Obamacare

The new Al Franken

Featured image The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee held a hearing yesterday on President Trump’s nomination of Alex Azar to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Naturally, Azar received hostile questions from the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Patty Murray. In the hour or so that I watched, the nominee, a strong conservative, acquitted himself very well. During the time I watched, Al Franken questioned Azar (at the »

Monkey business at the CBO?

Featured image The mainstream media almost never mentions the Congressional Budget Office without adding the adjective “non-partisan.” But the CBO is staffed by folks who, in real life, are probably partisan. And given the pool from which its staff is drawn, most very likely are partisan Democrats. Are its findings infected by partisan bias? I don’t know. But something funny is going on with the CBO’s assessment of the impact of repealing »

Speaking of sabotage

Featured image During his two terms in office President Obama conducted an assault on the Constitution and on limited government in the name of the higher good as he saw it. Obama’s lawlessness was little noted in the mainstream media other than in disparaging accounts of the Republican and conservative reaction to Obama. President Trump appears to be a bull in the White House china shop. He is portrayed as a kind »

On Obamacare, Trump Restores the Rule of Law

Featured image The Obama administration carried out the most sustained attack on the rule of law in our nation’s history. One important aspect of that assault was Obamacare, an unworkable statute that the Democrats passed without reading, relying on administrative agencies and the courts to rewrite the law, unconstitutionally. The Supreme Court lent a hand to this project in King v. Burwell by holding that “established by the state” can be interpreted »

On Health Care, Trump Takes an Important First Step

Featured image In the wake of the Republican Congress’s historic failure to carry out its pledge to repeal Obamacare, President Trump today signed an executive order intended to promote choice and competition in health care markets. The order is a practical and positive step forward that will benefit millions of Americans. Why am I so sure of that? Because a key portion of the order is based in part on work done »

Trump accused of “sabotaging” Obamacare [UPDATED]

Featured image The mainstream media has been promoting the idea that the Trump administration is intentionally sabotaging Obamacare. This article in the Washington Post, which uses the word “sabotage” in the headline of the paper edition, is an example of the talking point. One way the administration is said to be sabotaging Obamacare is by cutting funds to groups that try to enroll people in the program and by reducing its advertising »

Can Senate Republicans get Obamacare replacement over the finish line?

Featured image As John noted earlier this week, Obamacare replacement legislation isn’t dead in the U.S. Senate after all. Senators Cassidy, Graham, and Johnson have come up with a bill that partially repeals Obamacare and turns power over to the states. Their legislation would: * Repeal Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates. * Repeal the medical device tax. * Enhance the states’ ability to waive Obamacare’s regulations. * Give to the states in »

Health Care Reform Is Not Dead

Featured image Earlier today, a group of Republicans including Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller, Ron Johnson and former Senator Rick Santorum unveiled a new Obamacare replacement plan. It isn’t just a concept, but has been reduced to actual legislation. Despite reservations that some may have about the proposal’s sponsors, early reviews by conservatives have been positive. The Graham-Cassidy proposal partially repeals Obamacare and turns power over to the states. These are »

A face in the crowd revisited

Featured image In his Axios AM report Mike Allen notes a live webcast today will celebrate the transmission of the first electronic TV signal on Sept. 7, 1927, and the man behind it, Philo T. Farnsworth. The AP therefore marks the day as the 90th birthday of television. The webcast is set for 6:00 p.m. (Eastern) from the site of Farnsworth’s San Francisco lab. You can watch it here TCM may be »

The Obamacare Drama Is Not Over

Featured image The Republican Congress’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare is of course embarrassing, and may well be a political blow to the GOP, as most expect. Still, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Congressional Republicans actually set out to save Obamacare, and not a single Democrat was willing to join in the effort. The future of Obamacare could be grim. Having run a victory lap or two, the »

McCain’s sweet nothings

Featured image The Star Tribune covers Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar in the manner of a public relations firm promoting a client. Thus the Star Tribune follows up on yesterday’s early hours defeat of Obamacare repeal in the Senate. Senator John McCain theatrically cast the decisive vote against repeal with this bombshell, courtesy of Senator Klobuchar herself: Just before he cast the deciding vote on the Senate’s latest health care repeal bill, Sen. »

Obamacare lives

Featured image Today is a day to be embarrassed to be a Republican, for Obamacare has survived every effort to repeal and replace it with the defection of Senator McCain in the last-ditch effort to keep the effort alive in the final vote on “skinny repeal” after midnight this morning. Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan report the story for the New York Times here. The defeat of Obamacare repeal efforts in the »

Republicans Dodge a Bullet. I Think.

Featured image Fifty Republican senators voted today to begin debate on an Obamacare repeal and replacement bill. Vice President Mike Pence cast the 51st vote to allow the legislation to move forward. The two Republicans who voted No were Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. It remains to be seen whether any Obamacare repeal bill will actually pass the Senate. All 48 Democrats will vote No, regardless of the bill’s specifics. Amendments will »

A humiliating farce

Featured image Within a few hours of the death of the Obamacare repeal-and-replacement bill in the Senate, a version of the repeal-only option appears to have died. That option represented Senator McConnell’s fallback position. Why not? Only eighteen months ago, in December 2015, Republican Senators (minus Susan Collins) voted unanimously to repeal Obamacare. They must have had their fingers crossed behind their back. The December 2015 repeal vote in the Senate was »

The Senate repeal and replace fiasco

Featured image Last night, Sens. Jerry Moran and Mike Lee announced that they would not vote for the latest Senate version of Obamacare repeal and replace. They argued, in effect, that the proposed legislation did not really amount to repeal. Sens. Rand Paul and Susan Collins were already “no” votes. Thus, the defection of Moran and Lee meant the demise of the bill. What now? President Trump has called for the straight »

Junk insurance or junk reporting?

Featured image In the guise of a news story, the New York Times presents a screed against what it calls “junk insurance.” The occasion for the screed is Senator Ted Cruz’s proposal that insurers be allowed to sell plans that that don’t meet Obamacare standards, if they also sell policies that meet these standards. The idea is to give consumers choices. The Times’ Reed Abelson complains that under this proposal, insurance companies »

What’s next for Obamacare reform in the Senate?

Featured image Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced that there would be no Senate vote on Obamcare reform legislation this week. Instead, the Senate will take up the matter of reforming Obamacare in July. Also yesterday, GOP Senators met with President Trump at the White House. The purpose was to see how the pending bill might be altered so as to get at least 50 of the 52 Republicans to vote “yes.” »