state benefits

there are people right now to this day who still believe food stamps are still a thing and not just a colloquial term for an ebt card ………. people are literally saying they’re “selling off some of their food stamps to get money for drugs” lmao … and it wasn’t even just one person it was multiple people. … people have literally no clue how snap benefits work.

its not fucking stamps…. snap benefits come on a card that look like a credit card type thing, you swipe it just like you would a credit card type thing, and it only pays for food your state allows snap benefits to cover. You cannot possibly sell part of this money back because even when buying and returning food items using snap benefits the money has to go directly back to your card.

There is absolutely no way to get money off of an ebt card to give people for drugs. notwithstanding the fact that drug addicts deserve food, but the point being you can’t fucking get money off of an ebt card for non-food related things, ever, period, and it DEFINITELY ISNT stamps, lmao….

I hate it when revolutionaries oppose state benefits on the grounds that they would delay the revolution by making the poor ‘dependent on the state’. That’s not how reality works. 

If I’m unemployed without benefits, 99% of my day is spend on finding ways to get food, finding ways to pay the gas, finding ways to not get evicted, dealing with the legal consequences of the illegal things I had to do to get food and gas and a home, dealing with the emotional consequences of the things I had to do to get food and gas and a home, etc. Being overwhelmed. being hungry. being cold. 

If I’m unemployed with good benefits, I have food, gas, a home. As a result I have time and energy to go to organizing meetings and protests. I have energy to be a support system for others. I have some spare change to buy the tools I need for activism. If the tools of resistance that I chose are illegal, I have energy to deal with the consequences, to find legal aid, to take a few punches and get back up. 

Life without money is extremely exhausting to the point of killing people and you don’t magically grow a support system when you lose your benefits. Communities where most people are starving rarely grow strong support systems, they often fall apart because no one has the physical or mental energy to do the work of community building and there is not enough strength left in the community to uphold a support system.  

The revolution isn’t a desperate hurdling forward of starving masses using their last bits of energy to overthrow the state. Whoever told you that had a horrible romanticization of poverty and revolution stuck in their had. We fight better when we’re not starving. We build independency better when we’re not starving. And we can best throw of the last shackles of the state when our not starving hands have build an independent support system strong enough to keep us alive. It’s really that simple. 

  • The US Government: okay, to prove you're disabled you need the help of someone who isn't disabled.
  • The US Government: There's pretty much a very marginal chance you'd ever be able to prove you're disabled while you're disabled while our rules and regulations are in place
  • The US Government: Basically what I'm saying is disabled people can only exist if they get help from non-disabled people.
  • The Us Government: And we won't provide that help unless you prove to us you're disabled, which we've already established isn't possible without the help of a non-disabled person.
  • The Us Government: lmao.
Mangoes.

Authors Note: I kinda think this is cute and fluffy, but I don’t know. I am thinking of doing a part two to this, but again, I don’t know, haha. Thoughts and opinions welcome. I hope you enjoy this piece, kinda enjoyed thinking about it. Xx 

You can find my Blurbs HERE



You observe the space between the bare sheets and you sigh to yourself, the scarceness denoting that Harry is either working or he’s running early morning errands, perhaps even at the gym. 

You take your time with getting up, savouring the pleasure of the bed and the warmth of the fresh coverings. There is nothing better than relaxing between the warmness of the covers, having nothing to worry about, no need to get up and go to work, just a pleasant lazy day to do nothing.

You smile as your round into the kitchen, your husband smiling before he takes a drink of what you assume is his early morning smoothie. 

Every now and again after working out he indulges in a smoothie or he gets a health shake— you much prefer the smoothies, particularly his, he continuously distinguishes the ideal combinations of fruits. 

“Morning!” You beam as you wander closer, admiring his fallen hair and his gym outfit compiled of nothing but a T-shirt and a pair of jogging shorts. 

He beams down at you, opening his arm for a hug, “Morning, someone’s cheery.” He comments before caressing a kiss to the top of your head, a hum escaping your lips to agree with his observation. 

“How was the gym?” You tenderly pull away from the hug, the scent of his cologne lingering on your shirt, something you absolutely love to inhale in warm mornings.

“Pretty good. How was sleeping in?” He questions, taking a drink of his Coral coloured resembling smoothie, 

“Better if you’d sleep in with me.“ 

"Mhm, you know I can’t sleep in. Body just doesn’t like it.” He shrugs, “plus, I needed the workout, been slackin’ lately, no thanks to you.” He kisses the top of your nose, reminding you of how you have selfishly managed to keep him nestled into you in the mornings the last few days. Sometimes, you don’t want to share him with the world or the gym, you want him to stay in bed and cuddle with you until you are ready to get out of bed. A few muffled whines and an ‘I really don’t feel good,’ is enough for him to give in and skip the gym. It wasn’t really intentional— You can’t help the fact that sometimes his warmth, soothing touch, and cuddles is enough to make you feel better.

“What did ya get?” You challenge, your hand reaching for his smoothie but he stretches away from you, your lips already beginning to form a pout. His smoothie looks so~ good and refreshing. 

 "Uh-ah, yours is there.“ He gestures to the counter that holds a verdant coloured smoothie, something you have no desire to drink. His looks better, it has a delightful ocherous hue to it, much prettier than the burgeoning grass he wants you to absorb. "It’s a lot healthier than this mango thing.” He takes a drink of his smoothie, only enticing you to desire it more. 

“It looks fucking gross." 

"Don’t knock it until you try it. It’s kale, it’s good for you and helps with morning sickness.” He encourages, handing you the verdure resembling smoothie. You glare at Harry, already not savouring his concept of a healthy smoothie. “Taste it, that’s it.” He presses kindly, giving you his affectionate eyes and an agile kiss to the lips to convince you. 

You take a sip, instantly spitting it out to the floor with a heavy sigh. 

“Well, it was worth a try.” He shrugs, 

“You fucking taste that.” You hand the smoothie back to him, “That is enough to erupt morning sickness, gross.” You shake your head, handing him the drink. 

With a heavy sigh, he takes the smoothie and decides to try the Kale-Smoothie. Immediately, he screws his nose up at the flavour, understanding your feelings towards the disgust. “Alright, here you go, love.” He hands you his smoothie, instantly satisfying you as you taste the pleasant taste of mango on your tongue. So much more soothing and enjoyable than the Kale. “And now I’m left with the morning sickness drink.” He pouts, watching you sip on the smoothie he was deliciously appreciating. 

Keep reading

evan's lie is not solely fabricated for his own benefits people!!!

before we begin, i’d like to say that in no way do i support evan’s actions and it does eventually end up with evan basically using it to his benefit but people are making this poor kid’s morals seem worse than they are. (this is about to get hella long and there’s probably a ton of grammatical errors)

it all started because of his anxiety when the murphy’s asked if him and connor were friends
he intended on denying it saying it was all a misunderstanding, like he meant when connor saw his letter, but he couldn’t get any words out and ended up basically being forced to go to the dinner he definitely did not want to. 
he followed jared’s advice at first of just nodding his head and not denying or saying anything, BUT HE STARTS LYING WHEN THEY START BASHING CONNOR. if i had the book with me i’d use script evidence but i don’t so i’m just going with my memory of the bootleg. basically it’s zoe arguing with her parents (well really just cynthia), with evan awkwardly sitting at the table, about how they can’t remember anything good about connor but evan steps in saying he remembered many great things about connor. HIS FIRST LIE WAS DEFENDING A KID NO ONE KNEW ABOUT SAYING HE WAS A GOOD PERSON. and i’m sure evan wasn’t thinking in his head “hey maybe if i defend connor saying he was a cool person i’ll become popular and zoe murphy will love me” (/i> at that moment (but, hey i might be wrong). but i believe evan’s web started when he was just trying to help connor murphy’s image, a kid who felt just like him in the world.

same with for forever which is one big lie in song form. he didn’t tell the made up story for himself (well kind of but not for the same reason he lied and that’s a different post someone has made) he made it up for cynthia, who was just trying to reconnect with her dead gay son. he uses elements from cynthia talking about connor and his own experience to fabricate a story so she can think about a recent time her son was happy even if it wasn’t with her. he did that from the sympathy of his heart, trying to help out a grieving mother.

sincerely,me is where it all starts getting a little morally ambiguous and that is represented when evan yells at jared when that was not in his character description of the beginning of the show. that’s when all the negatives of the lie start seeping into him, but even then, the emails STARTED when cynthia wanted them so she could, once again, have a piece of her son she felt disconnected with (even though she didn’t make the best effort she could to be closer with him BUT ONCE AGAIN GREY CHARACTERS!!!!). that was the beginning when pure intentions turned into a darker means.

requiem technically approaches the lie (of course it isn’t a lie to them yet) because cynthia and larry’s solos are initiated when cynthia wants larry to read something of her son’s in his room (i’m pretty sure it’s one of the emails but i’m not sure) but larry won’t and she sings about how she now has an email and a connection with apparently happy connor so she won’t sit thinking about how unhappy connor was he was alive (even though he wasn’t) BECAUSE OF EVAN!!!

this starts getting into the fact that evan’s lie made connor into someone he wasn’t which is also bad and if connor could raise from the dead and slap evan i’m 90% he would and i 100% support that. connor can think evan is a shithead because of the lie because evan changed him into someone he totally wasn’t but y'all can’t.

disappear and you will be found 👏 are 👏 so 👏 important 👏. it’s the start of the connor project and how it got it’s fame but again, established the false image of connor making people think he was “such a great son and wonderful friend” when really he was an asshole to most people, but that’s because of his grey morals and his mental illness he never got the right help for. anyway, we all know connor in disappear isn’t the real connor, and is really evan’s conscience but i strongly believe he never proposed the idea of the project to alana, jared, and the murphys for his own benefit. he didn’t start it just to get with zoe or get more on the family’s good side. he realized there are so many people just like him and connor in the world who feel so alone and invisible, but he realizes he can do something about it and help them find a purpose. evan never wished for all the popularity and media attention, he just wants to belong and be noticed. not only does that happen to him in the end, though, but it also happens to connor’s (fake) story since he’s the star of the whole project. he never even wanted to speak at that assembly, it was really cynthia (and i think alana? not 100% sure it’s been awhile since the bootleg) who encouraged him/basically forced him to speak. at first it’s all about connor and the lie but he fumbles, not totally comfortable telling it in that scale, so it turns into something so vague and so powerful it could be used for anything which is his improvised speech. if you listen to it, never once is connor’s name ever SUNG and evan comes up with all of that on the spot, an invention of the sadness and loneliness he was feeling. after he met the murphy’s and they took him in, he felt loved and like he mattered which was something he hadn’t felt like he had known before.

after the sincerely, me (reprise) it all turns to shit #nicejobev

the for forever (reprise) (not the finale the mini like 30 seconds connor sings) is the beginning of the confession because it’s evan’s connor literally trying to convince evan to continue lying because no one will like him when they find out who the real evan hansen is and words fail is basically him reciprocating those thoughts which is symbolic of him coming into the light. he’s not hiding behind façades or lies anymore, and he’s accepting his own flaws instead of trying to cover someone else’s (connor’s) for whatever reasons. when you think about it, lying becomes a kind of catharsis for evan.

but in the end, evan learned his lesson (seriously people it make it sound like evan deserved jail time or something it’s not like got money out of it… well he almost did BUT HE DIDNT) and he learns he is very much loved by his own mother and all is (for the most part) well.

basically the summary of this post is me telling y'all to not say evan is “a selfish, soulless asshole who used a family’s grieving state for his own benefits.” that’s only partially true. evan is an anxiety-stricken teenager who has good intentions and a good core with a tainted outside, and someone who doesn’t know how to express his feelings and thoughts in a healthy, whole way. stop making him sound like the devil but don’t make him an innocent little angel (that’s ben platt).

anonymous asked:

Hi! I am looking for Sterek fics where Derek is a business man. Something about Derek in a suit and Stiles ogling him and more does something to me! Lol! Thanks and happy holidays

Happy Belated Holidays to you! And here’s some Derek in a suit. Which I think we can all agree is a Good Thing. - Anastasia

Originally posted by flawlassglam

That Thin Line In and Out of My Bed by fadedhues

(1/1 I 5,611 I Explicit)

“Ow,” Derek says, scowling, rubbing his bicep where Laura hit him.

She retorts, “That’s what happens when you zone out and eye-fuck your new assistant, Derek,” crossing her arms and jutting a hip out.

(aka the one where Derek is a CEO of his family’s company; enter Stiles, his new assistant, who happens to be extremely fuckable)

Past Indescretions by The_Muse

(13/? I 9,490 I Not Rated)

He was watching, sea green eyes assessing and piercing through to Stiles very core. If someone had asked the omega what his feelings for Derek Hale were at present he might have answered with nothing at all.

But watching Derek, cool and composed in his dark navy suit, beard trimmed sharply with his beguiling eyes all the more intense, Stiles answer would be that from the core of his being that he would hate no other as intensely as he hated Derek Hale.

-and now the grinning bastard was coming right toward him!

Driving Mr. Derek by I_JustWokeUp

(1/1 I 9,752 I Teen)

Derek no longer has a license to drive. So Laura steps in and hires fresh-out-of-college-with-useless-major Stiles Stilinski to drive him around.

An experiment, also, with intersped images and text.

The Land of Milk and Honey by MereLoup

(1/1 I 12,750 I Explicit)

Derek had followed Peter to many a business dinner. When Peter was trying to woo a client, he pulled out all of the stops. He would spend however much money was necessary to ensure that the client was impressed and felt like the most important person in the world.

Peter Hale had a gift when it came to client relations. Derek had been to just about every five star restaurant in Manhattan, so much so that the shine of expensive business lunches and dinners at exclusive restaurants had begun to wear off just a bit.

All of the safety precautions were a little strange, and they were definitely atypical from the normal places they had attended. Derek wasn’t exactly sure why, but he didn’t really care. Every place had their niche.

But once they passed through those doors, everything made complete sense.

This wasn’t a restaurant at all. It was a bar.

An omega milk bar.

A Deal With The Devil by orphan_account

(1/1 I 14,783 I Explicit)

Alpha billionaire businessman Derek Hale is used to getting anything he wants, he decides he wants Stiles.

Unwind by coffeeinallcaps

(1/1 I 15,407 I Explicit)

Hope you enjoy your present, the text from Erica says. Payment’s taken care of. You can thank me tomorrow.

“So you’re a werewolf, huh,” the guy says when Derek looks up at him again. His gaze drifts down from Derek’s face to the rest of his body, slowly, shamelessly. When it’s traveled back up and their eyes meet again, the corner of the guy’s mouth twitches up into a cocky little half-smile. “I fucking love working with werewolves.” AU in which businessman Derek falls in love with escort Stiles

Stay, Maybe. by toraten

(1/1 I 15,653 I Explicit)

Stiles meets Derek Hale on a business trip and immediately gets attached to the man’s surly, overworked attitude. Luckily - surprisingly - the attraction is mutual. Once they get back home Stiles figures that it’s at least worth a shot, right? So he asks Derek out.

In which their relationship has a deadline, and Stiles gets more and more anxious the closer that deadline comes.

Hale Hath No Fury Enterprises by Nival_Vixen

(9/? I 28,775 I Mature)

Derek’s a billionaire with anxiety and a complete inability to be socially adept in any way, shape, or form (just ask Laura). He only agrees to the dating service because Laura’s nagging’s worn him down, but then he sees Stiles’ video response and agrees to go on a date with him.

Stiles just wants to go on a date (it’s been forever and a day since his last one), and he has a thing for this guy’s eyes/smile/everything, so he replies to the somewhat personal questions via video. He’s surprised that he’s asked on a date, but won’t turn it down, even if he’s just spent the last of his money on clothes to impress said date and probably won’t be able to afford dinner.

The Same Old Blood Rush (With A New Touch) by rainsoakedshoes

(13/13 I 29,564 I Explicit)

“Friends with benefits,” Derek stated. “I just happen to be in a position to provide a few more benefits than your usual hook ups.”

***

Derek was an Alpha with a pack and a multi-billion dollar company to take care of. Stiles was a college kid with assignments and student debt to worry about. Neither of them were looking a serious relationship. A one night stand turned into an easy no-strings-attached arrangement. Although nothing is ever as easy or as simple as it first seems.

Mr Hale by SephrinaRose

(26/26 I 52,337 I Teen)

It was only last week that Stiles had been a completely happy college student, laying about and playing Xbox. But, now, only a few short hours later, he was known worldwide as Mr Hale’s bitch.

Oh shit indeed.

Or in which…

Stiles is a Columbia college student with photographic memory, who hates people that use and abuse others with their power. One day when he is forced to be in the same room as the King Of DickBags: Mr Hale, of Hale Magazine, he gives him a piece of his mind…only to find that it was a mistake he will regret for the rest of his life.

Or is it?

Kings of the Moonlight by thelogicoftaste

(25/25 I 148,854 I Explicit)

Derek is the newly single father to his only son, Isaac Argent Hale, and he finds himself having to move back to his home town of Beacon Hills to escape the insanity of his ex. It’s in the middle of all this upheaval, the crazy mess that his life has become that he meets Stiles.
Crazy, beautiful Stiles.

In Treatment by tzzzz

(22/22 I 166,940 I Explicit)

Derek hires Stiles, a professional alpha sex therapist, to help him through his heat.

For all ‘developing’ countries, total external debt owed in 2011 was $4.9 trillion and over the course of that one year they paid $620 billion servicing these debts.* in the same year, the total foreign aid supplied to the 'developing world’ through the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD was just $133.5 billion.*
This means that, in 2011 alone, for every $1 the creditor nations gave the so-called 'developing world’ in foreign aid, the debtor nations gave almost $5 back in debt repayments.
The whole premise of international development is called into question when the nations involved are giving with one hand while taking five times as much as the other. Rather than the mainstream narrative - of advanced industrial nations helping to 'develop’ inexplicably backward Third World nations, the mask is off. There is no 'developing’ world. Instead there are a host of countries being deliberately decivilized, in order that corporatised states benefit economically and geopolitically. The Debt Trap has been used to reorientate national economies to the service of unsustainable and unethical debt burden, in order to transfer wealth to the creditor institutions and nations.
—  Austerity: The Demolition of the Welfare State and the Rise of the Zombie Economy - Chapter One - Kerry Anne Mendoza
*Jubilee Debt Campaign
* OECD, nin.tl/TNpTnl

anonymous asked:

Hey! So I just read Same Old Blood Rush (With A New Touch) by rainsoakedshoes and I was wondering if you had any more fics where Derek's family is famous/rich like in that fic? Like internationally known, family business, etc etc. Thank you so so so much!!!

A few. - Anastasia

Originally posted by ihiphop

The Same Old Blood Rush (With A New Touch) by rainsoakedshoes

(13/13 I 29,564 I Explicit I Sterek)

“Friends with benefits,” Derek stated. “I just happen to be in a position to provide a few more benefits than your usual hook ups.”

***

Derek was an Alpha with a pack and a multi-billion dollar company to take care of. Stiles was a college kid with assignments and student debt to worry about. Neither of them were looking a serious relationship. A one night stand turned into an easy no-strings-attached arrangement. Although nothing is ever as easy or as simple as it first seems.

***

Beacon Hills’ Richest by stilinskihalefamily

(1/1 I 662 I General I Sterek)

Okay, imagine that the Hales have a reality tv show about being rich and living in a small town like Beacon Hills. LA is only a few hours away and would make much more sense to live there but they like it in BH.

Derek hates being on the show. Hates it. It has ruined every single on of his relationships.

Even Though You’re Sad by holysmokesari 

(1/1 I 1,840 I General I Sterek)

Music has been Stiles’s life ever since his mother died and it’s time that he took a risk to see if he has any real talent.

Mr Hale by SephrinaRose

(26/26 I 52,337 I Teen I Sterek)

It was only last week that Stiles had been a completely happy college student, laying about and playing Xbox. But, now, only a few short hours later, he was known worldwide as Mr Hale’s bitch.

Oh shit indeed.

Or in which…

Stiles is a Columbia college student with photographic memory, who hates people that use and abuse others with their power. One day when he is forced to be in the same room as the King Of DickBags: Mr Hale, of Hale Magazine, he gives him a piece of his mind…only to find that it was a mistake he will regret for the rest of his life.

Or is it?

In all honesty I have more of a problem with people who have unflinching adoration and “respect” for police than I do with police themselves. You know the people, the ones who think police are some sort of saints doing this super dangerous job and are always justified in whatever they do. Some cops themselves are also like that, the ‘thin blue line’ -types who hate internal affairs and all that. 

Like anyone going on about how dangerous a job being a police is, but never remember to mention fire fighters or sanitation workers or miners or even fucking social workers who go to all the places cops do with nothing but a clipboard? I have no respect left for people like that. You’re not admiring people for doing a dangerous job, you’re just stanning for a violent police state cos it benefits you. 

interview tips!!!

so today we had a career guidance class thing and my teacher shared some really good tips so i thought i would share them. 


before the interview:

  • arm yourself with information.
    • read up on the organisation/job/school beforehand.
    • if you know who your interviewer is going to be, google their name. it might come in handy.
  • prep yourself.
    • know why you want it. why do you need to get the job/get into the school?
    • prepare answers to standard questions, like ‘tell me more about yourself’ and ‘what are your strengths and weaknesses’.
  • make sure you have all the details about the interview.
    • confirm, double confirm and triple confirm the location. look it up on google maps and check street view. you don’t want to get lost and show up late.
    • know what documents you have to bring and put them into a nice file.


just before the interview:

  • take out all body piercings.
  • avoid eating spicy food, anything with garlic and onion in them, and basically anything that will either make your breath smell or stick to your teeth.
  • brush your teeth if possible.
  • if you sweat easily, don’t wear shirts where sweat stains are easily seen, like grey.
  • try and arrive at least 10 minutes before the interview


during the interview:

  • knock on the door if it is closed. be polite.
  • always offer the interviewer a firm handshake and always always greet them.
  • wait for the interviewer to gesture before taking a seat.
  • keep your hands on your lap. this will help to prevent you from crossing your arms or fidgeting.
  • speak in the same volume as the interviewer.
  • look straight, not up or down.
  • be energetic and don’t be monotonous!
  • at the end, ALWAYS thank the interviewer for their time. 


after the interview:

  • if you are applying for an internship or attachment with a organisation, always follow up with a thank you note.
    • in the note, say thank you (obviously), then state what you benefitted from the interview. compliment the organisation and then declare your interest again.

i hope this helps you in your future interviews! good luck! :-)

Any Black woman who has ever spent a day at the DHSS office trying to claim benefit or who has had a child taken into care quickly learns that once contact with the welfare agencies is made, her life is no longer her own.

Despite this reality, our relationship with the Welfare State is presented as parasitic. We are described by the media as ‘scroungers’ and depicted as having a child-like dependence upon a benevolent caring (white) society.

—  The Heart of the Race, by Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie, and Suzanne Scafe, pp 100-11

anonymous asked:

im still fairly ignorant about leftism sorry but from my readings of council communism it sounds very similar to syndicalism. what would u say are the main differences?

They’re actually wicked similar tendencies. There are a few differences, though.

  • Council communism uses Marxist perspectives and methods of analysis (historical materialism, etc.), whereas syndicalism generally does not. (”Generally” being the keyword there – Greg is a syndicalist with a Marxist perspective, for example.)
  • Syndicalism is understood pretty much exclusively as an anarchist tendency, whereas council communism is not necessarily anarchist. In cases where council communism supports a transitory “dictatorship of the proletariat” state, it opposes centralization and Leninist conceptions of the vanguard party, seeking full direct democracy in the economic base in an attempt to wield the state for the benefit of the proletariat; syndicalists don’t advocate for this transition period.
  • Workers’ councils are defined as setups of spontaneous organization born in times of revolutionary struggle, whereas syndicalism relies on trade unions that exist before the struggle really takes off. For this reason, many traditional council communists argued that trade unions could only be reformist in nature and that separate revolutionary councils would instead be created by class conscious workers in times of tense material conditions; this also led many of them to refuse to work with reformist individuals or organizations of any sort (which I think is silly). Syndicalism posits that unions will become increasingly revolutionary as workers develop class consciousness.

All said, both tendencies involve near-identical final products in terms of organizational structure – councils/unions hollowing out the capitalist system from below and reforming society into linked confederations based on mutual aid, direct democracy, and a for-need economic system. When push comes to shove, a lot of it is just semantics debate. The unified leftist front that topples capitalism for good will have to focus on directly-democratic institutions of worker control in some very real capacity, and I think council communism and syndicalism truly get to the heart of this idea. 

-Daividh

iggyspossum  asked:

i may be not working in retail for the first time in my very short working life. my dad works for a transport company who drives people who are mainly in wheelchairs (they do p much anyone who gets state disability benefits) and his boss needs an early morning part time dispatcher. wish me luck, ill report back on whether i get the job! im just excited even tho i did sorta like the stories retail gave me.

bloomberg.com
Senate GOP to Snub House Obamacare Repeal Bill and Write Its Own
Several key Senate Republicans said they will set aside the narrowly passed House health-care bill and write their own version instead, a sign of how difficult it will be to deliver on seven years of promises to repeal Obamacare.

Steven T. Dennis  and Laura Litvan at Bloomberg:

Several key Senate Republicans said they will set aside the narrowly passed House health-care bill and write their own version instead, a sign of how difficult it will be to deliver on seven years of promises to repeal Obamacare.

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, who chairs the Senate health committee, and Roy Blunt of Missouri, a member of GOP leadership, both described the plan, even as the House was celebrating passing its repeal after weeks of back and forth. The decision will likely delay even further the prospect of any repeal bill reaching President Donald Trump’s desk.

Hospital stocks dipped on the House vote, but quickly bounced back on the news the Senate would start over with its own version, with the BI North America Hospitals Index up 0.9 percent at 2:39 p.m. Hospitals fear the winding-down of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion will leave them with more customers who can’t afford to pay.

Trump celebrated the House vote with a news conference at the White House, standing alongside dozens of Republican lawmakers.

“This has really brought the Republican Party together,” he said.

But in the wake of the House’s razor-thin 217-213 vote, the Senate made clear it was going in a different direction. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, who has been very critical of the House bill, said Thursday she hopes they start with “a clean slate” in the Senate.

To get some kind of bill through his chamber, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will need to unite moderate and conservative wings of the party that want to pull the measure in entirely different directions. The GOP controls the chamber 52-48, meaning he can lose no more than two Republicans and still pass it, given the united Democratic opposition.

The added sweeteners that helped win crucial GOP support to get the House bill through that chamber had made it even more difficult to get it through the Senate. One of the many obstacles with the House version is that it could run afoul of budget strictures governing the procedure under which the bill is being handled.

‘Manage Expectations’

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah said Republicans’ goal will be to craft a measure that can get 51 votes.

“Coupled with the constraints imposed by the budget reconciliation process, we must manage expectations and remain focused on the art of the doable as we move forward,” he said in a statement after the House vote Thursday.

In short, without changes, the House bill arrives in the Senate well short of the 50 votes, plus a tie-breaking vote by Vice President Mike Pence, that will be needed to pass.

“We are not under any deadlines, so we are going to take our time,” No. 2 Senate Republican John Cornyn of Texas said. “When we have 51 senators we will vote but not until then.”

Coverage and Premiums

Several moderate Republicans have been demanding a more sweeping rewrite of the House bill to ensure more people get covered and premiums come down.

A number of moderates were unhappy with a Congressional Budget Office estimate showing an earlier version of the House measure would have resulted in 24 million more people without insurance within a decade.

That wing is led by Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, a doctor who worked for decades in a charity hospital, and Collins, who together crafted a more moderate plan that kept the Affordable Care Act’s taxes in place instead of repealing them.

Other senators who have expressed concerns about the House bill include Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Cory Gardner of Colorado, who both hail from states that have benefited from the Medicaid expansion.

Slower Pace

Despite intense pressure from Trump to push through a repeal bill, several senators said in interviews in recent weeks that the Senate should take its time.

But several House Republicans have warned the Senate not to tinker too much with the measure they passed Thursday.

Representative Dave Brat of Virginia, a member of the arch-conservative Freedom Caucus who only came on board when states were allowed to bring back higher prices for pre-existing conditions, warned there can’t be any changes to the House bill in the Senate and keep conservatives on board.

“Not at all, none,” he said of any Senate adjustments. “It’s about time they got a dose of medicine. They better not change it one iota.”

One advantage McConnell has is Senate rules, which allow fast-track consideration and an end to debate after a potentially all-night voting session on amendments.

But procedure isn’t enough to trump math. Given all the differences and the GOP’s slim majority, there’s every possibility the bill simply bogs down and goes nowhere, or goes so far in a moderate direction that it loses conservatives in both chambers.

Vulnerable Republicans

While Republicans have a favorable Senate map in the 2018 midterms, Democrats are targeting Dean Heller of Nevada, Jeff Flake of Arizona and, increasingly, Bob Corker of Tennessee for possible pickups.

Heller is by far the most vulnerable as the only incumbent running in a state Democrat Hillary Clinton won in last year’s presidential election.

These senators could feel vulnerable to political attacks for supporting a repeal bill, given the new popularity of the Affordable Care Act.

Complicated Senate Rules

To get through the Senate with only a 50-vote margin, any health bill needs to be scrubbed by the Senate parliamentarian for portions that could violate the “Byrd Rule” – a law that limits what can be passed in the Senate under the reconciliation mechanism.

While Pence – or the presiding officer – ultimately determines what complies with the rule, the long-standing Senate precedent is to defer to the parliamentarian’s rulings.

For example, Democrats believe the provision that critically won over the conservative House Freedom Caucus likely violates the Byrd rule. The amendment would let states apply for waivers to allow insurers to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions if they haven’t maintained continuous coverage, provided the state also has a high-risk pool.

That amendment also would let states ditch “essential health benefits” such as maternity and prescription drug coverage.

Pre-Existing Conditions

How the measure handles pre-existing conditions provisions will face scrutiny among Senate Republicans, even if they first clear the parliamentary hurdle.

Susan Collins of Maine, for one, said in a recent interview she wouldn’t support allowing people with pre-existing conditions to be charged much more money. “I can’t go for that,” she said.

She said that she would instead consider more support for so-called invisible high-risk pools that act as essentially a reinsurance plan to bring costs down for everyone. The House bill has some funding that could be used for such a pool.

Reversing Medicaid Expansion

The House bill’s $800 billion-plus cut to Medicaid goes too far for some Senate Republicans, particularly those from states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

That includes Rob Portman of Ohio, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Murkowski. Each reiterated their objections to the House bill in interviews in the past week.

It’s unclear whether they will be satisfied by reallocating some of the spending in the bill, shrinking the tax cuts, or some combination, although senators have been meeting in small groups and discussing possible amendments.

Age Rating and Tax Credits

The House bill’s move to let insurers charge people age 50-64 five times what they charge young people – up from a 3-to-1 ratio now – would dramatically increase their premiums, even as poorer people would see skimpier tax credits under the new system.

The Congressional Budget Office predicted as much as a 759 percent increase in premiums for low-income seniors whose premiums are now capped as a percentage of their income.

Senator John Thune of South Dakota, a member of the GOP leadership, has been crafting a provision that would reduce the premium spike for these seniors – an issue particularly important to senators in high-cost states like Murkowski’s Alaska and in states with older populations like Capito’s West Virginia and Collins’s Maine.

Fuller Repeal

On the party’s right flank, Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky will try to pull any measure closer to a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act while adding conservative planks.

It’s not clear how they can do so and still get enough votes to pass the final product.

Cruz said Wednesday he is talking with senators and the administration about ways to improve the bill and bring down premiums. One provision he hopes to add is an amendment allowing insurers to sell across state lines to boost competition. That’s something Trump promised on the campaign trail but could run into procedural objections, as well as political resistance.

Paul, meanwhile, may be the toughest vote to get on the right. The libertarian-minded senator has criticized the House bill for continuing some tax credit payments to insurance companies.

The Senate’s NOT going through with the #AHCA, and will instead craft its own version of an Obamacare replacement (aka #Trumpcare).

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