Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

An example of why it’s difficult to respect the GOP: Their attack on the Affordable Care Act

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Krugman has a good column in the NY Times:

I’m as riveted by Trump/Russia as everyone else. But meanwhile Trumpcare — which really has very little to do with Trump, except that he’ll sign it — appears to be marching on despite the terrible CBO score on the House version and the near-certainty that if the Senate passes anything it will be barely if at all better.

This tells you a lot about the values of the modern GOP, which will happily trade off health care for ~20 million people for tax cuts that deliver almost half their benefits to people with incomes over $1 million — fewer than 800,000 tax units.

But aside from the priorities, think about the process. The AHCA was deliberately rushed through before CBO could weigh in; the Senate GOP is working completely in secret, with no hearings, and anything it passes will surely also try to preempt the CBO.

You might think that this in part reflects conservative analyses that reach a different conclusion. But there aren’t any such analyses. Remember, OMB works for Trump; it has offered nothing. Even the Heritage Foundation, which used to be the go-to source for conservative creative accounting, hasn’t produced some implausible account of how the magic of markets will make it all work.

This is new. You might say that just as the GOP has decided to shrug off conventional concerns about ethics, it has also decided to shrug off conventional concerns about whether policies actually, you know, work.

To be sure, Republicans gave up evidence-based policymaking a long time ago. Back when Paul Ryan was pretending to be a serious policy wonk, he always started from the answer, then invented some assumptions and magic asterisks to justify that answer. Heritage has been a hack operation for many years.

But they used to at least pretend; people like Ryan weren’t actual policy experts, but they played them on TV, and gullible centrists were happy to help them maintain that pretense. Now they’re not even bothering to fake it.

And it’s hard to say with any assurance that they’ll pay a political price. . .

Continue reading.

And Kevin Drum observes at Mother Jones:

Sarah Kliff:

The possibility that Republicans will repeal Obamacare or drive it into collapse is an increasingly real one. That’s a reality where millions fewer have health insurance coverage and lower-income Americans struggle to afford coverage.

….Behind closed doors, Senate Republicans have worked out a path toward Obamacare repeal. The plans under discussion would end Medicaid expansion,causing millions of low-income Americans to lose health coverage. They may allow health insurance plans to charge higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions, too.

The Republican plan is coming together because moderate senators are beginning to drop some of their initial repeal objections. Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), for example, now back a plan to end the Medicaid expansion.

Ah, the fabled moderate Republicans. They hated the old repeal plan, which phased out Medicaid expansion in three years. But they love the new plan, which phases out Medicaid expansion in seven years. It turns out that taking health coverage away from millions of people was never really their problem. They just didn’t want it to happen so quickly that anyone would blame them for it. They’re real profiles in courage.

Written by LeisureGuy

12 June 2017 at 9:37 am

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