David Nather: “Two major health insurance trade groups launched an unusually direct attack on Sen. Ted Cruz’s insurance deregulation proposal tonight, warning Senate Republicans that it would damage the protections for people with pre-existing conditions — the one thing they promised not to do in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.”
From the letter (see below) to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell: “It is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market.”
BREAKING: In rare joint letter, insurers say Cruz amendment "unworkable in any form" and will lead to "widespread terminations of coverage." pic.twitter.com/hrtKIshIcd
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) July 15, 2017
“The nation’s governors, gathered here for their annual summer meeting, came out strongly on Friday against the new Senate bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, turning up the pressure on Republican leaders struggling to round up the votes to pass the bill next week,” the New York Times reports.
“Opposition came not just from Democratic governors but from Republicans who split along familiar lines — conservatives who said the legislation did not go far enough and moderates who said it was far too harsh on their state’s vulnerable residents.”
Washington Post: White House launches aggressive push to flip GOP governors opposed to Senate health bill.
As Jared's Russia scandal worsens, Breitbart turns on him:https://t.co/62R17JqRGF
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) July 15, 2017
“The Trump administration is weighing a new policy to dramatically expand the Department of Homeland Security’s powers to expedite the deportations of some illegal immigrants,” the Washington Post reports.
“Since 2004, the agency has been authorized to bypass immigration courts only for immigrants who had been living in the country illegally for less than two weeks and were apprehended within 100 miles of the border. Under the proposal, the agency would be empowered to seek the expedited removal of illegal immigrants apprehended anywhere in the United States who cannot prove they have lived in the country continuously for more than 90 days.”
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he did not mean to criticize the U.S. government but that, on a whole, “it’s largely not a highly disciplined organization.” Said Tillerson: “Decision-making is fragmented, and sometimes people don’t want to take decisions. Coordination is difficult through the interagency process.”
Remarkable moment. GOP Rep. Leonard Lance tells @chrislhayes he cannot rule out that the Trump team engaged in a criminal conspiracy. pic.twitter.com/zBli1mOYXH
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 15, 2017
A new Democracy Corps strategy memo outlines the preconditions for a wave election which could sweep Democrats into control of the House of Representatives: “Wave elections come when one party is fully consolidated, reacting with intensity and turning out disproportionately; when the other party is divided and demoralized; and when independents react against that party’s overreach.”
They find that the potential for such conditions is already strongly evident in early polling:
- The Democratic house margin of 7 points is very close to what’s needed for control, but likely needs to reach 10 points.
- Democrats and key parts of the Democratic base – African Americans, Hispanics, unmarried women and millennials are intensely hostile to Trump and are supporting Democrats for Congress with impressive margins and certainty.
- Independents are deeply opposed to the GOP health care bills and Trump and break heavily for Democrats in the congressional ballot after supporting Trump and Republicans in past years.
- Republicans are not supporting Trump or their candidates with the same level of intensity.
There is also significant polling evidence that informing voters about the GOP plans for health care and taxes helps Democrats.
Civil rights leader @repjohnlewis has an emotional reaction reliving lunch counter sit-in. #AxeFiles tonight, 10p ET https://t.co/Tz77brah01
— CNN (@CNN) July 14, 2017
Andrew Sullivan asks that if Republicans love their country, then why don’t they show it?
“This is about a very basic level of patriotism. It’s about a deep question of how you were brought up and what your values are. And Trump values are foul. Yesterday, as if to prove the point, the paterfamilias revealed his own view of a case in which a foreign despot offered his campaign dirt on his opponent: “If you got a call and said, ‘Listen I have information on Hillary and the DNC,’ or whatever it was they said, most people are going to take that meeting, I think.” Even when it’s coming from a foreign enemy. And so we learn one more time: If it ever comes to a choice between Trump and America, Trump will pick Trump.
There is a reason the Founders made the presidency — alone of all the offices of state — reserved for a natural-born American. There’s a reason every new citizen must swear this oath: “I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen.” The Founders were deeply worried that the republic could be corrupted by foreign influence, money, or power. No office was more critical in this than that of commander-in-chief. And it was in part for this exact contingency that impeachment was included in the Constitution. […]
No crime need be committed. The question is whether we can trust this president to put the interests of the U.S. before himself or a foreign enemy — or some horribly compromised combination of the last two. If there is any doubt about this, the doubt has to be removed. That is what impeachment was invented for. It is to remove an unfit person who has proven himself willing and able to abuse the power entrusted to him.
And so we begin to get the answer to a particularly pointed question: How much do Republicans actually love their country? And when exactly will they prove it?”
Some things to ask when your town starts flooding:
Which areas do you save?
Which do you abandon?
How do you choose?https://t.co/QdMPEeeteM
— Christopher Flavelle (@cflav) July 12, 2017
At Facing South, Sue Sturgis notes that “Medicare for All wins backing of conservative Southern Democrats.” Sturgis reports that “two Blue Dogs cosponsoring Medicare for All are from the South. Vicente Gonzalez, who was elected last year to represent South Texas’ 15th Congressional District, signed on on April 17. Jim Cooper, who has represented Middle Tennessee’s 5 th Congressional District since 2003 and who served its 4th Congressional District from 1983 to 1995, signed on on April 25. Both seats are considered safely Democratic…Other Southern Democrats who’ve signed on to the Medicare for All bill for the first time this year are Kathy Castor, Ted Deutch, Al Lawson and Darren Soto of Florida; Bennie Thompson of Mississippi; G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina; and Gene Green and Marc Veasey of Texas.”
"The most shocking thing is that no one was shocked. The most offensive thing is that no one took offense." https://t.co/KNwgvspU3s
— Michael Gerson (@MJGerson) July 15, 2017
Scott Detrow writes at npr.org that some red state Democrats are ready to negotiate on reforming Obamacare, but they are hanging tough on not cutting Medicaid. Further, “Democrats are prepared to drive a hard bargain. A broader measure would need 60 votes to advance, not 50 like the current GOP measure. That means moderate Democrats would suddenly be the key swing votes who have leverage over the bill’s language…Democrats like North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Montana Sen. Jon Tester are both up for reelection next year in deep red states. Both say they’d be happy to deal — but that Republicans would need to drop their push to scale back Medicaid spending. “That has to come off the table,” said Heitkamp. “We cannot be turning back the clock on Medicaid.”…”If eliminating Medicaid, or trimming it back, or however they want to put it is the price for admission, then it’s going to be very difficult,” said Tester.”
Trump says he's still the decider on DACA. But right now, Jeff Sessions might be the one holding the cards. https://t.co/Um5s01PRtX
— Dara Lind (@DLind) July 14, 2017
Medicaid is a natural target for the Republicans as it benefits the rich nothing and is vital to America’s burgeoning class of poor people, problem is there is a whole lot more to it than that. Talk of “kicking it back to the states” is beyond pathetic, thanks to the supply side tax cuts of years gone by many states already face big deficits (Hey! Sounds like Delaware!) and cannot absorb or handle the costs. Likewise the famed “let them go to the emergency room” is fantasy as well, the cost is double or triple the normal cost. Add to that that more than a few rural hospitals will likely be forced to close prompting even some red state Republicans to reject the cuts. For me the topper is the tens of thousands (in excess of 60%) of penniless old people in nursing homes paid for by Medicaid. My mom’s safe, how about yours?