Tag Archives: affordable

Reality Begins to Set in on Obamacare—For Both Sides

Mother Jones

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Reality is setting in:

For seven years, few issues have animated conservative voters as much as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. But with President Barack Obama out of office, the debate over “Obamacare” is becoming less about “Obama” and more about “care” — greatly complicating the issue for Republican lawmakers.

….As liberals overwhelm congressional town hall-style meetings and deluge the Capitol phone system with pleas to protect the health law, there is no similar clamor for dismantling it, Mr. Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment. From deeply conservative districts in the South and the West to the more moderate parts of the Northeast, Republicans in Congress say there is significantly less intensity among opponents of the law than when Mr. Obama was in office.

Intensity is the key word here, since actual opinions about Obamacare don’t seem to have changed more than a eyelash over the past seven years:

But the intensity of opinion has changed. With Obama out of office, the Republican base doesn’t care as much. Hating Obamacare was mostly just a way of hating Obama. Likewise, the Democratic base cares more. They spent the past seven years griping about how weak Obamacare was—no public option, too friendly to insurance companies, subsidies too low, blah blah blah—under the apparent assumption that it didn’t matter that practically no one was passionately defending the law. With Trump in office, Democrats have finally figured out that it matters, and congressional phones are now ringing off the hook.

So reality has set in for everyone. The Republican rank-and-file has finally figured out they never really cared all that much about taxing the rich an extra three points to provide health care for everyone. The Democratic rank-and-file has finally figured out that Obamacare is a pretty good program and it’s worth fighting for.

But did we really have to elect Donald Trump to figure this out?

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Reality Begins to Set in on Obamacare—For Both Sides

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Congress Just Got a Lot Closer to Defunding Planned Parenthood

Mother Jones

On Thursday afternoon, the House voted to approve a resolution that is widely seen by advocates as a step towards defunding Planned Parenthood. Should it become law, the measure would weaken contraceptive access across the country.

The bill, HJ Resolution 43, allows states to withhold Title X family planning funds—about $300 million distributed to states annually—from providers who also offer abortion care, a group that includes Planned Parenthood affiliates. In December, Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule that anticipated this sort of effort by prohibiting states from withholding Title X family planning money from Planned Parenthood and other providers. This House resolution proposed overturning that HHS rule via the 1996 Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to repeal new regulations within 60 days of their passage. A version of this bill is also moving through the Senate.

At a House committee hearing earlier this week, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) called this bill “the most serious threat women have faced so far this Congress.” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) called this the Republicans’ “first salvo” in defunding Planned Parenthood.

This development comes on the heels of several actions by the Trump administration and Congress that threaten women’s health care. They include Congressional efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s mandate requiring insurance coverage for contraception; the approval by the House of a bill to codify the Hyde Amendment, which prevents the use of federal funds for most abortions; and Trump’s expansion of the global gag order, which prohibits health providers overseas from receiving any US funding if they so much as mention abortion as an option for patients.

In the last Congress, a broader bill to deny federal funds to Planned Parenthood passed both chambers, but was vetoed by then-President Barack Obama. In contrast, Trump’s campaign said often that defunding Planned Parenthood would be a top priority for his administration.

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Congress Just Got a Lot Closer to Defunding Planned Parenthood

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Cancer Survivor and Former Republican Tells Paul Ryan Obamacare Saved His Life

Mother Jones

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A former Republican who once worked for the Reagan and Bush campaigns confronted House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday, asking why the GOP is seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a serious replacement plan. The moment came during a CNN town hall event, where Jeff Jeans revealed that like Ryan, he too once opposed the health care law.

“When it was passed, I told my wife we would close our business before I complied with this law,” Jeans said. “Then at 49, I was given six weeks to live with a very curable type of cancer. We offered three times the cost of my treatment, which was rejected. They required an insurance card.”

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I’m standing here today.”

As Ryan attempted to respond, insisting Republicans are working to replace Obamacare with “something better,” Jeans interjected to publicly express his gratitude to the president.

“I want to thank President Obama from the bottom of my heart because I would be dead if it weren’t for him.”

Hours before the televised event, Republicans took a major step at dismantling Obamacare. On Friday morning, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted in support of repeal efforts:

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Cancer Survivor and Former Republican Tells Paul Ryan Obamacare Saved His Life

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Trump "Agrees Completely" That Repeal-and-Delay Is a Terrible Idea

Mother Jones

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Rand Paul says Donald Trump isn’t happy with “repeal and delay”:

President-elect Donald Trump backed waiting to repeal the Affordable Care Act until a replacement proposal is in hand in a Friday night phone call with Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican said Monday, adding to momentum for changing GOP leaders’ strategy on dismantling the 2010 health-care law.

….“I believe we should vote on replacement the same day we vote on repeal,” Mr. Paul said in an interview Monday. Mr. Trump called the senator on Friday night “to say he agrees completely,” Mr. Paul said.

Uh oh. That’s a mistake, though it’s an easy one for an amateur to make. For the record: Mr. Trump calls no one. Other people call Mr. Trump. This is very important to Mr. Trump. He’s very insistent on following proper protocol, which is that others should be seen groveling to him, not the other way around.

Unfortunately, there’s a more serious mistake here too: Paul spoke publicly about Trump’s wishes before Trump did. This gives others plenty of time to corner Trump and talk him into changing his mind and then “explaining” that Paul didn’t get things quite right. It’s much better not to alert others to your conversation.

All that said, this fits the various smoke signals that have come out of Trump Tower for a while now, so maybe Trump really is serious about offering a replacement for Obamacare at the same time as repeal. I hope so. Obviously I’d prefer no repeal at all, but at the very least the American public deserves to know what Trump has in mind when the health coverage they currently have is ripped away from them.

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Trump "Agrees Completely" That Repeal-and-Delay Is a Terrible Idea

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Republican Congresswoman Discovers Her Followers Love Obamacare

Mother Jones

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With Republicans convinced they need to repeal Obamacare ASAP but unsure of how they want to replace it, Rep. Marsha Blackburn issued a public plea for help on Tuesday. The Tennessee Republican—and member of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team—asked the Twitter masses to take a poll on whether they like the law. Turns out Blackburn’s followers are pretty big fans of the Affordable Care Act, with 84 percent of the 7,968 votes opposing a repeal of Obamacare.

Online polls are hardly scientific. But the GOP’s hopes to make Obamacare magically disappear without having to offer a replacement took a serious hit on Tuesday, when the American Medical Association—the country’s largest organization of doctors—wrote a letter to congressional leaders demanding that any tweaks to the health care law ensure that the 20 million people who gained insurance under Obamacare don’t lose coverage. That request would be impossible to meet under the various proposals floated by Republican politicians so far.

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Republican Congresswoman Discovers Her Followers Love Obamacare

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