Open Thread

The Open Thread for May 5, 2017

Senate Republicans said they “won’t vote on the House-passed bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, but will write their own legislation instead,” the Washington Examiner reports.  “A Senate proposal is now being developed by a 12-member working group. It will attempt to incorporate elements of the House bill, senators said, but will not take up the House bill as a starting point and change it through the amendment process.”

FiveThirtyEight: The GOP health bill is still far from law.Divider

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Of the 58 Republican lawmakers on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s target list put out earlier this year, 45 of them voted in favor of the GOP health care bill while just 13 voted against it. Divider

“No one knows better than House Democrats how a contentious health care vote can exact a steep political price — losing control of the House in the first midterm election of an untested new president’s tenure for example,” the New York Times reports.

“As they hooted derisively at their Republican colleagues on Thursday after a narrow, party-line approval of legislation to roll back the Obama-era health care law, Democrats glimpsed the mirror image of their own politically disastrous health care experience. They also saw a prime opportunity to avenge their ugly 2010 loss and possibly recapture the House majority.” Said Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-VA): “I think they are staring death in the face. They asked their vulnerable members to take an enormous gamble and risk on an act of faith that I guarantee will not pay off.” Divider

CNN: “Looking at the states with the largest percentages of people under age 65 with pre-existing conditions, if the GOP’s high risk pool plan goes south it runs the risk of more adversely affecting those in states that voted for President Trump.”

“Of the 11 states in which 30% or more of the under-65 population has some sort of pre-existing condition, all 11 were won by Trump in 2016.”Divider

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Ya think there will be more motivation for Democrats and Independents to vote after today?  I think so.  Buzzfeed has news from the Georgia 6th:  “A federal court on Thursday ordered Georgia officials to extend the voter registration deadline through at least May 21 to be eligible to vote in the special election runoff in Georgia’s sixth congressional district between Republican Karen Handel and Democrat Jon Ossoff.  The Georgia NAACP and others argued in a lawsuit that the rules violate the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which bars states from having registration deadlines greater than 30 days before an election. On Thursday, US District Judge Timothy Batten held a hearing in the case — and sided with the challengers and against the state.”Divider

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James Hohmann: “GOP leadership aides say they are mindful that the bill cannot pass by just one vote. They know that, if that happens, Democrats can run attack ads describing each supporter of the bill as ‘THE DECIDING VOTE’  on a measure that remains quite unpopular. How do they know this? Because they successfully used that talking point against Democratic senators for three election cycles in a row.”

[EDITOR’S NOTE: That is precisely what happened.  There 217 yes votes, one more than was needed.  So every vulnerable Republican was the deciding vote.]

“Annoyingly for the strategists tasked with holding the majority, the number of Republicans with safe seats who are voting no is putting a lot more pressure on vulnerable members in swing districts to support the bill. These guys might normally get a pass because they’re going to face tough races in 2018. But House GOP leaders are now calling in all of their chits.”

Greg Sargent: “A Democratic leadership aide tells me that the CBO has confirmed to Democratic leaders that the CBO score will be completed and delivered next week or the week after. This means moderate and vulnerable House Republicans who are already worried about explaining to their constituents why they voted for the bill — which guts protections for the sick and rolls back coverage for millions of poor and working-class people while delivering a huge tax cut to the rich — will have to justify it again, in light of a nonpartisan analysis spelling out the grisly details of what they really voted for.”Divider

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Ron Brownstein: “President Trump’s historically low approval ratings provide Democrats legitimate reasons for optimism about their prospects in the 2018 elections, especially in the House. But that confidence rests on a contradiction: Minorities and Millennials, the groups most alienated from Trump, are traditionally the constituencies least likely to vote in midterm elections.”

“That dynamic helped fuel the GOP sweeps in both the 2010 and 2014 contests under former President Obama, and offers a warning for the next one.”

“The challenge is especially urgent for Democrats because Trump divides younger and older Americans so sharply. Though Trump showed strength among blue-collar white Millennials, he carried just 36 percent of young people overall last November.”Divider

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Rick Klein: “With the American Medical Association and the AARP lobbying for no’s, plus Jimmy Kimmel’s breaking through with a searing personal story, nothing has changed about the basic politics, even as the bill itself has changed. (One thing that hasn’t changed in recent drafts, despite promises to the contrary: special treatment for members of Congress and their staffs.)”

“Call it walking the plank, or ‘doo-doo stuck to their shoe’ (to quote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi), but this is a vote and a move than can’t be taken back. Seven years of GOP promises haven’t changed the fact that Republicans have never really wanted to do what they said they wanted to do. They’re now led by a president who has said plenty of other things, and is more than willing to change where he stands anyway. Republicans are placing trust in their teamwork, on a bill where the impact will be determined in individual states and with unpredictable consequences.”Divider

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“The Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare does not allocate nearly enough money to protect people with pre-existing health conditions from potentially higher insurance premiums,” CNBC reports.

“The bill’s $23 billion in funding specifically for such people would cover just 110,000 Americans, according to the Avalere Health study released Thursday. That’s only 5 percent of the 2.2 million current enrollees in the individual insurance market with some type of pre-existing chronic condition.”Divider

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The Cook Political Report today will shift its 2018 forecast for 20 House districts — all in favor of Democrats.

“Not only did dozens of Republicans in marginal districts just hitch their names to an unpopular piece of legislation, Democrats just received their best candidate recruitment tool yet.”

“Democrats aren’t so much recruiting candidates as they are overwhelmed by a deluge of eager newcomers, including doctors and veterans in traditionally red seats who have no political record for the GOP to attack — almost a mirror image of 2010.”

Key statistic: Of the 23 Republican lawmakers from districts won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, 14 voted for the GOP health care bill.Divider

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2 comments on “The Open Thread for May 5, 2017

  1. I wanted to look at Hannah Stein’s tweet with the list of pre-existing conditions and highlight the most idiotic of them, but I’d end up copying the whole friggin list.

    Anemia, Arthritis, bipolar disease, bladder stones, bypass surgery, cancer, cystic fibrosis, Factor VIII, IX, or XI deficiencies (these are congenital), fibromyalgia, hemophilia, KIDNEY STONES (that one would get me booted off the list of covered individuals), multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, pacemakers, Parkinsons, psoriasis, spinal curvature: kyphosis, scoliosis, or kyphosis unoperated, stomach ulcers, varicose veins (what. the. hell.), Von Willebrands.

    Cancer: All

    Paralysis: quadraplegia, paraplegia. And then further on: Quadriplegic paralysis.

    Gotta stick it to paralyzed Americans double-plus good.

    Note they list some specific mental disorders: Major depression, manic depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, but also list a generalized category of “Psychotic Disorders”, which I take to mean the mental health preexisting condition bucket everything else falls into.

    Then this:

    AIDS

    Immunodeficiency disorder, except HIV infection. At least they cover HIV.

    But wait: Treatment with AZT, HIVID, or pentamidine.

    Know what those 3 drugs treat? HIV.

    Then. Then we get to the “conditions” that make it irrefutably clear this is also heartlessly designed to deny women access to affordable health insurance and care:

    Infertility treatment within the past 2 years
    Pregnancy of self, spouse, or significant other.
    Surrogacy planned within 2 years with surrogate mother or applicant at surrogate
    Uterine fibroids
    Polycystic ovaries
    Breast micro calcifications, severe after biopsy or present without biopsy
    and the icing:

    Adoption in progress.

    What. the. f!ck.

  2. wikwox

    This may be the ultimate political Pyrrhic Victory of our times, smiling and near euphoric Republican politicians or not. Everybody knows someone with a pre existing condition including a great many children. And by drastically cutting Medicaid they have endangered a great many old people in nursing homes, their funds exhausted Medicaid is all that keeps them alive. The cruelty is obvious, so is the worship of the rich as they would get yet another huge tax cut. Regardless of what happens in the senate we need to pin this to the Republicans and put a well deserved target on their backs, as noted they are all the one vote that made it happen.

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