Campaign Finance: More evocative than “Old [insert proprietary children’s foam toy name]”?

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Friday at the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C171120 06/23/2017 Young Guns Missouri PAC Ernie Gibson P O Box 546 Park Hills MO 63601 Lee Mechanical Contactors, Inc. Executive 6/23/2017 $10,000.00

C171120 06/23/2017 Young Guns Missouri PAC Lee Mechanical Contractors, Inc. P O Box 663 Park Hills MO 63601 6/23/2017 $10,000.00

[emphasis added]

It’s a PAC. But, for what?

C171120: Young Guns Missouri Pac
Committee Type: Political Action
7509 Nw Tiffany Springs Parkway Suite 300
Kansas City Mo 64153
Established Date: 04/19/2017
Treasurer
James C Thomas Iii
7509 Nw Tiffany Springs Parkway Suite 300
Kansas City Mo 64153
[….]

Probably not to promote [insert proprietary children’s foam toy name].

Talking about health care at Sen. Roy Blunt’s (r) office in Kansas City – June 23, 2017 – signs of the times

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Yesterday at noon over fifty constituents showed up at the building entrance for Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) Kansas City office at Tenth and Walnut to express their opposition to the republican Senate Trumpcare bill. A few of the signs:

“Public Hearing”

“Save ACA”

“Oppose Trump Care”

“Affordable Healthcare is a Human Right”

“Quit Putin Party Over Country”

Watching – staff from Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) Kansas City office.

At Tenth and Walnut in Kansas City – June 23, 2017.

Previously:

Talking about health care… (June 20, 2017)

Roy Blunt tells it like it isn’t (June 23, 2017)

Talking about health care at Sen. Roy Blunt’s (r) office in Kansas City – June 23, 2017 (June 23, 2017)

A Sen. Roy Blunt (r) health care story (June 23, 2017)

A Sen. Roy Blunt (r) health care story

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We listened to Hillary Shields’ story this afternoon:

Hillary Shields: Okay, so my name is Hillary Shields. I’m an organizer with Indivisible KC. And back in January we started collecting people’s health care stories. We turned them into a hand made scrap book because we wanted to put a human face on how these changes to the health care law would affect people in Missouri.

So, last week I was in Washington, D.C. and I had a chance to share this with Senator [Roy] Blunt. I went to his constituent coffee and I put it right in front of him.

I told him about Izzy. Izzy is nine years old, she’s from Lee’s Summit, and she has cystic fibrosis. He was gonna hit her lifetime coverage cap when she was two years old. She was not going to be able to get any more care. I told, I told him about her because I wanted him to know what these changes would do to his constituents. He listened. He asked me a couple of questions about how Izzy was doing, but he basically walked away from me just as quick as he could. And it kind of said to me I don’t think he’s really paying attention to what’s gonna happen to people in Missouri.

Uh, I had a chance to talk to his, uh, health care, uh, counsel and his chief of staff. Um, I spent about an hour, actually, going through the health care scrap book with them and telling them about the stories in here. And also telling them about my own story.

Um, I have a family member who has serious mental problems. And I told them that when you’re hearing voices the idea that you’re going to maintain continuous insurance coverage the rest of your life is ridiculous. He bounces around from job to job, sometimes he’s insured, sometimes he’s not. But I want a system that will take care of him no matter what.

And I, I think sometimes those personal stories get through more than anything else that you can say. But I still worry that my senator is going to vote against the interests of me and my friends and my family.

So, I hope that looking at this book maybe made some impact on him. I don’t know that it did.

Previously:

Talking about health care… (June 20, 2017)

Roy Blunt tells it like it isn’t (June 23, 2017)

Talking about health care at Sen. Roy Blunt’s (r) office in Kansas City – June 23, 2017 (June 23, 2017)

Talking about health care at Sen. Roy Blunt’s (r) office in Kansas City – June 23, 2017

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At noon today over fifty constituents showed up at the building entrance for Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) Kansas City office at Tenth and Walnut to express their opposition to the republican Senate Trumpcare bill.

Individuals in turn told their health insurance stories and the challenges they will face with repeal of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

“RIP Financial Security”

“AHCA = Tax Cuts for the Rich”

“Stop Lying”

“Health Care is a Right”

A staffer from Senator Blunt’s (r) office came to take notes.

Listening – staff (center) from Senator Roy Blunt’s (r) Kansas City office.

“RIP Essential Health Benefits”

“Medicaid saves lives”

Reflection

The action, sponsored by Indivisible KC, lasted an hour.

Previously:

Talking about health care… (June 20, 2017)

Roy Blunt tells it like it isn’t (June 23, 2017)

Roy Blunt tells it like it isn’t

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The Senate yesterday released its version of Trumpcare – they hope to vote on it next week and some members of the House have already indicated that they’ll pass it “as is” without calling for reconciliation. If all goes according to plan, the idiot signing machine in the White House could have it on his desk by the end of next week. It is, needless to say, not just the truly bad piece of legislation that the secrecy surrounding its inception promised, but one with the potential to do real, actual, bodily harm to millions of Americans.

Those of us who hope to influence our senators to save us from this horror shouldn’t hope for too much. It does, although, go without saying that those of us in Missouri can count on our Democrat, Senator Claire McCaskill – an expectation that she has confirmed. But according to a whip count at The Hill, it seems that Senate GOP junior leadership figure, Senator Roy Blunt, is also living up to what were, admittedly, meagre expectations.

The Hill has Blunt leaning “yes” on the legislation, the “leaning” inferred from Blunt’s wiggle-room statement to the effect that he’s “still reviewing the bill.” Yeah. Sure. More likely waiting to see if potential public outcry causes the sky to fall and the earth to crumble beneath him, the only two events that would keep Blunt from kissing up to the senior GOP leadership.

Blunt’s intentions are clear when, according to The Hill, he states, despite not having yet “reviewed” the bill, that it “preserves access to care for people with pre-existing conditions, strengthens Medicaid and does not change Medicare, gives people more health insurance choices, and allows people to stay on their family health insurance plan until they are 26.”

And almost every part of that statement is pure BS. Almost. It is true that the Senate bill, like the House bill, preserves the Obamacare provision that allows those under 26 years old to stay on their parents healthcare. As for the the rest of his claims, perhaps we should take a closer look:

Blunt says that the Senate bill “preserves access to care for people with pre-existing conditions.” Well, no. The Senate bill allows states to define what “essential” services must be covered by insurance – potentially allowing states to strip out problematic illnesses. The reinstatement of lifetime and annual caps will also curtail treatment options for those with chronic, expensive illnesses such as cancer – and will, because of the way the law is written, affect those who get employer-based insurance as well as those in the individual market served by the Obamacare exchanges. Nobody’s safe when these guys get their hands on the legislative meat-cleaver.

Blunt says that the Senate bill “strengthens Medicaid.” Tricky, tricky. It’s true that Medicaid will probably cost less in the long run. That’s because it will serve millions fewer people. The Obamacare Medicaid expansion, responsible for giving more than 11 million people healthcare coverage, will begin to be rolled back in 2021 and be terminated by 2023. Traditional Medicaid will receive increasingly smaller and smaller amounts of federal funding. That means throwing large numbers of poor children, seniors in nursing homes, and the disabled, people who in large numbers now depend on Medicaid, out into the uninsured cold.

If the reason for denying health care to so many vulnerable Americans were to strengthen the program, the money that is saved would be plowed back into the Medicaid program. But guess what? Republicans are going to use the cuts to give those in the top brackets a great big tax cut. Roy Blunt, essentially, wants us to believe that when rich folks pay lower taxes, Medicaid is strengthened.

Blunt says that the Senate bill “does not change Medicare.” This must be why the AARP has already issued a statement denouncing the bill , declaring that, “the Senate bill also cuts funding for Medicare which weakens the programs ability to pay benefits and leaves the door wide open to benefit cuts and Medicare vouchers.” The AARP release also notes that the Senate bill institutes what it calls an “Age Tax, which would allow insurance companies to charge older Americans five times more for coverage than everyone else while reducing tax credits that help make insurance more affordable.”

Finally, Blunt says that the Senate bill “gives people more health insurance choices.” If by more choices Blunt means greater availability of poorer coverage at an higher price, he may be correct. But maybe not. Since the Senate bill, like the House bill before it, does away with mandates, on individuals as well as business with more than 50 employees, reduces insurer subsidies, reduces benchmark plans to an actuarial value of 58% as opposed to the 70% mandated by Obamacare, and increases deductibles and copays, it is likely to destabilize and weaken, if not outright destroy, the individual market. And – poof – there go your choices, even the bad choices Blunt thinks will do for the hoi polloi.

Slippery Senator Blunt: What I hear loud and clear is Senator Blunt saying that, sure, he’s going to vote with the leadership to take health care away from millions of Americans in order to give a big tax cut to his wealthy campaign donors. But he’s going to be very careful about how he talks about the legislation and what it does and doesn’t do. No flies on this guy – he’s read his Orwell. You’ll always be able to count on GOP aparatchiks like Roy Blunt to tell it like it isn’t.

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D): the republican Senate Trumpcare bill is devastating for almost everyone

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Well, except for the one percent getting a huge tax cut and rebate. Think of it as redistributing the wealth, upward.

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D) [2017 file photo].

Yesterday, via Facebook:

Emanuel Cleaver II
Today the Senate released it’s devastating #TrumpCare bill. Written by 12 men in a back room, one week before the vote, with no hearing or public input. But I don’t want to talk about the lack of transparency or undemocratic process this bill has gone through in the Senate, I want to talk about the harmful impact it will have on America’s most vulnerable citizens. This bill, as written, will hurt seniors, women, veterans, working families, rural communities, and people with pre-existing conditions. It defunds Planned Parenthood, steals from Medicare, and guts Medicaid. It does away with essential health benefits, taking us back to the days where being a woman was considered a pre-existing condition. The only people it won’t hurt are healthy Americans and wealthy Americans. That’s because this is not a health bill at all. It is a tax bill meant to slash taxes for the wealthiest in our nation, all at the expense of our most disabled and disadvantaged. Please share if you agree that this bill should not pass the Senate. Please know that I will continue to fight for healthcare for ALL Americans and together we can stop this monstrous bill from becoming law.

Planned Parenthood #PinkOut in Kansas City – June 21, 2017

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Last night in midtown Kansas City well over a hundred supporters of Planned Parenthood, most dressed in pink, demonstrated in support of women’s health care on Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard. This was one of many #PinkOut actions across the country.

The demonstration lasted over an hour until sunset.

In front of Planned Parenthood on Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard in Kansas City – June 21, 2017.

“Nope.”

“These doors stay open.”

“I stand with Planned Parenthood.”

Toward the end of the demonstration the occupants of a passing car stopped in the street and joined in.

Dancing in the street.

“…Healthcare for Women.”

Women are leading the resistance.