Obamacare

Tom Cotton sees through GOP wishful thinking on Obamacare replacement

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton continues to speak more sensibly about Obamacare repeal than any legislator I knew of. Last week, he argued that the GOP is moving too fast on the matter. He stated, “I would much sooner get health care reform right than get it fast.” Considering the stakes for the country and for the Republican Party’s future, it seems difficult to disagree this common sense proposition. Today, Sen. Cotton »

CBO analysis suggests GOP “replacement” plan is politically unsustainable

Featured image The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has issued its cost and coverage estimates for the House Republican Obamacare replacement legislation. CBO estimates that the bill would raise the number of people without health insurance by 24 million within a decade, but would trim $337 billion from the federal deficit over that time. The report is here. This passage (at page 3) jumped out at me: Starting in 2020, the increase in »

The parliamentarian dodge

Featured image I wrote here about how congressional Republicans are subscribing to the view that key parts of Obamacare cannot be repealed through “reconciliation” — i.e., without 60 votes. This view holds that the GOP cannot repeal the price-hiking, competition-destroying regulations that form the core of Obamacare because the parliamentarian, pursuant to the Byrd Rule, won’t allow such repeal through the budget reconciliation process. I took issue with that view. First, the »

Speaker Ryan vastly overstates his case

Featured image Speaker Paul Ryan says his proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare is “what good conservative healthcare reform looks like.” He adds: It repeals Obamacare’s taxes; it repeals Obamacare’s spending; it repeals Obamacare’s mandates. It creates a vibrant market where insurance companies compete for your business. Where you have lower costs, more choices, and greater control over your healthcare. And it returns power—this is most important—this returns power from Washington back »

One family’s Obamcare tale — mine

Featured image My wife is French. She has French health insurance. However, because health care is so expensive in the U.S., the French insurance now covers only about the equivalent of $300,000 in treatment and services rendered here. After that, my wife would have to go to France to continue being covered. The insurance policy will pay the cost of getting to France, but who wants to be shipped overseas, while suffering »

Will the House GOP Obamacare replacement accelerate the death spiral?

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton says “I think we’re moving a little bit too quickly on health care reform.” He explains: This is a big issue. This is not like the latest spending bill that gets released on a Monday night, [passed] on Wednesday and everybody goes home for Christmas, and we live with it for nine months. We’re going to live with health care reform that we pass forever, or until »

Is GOP Health Care Bill a Disaster? No

Featured image Peter Nelson, my colleague at Center of the American Experiment, is one of the country’s leading experts on health care policy. On the Center’s web site, he urges conservatives to take a deep breath and understand the constraints that Congressional Republicans are working under. In particular, a full repeal of Obamacare must get through the Senate, which means it must get 60 votes. There are only 52 Republican senators. Therefore, »

Who will own the Obamacare “replacement”?

Featured image If you answered “the Republicans,” you are right. If you answered the Senate parliamentarian, you are crazy. It makes no sense, therefore, for the Senate parliamentarian to have a say in the replacement of Obamacare. Yet, congressional Republicans are effectively granting the parliamentarian a veto. In so doing, they are ensuring that the Obamacare replacement will be sub-optimal at best and, more likely, disastrous. Here’s the background. Republicans won’t have »

House “repeal and replace” legislation gets Medicaid right

Featured image I found this analysis of the proposed House Obamacare repeal and replace legislation to be a useful starting point in understanding the proposal. The author is “Asclepius,” a sensible sounding guy. His verdict: The proposal contains sound and much needed Medicaid reforms; sensible but very modest insurance market reforms; and the entirely misguided creation of new subsidies, in the form of tax credits, for participants in the ACA exchanges. In »

Is the GOP Health Care Bill a Disaster?

Featured image That is what a lot of people are saying: Obamacare Lite, or Obamacare 2.0. Paul Ryan, on the other hand, calls it the most significant entitlement reform in 50 years. Maybe it is. But the Republicans hold power in Washington in considerable part because of popular revulsion against Obamacare. Hasn’t just about every Republican in Congress pledged to repeal Obamacare? Haven’t the House and Senate actually voted to repeal Obamacare? »

Repeal and replace, but take the time to get it right

Featured image Two months into 2017, groups backed by the Koch brothers reportedly have run out of patience with congressional Republicans over their failure to repeal Obamacare. According to the New York Times, the “Koch network,” along with conservative groups like the Club for Growth and FreedomWorks, are demanding repeal and are applying pressure on GOP lawmakers to keep their promise and get it done now. But what’s the rush? When Republicans »

A face in the crowd

Featured image The response to presidential addresses such as President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress last night is inherently difficult, if not impossible. That may explain why the Democrats turned to former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear to deliver the Democratic response in a diner surrounded by ordinary Kentucky citizens. Governor Beshear’s response recalled Andy Griffith doing his cracker barrel/man of the people shtick as “Lonesome” Rhodes in A Face »

The Obamacare Mess: It’s All the GOP’s

Featured image Donald Trump said in a recent press conference that he had inherited a mess when he became president. This prompted the usual howls of outrage from the liberal press, but I think it is fair to say that every president inherits a mess. It goes with the job. In at least one respect, however, Trump inherited not just a mess, but a steaming pile of dung. In other words, Obamacare. »

At GOP retreat, whodunnit?

Featured image Washington Post reporter Mike DeBonis reveals that someone inside the closed-door meeting of Republican congressmen in Philadelphia this week may have committed a serious crime in the course of the retreat. That’s not the way DeBonis puts it in his story on the cold feet and second thoughts among the GOP congressmen about their commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare, but that’s how I read this statement: “Recordings of closed »

Sick Protesters Stage Cough-In at Trump Restaurant

Featured image Scott has commented a couple of times on the Democrats’ lame “Make America Sick Again” theme. But the Toddler Party isn’t giving up. Yesterday (I think) a group of goofballs staged a “cough-in” in the restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in New York. It was a pro-Obamacare demonstration (“Trump care makes us sick.”) It would be interesting to know who paid these people to make fools of themselves. »

Make America grate again [updated]

Featured image Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi seem to me to challenge the idea that successful politicians generally have to have a modicum of likability. Each has gone a long way displaying personal qualities that repel citizens of average American sensibilities. Adapting the modernist concept of expressive form, their motto might be Make America Grate Again! They have another variation of the Trump motto in mind. »

The Boobytrapped Presidency

Featured image The Democrats are doing all they can to spike Donald Trump’s presidency before it gets off the ground. His path is littered with snares and pitfalls. Among other things, the Obama administration is taking a series of executive actions that the Democrats say Trump can’t undo. I am not sure how that works; as a general rule, one would think that anything a president can order, the next president can »