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Clock ticks as “Skinny” Senate GOP health bill remains a mystery

Clock ticks as “Skinny” Senate GOP health bill remains a mystery

With half of the debate completed in the U.S. Senate on a House-passed bill to overhaul the Obama health law, Republicans have yet to reveal the details of what may be the only GOP option that can get a majority of votes, a streamlined measure which would change only a few provisions of current health law. “I don’t know what the “skinny” repeal looks like,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) to a group of reporters, as he acknowledged doing the bare minimum on health care might be about the only way to keep GOP options open on changes to Obamacare. “What you’re really voting on is to try to keep the discussions alive between the House and Senate,” Corker told reporters. Corker says 'content' of skinny bill not the point, rather it is 'forcing mechanism' for conference with House — Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) July 26, 2017 The way the “skinny” Republican option has been described in recent days is this: + Zero out the tax penalty on the individual mandate (note – this does not “repeal” the mandate – it just reduces the penalty to $0). + Zero out the employer mandate penalty + Repeal the medical device tax. But there were rumblings on Wednesday that the details of the plan would have to be fiddled with, leaving GOP Senators in the dark on what they might be voting on late on Thursday night, or Friday. McCain, with his usual sass, on where he's at with skinny repeal: 'It changes every hour, how can I judge it?' — Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) July 26, 2017 “I want to see what it says; I don’t know what it says – no one knows what it says yet,” Corker said. “All of this right now is procedural setup to get to an end that none of us are certain what it’s going to look like,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA). “I’d rather comment when we see it actually formulated,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) of the “skinny” Senate bill. Down at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, President Trump was continuing to press GOP Senators for action, using his platform on Twitter to make one more direct appeal on Thursday morning. Come on Republican Senators, you can do it on Healthcare. After 7 years, this is your chance to shine! Don't let the American people down! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 27, 2017 But as the day began, it wasn’t clear whether there would be 50 Republican votes for any GOP health plan in the Senate – skinny or not. For seven years, many Republicans and conservative groups have pushed a story line that wasn’t completely true about the Congressional debate on the Obama health law – that few hearings were held, that the bill text was kept a secret until the bitter end, that the House and Senate votes were done in the middle of the night, and more. Having covered the legislative battle over the Obama health law, many of those criticisms weren’t entirely accurate – but the irony right now is that the GOP may be following a health care script in 2017 which mirrors many of their own complaints from 2009 and 2010.

Clay County Sheriff's Office announces new neighborhood crime prevention tool

Clay County Sheriff's Office announces new neighborhood crime prevention tool

It's called the Sheriff's Neighborhood Engagement Team, or NET.   The Clay County Sheriff's Office is announcing a new neighborhood crime prevention tool, with a big focus on community involvement.   Sheriff Darryl Daniels says, 'What I envision happening is, neighbors are more concerned about one another and their own safety and they get more energized collectively to make ensure that their areas are kept safe and secure, with cooperation from the Sheriff's Office.'   NET will involve monthly meetings with deputies to discuss crime trends and crime prevention strategies, with each neighborhood getting their own meeting.   The Sheriff's Office has released the following list of monthly meeting dates, times, and locations:   • Zone 1 (Orange Park) – Orange Park Operations Center, 212 Blanding Blvd.  Fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.  • Zone 2 (Oakleaf) - Oakleaf Community Center, 370 Oakleaf Village Pkwy.  First Thursday of the month at 7 p.m.  • Zone 3 (Fleming Island) – Sacred Heart Catholic, 7190 U.S. 17  Second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.  • Zone 4 (Middleburg) Middleburg Operations Center, 1836 Blanding Blvd.  Second Thursday of the month at 7 p.m.  • Zone 5 (Green Cove Springs) Clay County Agricultural Center (Fairgrounds), 2497 SR 16  First Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.  • Zone 6 (Keystone Heights) Keystone Heights City Hall, 555 S. Lawrence Blvd.  Second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.   If you're interested in joining, you can sign up at www.claysheriff.com.

Senate defeats “clean repeal” as GOP eyes “skinny” health care bill

Senate defeats “clean repeal” as GOP eyes “skinny” health care bill

For a second straight day, the full Senate voted down a leading GOP plan to make major changes in the Obama health law, as Republicans continued to struggle with how best to forge a plan that can win approval in the Senate later this week, with growing talk that the GOP may try to pass a bill that does very little, in hopes of starting House-Senate negotiations on a final deal. The latest plan to be rejected by the Senate was similar to a bill which had won Congressional approval in 2015, but had been vetoed by President Barack Obama, what Republicans labeled a “clean repeal” – even though it was nothing close to an actual repeal of the Obama health law. “It is just trying to peel back Obamacare,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) argued in vain on the Senate floor, as he acknowledged the ‘clean repeal’ is “only a partial repeal.” But while this plan was approved two years ago, it failed this time, mustering only 45 votes, as seven GOP Senators broke ranks to doom the measure. Only 43 Republicans had backed the first big GOP amendment on Tuesday. 7 GOP Senators voting 'No' – Capito WV, Heller NV, Collins ME, McCain AZ, Portman OH, Alexander TN, Murkowski AK — Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) July 26, 2017 Of those seven Republican “No” votes, only Collins had voted against the plan in December of 2015; the other six were all for it, back when an Obama veto was a certainty. Here's @SenAlexander's explanation for his surprise NO vote on the ACA repeal bill just now: pic.twitter.com/4teP2JyKIg — Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) July 26, 2017 Meanwhile, more and more Republican energy was being focused on an extremely limited health care bill – labeled ‘Skinny repeal’ – as a way to pass a bill through the Senate later this week, which would then lead to negotiations between the House and Senate in the month of August. “Skinny repeal” would involve zeroing out the tax penalties for not having health insurance under the individual and employer mandates, and repealing the medical device tax. No other provisions would be touched. “I could live with that,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), as a number of GOP Senators embraced the idea, seeing it as a way to avoid defeat in the Senate, and giving time for more negotiations on a final health care plan. Rounds says intent is just to pass skinny bill to get to conference to give time for CBO scores on changes — Peter Sullivan (@PeterSullivan4) July 26, 2017 Sen. Ron Johnson tells me he would support skinny repeal to move the process forward to conference. Not happy with it on its own. — Tara Golshan (@t_golshan) July 26, 2017 “What you’re really voting on is trying to keep the discussions alive between the House and Senate,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who expressed frustration that the Senate might have to use the ‘skinny solution’ as a fall back. “It’s disappointing that we find ourselves where we are,” Corker told a group of reporters. Democrats denounced the idea. “Skinny repeal should be called ‘gut it and run,'” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), as critics said the plan would not reduce premiums for those in the individual insurance market. Remember the vote that really matters in Vote-a-Rama is the McConnell substitute at the end of the process. Think Friday 5 a.m. — Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) July 26, 2017 Over in the House, some Republicans weren’t exactly thrilled with the idea of a ‘skinny’ bill, but said the Senate must keep the process moving. “My feeling is, I’m glad I’m not a Senator,” said Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) with a laugh.

For the third year in a row, you helped us to break donation records at the WOKV Care-A-Thon! With your help we raised $200,000!
For the third year in a row, you helped us to break donation records at the WOKV Care-A-Thon! With your help we raised $200,000!
For the third year in a row, you helped us to break donation records at the WOKV Care-A-Thon! With your help we raised $200,000!
For the third year in a row, you helped us to break donation records at the WOKV Care-A-Thon! With your help we raised $200,000!
Clock ticks as “Skinny” Senate GOP health bill remains a mystery

With half of the debate completed in the U.S. Senate on a House-passed bill to overhaul the Obama health law, Republicans have yet to reveal the details of what may be the only GOP option that can get a majority of votes, a streamlined measure which would change only a few provisions of current health law.

“I don’t know what the “skinny” repeal looks like,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) to a group of reporters, as he acknowledged doing the bare minimum on health care might be about the only way to keep GOP options open on changes to Obamacare.

“What you’re [More]