Trump (DT) – Told voters jobs are fleeing the country, going to Mexico and China. Agrees with Hillary on child care. We need to stop jobs from being stolen from us and companies are leaving the U.S. We need a 35% to 15% reduction in taxes, which will be great for big and small business. We need to renegotiate trade deals. All products should be taxed when they are brought in to the U.S. Asked why Hillary hasn’t made trade deals better in 30 years – not now because we’ve created a movement. Says President Obama has doubled debt in 7 1/2 years. We have lost money investing in solar energy.

LH – Defend tax hike or tax cut?

DT – Wealthy will expand companies and create jobs. This will be great for middle class. Need to invest billions into companies, and get $2.5 trillion back from overseas. This has been the worst revival of economy and we are in a bubble.

HC – Doesn’t see changes in corporate tax rates of Trump’s, says his Trump Loophole will only benefit him. Trickle down won’t work, says wealthy know they need to do their part to help middle class, debt-free college, broad based inclusive growth, not just advantages for those at the top.

LH – Questions DT about tax returns and potential business conflicts; Trump can legally release taxes during an audit

DT – Says he is still in the midst of the audit, notes his income was $694 million this year, and he will release taxes when Hillary releases emails that have been deleted.

HC – This is another example of bait and switch. Maybe he’s not as rich or charitable as he says he is and he owes $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. He has paid nothing in federal taxes. Trump says it makes him smart to have not paid taxes.

REALLY?

HC – The American people deserve to see Trump’s taxes, he’s hiding something. Says she would have handled emails differently, takes responsibility.

DT – Staff and person that set up illegal server are taking the fifth. Country needs someone who’s good with money. He has made a lot of money, it’s not bragadocious.

Cue the millions and millions of Mary Poppins memes that are now inevitable. 

brag

HC – Trump’s campaign manager says Trump built businesses on backs of little guys whom he never paid, and he has taken business bankruptcy six times; that sometimes there is not direct transfer of skills business to government.

DT – “I have built an unbelievable company. I used certain laws four times. I take advantage of the laws of the nation.” Obligation is to do well for himself, family, employees, his company.

America’s Direction

LH – How will you bridge the wide and bitter gap of racism in America today?

HC – Race determines too much, including where you live, your education, and how you are treated in the criminal justice system. Wants criminal justice reform. Her plan will rectify flaws in criminal justice system, and she stated that the police also want reform. Glad to see private prisons end at the federal level – we need that on state level, as well as common sense gun control and comprehensive background checks. Need to put money into budget to re-train police to deal with implicit bias. Mental health is another big concern.

DT – Pleased that he just received the endorsement of the fraternal order of police. Inner cities are living in hell, it’s so dangerous, you walk down the street and get shot. We need to bring back law and order. Illegal immigrants are in gangs shooting people. We have to be strong and vigilant. Stop and Frisk is not racial profiling. We need more police to take guns away from people who shouldn’t have them. We need better relationships between communities and police. African Americans and Hispanics are most affected by violence – it is unfair. Stop and Frisk had tremendous impact on the safety of New York.

HC – Under current mayor, crime in New York has dropped. One murder is too many. We need to learn what actually has a good impact. No one should disagree about respecting rights of young men working in those neighborhoods.

DT – The African American community has been let down by politicians, they are only paid attention to during elections. Inner cities are upset with politicians. He then accused Hillary of preparing for the debate – and she responded with that’s a good thing.

WOW, this is really happening.

trump-clinton-debate-face

LH – Questions Trump on birther movement that has been a racist issue

DT – Says he got President Obama to produce the birth certificate and he’s proud because he wants to defeat ISIS and protect borders. “I was the one who got him to produce it.” Says that he has developed good relationships over the last little while with African American communities.

HC – Trump tried to put birther lie to bed because he knew he would be asked about it. He was sued by Justice Department in 1973 because he wouldn’t rent apartments to African Americans.

DT – Hillary treated President Obama horribly in primary. Says he was sued in 1973 and the case was settled with no admission of guilt. Was sued with many other people.

Securing America

HC – Cyber security and Russian hackers are a huge challenge. She is deeply concerned, Putin has let loose cyber attackers and Trump supports him. Trump invited Putin to hack in to the US. Will go after ISIS online, do more with tech companies to prevent ISIS from using the internet to radicalize, intensifying air strikes, and helping Arab and Kurdish allies to defeat ISIS. She is hoping within the year to push ISIS out of Iraq. Will do everything possible to take out ISIS leadership, was involved in similar efforts as Secretary of State including the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

DT – Says he has been endorsed by hundreds of admirals and generals to lead this country. We don’t know if it was Russia or China or “a 400-pound person sitting at home” who hacked the DNC.

Excuse me, what?

DT – Bernie Sanders was taken advantage of by Debbie Wassermann Schultz. Under President Obama we have lost control of things we used to have control of. ISIS is beating us at our own game with the internet. Not doing the job we should be doing.

LH – On Hillary being the first woman Presidential candidate…

DT – “She doesn’t have look or stamina to be president.” Need tremendous stamina. Have to be able to negotiate with Japan and Saudi Arabia

HC – “As soon as he goes to 112 countries and negotiates deals or stands in front of a congressional committee for 11 hours, he can say that.”

That. Was. DEPLORABLE.

LH – Are you willing to accept the other candidate if you don’t win?

HC -Supports democracy, will support the outcome of the election. This isn’t about her or Trump, it’s about you (the voters) and their families. Their future depends on it.

DT -Wants to “Make America Great Again,” people we were going to deport ended up becoming citizens under current leadership. If Hillary wins, he will absolutely support her.

Also let us not forget, Trump thinks he has a much better temperament than Hillary. He said it’s his “strongest asset by far.”

The next Presidential debates are on October 9 and October 19. The Vice Presidential debate will be held on October 4.

 

Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.