The DNC was adamant that the 2020 primary election cycle would be different and they have certainly stayed true to their word. That is a positive development if you are someone who disagreed with how they handled the 2016 primary season, but it's the death knell for a number of lower-polling candidates who relied on the debates to reach a national audience.
I can see how the lower polling candidates feel they got the short end of the stick in not being invited to participate in debates anymore, especially before a single vote has been cast, but I have to admit that I'm perfectly fine with the direction the DNC is going in when it comes to the debates. The larger than normal field of Democratic contenders has made it difficult for certain candidates to have a breakthrough moment, but that doesn't mean there should continue to be a dozen or more candidates sharing a stage for a two or three hour debate. That makes it impossible to have a genuine debate because there's simply too many people vying to be heard.
Those who lament the fact that the debate stage now lacks diversity have a valid point and you will get no push back from me arguing otherwise. It is a shame that what was once the most diverse field in history is now a monolithic one, at least when it comes to skin color. However, I don't know how to remedy that without diluting the quality of the debate. Having such a large field is a double-edged sword because it makes it that much harder to have your voice heard.
So the DNC is left with no choice but to have concrete rules and stick to them. The only wild card is what they will do if Michael Bloomberg has a solid showing in Iowa and/or New Hampshire. He is not accepting private donations, so by definition he is automatically disqualified from participating in the Democratic debates. But if he has a solid showing in any of the early states then the DNC will likely be left with no choice but to allow him to participate in future debates.
What do you think? Do you agree with me that the DNC has no other choice than to take this route, especially after what happened in 2016? Or are they making a mistake by shutting out such a large number of candidates from the debates before a single vote has been cast?
With all the endless debate about Obamacare (and Medicaid expansion) this past decade, it's easy to forget to stop and ask ourselves whether it's actually having a positive effect on the people who are using it, especially in the states that fought tooth and nail to prevent the law from being enacted in the first place but eventually decided to expand Medicaid after years of inaction. When it comes to that specific population, the answer appears to be a resounding and unequivocal "yes."
A new peer-reviewed analysis published in the journal Health Affairs recently concluded that the Southern states that expanded Medicaid “experienced lower rates of physical and mental health declines” compared to their counterparts that haven't expanded Medicaid. Residents in these states have reported "lower rates of self-reported health declines and a higher likelihood of maintaining baseline health status over time,” among a range of other benefits. That is great news regardless of where you fall on the ideological and political spectrum because a healthy population isn't a Red or Blue issue, it's an American issue.
What I'm interested in is whether any of the 14 states that still haven't expanded Medicaid will be swayed by this study or not. The pessimist in me takes a quick look at that map and sees *maybe* one state that may move to expand Medicaid in the near(ish) future (Wisconsin) and that's only if the Democrats retake the state legislature in the 2020. But that's about it, at least in my opinion.
Does anyone think I'm low-balling the number of states that may move to expand Medicaid or do you agree that Wisconsin is the only realistic possibility in the near future?
bryce28 Wrote: 1. COLA increase. The cost-of-living increase is meant to keep up with national inflation and for 2020 benefits will increase for everyone by 1.6%. Now that's not a lot; the average benefit for retired workers will only go up $24/month, and just $20 on average per month for disabled workers. But $24*12 months is $288 more in payouts on average for 2020, so it's definitely not nothing. Unfortunately national inflation projections for 2020 are ~2.5%. So it would be nice if the govt could tie the COLA increase to the actual real inflation, but that's for a different discussion I suppose.
This seems appallingly low and is basically a slap in the fact to the millions of seniors who depend on Social Security for a large portion of their retirement income. The least we can do is tie yearly increases to inflation.
We're only a few weeks away from the Iowa caucuses and the race still seems to be relatively the same as it it has been for months, with the only "major" change being Senator Harris dropping out and Pete Buttigieg rising in both Iowa and national polling into what most of us would consider a "top-tier" candidate.
Personally, I just have a hard time believing that Buttigieg has much staying power after Iowa, but take what I say with a grain of salt because if I've learned anything in recent years, it's that it's impossible to predict anything when it comes to national politics!
Another thing we'll have to keep an eye on is if the DNC agrees to change their debate rules if Mayor Bloomberg performs well in Iowa. He's vowed to self-fund his candidacy, which, according to current DNC debate rules, disqualifies him from participating in any sanctioned debate. I can't imagine that the DNC will keep that rule if he has a big night in Iowa.
Regardless of who your candidate is and what your predictions are, it is exciting that, after a year plus of campaigning, the rubber is finally about to start hitting the road. Let the games begin.
Richard1022 Wrote: As if all that weren't enough, add in the fact that modern day computer algorithms can design congressional districts with pinpoint accuracy and 2020 may very well be the year that determines the trajectory not just for your state, but the entire country, for the next decade or more.
That's not hyperbole. All we have to do is look at how the 2010 census gave Republicans throughout the country total dominance in statehouse after statehouse for the majority, if not the entire, decade.
Elections have consequences and elections in years that end in "zero" times those consequences to the nth degree.
redisgood Wrote: Since the impeachment was not done following the constitution I don't accept it as legally binding. President Trump will survive this and go on to another 4 year term of accomplishing what he has promised to do. And he has done many promises already. People are totally waking up to what the democrats have been up to for years. Hope it all comes out and ppl are indicted as they legally should be. Cheers.
How would you say the House impeachment of President Trump was not done according to the Constitution?
Article I, Section 2. of our Constitution reads: The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. That seems pretty cut and dry to me.
And throwing political opponents in jail is what tin-pot dictators do. We all need to take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we're all in this democratic experiment together and we should stop taking it for granted.
J.K.Logic Wrote: In regards to your question, I have been thinking of this very question for a few weeks now for the same reasons. I do think he will get impeached and then promptly be acquitted in the Senate. And then where does that leave us? He would make history as the first president to ever be re-elected after an impeachment, which is astounding if that were to happen.
But I don't think it will. I'm not confident of this prediction, but I do think a lot of the country has turned on Trump, basically everyone that's not in his camp hardcore already. I think his narrow victory was won in 2016 by a good amount of undecided voters that simply did not want to vote for Hilary. Agree or disagree, she was not a very liked candidate.
So I think the Democrats just have to nominate someone that is less polarizing than Hilary. And try their best not to make this a 'lesser of two evils' type of election again. I think they will accomplish that and even though we are as polarized as ever as a country now and Trump's base will still turn out in droves, I predict the Dems will win as no one in the current crop is as polarizing as Hilary was, and Trump will ultimately lose out on all the undecided votes this time around.
I agree with pretty much everything here. The stars had to perfectly align in 2016 for Trump to get elected and they magically did. Three years later and he has kept the Republican base unflinchingly loyal to him, but he hasn't expanded the base one iota and is the first President in the history of modern polling to never reach a 50% approval rating.
What's interesting is how I'm not surprised that the impeachment hearings didn't seem to change any minds. If you're a Trump fan then it's yet another "witch hunt" and if you're a Trump foe then he's guilty of bribery and extortion. Everyone is in their tribal camp and they will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Patriotism, definitions of words, and facts are now partisan. It's very worrying when you think about it.
The 2020 Democratic field is the most diverse and qualified in history. It is also, by far, the largest in history. Unfortunately, these two things are mutually exclusive. Since the field is so large, it is very difficult, if not impossible, for many otherwise qualified candidates to break through ahead of the pack.
Since the Democratic National Committee (DNC) found out the hard way in 2016 that the mere appearance of picking sides can have unintended consequences that dominate the discussion within a party at a time it needs to be coalescing behind a nominee they came up with a strict set of rules governing the debates this election cycle. Every candidate was informed of and agreed to the new debate qualifications based off polling *and* the number of individual contributors to a campaign. Those standards started off reasonably low, but have been steadily raised as the debate season goes on in an attempt to have more substantive debates in the lead-up to the first caucus and primaries.
While all candidates initially agreed to these standards, there is now some push-back by not just the candidates who no longer qualify for the debates, but by the top-tier candidates, as well. Nine candidates, including Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders, wrote to the DNC asking them to reconsider the debate qualification rules arguing that the "unintended result does not live up to the values of our Democratic Party and it does not serve the best interest of Democratic voters, who deserve to hear from and be able to choose among the best our party has to offer." Not surprisingly, the DNC denied the request.
I honestly feel bad for the DNC and the number of otherwise wholly qualified candidates who just happened to run for President in a year two dozen other people decided to. In order to avoid being accused of tipping the scales, the DNC had to come up with a strict set of standards and stick to them. Unfortunately for a number of candidates, the DNC sticking to their strict set of standards is basically the death knell for their campaign.
So while I feel for many of the candidates who didn't qualify for the December debate, I have to admit that I agree with the DNC here. The only way we will have a genuine, substantive debate on the issues is by having more genuine, substantive debates. That requires giving fewer candidates more time to speak. We simply can't have that with a bakers dozen of candidates sharing the same stage.
What do you think? Do you agree that the DNC is making the right decision with gradually setting stricter and stricter debate qualifications or are they making a mistake by winnowing the field before a single vote is cast?
J.K.Logic Wrote: Maybe employers are? Anyone have experience with that here, where your company is telling you about the open enrollment window for signing up on a yearly basis?
I'm a 1099, but thankfully have health insurance through my wife's employer. Employer based health insurance is vastly different than health insurance purchased on the marketplace because large companies are able to negotiate better terms for their employees and are on a different time schedule than the Obamacare marketplace is.
Obamacare is more for the tens of millions of Americans who are self-employed or who work for a small (and sometimes even large) business that doesn't offer any health benefits. What many Americans still don't know is that there is a ton of help out there with financial subsidies and even Medicaid for those who qualify. Advertising used to explain that, but many Americans are in the dark about that now.
bryce28 Wrote: Wow. Had no idea. Thanks for the post. I do hope employers are at least alerting people. But what about self-employed people, all the workers that work non-conventional jobs, the gig economy, etc?
Self-employed individuals (and families) are one of the groups this affects the most. The vast majority of people who work "conventional" jobs have health insurance through their employer. Their "open enrollment" is vastly different than those who obtain their coverage through the marketplace under Obamacare.
So not only do self-employed people have to (typically) pay more than the average 1099 worker, they also are entirely on their on in figuring out what plan to sign up for and to make sure they sign up for it in time.
I'm definitely not suggesting we go back to the pre-Obamacare days where anyone can be denied coverage for any reason under the sun, but I do think we need to patch up some holes in the current system to make it better for the millions of Americans who use it.