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Paul opposes his plan to delay end of Medicaid expansion from 2020 to 2023...

Al CrossAl CrossMajority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky defended Senate Republicans' secret drafting of a new health-care law Tuesday, saying committee hearings that Democrats demand aren't needed.

"Look, we've been dealing with this issue for seven years. It's not a new thing. We've spent a lot of time on it," McConnell told reporters. "Nobody's hiding the ball here. You're free to ask anyone anything. But there have been gazillions of hearings on this subject when [Democrats] were in the majority, when we were in the majority. We understand the issue very well and we are now coming up with a solution."

Democrats continued their criticism. Michael McAuliff of Huffington Post reports, "Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) noted that McConnell had once been a strong advocate for transparency when Democrats passed Obamare after more than a year of hearings and 25 hours of debate on the Senate floor. Bennet quoted McConnell saying then: 'Above all, he said, the American people, above all, they are tired of a process that shuts them out. They are tired of giant bills negotiated in secret, then jammed through on a party line vote in the middle of the night.'"

Bennet said, “If the process we had wasn’t enough . . . what they’re giving is really giving the back of their hand to the American people.”

Some Republican senators "say the process is hard to defend, but they have no choice if they want to keep their campaign promise to replace Obamacare," Laura Litvan of Bloomberg News reports.

"We wrote a bill in the House, which nobody could amend," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told her. "That's not good. We're trying to do it from a one-party perspective because no Democrat is willing to help us. But no, this is not the best way to do health care. But it's the way we're having to do it."

Litvan writes, "Others say they fear senators and the public will have little time to understand a final proposal when and if it is released. "I think we have to really take a look at this, and I think the American people need to take a look at it," Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told her.

"Some Republicans who have largely been left outside the deliberations say they can't predict what they'll do," Litvan writes, quoting Sen. Susan Collins of Maine: "The emerging bill is considerably better than the House bill, but saying that it's better doesn't mean that it's acceptable to me."

The main sticking point for Republicans is the future of Medicaid, which Kentucky and most other states expanded with funding from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The House bill would have ended the expansion in 2020, but McConnell has proposed a phase-out through 2023.

Bob Bryan of Business Insider reports that conservative Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas "have also come out against a slower phase-out of this funding, making a compromise more difficult" because only 52 of the 100 senators are Republicans. They need 50 votes, plus the tie-breaker by Vice President Mike Pence.

McConnell has said he wants the Senate to pass the bill before it leaves for the July 4 holiday recess, but he wouldn't say Tuesday when it would pass. "Well, you know, I'm not going to answer that with specificity," he said. "Our goal is to move forward quickly. The status quo is unsustainable. Something has to be done. Something has to be done soon."

Meanwhile, McAuliff reports, President Trump "reportedly told GOP senators in a meeting at the White House that the repeal bill passed by the House was 'mean'." The New York Times reported likewise, citing "four congressional aides who were were briefed on the discussion and spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Politico reports Trump "made clear that the Senate needs to pass a bill that Republicans are able to more easily defend and is not viewed as an attack on Americans from low-income households, as the House bill has been portrayed by critics, the sources said. He also advocated more robust tax credits for people who buy insurance on the individual market, a move that would increase the bill’s cost."

Posted by Al Cross at 11:46 PM

Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky


This Father's Day, Keep Trying

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

Every year thousands of little babies are put up for adoption. Our oldest daughter and son in law adopted a beautiful little girl not quite a year ago. We can no longer imagine our family without her.

Her mother picked our daughter and her husband out of a number of families who were in the adoption line waiting for a child. They had prepared a lot of information about themselves, history, goals and aspirations along with an entire book of pictures. The mother of the child selected them and met with them before the actual transfer of the child took place. While there were and still are may legal letters to dot and cross their joy of the child has been great.

I can't imagine the biological mother of the child handing her baby over to another couple. The mother in all honesty stated she had two children and financially couldn't take care of another child. She didn't want to kill the baby but wanted the child to have a good home. Let's please give the biological mother an A for doing the right thing.

I never dreamed that I would be a grandfather. My oldest son was 32 years old when he announced to me that my wife and I would be grandparents. He is almost two years old now and is a lovely little boy. Since then our youngest daughter has had a child so suddenly we now have three grandbabies.

Grandbabies are easier than children. We love on them, spoil them and then give them back to their parents.

If we are fortunate life passes by and we have the opportunity to look back. Old people have the opportunity to look back at the joys, pleasures and regrets of life and everybody has a little of all of them. You haven't lived much if you haven't had some joys and a regret or two.

The joy that my little sons brought me were more than I could ever write about. They were two sweet little boys that listened to my silly bedtime stories almost every night. They grew up to fill my house with loud guitar and drum music and kept me jumping during their teenage years. I miss loading them up in the car and us heading off to see their grandparents in Ohio. I miss our trips to Myrtle Beach to play in the sand tossing a ball in the backyard. Of course I could go on with things I miss all day long. Most of us dads could.

On the flip side now my sons are 34 and 31. They are 14 and six-year military men and our conversations and lives are now very different. I love them and still look forward to every minute I have to do something together or just hang out for a day. At this stage of life there isn't enough of these times as one lives on the east coast and the other lives on the west coast.

Fatherhood is a blessing to be enjoyed and there will always be a few moments to endure, that's part of life as well. You may not be a father and that's okay to. Just enjoy whatever your status. There aren't any universal rules that say you have to be a father to have a fulfilling life. My nephew is 55, single and with no children and lives life with a good attitude and sense of wellbeing.

On this Father's day, give thanks for the opportunity to be a father. Tell your children you love them and engage in their lives and activities. If you've made mistakes you have today to try to be a better father. It's never too late to do something right.

If you are fortunate to still have your father then please brighten his day by calling him and having a long telephone conversation. If possible go and spend time with him. Do what you can to express love and admiration if you can and you won't regret it.

Finally, we have to be realistic. There are scenarios of deadbeat dads who were lousy fathers and unworthy of praise. On the flipside there are children who did everything they could to drive dad crazy while growing up. These are the harsh realities of life. The real reality of life is that love covers a multitude of sins and it's never too late to be and do the right thing. If you haven't been a good father it's not too late to try today. If you never cared much for your dad then why not make one more effort to reach out to dad today. There is always a chance for disappointment but maybe you just might get a kind word and a warm reception and maybe a miracle will happen that might be the beginning of a new and real relationship that never really existed.

You never know until you try and this Father's Day is the day to try for a good Father's Day.


Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states.



Every Day Is a Gift

By Dr. Glenn Mollette

A dear friend of mine died this week after about three years battling cancer. He had surgery, chemotherapy and spent extensive amounts of time at a famous cancer hospital in Houston, Texas. Medically he did everything he could possibly do to beat cancer. Physically he gave everything he had to beat cancer. Spiritually and emotionally he gave everything he could possibly give to beat cancer. He wanted to live but it didn't work out. Fifty four is a young age to die.

Paul Schmidt was a wonderful Christian man, pastor and loved by hundreds and probably thousands. When someone is so loved, lives such a good life and does much to help other people it seems harshly unfair for his life to end so quickly.

Another pastor friend of mine was looking forward to retirement but after battling cancer for about three years my friend Bob died an early death as well. He was just 63.

My sister's daughter Cindy died at the age of 53. She fought type 1 diabetes almost her entire life. After a kidney transplant and years of medical treatments and hospital stays, she eventually would up with cancer that overtook her young body.

Good people such as these are reminders of the brevity of life and that each day is a gift. Little children die, babies often never make it a day and young adult and middle aged adults are taken from us in the prime of life.

None of us were guaranteed a hundred years of life when we were born. We hear about centenarians and may even know some but even in this day and time living to be a hundred is a far stretch.

My mom and dad were both eighty five when they passed on. My grandma Hinkle was 83 and I believe my grandma Hinkle was just 80. This was still a long life.

People of faith think about a life beyond this life and teach about being ready for better days beyond the grave. The problem is that it's impossible to know exactly what is beyond the grave. While many believe death is the end of everything even a few atheists hope there is something to look forward to.

If you are a Christian you look to the Bible and the very small and few nuggets of information promised about the other side. Other religions point to other books and understandings about the afterlife.

One thing is for sure death comes to all. Another thing for sure is going to church every Sunday and being an A plus person with a deep sincere faith does not guarantee longevity. My wife and I joke about a relative of ours who lived to be 95. He was a character. He wasn't a bad person. He was just a little ornery. I don't think being ornery adds years to anybody's life but sometimes it does seem like it works out that way. Although I take it back because a lady lives down the road from me and is 95 years young and she is almost like a saint to us. She lives clean, works hard and is just a good devout person of faith.

The bottom line is there is no bottom line except life is short and we all say goodbye at least in this world. Young people, old people and all people leave life by disease, tragedy and sometimes simply old age.

My only point is we should make the best of today. Smell the roses. Hug people and do some good along the way. Every day is a gift and never a guarantee.

Glenn Mollette is a syndicated columnist and author of eleven books.
He is read in all fifty states.

Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Like his facebook page at



The Trump administration's claim that the coal industry has added nearly 50,000 jobs since the fourth quarter of 2016 is largely exaggerated, writes Glenn Kessler in The Fact Checker column for The Washington Post.

Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, made essentially the same claim on three Sunday TV shows: "We’ve had over 50,000 jobs since last quarter — coal jobs, mining jobs — created in this country. We had almost 7,000 mining and coal jobs created in the month of May alone," Pruitt said on ABC's "This Week."

There are several problems with Pruitt's claim, Kessler writes. "According to an EPA spokeswoman, Pruitt bungled the line on one show and did not accurately express it on other shows. (He kept saying 'since the fourth quarter,' which sounds like the end of the year, when she said he meant to say since October.) But even if he had gotten it right, it still would have been deeply misleading," he explains.

From September to January, the end of the Obama administration, there was a gain of 1,400 jobs in the industry, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the first four months of the Trump administration, there has been a gain of 1,000 jobs.

See Washington Post image HERE

"On the other programs, Pruitt more carefully referred to 'mining and coal' or 'coal jobs, mining jobs,'" Kessler explains. "You can see how he tries to slip in the word 'mining.' That’s a sign that this is a carefully crafted spin. He emphasizes coal while trying to be technically correct by slipping in a reference to mining."

If you look at BLS data on mining jobs as far back as October, you end up with a gain of 47,000 jobs. "That’s Pruitt’s 'nearly 50,000.' (From April to May, there was a gain of 6,600 jobs — that’s Pruitt’s 7,000.) Of course, Trump only became president on Jan. 20, so it’s more appropriate to look at what has happened since January. That’s a gain of nearly 33,000," Kessler reports. "But the biggest problem with Pruitt’s statistic is that most of the gain in 'mining' jobs has nothing to do with coal. Most of the new jobs were in a subcategory called 'support activities for mining,' which accounted for more than 40,000 of the new jobs since October and more than 30,000 of the jobs since January." What's more, 75 percent of the jobs in the "support for mining" subcategory are in oil and gas, and the latter industry has helped cause coal's decline.

"So, rather than the gain of 47,000 jobs touted by Pruitt, the reality is that 1,000 coal jobs have been added since Trump became president," Kessler writes. "For the month of May, the gain was 400 jobs, not 7,000." Kessler notes that coal-industry officials would argue that figures for mining and coal are too narrow and that an additional 3,000 to 4,000 support jobs can be attributed to the industry.

Written by Danielle Ray 


May 26 at 5:31pm

...from FACEBOOK FRIEND: Charles Fyffe


True fact -- Trump's budget proposal calls for saving $10 million by allowing people to sell captured wild horses to countries that may use them for food.

--So you know what that means. The McHorse is back!