Obamacare

U.N. warns that repealing Obamacare may be illegal

Featured image Dana Milbank reports, with glee, that the United Nations “has contacted the Trump administration as part of an investigation into whether repealing [Obamacare] without an adequate substitute for the millions who would lose health coverage would be a violation of several international conventions that bind the United States.” The warning comes from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva. The U.N. Human Rights Commission (now »

Is Obamacare Repeal Back On the Front Burner?

Featured image Reports from Washington are frustratingly incomplete, but it appears that the Trump administration is renewing its effort to repeal Obamacare. Reuters strikes a remarkably optimistic note: The majority of House Freedom Caucus members will vote for a Republican healthcare bill if changes offered by the White House are included in the legislation, the head of the conservative group of House Republicans said on Thursday. U.S. Representative Mark Meadows said the »

Is Obamacare an entitlement program?

Featured image I guess so. Medicaid is considered an entitlement program, so Obamacare should be too. However, Obamacare (and Medicaid) differs materially from Social Security and Medicare, the classic entitlement programs. Everyone can get Social Security and Medicare if they reach a certain age. Moreover, because we pay into these programs, there’s a strong case that we are entitled to receive benefits. Obamacare is a welfare program. It provides free health insurance »

Hugh Hewitt strikes PolitiFact

Featured image PolitiFact executive director Aaron Sharockman appeared for the first hour of Hugh Hewitt’s syndicated Salem Radio show this morning. Hugh invited Sharockman on to explore PolitiFact’s drive-by on Hugh himself, noted by us yesterday here and here. Hugh has now posted the audio along with the transcript of his interview. PolitiFact found Hugh falsely to have asserted that Obamacare is in a death spiral. I think this is a matter »

PoltiFact strikes Hugh Hewitt (2)

Featured image PolitiFact has updated its post rating Hugh Hewitt’s assertion of the Obamacare death spiral False. PolitiFact continues the argument by addressing Hugh’s tweets and reiterates its rating of his statement as False. As Hugh indicated to us, PolitiFact says it contacted Hugh yesterday at noon by email to Hugh’s booker. PolitiFact posts a screenshot of the email to Hugh’s booker in the update. Hugh responds: Glad to see they covered »

The Obamacare replacement blame game

Featured image From the Washington Post: President Trump cast blame Sunday for the collapse of his effort to overhaul the health-care system on conservative interest groups and far-right Republican lawmakers, shifting culpability to his own party after initially faulting Democratic intransigence. His attack — starting with a tweet that singled out the House Freedom Caucus as well as the influential Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America — marked a new »

PolitiFact strikes Hugh Hewitt

Featured image Our friend Hugh Hewitt appeared on the Meet the Press panel of pundits yesterday. They naturally addressed the failure of the repeal-and-replace Obamacare bill in the House. In the course of the discussion Hugh asserted that Obamacare is in a death spiral. This is a point that conservatives and Republicans have frequently made. President Trump himself made it in his own way on Saturday morning. ObamaCare will explode and we »

How to reverse this week’s Obamacare defeat

Featured image My take on the political implications of the House’s failure to pass the GOP’s repeal-and-replace bill differs a little bit from John’s. In my view, the Democrats have good reason to be pleased by that failure, as things stand now. The Democrats’ argument is straightforward. As Scott says, Republicans have been running against Obamacare for years — promising to repeal and replace it. Yet, with a big majority in House »

Democrats’ Celebration Is Premature

Featured image Pretty much everyone thinks the House’s failure to pass the GOP’s repeal-and-replace bill is a disaster for Republicans. The Democrats are giddy with glee, and Matt Drudge calls it a “catastrophe.” Perhaps they are right, but I doubt it. Obamacare is in a death spiral. It is rapidly collapsing, and steadily becoming more unpopular as it fails more and more Americans. Congress will now move on to other tasks, like »

The persistence of Obamacare

Featured image Republicans have campaigned against Obamacare roughly since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. After the failure yesterday in the House, however, they’re going to get back to us on that. Or the check is in the mail. Or something like that. Tim Alberta looks “Inside the GOP’s health care debacle.” Philip Klein offers a gimlet-eyed assessment of what just happened in “GOP cave on Obamacare repeal is »

Perception is reality. . .

Featured image for a few weeks. Then, something happens and perception changes. I agree with John that the failure of the House to pass Obamacare replacement legislation this week doesn’t necessarily mean GOP House members won’t be able to pass important legislation on other fronts. Health care legislation represents a special challenge because it is so complex, because the stakes are so high, and because Obamacare screwed things up so badly. However, »

House Leadership Pulls Health Care Bill

Featured image It became apparent this afternoon that the health care bill promoted by Republican leadership in the House did not have enough votes to pass, and the bill was pulled by Speaker Paul Ryan, despite President Trump’s earlier insistence that a vote be held. Based on the Washington Post’s account, it appears that Trump acquiesced in the decision. “‘We just pulled it,’ he said.” Inevitably, commentators will play the perceptions game: »

Trump demands Friday vote on Obamacare

Featured image My mantra on health care reform has been that it’s more important to do it right than to do it fast. President Trump disagrees. He insists that the House vote on Speaker Ryan’s (and his) flawed legislation tomorrow. After negotiations broke down today, Trump delivered an ultimatum: Pass the bill tomorrow or I’m moving on from Obamacare repeal. Congress can repeal and replace Obamacare even if the president moves on. »

Trump and Ryan still coming up short on AHCA [UPDATE — vote canceled]

Featured image Normally, when a new president and a House Speaker engage in heavy-duty arm-twisting over a piece of legislation, and they have a big enough majority to withstand 21 or 22 defections, the legislation passes the House. That’s all the more true if the legislation pertains to a vital issue and the president and the Speaker reasonably perceive that its defeat will have major adverse political consequences for them and their »

Tom Cotton nails it on the AHCA

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton announced today that he will not vote for the American Health Care Act in its present form. He released the following statement: Despite the proposed amendments, I still cannot support the House health-care bill, nor would it pass the Senate. The amendments improve the Medicaid reforms in the original bill, but do little to address the core problem of Obamacare: rising premiums and deductibles, which are making »

Can Obamacare be killed?

Featured image Can an entitlement program be killed? That seems to me the question implicit in the unfolding drama over the repeal of Obamacare. With their majorities in Congress and Obama in the White House, Democrats forced the passage of Obamacare without a single Republican vote. The party discipline they displayed was impressive to observe. In the style of the Roman captives paying their respects to the emperor Claudius, the Democrats who »

Ryan ready to alter repeal plan, but in which direction?

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan acknowledged today that his health-care proposal must change to pass the House, and said he is prepared to change it. As the Washington Post points out, this seems like a departure from Ryan’s earlier position that his proposal presented lawmakers with a “binary choice” and could not be altered significantly. According to the Post, Ryan did not say what changes to his plan are under consideration. Nor »