Monday, October 16, 2017

Representative Cheerleader

So here's Rep Stefanik giving an attaboy to burning more coal.

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, whose northern New York district includes the Adirondack Park, has a nuanced response to the Trump administration canceling the Clean Power Plan, which would have reduced emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The Republican from Willsboro never supported the Clean Power Plan because it was started on President Barack Obama’s executive authority rather than by Congress.

“When Congress is circumvented in the process, the policy can easily be undone from one administration to the other,” Stefanik’s spokesman, Tom Flanagin, wrote in an email Thursday. “Congress, not federal bureaucrats, should set our national energy policy.”

Now Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency plans to scrap the Clean Power Plan to protect coal production, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said earlier this week. The plan was never enacted; a court blocked it shortly after Obama announced it.

A nuanced response is a lot more than we normally get from her. Apparently, laws passed and signed by the president are also easily undone from one administration to another

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, issued the following statement on Thursday supporting President Trump’s executive order to expand choice in health care for families and businesses:

“Families and businesses in my district, deserve more choice in healthcare, and I applaud these efforts to lower costs,” Stefanik said. “Allowing employers to pool together and purchase insurance across state lines is commonsense and will allow more people to access affordable coverage. I will continue to work in Congress on bipartisan healthcare solutions to help lower costs, increase access and improve quality.”

So, the last letter ended up in the "letters I've written never meaning to send category." This one is sent. 

    It's not surprising to see Rep. Stefanik praising President Trump for ridding us of President Obama's evil executive order attempting to regulate coal burning. While Obama wasn't able to get that passed in Congress, he was able to get ACA passed. It seems a little hypocritical for our congresswoman to then extol Trump for an executive order undermining this established law. Having failed to "repeal and replace," the GOP is embracing the Samson option. Steve Bannon, a few days ago, "Not gonna make the CSR payments. Gonna blow that thing up, gonna blow those exchanges up, right?"
     "Allowing employers to pool together and purchase insurance across state lines is commonsense and will allow more people to access affordable coverage," from Stefanik statement. That means loosening laws on association health plans that will allow the skirting of the essential health benefits required under ACA. Commonsense is enabling insurers to choose the states with the most lenient regulations, I suppose. The insurance market won't work when the healthy and the sick self-select into their own respective niches and policies are not subject to regulation. That's the beginning of the race to the bottom.
     In 1992, there were plans such as these, referred to as multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs).  They "left at least 398,000 participants and their beneficiaries with more than $123 million in unpaid claims between January 1988 and June 1991" (Washington Post). "MEWAs have proven to be a source of regulatory confusion, enforcement problems and, in some instances, fraud." (GAO). It's not much of a shock to see them promulgated 25 years later by the man who was successfully sued for Trump University. It is disheartening to see our representative giving him thumbs up for doing so, though.  

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