Republicans

The new Obamacare replacement legislation — a solid step in the right direction

Featured image From a conservative perspective, I think it’s clear that the new House Obamacare legislation — the MacArthur Amendment — is an improvement over the original bill concocted by Speaker Ryan. But how much of one? Yuval Levin makes the case that the core concept of the new legislation — state waivers from Obamacare insurance regulations — represents a significant improvement, in terms of both substance and political pragmatism. He writes: »

Democrats Are Being Crushed In the Heartland

Featured image For good political news, you can’t do better than South Dakota, my home state. The Democrats haven’t yet ceased to exist, but they are on a death watch. The events of this week are classic. The Democrats are holding their big annual event, the McGovern Day dinner, next weekend at the Ramkota in Sioux Falls. They invited Minnesota’s Keith Ellison to be their featured speaker. But then they got cold »

Freedom Caucus endorses revised Obamacare replacement proposal

Featured image The House Freedom Caucus, which helped block Paul Ryan’s original Obamacare repeal and replacement legislation, has agreed to support a revised bill. The Washington Post describes, in general terms, the new approach. If the new incarnation gains sufficient support from moderate House Republicans, it will pass. This might happen quickly. For me, the key question in evaluating Obamacare replacement legislation is the impact on premiums. Not having studied the new »

Are Some Republicans Panicking? If So, Why?

Featured image News coverage these days is schizoid, as reflected in today’s daily “Morning Score” email from Politico. On the one hand, Politico describes a Republican Party in turmoil, if not outright panic: Republicans say President Donald Trump needs to turn things around fast – or the GOP could pay dearly in 2018. With the party preparing to defend its congressional majorities in next year’s midterms, senior Republicans are expressing early concern »

Hypocrisy abounds on Trump’s attack on Syrian air base

Featured image In a terrific post called “The Power of Silence,” Scott noted that Samantha Power, once the leading advocate of military intervention to combat genocidal practices, had nothing to say in favor of President Trump’s use of force to combat Bashar al-Assad’s genocidal use of chemical weapons. Such partisan hypocrisy was not confined to the left, though. Sen. Marco Rubio led the justified praise of Trump’s one-time missile attack. However, when »

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, »

We may be the stupid party, but are we that stupid?

Featured image Politico reports that “a group of Senate Democrats is beginning to explore trying to extract concessions from Republicans in return for allowing Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch to be confirmed.” What concessions? The deal Democrats would be most likely to pursue. . .would be to allow confirmation of Gorsuch in exchange for a commitment from Republicans not to kill the filibuster for a subsequent vacancy during President Donald Trump’s term. »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Amid Democratic Party Crackup, Voters Are Trending Republican

Featured image I have often wondered why the outrageous behavior that we see so often from Democrats doesn’t repel more voters. Now it seems that some, at least, are catching on, as voters have been trending Republican since the election. Gallup’s party affiliation survey finds that on the eve of the election, 31% self-identified as Democrats and 27% as Republicans (36% said they were independents). With leaners, it was 46%-43%, Democrats. By »

Shedunnit, whoever she is

Featured image At Axios, Jonathan Swan reports that “the person who leaked audio of the closed-door Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia snuck in by claiming to be the spouse of an elected official. She was at the retreat for 11 hours before escorted out by Capitol Police. The Congressional Institute, which hosts the event, is trying to figure out who she is.” I should add that a local television report on the »