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Obamacare repeal/replace (or 2.0, or Obamacare "lite")


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Of course they didn't have to do anything. Why would they ever want to fix a plan that costs more money than it's worth while charging insured more for ****ty coverage? We should all be fine with higher premiums and deductibles only to find out that key procedures aren't covered, shouldn't we?

What the hell were they thinking? ACA for life!

 

Because the definition of FIX is to make something work. I'm not sure why you have just decided it could never ever work ever for any reason (even though several other countries have figured it out). And "costing more than it's worth" is a statement that tells me all about where you stand on the moral aspect of it. I'm starting to really try and wonder why every conservative really seems to have zero interest in not being a garbage person that just looks out for themselves.

 

I'm currently in the highest tax bracket and I am just fine with taxes being higher if it means that money can help those less fortunate than me have health coverage. It's not a question of rights vs. privilege, it's a question of being better human beings and taking care of each other.

 

But whatever-- I don't know why I bother with you. The "THANKS OBAMA" crowd are among the most myopic. Go read your freedomeagle.org news letter and jerk off to the imaginary wall some more.

Ironic that you bring up myopia whilst trying to defend Obamacare.

 

I'd really like to have an intelligent conversation about this without you doing your usual shtick of name calling, condescension, and judgement of those who don't agree with everything you say, so let's try again.

 

I've often wondered why universal healthcare works so well in other countries but fails here. Is it a population issue? Do we have that many more people to insure? Do the doctors make too much money in America? Perhaps the lawyers should shoulder some of the blame, as many physicians have to pay over $100,000 a year in malpractice premiums to even practice (all of these costs get passed on to the consumer)? Or is it that the quality of care provided in US far exceeds what exists in other countries? I've heard horror stories about the lack of quality care abroad.

 

If you have a better solution, I'd love to hear it. This is precisely what I was going for when I asked Chalup if he really thought it was something that could be done. You took it as indifference.

 

And lastly, what the fuck is freedomeagle.org? Is the porn that good there?

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This is going off topic here, so out of respect to the actual topic, I will put this into spoiler tags for people like Tex who want to see my response. Those who don't want to see it, can choose not

...well I guess it doesn't matter. Cancer is generally slow moving and Nuclear war with N Korea will be much quicker.

Because that is the entire fucking point of insurance of any kind. That has always been the case and always be the case. You don't buy insurance after you need it, but before hand in case you ever d

Oh, and my girlfriend's father is dying of cancer. His insurance is shit, so you being of higher tax bracket and all, can you help with the bills? Be a better human and so forth?

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Oh, and my girlfriend's father is dying of cancer. His insurance is ****, so you being of higher tax bracket and all, can you help with the bills? Be a better human and so forth?

Attempted character assassination! Let's trap him and prove he's full of ****!

 

That truly sucks for him, and I am sorry to hear it. My step dad died of lung cancer some months back and my current excess money has been helping my mom with her mortgage. But if he has a charity fund I might be able to kick something in. So long as you don't have any more personal information on me than you already do.

 

Ironic that you bring up myopia whilst trying to defend Obamacare.

Nice try-- but if you want to go digging back through history, even when it was introduced I never said it was a great program. I don't disagree that it's full of issues and problems. I've always taken the stance that it was a necessary first step. This thread started off with Carrie talking about how conservatives could own the situation and be the heroes-- but they decided to dismantle it instead, which causes a much bigger problem than their was before.

 

I'll sing a few praises of it-- like how people I know have managed to get care that might have killed them under any other program. To me-- that means it's worth it on some level, and I'm more interested in fixing it, then just gutting it. The GOP plan isn't really a plan, it's revision that makes the problem worse. They were more interested in undoing Obama than trying to do good.

 

The ACA went wrong because the message of "we should help each other" was tainted by a penalty. That's like saying BE NICE OR I'LL CHARGE YOU. No one is going to like that-- but that doesn't mean the core message was a wrong one.

 

I'd really like to have an intelligent conversation about this without you doing your usual shtick of name calling, condescension, and judgement of those who don't agree with everything you say, so let's try again.

MY schtick? Sure-- I went there-- but you frequently post like an asshole. You revel in it. You troll frequently, and love to say shitty things to people. Maybe I flew off the handle because I find your seeming lack of empathy bothersome, but let's be real. You like being an asshole. Don't start crying and calling me the meanie when I throw the same shade back at you. But since I did it first this time, I apologize.

 

I've often wondered why universal healthcare works so well in other countries but fails here. Is it a population issue? Do we have that many more people to insure? Do the doctors make too much money in America? Perhaps the lawyers should shoulder some of the blame, as many physicians have to pay over $100,000 a year in malpractice premiums to even practice (all of these costs get passed on to the consumer)? Or is it that the quality of care provided in US far exceeds what exists in other countries? I've heard horror stories about the lack of quality care abroad.

For every horror story, there's a life-saved story. I think the problem in the US, plain and simple, is lobbyists that represent big pharma and the insurance companies, and the rich douchebags that own them. They've created such a windfall for themselves that they will continue their stranglehold on politicians to pass the bills that keep things the way they like.

 

I think banning lobbying and providing free quality education to all would solve 90% of our problems.

 

If you have a better solution, I'd love to hear it. This is precisely what I was going for when I asked Chalup if he really thought it was something that could be done. You took it as indifference.

I took it as indifference because of your other posts. You've said protestors are wasting their time, repeatedly. You've said in this thread NOTHING CAN BE DONE, THANKS OBAMA several times. That doesn't seem like somebody willing to hear ideas.

 

I don't claim to be smart enough to understand how to make a universal healthcare system work. But I do know, we had a system in place. It needed a lot of improvement, but it was voted into place. Your only, and frequent, criticism seems to be WHO'S PAYING FOR IT!?

 

Genuinely curious if you noticed yourself being more taxed while the ACA was in place.

 

If finding money is the only problem, I'm pretty sure we can find the money. Higher taxation on those who can afford it (which would be me), maybe a cut in military spending (which is out of control), or maybe even a program like social security where instead of an employer deducting money from your pay for insurance they provide, the government does that so you can pay into the system, and build in an optional FSA for personal medical expenses. Basically, how companies handle insuring companies now, but replace EMPLOYER with the government. You select your level of coverage and have the option of not participating.

 

I'm sure Carrie can come in and yell at how stupid that is financially and would never work-- again. I don't claim to be an expert. But I think we should take care of each other and we were moving in that direction. The GOP has actively reversed that.

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I'm not sure why you have just decided it could never ever work ever for any reason (even though several other countries have figured it out).

No other country has Obamacare or anything like it.

You know how much I love it when you play dumb to try and catch me up in semantics. You know exactly what I meant.

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_with_universal_health_care

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I just don't think there's anything that can be done to fix it. Obama got this thing pushed through with no long term plan. As Pelosi said when confronted with numerous issues people had with the functionality of ACA "let's just get this pushed through and worry about it later." That seemed to be the overall mentality of the nitwits who unleashed this turd on America.

 

I don't think there's any real solution other than getting rid of it entirely.

See that's just where I am going to have to agree to disagree with you there. I think with tweaking, it CAN be made to work, and the reason being is that (as I see it anyway), the AHCA is basically Romney Care, and there are more similarities than differences to the ACA. Also, the majority of Americans want a healthcare act, be it ACA or AHCA. So to scrap the whole thing, and return to 2008 policies is against the will of the majority.

 

I agree with you on some parts. The ACA was passed in a heavy handed manner, and I said that all along in previous threads on nightly, if you care to look. I get why a lot of people hate it, and I don't fault you for that, either. I am not wild about it either, but I think having either the ACA or AHCA is better than not having anything. If you disagree with that, I am not sure there's anything I can do to convince you. The reality is, no one really knows for sure. But I can give you my opinion on what I think should be done. I think they should at least try implementing the two things I mentioned. I think repealing ACA altogether would cause too much market uncertainty. Tweaking it may help. If it didn't, then tweak it more. If it didn't after that, then maybe a repeal would be the answer.

 

But the problem is the GOP isn't even trying to fix what is in place. They just want to rip it out, then implement a similar version, all just so they can claim credit. Who knows how long that will take. Let's say it is sooner, than later, though. It will only last until the dems are in power, and then the same vicious cycle starts over. In that case, no one wins in my view.

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I said other countries have it (socialized health care) figured out, why can't we? He asked what made us different from those countries. We were on the same page.

 

Don't get mad that I'm cheating on you by yelling at somebody else.

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I'll be the first to admit that the GOP have less of a desire to fix ACA than to appease their voter base. Driver's ideas on how to pay for it sound good, but I'm still skeptical that they will work. I think that cutting the military is a bad thing. Lotta bad folks out there.

 

I did not notice any changes in my personal taxes, and frankly I'm not worried about that. I'm more concerned with the nation as a whole financially over the long term.

 

My big problem with ACA is funding. I am repulsed by the "we'll figure it out later" approach to it. I've been in the insurance business for 16 years and I can tell you that every time the government gets involved they tend to make things worse because they don't understand it, regardless of political affiliation. It's a noble concept, but I don't think it's practical.

 

Driver you are right to call insurance bigwigs douchebags because I constantly have to clean up their mess every day. As a programmer my job is to consistently shove 10 pounds of shit into a 5 pound bag, to try and make what they sell actually work.

 

Bottom line is that I'm more of a realist and you are more of an idealist. I don't fault you for that, but we just differ in that way.

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Fair enough. Knowing you work in insurance explains a lot. I wish you'd said that before instead of just thanking Obama.

 

My insurance agent popped a blood vessel when I asked about the ACA and she's a Hollywood lesbian liberal. From that perspective I can see why it is hateable.

 

I also have no idea if my idea would work, but military spending is crazy. One aircraft carrier has a bigger Air Force than most third world countries. Counting NATO allies we're unrivaled ten times over but we're building bombers and ships that cost trillions like they are going out of style.

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Yeah I'm an insurance guy. I deal with dollars and scence. It's a tricky business but it pays the bills. It also cultivates a practical view of life, even to my own determinate.

 

I understand your concern about military spending. I don't know the actual numbers, but I think it's important for us to at least have a presence. To remind the world that we are here. And will take nary a shit.

 

What scares me is that the same people, regardless political affiliation, who don't understand insurance are the ones that control our military.

 

I think we can agree on that.

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Why is your response always "do nothing"? Don't protest. Don't speak up. Don't change. Don't care-- that's what you seem to boil down to.

 

There's actually some merit to that stance. The problem is, that there is pretty much no degree of tinkering that can "fix" Obamacare (if we define fix to mean- lower premiums and costs). The costs are going to continue to rise and there is nothing that can be done about it. The GOP replacement won't fix it. The original plan was doomed. There really isn't an easy way out of this one. So, although it may sound defeatist- doing "nothing," is actually sort of a good idea. Has to be a death before the phoenix can rise from the ashes and all that.

 

There are only two ways that costs will ever go down:

 

1- we could go back to the old system, and allow insurers to reject people, cap coverage and so on. Even then, costs would probably still rise unless you did something drastic, like allow hospitals to turn people away from the emergency room if they didn't have insurance.

 

2- we could have some type of government run system, either single payer, or (my preference) multi payer.

 

 

The problem is, neither of those two options are politically possible. The first would never happen, because once people have started to be covered, you can't take the benefit away without causing riots. The GOP plan won't get through the senate for this reason, and it doesn't even roll back much of Obamacare.

 

The second won't happen either, because the employer provided insurance model is so deeply embedded into our society, it'll simply never be removed. Even if somehow you could wave a magic wand and make the insurance industry disappear, people still wouldn't vote for it since the increase in taxes would be too much for people to bear. Liberals love to sing the supposed praises of a system like Canada's.... right up until they see how much their taxes would go up. People love to be altruistic when they don't see the bill, and then they suddenly discover conservatism.

 

And even IF the tax increase could go through Congress, it still wouldn't pass because it would require a change in how we receive care to be financially solvent. Things that Americans are used to- like private rooms, no wait times, no death panels, no rationing, having millions spent to extend grandpa's life for 6 months before he inevitably kicks it... all that stuff goes away. Once you point these things out to people, it's funny how they suddenly are OK with just sticking with their employer provided insurance, warts and all. Sure, people in the lower middle class (i.e. people too "rich" for Medicaid, but not too rich to be able to afford good insurance) would love it, since they'd be covered now and it'd be cheaper for them. But these people also have no power in this country- they arguably have even less power than the impoverished, who at least get the sympathy of the bleeding hearts. So, I guess... too bad for them.

 

maybe a cut in military spending (which is out of control), or maybe even a program like social security where instead of an employer deducting money from your pay for insurance they provide, the government does that so you can pay into the system, and build in an optional FSA for personal medical expenses. Basically, how companies handle insuring companies now, but replace EMPLOYER with the government. You select your level of coverage and have the option of not participating.

 

I'm sure Carrie can come in and yell at how stupid that is financially and would never work-- again. I don't claim to be an expert. But I think we should take care of each other and we were moving in that direction. The GOP has actively reversed that.

I don't think I've ever called you stupid or yelled at you.

 

You are right though, it wouldn't work. The reason is because you are making the program optional, so you'd get the same problem with Obamacare- i.e., healthy people wouldn't sign up. You'd have to make it mandatory, with a sufficient enough penalty that people would actually do it, or you'd have to raise taxes to cover it (and then you'd basically have single payer, which will never pass Congress, see above).

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The second won't happen either, because the employer provided insurance model is so deeply embedded into our society, it'll simply never be removed. Even if somehow you could wave a magic wand and make the insurance industry disappear, people still wouldn't vote for it since the increase in taxes would be too much for people to bear. Liberals love to sing the supposed praises of a system like Canada's.... right up until they see how much their taxes would go up. People love to be altruistic when they don't see the bill, and then they suddenly discover conservatism.

 

And even IF the tax increase could go through Congress, it still wouldn't pass because it would require a change in how we receive care to be financially solvent. Things that Americans are used to- like private rooms, no wait times, no death panels, no rationing, having millions spent to extend grandpa's life for 6 months before he inevitably kicks it... all that stuff goes away. Once you point these things out to people, it's funny how they suddenly are OK with just sticking with their employer provided insurance, warts and all. Sure, people in the lower middle class (i.e. people too "rich" for Medicaid, but not too rich to be able to afford good insurance) would love it, since they'd be covered now and it'd be cheaper for them. But these people also have no power in this country- they arguably have even less power than the impoverished, who at least get the sympathy of the bleeding hearts. So, I guess... too bad for them.

There is a difference between how these countries are ranked Healthcare wise and real world perceptions. Canada is always considered a Healthcare leader but their citizens are growing increasingly tired of it and are coming across the border to receive care or paying for insurance plans.

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Canada has single-payer. There are lots of problems with a single-payer type scheme, which unfortunately I don't have time to get into right now, but it's no surprise that Canadians would be disillusioned with it.

 

If a universal coverage/government run system is inevitable, I'd rather see a multi-payer type system with a public option that preserves private insurance for people that would choose it for certain costs, procedures, luxury needs, etc. This is the system they have in France, Germany, and Switzerland, and it seems to work pretty well based on my observation from living there. It also requires less taxation than single-payer would.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I'll be the first to admit that the GOP have less of a desire to fix ACA than to appease their voter base. Driver's ideas on how to pay for it sound good, but I'm still skeptical that they will work. I think that cutting the military is a bad thing. Lotta bad folks out there.

 

I agree that the US should maintain its status as THE world power. However, speaking as a veteran, I know there is a lot of waste (and fraud and abuse, as well). I've seen it first hand. What is ironic is that republicans run around screaming how government should be run like a business, yet whenever the topic of keeping defense spending from going up, let alone cutting spending, all of a sudden the military becomes some kind of sacred cow that can't be touched at all. No one ever wants to look at the GAO reports or do any kind of meaningful audits. Just like how teachers are held up to the public as a justification to increase education spending so that teachers can get pay raises which they never get, so too are active and veteran military personnel held up to the public. The people are told if we cut spending, military personnel will go without equipment needed, food, medical care, or decent paychecks. But that isn't what happens when said spending gets passed. The money goes into the pockets of government contractors, and the enlisted soldiers or sailors always end up getting screwed over. It's not a lack of money, its a lack of priority.

 

Also, bear in mind the reason the military exists in the first place is to protect the people of this nation. The same people who are getting screwed over by the medical system, with run away costs. This problem existed long before the ACA. It will exist whatever way the GOP goes. And until both sides stop this idiotic grandstanding, nothing will be fixed. I am critical of the GOP because they are the ones in power right now. They haven't even tried to cooperate at all. They see it as revenge time, and want to just pass legislation to make their own asses look good. They don't care about any of us, because they don't have to live like the rest of us. Indeed that is what they told us about the dems, which was true. But what do they do? the same damn thing.

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Canada has single-payer. There are lots of problems with a single-payer type scheme, which unfortunately I don't have time to get into right now, but it's no surprise that Canadians would be disillusioned with it.

 

If a universal coverage/government run system is inevitable, I'd rather see a multi-payer type system with a public option that preserves private insurance for people that would choose it for certain costs, procedures, luxury needs, etc. This is the system they have in France, Germany, and Switzerland, and it seems to work pretty well based on my observation from living there. It also requires less taxation than single-payer would.

What would a transition to that look like? What would have to happen?

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If prices continue to rise under Obamacare (or the GOP replacement), which they will.... for maybe, say, 10-15 more years, and if there is Democrat control of both houses of Congress and the White House at that time... then maybe it'd happen.

 

As far as what the transition would look like- probably something similar to the public option that was originally in Obamacare before Lieberman killed it. Basically everyone, even before you were 65, could get Medicare if they wanted it, or choose to get private insurance instead. You'd have to pay premiums to get Medicare pre-65, but presumably the large number of people participating would allow the Government to negotiate better prices from hospitals, so it would be competitive with private insurance. In theory, this would help break the cartel that is the private insurance market.

 

Alternatively, before we go down that road, if the GOP was smart, they would just pass a universal health care system themselves, so they get to decide what it looks like and claim credit for fixing the problems of Obamacare. I discussed this at length on pg 2- there's a grand compromise bill that could hypothetically happen- some type of multi-payer/public option type system, along with a steep increase in immigration enforcement (massive raids, deportations, decrease in visas granted, etc.). I think there would be enough votes to get that through. A fair number of Dems could actually be strong-armed into voting for it- it'd be really easy to claim "no" voters are blocking health care for everyone if illegals don't get it too. That would be a very unpopular position and it would be really easy to scare a lot of Dems into voting yes. A lot of Republicans, including myself, would support this compromise. The way I see it, at some point universal health care will happen anyways, it's just a matter of who gets to claim the win. Once the Democrats inevitably get power again, they'll try to get open borders through too, so I'd rather win on that issue and let universal health care happen, then lose on both.

 

Of course, none of that will ever happen since the GOP is too short-sighted.

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I'll be the first to admit that the GOP have less of a desire to fix ACA than to appease their voter base. Driver's ideas on how to pay for it sound good, but I'm still skeptical that they will work. I think that cutting the military is a bad thing. Lotta bad folks out there.

 

I agree that the US should maintain its status as THE world power. However, speaking as a veteran, I know there is a lot of waste (and fraud and abuse, as well). I've seen it first hand. What is ironic is that republicans run around screaming how government should be run like a business, yet whenever the topic of keeping defense spending from going up, let alone cutting spending, all of a sudden the military becomes some kind of sacred cow that can't be touched at all. No one ever wants to look at the GAO reports or do any kind of meaningful audits. Just like how teachers are held up to the public as a justification to increase education spending so that teachers can get pay raises which they never get, so too are active and veteran military personnel held up to the public. The people are told if we cut spending, military personnel will go without equipment needed, food, medical care, or decent paychecks. But that isn't what happens when said spending gets passed. The money goes into the pockets of government contractors, and the enlisted soldiers or sailors always end up getting screwed over. It's not a lack of money, its a lack of priority.

 

Also, bear in mind the reason the military exists in the first place is to protect the people of this nation. The same people who are getting screwed over by the medical system, with run away costs. This problem existed long before the ACA. It will exist whatever way the GOP goes. And until both sides stop this idiotic grandstanding, nothing will be fixed. I am critical of the GOP because they are the ones in power right now. They haven't even tried to cooperate at all. They see it as revenge time, and want to just pass legislation to make their own asses look good. They don't care about any of us, because they don't have to live like the rest of us. Indeed that is what they told us about the dems, which was true. But what do they do? the same damn thing.

I've never been in th military, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect that it's similar to the way things work in my line of work (health insurance). You've got a minority that know their jobs and know what needs to be done, but the majority are dead weight, people who are lucky to even get a paycheck and yet are the first to complain.

 

I'm curious to know if that's the case for you, because historically the lack of morale amongst the troops has led to colossal failures. I've known quite a few people that have spent time in the military, and without exception they're all on the bitter side.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

This is going off topic here, so out of respect to the actual topic, I will put this into spoiler tags for people like Tex who want to see my response. Those who don't want to see it, can choose not to.

 

 

 

 

I've never been in th military, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I suspect that it's similar to the way things work in my line of work (health insurance). You've got a minority that know their jobs and know what needs to be done, but the majority are dead weight, people who are lucky to even get a paycheck and yet are the first to complain.

I'm curious to know if that's the case for you, because historically the lack of morale amongst the troops has led to colossal failures. I've known quite a few people that have spent time in the military, and without exception they're all on the bitter side.

 

That's very difficult to quantify. It really depends on what type of work you did, and where you served. Speaking from my own experience (I was in the Army for 4 years in the early 1990s), I would not say the majority of soldiers I worked with or for were "dead weight." My wild guess would be maybe 15-20% would be considered below average or poor quality, so maybe not all that different from most other industries. It's true that there are some people in that don't belong there, and they make poor decisions. These individuals somehow stay in and they go on to fail upwards to higher positions of authority. In fact, think the term F*** up, move up was coined by someone in the military. However, I think they are far outweighed by competent, or even excellent leaders. This is because there were mechanisms in place to weed out less competent soldiers by attrition, and in most cases, one could not be promoted beyond a certain rank, if they were incompetent or lazy. At least while I was in, if one didn't attain the rank of specialist\E4 by 5 years, and E6 staff sergeant by 8 years, one couldn't reenlist. I think similar bench marks for officers existed, but don't remember the time frame (I want to say if one didn't make captain by 6 years, they were gone).

 

The further away you get from the squad level, the more bureaucracy and red tape there is, too, but I think what has the most direct influence on a unit's moral is leadership at the company level (generally a captain). Platoon leaders are assumed to be too green to know what's going on or are trying to find their leadership style. By the time officers make captain, they should be seasoned enough to either be considered a good officer or not. I was enlisted, and learned early on that officers may get the credit, but it's the NCOs (sergeants in the Air Force, Army, and Marines, petty officers in the Navy) that make things happen because they have the experience in both their technical fields and leadership training. The difference between a good officer and a bad one is a good officer will listen to his or her NCOs and consider their recommendations before making a decision.

 

Where my comments of fraud, waste, and abuse stem from is that in my particular case, I worked with UAVs (commonly known as drones). The unit I was in, was the first of its kind in the Army at that time. We used a system that was adapted from one the Navy used for naval artillery adjustment, and the Army adapted it to reconnaissance and ground artillery adjustment. These UAVs were far more primitive than what is out there today, and in fact, our particular system was a variation on what the Israelis developed in the early to mid 1980s, so it was an older system even when I was in. So, by the time I was in that unit, the Army decided after Desert Storm to expand UAV use, but determined a more robust system was needed for more wide spread use in the Army. Due to my previous experience and training with the old system, part of what I did was participate in a number of tests (as an internal flight pilot and camera operator), to determine which system would replace the current one. We had several big name defense contractors submit their systems for testing, but I will not name the contractors or the systems, but you likely have heard of some of them. None of them were really viable. In some cases, they were utter failures, others were marginally better, but cost 10 times as much as the current system. I heard rumors of these contractors conducting industrial espionage on one another, and in one case, it was suspected but never proven that one contractor in particular sabotaged another contractor's system, which eliminated that contractor early on in the test phase. So, ultimately, there were only two left from that point forward, and one of the two was no match for the other.

 

The system that ultimately won the contract bid after many tests and crashes (each UAV was $4 to 5 million, and I saw or heard about at least 15 crashes during the testing phase alone, and the Army paid for each one), ended up as an utter failure and was approved DESPITE recommendations of the enlisted soldiers who actually tested them. I felt, as did many of my colleagues, that none of the systems should have won, and the current system (at tat time) should have remained in place until different systems could be tested. However, the leadership "had" to have a replacement chosen, so one of the remaining two contractors had to be selected. Officers who were in charge of said enlisted soldiers, were the ones to actually push through approval, ultimately costing the government hundreds of $millions that didn't need to be spent. In a lot of cases, this system was pushed through because some officers and NCOs who helped push it through, were offered jobs with that corporation after they got out. When they got out of the Army, some ended up making as much as 4 or 5 times what they did in the Army. In short, it was nepotism at its worst. Ultimately, that "replacement" UAV system was retired and replaced far earlier than it was scheduled (I think, but can't remember the exact number, that the contract was for some 15 or 20 years, and the Army paid for part of that in advance, but it was in service for only about 6 years total), and was replaced by other drones (again, no names, but they were used in Afghanistan), which in turn, went through its own testing phase against other competitors, but that was after my stint in the Army was over, so I don't know anything about that. It wouldn't surprise me if similar things went on there, though.

 

That is just one account of one system. Hundreds more have taken place before and since, and I have to believe that there are many other military people out there with similar experiences

 

Anyway, Tex, I hope that tl;dr post answered your question.

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, it looks like repeal/replace is finally dead. Actually it died yesterday, and although McConnell made a last-ditch effort this morning to try and sell "repeal only," that didn't have the votes either. So, we're back where we started, 4 months ago when we started this thread, and unfortunately it played out exactly as I said it would on page 1. Sometimes it sucks to be right all the time:

we're just kinda stuck with Obamacare or some version of it; that's about as conservative a plan you can practically get through Congress. And the thing is, behind closed doors, the GOP knew this. So why was this the issue that we had to draw the line in the sand on? There were a lot of other good things that could've flown through in the first 100 days. Infrastructure would've been tough for the Dems to vote against and an easy win. Trade would've been a pretty easy win, and would also have the added benefit of splitting the Dems between the Sanders and Clinton wings. And with a couple wins in their pocket, the GOP may have had the capital to push through some truly fundamental changes that would dramatically benefit the country, like immigration reform or tax reform.

But instead, we now have to debate this turd for the next 6 months? The GOP will now be lucky if they can get any major bills through before the midterms. And not only that, the Dems are in the position where they can basically sit on the sidelines, watch Ryan try and whip votes for the bill, and then if it actually passes somehow, blame the increased premiums on the GOP for the midterms.


The problem is, whether you love it or loathe it, Obamacare, or some version of it (whether it be the GOP's Obamacare-lite or whatever), was the only plan that was ever going to get through Congress, and as it turns out, even Obamacare-lite doesn't have the votes. This is largely due to the fact that Obamacare itself was the GOP healthcare plan, and there never was any other alternative just sitting there, waiting to be voted on. That was horsesh-t, and everyone in the GOP knew that, which makes this colossal waste of time all the more frustrating.

 

There never were the votes for anything else. Something more liberal would've seen defections from the right, such as Rand Paul (although, on a side note, I think his opposition is a little more shrewd and disguised as ideological, when in reality he represents a state that would've been hit the hardest by the bill and he doesn't want to deal with that). Something more conservative, such as a straight repeal, does not, and never did have the votes. I don't care how many f-cking times it passed when Obama was president, it was all a dog and pony show, and everyone f-cking knew it, which is why when McConnell floated the idea this morning.... wow! OMG! The votes were suddenly gone! It's like magic! Who would've thought!?

 

McConnell is not an idiot, and he knows all of this, which is why I'm completely baffled. What in the goddamn f-ck was the play here!? Yeah yeah, I get that the GOP had been promising repeal/replace for years, but who cares? The base doesn't actually care about Obamacare. They don't even know what's in the goddamn bill anyway. The only reason they hated it is because the GOP successfully attached it to Obama and they don't like Obama. Plain and simple. But Obama is not in the White House anymore so who cares?

 

If the GOP had to do something, they could've just staged a symbolic vote back in February, let it fail and then move on. Or really they could've just said they'll take it up later and sidestep the issue, and sure, maybe some of the Ayn Rand dweebs would've b-tched, but so what? What are they gonna do, vote Dem? Yeah sure, just like Blacks are gonna start voting GOP if the Dems don't throw them a bone too, LOL ya right.

 

So instead, the GOP wasted the entire year on this and just as I predicted, no major legislation will get through before the midterms. We got the debt ceiling and the budget coming up in Sept/Oct, then the holidays, then we're right back into a midterm election year. Maybe if we're lucky we'll get a few months on the other side of New Year's to get something through, maybe. We could've done something on infrastructure and build political capital. We could've done something on trade, which as I noted above, would've been a great way to increase the tension between the Sanders and Clinton wings of the Dems. We could've done something on immigration, especially if we had the capital from an infrastructure bill. As it is, we're in a race against time until the Dems get a majority back- then we're getting universal health care and open borders.

 

One of those (health care) may have been inevitable in some fashion, but both didn't have to be. If we're really lucky, the GOP might get one more shot to prevent open borders in early 2021 and that's assuming Trump wins re-election. Maybe there'll be a small window in early 2019 before the election season gets started, and that's a big IF, assuming the GOP can hold the House. More likely Trump will be a lame duck by 2019, if he isn't already.

 

This summer really was the GOP's best shot to get some stuff done. And they blew it.

 

Well hey, at least we got Gorsuch, so this administration wasn't a complete loss. I still shudder to think about who Clinton would've appointed.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I've said before that the GOP being utterly stubborn really hurts us all, and this is a prime example of how they are so stubborn these days, that they can't even get their own members to agree among each other. When you have the House, Senate, and the White House, this should have been a walk in the park to get passed. It just speaks to the inflexibility of the GOP who is more concerned with taking their revenge for the Obama years, than they are with actually governing and looking out for the best interest of their constituents. Now in this case, I am really glad that they failed, but I do also recognize that there does need to be changes to the ACA. But the GOP really screwed the pooch on this one, and I am really kind of glad to see things falling apart for them on this. They totally missed the opportunity to take the high ground, work with moderate GOP members and Democrats, and hammer out a deal that fixes the worst aspects of Obamacare. But no, they are slaves to their radical base, and wanted to rip out the ACA like a still-beating heart, and replace it with a Jarvik 7. Hell, if some GOP members had their way, they would have left a gaping, sucking chest wound in place. So good, I am glad McConnell, Ayn-Rand Paul, and the rest of them look like idiots right now.

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I think that the GOP could have repealed and replaced Obamacare if they'd really done it - well not the way they went about it - differently.

 

Townhalls and surveys about what can be done to fix it should have been held to get people's input. They should have made it more open to change because it was a small majority that wanted it gone of voters but in reality 80% of our population needs health care in some way. While there are parts that surely would or should have been repealed the populace of the US wants healthcare because we are fat uneducated unhealthy diabetic dementia ridden idiots.

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