Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Trump Health Care Tag

Midterms are 18 months away, but groups on both sides have planned ads to target vulnerable Republicans over the failure to repeal or reform healthcare. Congress has begun its recess, which has led groups like Save My Care to release ads. The group has spent $1 million on TV spots this month "that highlight the members’ support for the GOP health-care plan that now stands in limbo in the House." But conservative groups have also planned ads "against moderate Republicans" they placed blame on "for the holdup on an ObamaCare repeal bill."

Vice President Mike Pence has been conducting meetings with lawmakers over a new Obamacare repeal plan Tuesday as the House scrambles to clean up the last healthcare failure. Unfortunately, it does not look like that the tide will turn anytime soon. While talks include seeking out provisions to appease hard-line conservatives, moderates may now push back.

The GOP healthcare bill AHCA failed before Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) could even bring it to the floor. Of course, the Democrats have used this opportunity to gloat and take credit on television, even though they hold the minority in the House and Senate. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi led the charge.

If you haven't seen OMB Director Mick Mulvaney in action, do yourself a favor and watch the video here. On today's Morning Joe, Mulvaney showed himself to be smart, well-spoken, undefensive and down-to-earth as he systematically demolished Mika's, and by extension, the CBO's, claims about the Trump admin's health care proposal. Before Mulvaney appeared, the panel had engaged in extended hand-wringing over the loss of coverage that the CBO has projected. Mulvaney made three telling points:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its analysis of the House Republican Obamacare replacement bill, which estimates that millions will lose coverage, but will bring down costs. The report has many people freaked out, with some saying its proof that repealing Obamacare will harm Americans. Most major media outlets and Democrats have failed to mention that many of those would "lose" coverage will do so because they choose to opt out. The AHCA repeals one of Obamacare's worst features -- the individual mandate.

"Repeal and replace" has been the GOP mantra since the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare, was signed into law in 2010. Riding the wave of horror and outrage that inspired millions of Americans to rise up and rally, attend town halls, and become involved in the election process, the GOP has enjoyed enormous gains not only at the federal but at the state and local level across the nation.  They all understand how important this moment is to the Republican party, and they all comprehend that they have one chance to get this right. What is not clear is how much they get about the need for substantive changes to those parts of ObamaCare they can tackle with only a simple majority in the Senate.  As the prof noted, they are somewhat restricted in what they can do unilaterally; without a supermajority in the Senate, there are parts of ObamaCare that cannot be "fixed" via budget reconciliation.

I don't know Dr. Tom Taylor. But I understand his situation when he decided to attend Republican Congressman Tom Reed's town hall this morning in Ithaca, NY, where I work at Cornell Law School. In case you were unaware, Ithaca is like Berkeley, California, only smaller. Ithaca is in the NY-23 District. Reed has won in landslides the last two elections against Democratic challengers backed by national money. While no one is a sure thing, he is in a very strong position in this mostly conservative district. Ithaca is an anomaly in the District. In fact, Reed twice ran campaigns lambasting "Extreme Ithaca Liberals." This ad against Martha Robertson in 2014 irked many Ithaca progressives:

I haven't had a chance to fully digest the House health care bill.  I'm just beginning the process of learning more. Trump supports the bill broadly, subject to some negotiations. And is promising a round 2 and round 3 of more market-oriented reforms. It appears that much of this procedure is driven by the desire to repeal Obamacare as a technical matter by the means through which it was passed -- the "reconciliation" process. That avoids the possibility of a Senate filibuster by Democrats, but also limits what can be done. I've seen many of the statements rejecting the bill, even if modified somewhat, from the conservative side (I've tuned out what Democrats are complaining about). The overall point, as I take it, is that the House bill institutionalizes the key concept of Obamacare - that the federal government not markets will drive health care.

Monday evening, House Republicans finally unveiled eight years of campaign promises in the making, The American Health Care Act. Reviews are mixed but predictable -- Democrats, hair ablaze, have morphed into screaming banshees claiming all the children will be health insurance-less.* Meanwhile, most Republicans are calling the AHCA Obamacare-lite. What I can say is this -- there better be more "replace" in the legislative pipeline if Congressional Republicans plan to use this bill as proof of the long-awaited "repeal and replace" promise. Because as it stands now:

From the time it passed with zero Republican support, GOP politicians have promised to repeal Obamacare. There were numerous House votes to repeal Obamacare while President Obama was still in office, almost all of which were symbolic. No way would President Obama sign off on a bill repealing his hallmark legislation. President Trump also promised repeal and replacement of Obamacare, and that it would be done quickly. But quickly is relative. In a pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly Sunday, President Trump said it could take a year to repeal Obamacare.

Last summer, I reported that Food and Drug Administration rules covering e-cigarettes and adopted early in the Obama presidency were killing the related American industry. The manufacturer, distribution and retail sales of e-cigarettes (which vaporizes nicotine-infused solutions that have only traces of some of the 60-plus carcinogens found in cigarette smoke), is worth an estimated $3.7 billion last year. In San Diego alone, e-cigarette firms employ hundreds of Californians in productive, middle-class positions, and generate quite a bit of tax revenue for the state as well.

Having long promised to undo immediately as much of ObamaCare as he can by executive order, President Trump kept his word.  Mere hours after his swearing in, Trump signed a flurry of documents, including his first EO on ObamaCare. Because ObamaCare is, as the left is so fond of saying, "the law of the land," Trump can only do so much to undo ObamaCare via EO. That "only so much," however, is quite considerable given the overreach of his predecessor.
Font Resize
Contrast Mode