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Hiltzik: Trump moves to kill Obamacare despite COVID-19



Hiltzik: Trump moves to kill Obamacare despite COVID-19

Over the years, there have been many reasons for fear of the reckless and negligent policies emanating from the Trump White House, such as poison. Thursday brought us a reminder of what might be the scariest of all: the government’s determination to overthrow the Affordable Care Act.

We talked about government brief in a case brought by Texas and a number of other red states that tried to make the ACA declared unconstitutional. This brief is based on theories that have been ridiculed by legal experts from one end of the political spectrum to the other.

The impact will be almost indescribable, tearing the health coverage of some 23 million Americans in dental pandemics that have claimed more than 120,000 American lives and condemned others for years, maybe decades, of chronic illness.

This case has nothing to do with law as we conventionally understand it. This is an exercise in raw political power.

Nicholas Bagley, University of Michigan

The Brief “manages to be both foolishly and totally frightening, “Veterans health expert Christen Linke Young of the Brookings Institute jury. So

We have written before about the crackpot legal theory that underlies the plaintiff’s case and his endorsement by Trump. Before reviewing his argument, let us examine the consequences, if the majority of at least five justices buy.

In general, the lawsuit and endorsement of the White House reflects the Republican approach to coverage of health and health services in the U.S., which is basically vandalism. The GOP in Congress treats health services as a privilege, not a right.

The party does not see health as a communal item, but only something that must be given to those who can afford it; everyone else is cursed.

That is why 100% of health care policies since the ACA came into force in 2010 have been devoted to breaking down the law, and 0% for developing effective replacements. The Republican mantra has been “uprooting and replacing,” but they aim for the first but never even try to reach the second.

Although most people think of ACA especially in terms of individual insurance exchanges that provide uninsured and low-income households with subsidized health coverage, and the expansion of Medicaid which has brought coverage at no cost to the lowest income households in the District of Columbia and 33 countries that have accept it, the law is far broader.

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Dropping the ACA as unconstitutional would eliminate subsidized coverage for 10 million Americans and Medicaid coverage for more than 17 million.

Non-white Americans will bear the burden of uninsured tariff increases after the full revocation of Obamacare.

(Urban Institute)

Protection for some 133 million Americans whose pre-existing medical conditions will freeze them from the insurance market or punish them with the exception of coverage or large additional premiums – the obstacles they face before the ACA – will disappear.

Likewise, the prohibition of ACA on annual and lifetime limits on health benefits, own expenditure limits, guarantees that each health plan includes 10 “important benefits,” including prescription, hospitalization, maternity and newborn services, and mental health services.

The closing of the famous Medicare recipe “donut hole,” which raises the price of recipes for seniors, will end. Children’s rights to remain with their parents’ insurance until age 26 will be abolished.

ACA has become very important in bringing health care services to America during the COVID-19 pandemic, partly because it has driven demand for testing and treatment, and because the economic crisis caused by the pandemic has forced millions from their employer-based plans and entered into individual markets or Medicaid .

Dropping the ACA will increase the number of uninsured Americans by more than 65%, increasing it to 50.3 million from 30.4 million, Urban Institute project. Ethnic minorities and low-income Americans will be most affected.

More than 10.5 million people will lose their reach in coronavirus hot spots such as Arizona, Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and Carolina, according to estimates by the Center for American Progress.

Obviously, this is a disaster spell. Trump and his accomplices at GOP obviously don’t know how to read.

That brings us to the legal argument, which has been through a federal court since 2018. The plaintiff’s case is based on a tax cut approved by the Republican Congress and signed by Trump in December 2017.

Unable to gather votes to revoke the ACA directly, Republicans voted in a tax cut to reduce ACA penalties for Americans who fail to obtain health coverage to zero from around $ 700 per adult per year, to a maximum of around $ 2,000 per household. That effectively delays the individual’s mandate, because there is no longer a cost to mock him.

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Texas and other red states argue that this invalidates the entire ACA. Their reason was that the Supreme Court, in a 2012 decision written by Chief Justice John Roberts, had upheld the ACA by calling the punishment “tax,” which Congress had the right to impose.

Reducing “tax” to zero means that there is no tax, and therefore there is no mandate, and therefore there is no constitutional protection; because the ACA must survive or fall as a whole, the plaintiff insisted, all laws must fall.

This argument appeared before a right-wing federal judge in Texas, Reed O’Connor, who bought it. His verdict that invalidated the law was submitted to the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

An appeal panel of three judges complained in a law degree decision Nicholas Bagley from the University of Michigan scoffed as “mixing arrogance and coward in equal measure” – arrogant for ignoring the essence of Roberts’ verdict, coward for sending the case back to O’Connor without deciding for himself whether all laws, or only part of it, should go.

Low-income households

Low-income households will lose insurance at the highest level. “FPL” refers to the federal poverty rate, which is $ 26,200 for a family of four.

(Urban Institute)

Meanwhile the Trump administration throws up with the plaintiffs by refusing to defend the law in court. The defense has been taken by the now-Democratic House of Representatives and a coalition of blue nations led by California.

Instead of giving up something to O’Connor, the Supreme Court accepted the case. It was not expected to rule until after the November elections.

Whether someone expects the court to enforce the law or kill it, or find a middle ground, this is arguably a big problem for Trump and the GOP. That’s because they can be blamed for abandoning health care reforms that are important in limbo because the need for a functioning health system is growing more urgent every time.

The administration is waiting to submit its legal report to the Supreme Court on Thursday night to defeat the submission deadline by minute, so it may not be too proud of its work – with good reason.

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Legal experts see government briefs as replicating all the weaknesses of the underlying arguments. The government argues that by reducing the penalty for individual mandates to zero, Congress abolished “taxes” because taxes that do not produce non-tax revenue.

But as Bagley noted, that is not true – many taxes do not generate income or have been temporarily deferred, but they still apply. That’s the problem here.

Even though the Supreme Court believes that individual mandates are invalid, there is no reason to state that all ACAs must stand or fall as a whole – that their provisions cannot be overcome, in legal language.

“The interconnected network of ACA provisions cannot function as intended by Congress” without individual mandates, a brief description of the government. That makes no sense.

Many legal provisions are not related to the individual insurance market established by the ACA. Much is related to Medicare or public health policies and practices. Others set standards for health policies outside of individual markets, such as employer plans.

Regarding whether Congress intends to abolish the sentence to cancel all laws, there is no evidence for that. Congress didn’t say that when passing a tax-cutting bill.

A brief explanation from the government regarding this issue. It acknowledged that “Congress does not speak generally about … severity,” when passing tax cuts, but only addresses “specific issues” of punishment.

But it is said that even if overturning the ACA is “not what its members expected in 2017 when they changed the ACA,” it doesn’t matter (“there is a possibility of Members on both sides” of this issue, a brief acknowledgment) – the penalty “is directly relevant with separation “and the court must consider all irrevocable laws.

Bagley observed, “This case has nothing to do with law as we conventionally understand it. This is an exercise in raw political power. “By asking the court to overturn the Affordable Care Act,” the Trump administration is asking the court to give a reason to stop enforcing the entire law altogether. ”

He’s right. This is an expression of Trump’s method of injecting chaos into everything he touches, as if the government’s goal is to make human existence harder, more cruel, and more shocking and frightening than anyone can imagine.

Throwing the health care system into anarchy when millions of Americans face disease and death from pathogens that cannot be penetrated? Much better. Welcome to Trump’s vision of America.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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