Scott Pruitt, left, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, with President Trump and a group of coal miners in March as the president signed an executive order that rolled back many climate-change policies. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

The following article by Jason DeRusha was posted on the WCCO website May 6, 2017:

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO has learned wealthy Twin Cities businessman Dean Phillips says he will run for Congress against Rep. Erik Paulsen in Minnesota’s 3rd District covering the western suburbs from Eden Prairie to Maple Grove.

Phillips told WCCO’s Jason DeRusha that Republican Rep. Paulsen’s Thursday vote in favor of “Trumpcare,” the health care bill designed to roll-back parts of Obamacare, moved up his timeline to begin the process to declare as a candidate. He said he expects to officially announce in the coming week.

Phillips’ family started the Phillips Distilling Co., a Minneapolis company that created Phillips Vodka and Prairie Organic spirits, he also owned Talenti Gelato. He has sold both of those businesses and in recent years has worked on philanthropic issues and co-founded Penny’s Coffee, a Minneapolis coffee shop near downtown.

Phillips created a Twitter account Friday, tweeting: “@RepErikPaulsen? More like Mis-Representative. Your vote for #TrumpCare betrays the people you serve. #ReadTheBill ’18 can’t come soon enough,” and DFL leaders and activists have been recruiting him after a disappointing showing by former Plymouth mayor and State Representative Terri Bonhoff.

.@RepErikPaulsen?More like Mis-Representative.Your vote for betrays the people you serve. ’18 can’t come soon enough

DFL leaders and activists have been recruiting him after a disappointing showing by former State Senator Terri Bonoff.

WCCO reached out to a spokesperson for Paulsen Saturday morning but did not get a response.

View the post here.

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Health care is now set to be a defining issue in the next election cycles

The following article by Philip Rucker was posted on the Washington Post website May 5, 2017:

With one hasty and excruciatingly narrow vote, House Republicans have all but guaranteed that health care will be one of the most pivotal issues shaping the next two election cycles — including congressional, gubernatorial and state legislative races in the 2018 midterms and President Trump’s likely reelection bid in 2020.

Just as Democrats were forced to defend Obamacare in the 2010 midterms — the result was a coast-to-coast drubbing that President Barack Obama called a “shellacking” — Republicans this time will be in the hot seat. (more…)

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How To Fight The Republicans Who Voted For ‘Trumpcare’

The following article by Tim Marcin of Newsweek was posted on the National Memo website May 5, 2017:

Lots of liberals, and even some conservatives, are upset that House Republicans passed Thursday a health care bill that hadn’t been vetted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for its cost or effects, such as the loss of coverage for millions of Americans, as the CBO estimated for a prior version of the legislation. The GOP was apparently ready for it’s Obamacare replacement and ready for it now—but opponents also were ready to fight back.

Causing particular anger is the provision in the American Health Care Act (AHCA)—often dubbed Trumpcare—that undermines protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. States would be able to apply for waivers to allow insurers to charge higher premiums for those with pre-existing conditions. It has been estimated some 27 percent of people on the individual market suffer from things that could be considered pre-existing conditions—which under Obamacare included having cancer or being the victim of sexual assault. (more…)

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The GOP plan probably won’t change Congress’s health care. Here’s why.

The following article by Elise Viebeck was posted on the Washington Post website May 5, 2017:


Residents followed their elusive congressman to a Bloomington Chamber of Commerce event in hopes of having a chance to speak with him. Paulsen ignored them.

Lawmakers and congressional staff are unlikely to face higher premiums or fewer health-care benefits as a direct result of the House Republicans’ health-care plan for one big reason: they work in the District of Columbia.

That’s the conclusion of health-care experts who said Congress’s 535 lawmakers and the thousands of Capitol Hill staffers who work for them won’t be much affected by the American Health Care Act, which passed the House narrowly on Thursday.

This is despite the House’s move to nullify a provision in the amended bill that originally exempting them from the plan’s changes, according to several health-care experts. (more…)

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Was Erik Paulsen Duped By Medical Devicemakers Or Is He Promoting Alternative Facts ?

The following post on the Minnesota Political Roundtable website was posted April 17, 2017:

It wasn’t alternative facts when Congressman Tom Price R-GA-06 offered H.R. 4848 “Healthy Inpatient Procedures Act of 2016” or the “HIP Act” … it was greed.

Background :
Medicare had announced a new regulation – Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model. The CJR model’s goal was to give hospitals a financial incentive to work with physicians, home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities and other providers, promoting coordinated care. (more…)

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Do members of Congress pay for 100 percent of their health insurance?

The following article by Michelle Ye Hee Lee was posted on the Washington Post website April 17, 2017:

Question: “Who pays your salary?”
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.): “I am self-employed, I’ve been self-employed, and I pay more taxes inside my own company personally than I’ll ever receive from being in Congress. I pay my own, and I pay my own insurance. … So don’t mislead and think that you’re paying mine. I do. Also, every member of Congress, they pay for their own insurance, too. We are put into the exchange. We’re not a federal employee. We go into the D.C. exchange and we personally have to pay for 100 percent of it. Not a percentage, all of it.”
— Exchange during a town hall, April 10, 2017

Question: “Where do you get your insurance?”
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.): “I will say, just because there’s a lot of misinformation on it: I am on Obamacare. So that’s what Congress does.”
— Exchange during a town hall, April 10, 2017 (more…)

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#badvotes Paulsen Vote Tracker: American Health Care Act of 2017 (AHCA) – ACA repeal/replace bill

SUMMARY

AHCA was a bill presented in the House of Representatives to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare).  The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analyzed the AHCA and determined that under the AHCA:

  • 24 million would lose their health insurance;
  • $880 billion dollars would be cut from Medicaid;
  • Insurers would be allowed to charge five times more for older enrollees than younger ones
  • Social Security expenditures would decrease by $3 billion due to earlier mortality;
  • Taxes on the top 5% of income-earners would be reduced.  

A revised version of the bill was offered, which attempted to woo votes from the Freedom Caucus Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. The revised version stripped away essential health benefits in insurance policies, so that insurance companies could sell “insurance” that did not cover hospitalization, maternity care, prescription drug benefits, etc.  The revised bill was pulled without a vote after House Speaker Paul Ryan determined that it did not have enough votes to pass.

Paulsen’s position:  Paulsen supported the bill to the end.  He spoke on the House floor in support of the bill minutes before the bill was pulled with no vote.

TAKEAWAY

Paulsen is now on record for ardently supporting the failed AHCA which would have taken health insurance away from millions of Americans.

More info: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/24/politics/house-health-care-vote/

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Esme Murphy’s Talking Points: Cong. Paulsen on Trumcare and Town Halls

Regarding Rep. Paulsen’s claim of Congress on Your Corner events, we can find nothing listed on his website and no posting of events in local newspaper or even the StarTribune for anything for years, although he does have photos on his government website page. Events held at businesses and organizations with leadership who support (and, perhaps, contribute to?) Mr. Paulsen don’t constitute public town halls. Tele-townhalls have people screening questions before the caller is allowed to speak to Mr. Paulsen. And, it’s much easier to avoid answering questions any any follow-up questions when it’s a phone call controlled by your staffers.  Many constituents have gotten robocalls saying “sorry I missed you” for a tele-t0wnhall from Rep. Paulsen while they were obviously able to take the tele-townhall call. So, Rep. Paulsen, not matter what you say it really isn’t an effective way to reach out to your constituents.

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Paulsen Backs American Health Care Act

The following article by William Bornhoft was posted on the Minnetonka Patch website March 16, 2017:

“We are replacing Obamacare with a plan that will lower costs and give patients immediate relief,” Rep. Erik Paulsen said.

If you want to talk to Erik Paulsen, good luck. You might catch him at a Fourth of July parade, but no questions, please.Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Last week, Republican Congressman Erik Paulsen, who represents the suburbs in the west Twin Cities metro, voted in the House Ways and Means Committee to advance the American Health Care Act, saying it will give Americans access to quality, affordable health care options that are tailored to meet patients’ needs.

“After many years and countless stories of patients facing skyrocketing premiums, losing their health care plan, and not being able to see their doctor, we are replacing Obamacare with a plan that will lower costs and give patients immediate relief,” Paulsen said in a statement. (more…)

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