Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Obamacare Schadenfreude Schadenfreude

I'm a few day late here; fishing was pretty good, and the dog needed walking. But as I'm sure you've heard by now, the GOP failed to make good on it's promise to repeal and replace Obamacare, as Paul Ryan's bill starved to death from lack of support from the "Freedom Caucus" as well as some moderate Republican, who apparently thought . . . well, who knows what they really thought, but they need votes in districts that Hillary won. That's politics. GOP moderates blame Freedom Caucus for tanking the terrible Trump/Ryan health-care bill.  Freedom Caucus Founder: Bad Process at Core of Healthcare Bill Failure. Kurt Schlicter: We’re Doing Grant, Not Patton, But Neither One Had A Goof Like Ryan Screwing Things Up As Paul Ryan remarked: Affordable Care Act remains ‘law of the land,’ but Trump vows to explode it. That shouldn't be too hard. Obamacare gave a lot of authority to the Sec of HHS, which is now in the hands of Dr. Carson. So expect Obamacare to slowly burn away, as more and more of it fails. Seven Ways the Trump Administration Could Make Obamacare ‘Explode’

Inside the Trumpcare meltdown
It's hard to overstate the magnitude of the Day 64 defeat. President Trump, who made repeal-and-replace a central theme of his campaign, and House Republicans, who made it the central theme of every campaign since 2010, lost in a publicly humiliating way despite controlling every branch of government and enjoying margins in the House rarely seen in the past century.

This virtually guarantees no substantive legislative achievements in the first 100 days. And it creates rifts and suspicions and second-guessing that make governing much harder.
I don't see what so magical about 100 days. It seems to me the failure lies in Congress, not in the administration, which is doing fine with appointments, and pulling back Obama era overreach. The Republicans need to get together and pass the things they do agree on, like tax reform. Republicans wonder whether Trump's heart was in healthcare fight. He does have a few other things going on. As Ann Althouse notes: "The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it... That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you're dead." Wrote Trump in "The Art of the Deal." Also: "Know when to walk away from the table." But the Washington Post: Trump’s path forward only gets tougher after health-care fiasco. Even Sen. Tom Cotton on Health Insurance: ‘We Have to Revisit It.’

What Should Be the Next Step on Repealing ObamaCare? Ted Cruz Has the Answer
First, begin with the 2015 repeal language. . . . Virtually every Republican in Congress voted for that language, and the parliamentarian has already ruled it as permissible. We should begin with that previously approved repeal language as the baseline. . .

Third, we should change the tax laws to make health insurance portable, so that if you lose you[r] job you don’t lose your health insurance. You don’t lose your car insurance or life insurance or house insurance if you lose your job; you shouldn’t lose your health insurance either. And that would go a long way to[wards] addressing the problem of pre-existing conditions, since much of that problem stems from people losing their jobs and then not being able to get new coverage on the individual market.

Fourth, we should protect continuous coverage. If you have coverage, and you get sick or injured, your health insurance company shouldn’t be able to cancel your policy or jack up your premiums. That’s the whole point of health insurance.
Via Wombat-scocho's "In The Mailbox: 03.27.17" The sensible Megan McArdle: The Republican Health Plan's Quick Death Spiral
I certainly can't advance a rational explanation of why Republicans are so committed to pushing through a hastily drafted bill that no one likes. The initial draft was scored by the Congressional Budget Office as causing 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance -- which is more than would lose care if the Republicans simply repealed Obamacare without replacing it. Still, Republicans planned to vote on the bill on Thursday, the seventh anniversary of the passage of Obamacare.
Just remember, it was coverage so good they had to make it a law to take it. Which brings us to  Rep. Mo Brooks files a one sentence bill to repeal Obamacare:
"Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted,"
Then start fresh.  What Now for Obamacare?

"The Democrats will make a deal with me on healthcare as soon as ObamaCare folds — not long. Do not worry, we are in very good shape!" Tweets Trump. Well, maybe.

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