Tag Archives: The Politics of Healthcare Insurance

Republicans take heat on trying to deep six the Healthcare Law….

Far away from their buddies in the hall’s of Congress ?

Indidviual Grand ole Party lawmakers  are faced with angry people who sent them to work  and see them  trying to take away their healthcare coverage…and the few who think Donald Trump is the next coming….

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But at town-hall meetings since the start of the recess, tax reform has hardly come up; health care has dominated. At a Monday town hall in Flat Rock, N.C., Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) pitched a plan to devolve ACA programs to the states, then found himself fending off constituents who backed universal Medicare.

“You can take the top one percent and tax them fully, and it still won’t pay for Medicare,” said Meadows.

At a town hall in Chico, Calif., in the most Democratic portion of a deep red district, Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) found himself fending off furious complaints about the repeal vote, with constituents accusing him of acting to bring about their death.

“I hope you suffer the same painful fate as those millions that you have voted to remove health care from,” one constituent told LaMalfa. “May you die in pain.”

Carter’s town halls did not reach that boiling point, but they revealed what the tone of congressional listening sessions has become — angry, wistful and loaded with progressive activists….

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Republicans will probably bail out the Healthcare Insurance payments…

Donald Trump has threatened to withhold the payments that back up Healthcare Insurers…

That’s NOT LIKELY  to happen…(It will be up to John Kelly his Chief of Staff to talk some sense into his boss)

It appears that saner minds in Congress are gonna make SURE that the Healthcare program stays stable until Congress gets around later to make ‘adjustments’….

In the end ?

There is little chance of the GOP promise to fully Repeal the law ever will occur…

The Republicans OWN it now….

Midterm elections are a little more than year ahead….

Lawmakers are facing off with President Trump over key ObamaCare payments that are in jeopardy after the collapse of efforts to repeal the healthcare law.

Trump is threatening to cancel the payments, known as cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), as part of his effort to make ObamaCare “implode.”

But he is running into opposition from key Republicans, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (Utah) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (Texas), who say they want to find a way to guarantee the payments, which reimburse insurers for giving discounted deductibles to low-income ObamaCare enrollees.

If the payments were cancelled, insurers have warned they would either have to spike premiums to make up for the lost money, or drop out of the market altogether, limiting people’s options for coverage.

Trump could announce that he is cancelling the payments as early as Tuesday.

Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), one of Trump’s top supporters on Capitol Hill, told CNN on Monday that he had encouraged Trump to announce the cancellation on Tuesday.

Trump has long warned that he could cancel the payments, though it is unclear if he will follow through.

In addition to a premium spike that experts estimate could reach 20 percent, Democrats warn that there would be a political fallout as well if people blame Trump for the chaos.

A Kaiser Family Foundation poll in May found that 63 percent of the public thinks Trump and congressional Republicans are responsible for problems with the Affordable Care Act going forward…..

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Trump’s dissing the Senate isn’t gonna bring the Healthcare Repeal back….

Donald Trump doesn’t get it…

Trying to shame people worked in the campaign last year…

It isn’t gonna work with the Congress…..

Not after his wreck of a Presidency….

His attempts to change things has fallen flat….

The man has no political skills…

And there is a movement in the Senate and yes in the House to start talking to Democrats…And THAT will mean Congress is asserting ITSELF at Trump’s expense…Trump seems to have gotten TOO heavy to carry…

Trump targeted GOP leadership by name in his tweetstorm, saying “Mitch M, go to 51 Votes NOW and WIN. IT’S TIME!”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) regularly declines to weigh in on Trump’s tweets, except to say he wishes the president would tweet less.

But he’s shot down previous calls from Trump to end the legislative filibuster.

“That will not happen,” he told reporters after a similar request in May.

Asked if that was still McConnell’s position, a spokesman for the Kentucky Republican said that if Senate Republicans change their mind on the rules, they’d make an announcement.

Changing the rules might not make it easier to pass healthcare — which only needed a simple majority — but it would allow Republicans to leapfrog Democrats on other legislative issues like immigration, funding the government and raising the debt ceiling.

But many Republicans have shown little interest in getting rid of the 60-vote threshold. Many Republican senators fear ending the filibuster would have disastrous repercussions.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who is up for reelection in 2018 and has been a target of Trump’s ire, predicted Senate Republicans are unlikely to change the rules.

“I don’t want to lurch back and forth every couple of years from one extreme to the other,” he told CBS News on Monday. “Those rules are there for a reason. They’re good. … They invite us to work across the aisle.” ….

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Sen. Bernie Sanders to intro a Single Payer Medical Insurance Bill…

He and other Democrats have been working on this for a while…

It has NO chance of passage in the GOP majority Senate and House…

But pieces of his bill could find its way into future legislation…

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Sunday that he will “absolutely” introduce legislation on single-payer healthcare now that the Senate GOP’s bill to repeal ObamaCare has failed.

“Of course we are, we’re tweaking the final points of the bill and we’re figuring out how we can mount a national campaign to bring people together,” Sanders told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union.

Sanders promised to introduce a “Medicare for All” proposal once the debate over repealing ObamaCare ended. He is one of several progressive lawmakers that backs the healthcare model that has divided Democratic lawmakers.

It’s unclear exactly when he will introduce the legislation. The Senate has two weeks remaining in sessions….

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In the end?…John McCain asserted the power and rights of the US Senate…

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Republican Mitch McConnell tried to undo a Massive Healthcare program that came into being 7 years ago…

It has provided improved healthcare coverage for tens of millions of American’s….

While the Republicans went negative on the program to drive wedge against Democrats and President Obama?…The program has steadily gain approval across America for its greater good in having the Government increase it’s help in providing its citizens with healthcare…

In trying to Repeal the benefit?

The Republican’s have ignored the news that the program is wanted by more than 50% of Americans in order to do something that past Republicans have admitted was just a political move….

Last night 3 US Senator’s  ( McCain,  Collins and Murkowski) braved their parties wrath to vote ‘no’ against a bad political move and the leadership of their party’s effort to throw  away their OWN procedures and protocols to try ram thru a law no one really knew in depth and was ill conceived …

A seven-year quest to undo the Affordable Care Act collapsed — at least for now — as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) kept his colleagues and the press corps in suspense over a little more than two hours late Thursday into early Friday.

Not since September 2008, when the House of Representatives rejected the Troubled Asset Relief Program — causing the Dow Jones industrial average to plunge nearly 800 points in a single afternoon — had such an unexpected vote caused such a striking twist.

The bold move by the nation’s most famous senator stunned his colleagues and possibly put the Senate on the verge of protracted bipartisan talks that McCain is unlikely to witness as he begins treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer.

“I’ve stated time and time again that one of the major failures of Obamacare was that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats on a strict party-line basis without a single Republican vote,” he said in a statement explaining his vote. “We should not make the mistakes of the past.”….

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Donald Trump tried…But ole McCain probably remembered the shit throw at him last year?

…twitter….

i’m told at one point Pres. Trump spoke to McCain when McCain was huddling w/ Pence before the vote. Last minute effort didn’t work.

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Skinny Senate Healthcare Repeal ?

That’s the flavor of the day after a second failure by Grand Ole Party Senate Majority McConnell to get a majority vote for a clean Healthcare Bill repeal…

But a skinny bill would NOT survive in the House probably….

What’s a guy to do?

Even a bare-bones repeal of Obamacare is no sure thing in the Senate.

A handful of key Republican senators who had spurned earlier overtures from GOP leadership endorsed the latest plan to gut Obamacare’s individual and employer coverage mandates and its medical device tax. But several centrists said they’re undecided on the so-called skinny repeal, leaving the GOP in limbo through at least the end of the week.

Jockeying on the scaled-back approach came as the Senate rejected a straight repeal of Obamacare in a 45-55 vote Wednesday. The night before, senators turned aside a comprehensive replacement plan that had been crafted by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The roll calls were the latest reminders that GOP leaders’ best hope at this point is just to get something — anything — through the chamber with a bare majority and into a conference with the House.

“Sure. There’s plenty we agree on,” said Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) late Wednesday when asked whether he can get 50 votes. One challenge for GOP leaders is “trying to explain the concept that we need to do it this way, as opposed to solving all the problems in a Senate bill now.”

Cornyn said broader negotiations on Medicaid reforms and other divisive issues would likely re-emerge in bicameral negotiations with the House. But some Republicans are worried that those talks would revive efforts to wind down a Medicaid expansion that’s benefited their states….

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…twitter…

Dems asked CBO to score what’s rumored to be in the GOP’s “skinny repeal.” Verdict: 16m uninsured, premiums rise 20%

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HHS Sec Price to Senate on Healthcare Repeal effort…I’ll take Anything….

Yesterday the White House and Republicans where joyful in having VP Pence break the tie to have a vote of a Senate Healthcare Repeal effort….

Then….

Last night they tried to get a Conservative leaning bill, with the Ted Cruz Amendment in it passed….

No Joy…..

That effort went down in flames with Conservatives, Moderates and  of course Democratic Senator ‘s voting TOGETHER against the effort….

This STILL ain’t gonna be easy for MitCH McConnel the Senate Majority Leader who is now talking about repeal ‘Light’…..

And may end up having to get Minority leader Schumer to give him Democratic help to get around the Republicans in his own party….

Of course that would NOT amount to ‘Repeal’ would it?

Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price suggested this morning that the Trump administration wants any Affordable Care Act repeal bill that can pass the Senate. “What gets us to 50 votes so that we can move forward on a health-care reform legislation … that’s what needs to happen,” he said on CNBC, adding that the Senate should aim for a “lowest common denominator” bill.

Why it matters: Price’s comments could add momentum to talk of a “skinny repeal” bill, which might just repeal a few pieces of the ACA and give the Senate something to take into conference negotiations with the House. But they could also add to the perception that President Trump doesn’t really care about the details — which could make it tough for Republicans to defend whatever they do pass….

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Trump has quipped ( ? ) that HHS Price could lose his job if there is no Repeal Bill….

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The US Senate Republicans are Confused….Resurgent….

It’s easy from the outside….

But actually being responsible as the MAJORITY  is more difficult, eh?

Published in 1969 by Lawrence Peter, the Peter principle is a management theory that posits the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. Employees are promoted a final time into jobs they cannot accomplish, and managers rise to the level of their incompetence.

The Republican Senate is a hot mess, and is a perfect example of the Peter Principle. The American citizenry chose to promote them to the role of majority party in part because of their excellence in being the minority party, and in part because they assumed the Republicans would be able to translate Obama resistance into actual political leadership.

But sadly, not so much. Their ineptitude is both confounding, and infuriating. But even more difficult to comprehend is their inability to understand even the simple principles of governing. They don’t seem to grasp the essentials of being a majority party: leadership, presenting a coherent message, and coalescing their members into a united body. These necessities seem to be far beyond their capabilities.

There are a myriad of issues within that august body, but chief among them is their inability to look beyond themselves in order to protect the brand and the party.

From the outside, the Republican party appears to be confused and uncertain as to their identity. They campaign on being conservatives, one even declared his desire to “build that dang wall”.  They know all the conservative talking points, they even eagerly took the identity of Tea Party membership when necessary. Every website touts conservative this, and conservative that, but close examination reveals a true inner conflict.

For many Senate Republicans, it is apparent the talk of being Republican conservative is just that, talk. Conservatism is the hard outer shell, but if you were to take a look at the squishy center, you would see a Rockefeller republican, a moderate trans dying to compromise, aching for comity, desirous of the approval of the Democratic coastal elites, and jealous for preening media attention….

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They ALL thought Mitch McConnell was the Senate Wizzard….

Then the Senate Healthcare fiasco started, eh?

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13:  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) answers questions following the weekly Republican policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol November 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. McConnell was re-elected as leader of the Senate Republican caucus earlier in the day.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Mitch McConnell plotting his next dastardly deed.

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It’s really hard to determine if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has the path forward to a Trumpcare vote laid out and is just creating massive confusion over what his senators will even be voting on as a smokescreen, or whether he is truly scrambling and honestly doesn’t have a clue which of three bills is going to the floor next week.

His choices: repeal and delay; Trumpcare 3.0 as disastrously scored by the CBO on Thursday; or Trumpcare 3.0 with the amendment from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz that would turn the insurance exchange into a big, unaffordable high-risk pool. One thing is definitely certain: he’s pissing off his caucus.

The uncertainty so close to a major vote is feeding a growing sense of chaos on Capitol Hill, where GOP senators are openly fretting about the lack of information about legislation that could leave anywhere from 22 million to 32 million more Americans without health insurance.

“I don’t even know what we’re proceeding to next week,” said Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a centrist Republican who has called on her party’s leaders to take a more measured approach to fixing the current healthcare law.

“I don’t know whether we’re proceeding to the House bill, a new version of the Senate bill, the old version of the Senate bill, the 2015 repeal-and-hope-that-we-come-up-with something-in-two-years bill. I truly don’t.”

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) compared the current Senate GOP healthcare discussions to a “bazaar,” with tens of billions of dollars being offered up to woo holdout senators. “I fear that it’s beginning to lack coherency,” Corker told reporters.

Beginning to lack coherency? Sounds like it’s safe to say Collins is going to remain firmly in the “no” column. But it’s the “bazaar” that is the problem.

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McConnell probably will need 60 votes in the Senate to Repeal The Healthcare Law…

THAT is NOT gonna happen…..

The Senate would likely need 60 votes to overcome Democratic opposition and pass key portions of the GOP health care bill under the chamber’s rules, a blow to both the plan’s policy and its political fortunes unless Senate Republicans are willing to break decades of precedent or the bill is substantially rewritten.

The Senate’s so-called “Byrd Rule” is designed to make sure policies passed under “budget reconciliation” — which allows legislation to advance with only 51 votes instead of the usual 60 needed to get past a filibuster — directly affect the federal budget, either by decreasing spending or by increasing revenue. (Vox has explained the Byrd Rule in great detail.)

The findings of the Senate parliamentarian, who evaluates whether policies included in bills meant to pass through reconciliation comply with the Senate rules, were posted online late Friday afternoon and sent out by Democratic ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders’s office. A Senate Republican aide noted that the parliamentarian reviewed a draft version of the bill, and the legislation could still be changed.

They are a critical blow to Republicans’ hopes of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Their plan is already short on votes, but Friday’s news could make it even more difficult for Senate leaders to sway their holdouts….

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McConnell CAN change the rules….

But if he does?

What would happen if the Republicans lost their majority?

What comes around?

Goes around, eh?

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Republican effort’s to Repeal Obamacare appear to be done….

For 8 years the Grand Ole party used the Affordable Healthcare Law as a bat to swing at President Obama and Democrats….

Now that they are the majority in Congress, The White House and the Supreme Court ?

They are choking on their promise to get rid of the program….

They more they talk about Repealing Obamacare?

The MORE people support the program….

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Senate Republicans reversed course yesterday and plowed ahead with their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act — ignoring all the experts, actuaries, independent analysts, governors and even voters who say their bill would lead to millions of people losing insurance and make it harder for sick, poor people to obtain coverage.

  • Aides are frustrated and candidly skeptical that a deal is achievable at this point. One senior GOP aide referred to the bill — as well as a straight-repeal bill the caucus is now also considering — as “corpsicles.” Another aide said, “It’s a terrible idea to make people vote for the 2015 [repeal] bill” and that last night’s attempt to revive the replacement bill was a “death rattle.”
  • “They can’t accept they’ve been promising something that is undeliverable and a bad idea for seven years,” one well-connected former GOP aide told me.
  • Bottom line: Congressional Republicans aren’t listening.

They’re ignoring health care experts, industry groups, governors from both parties, and voters. Many of them seem to have decided passing something — anything — is better than failure. The irony is that if they succeed, and everyone else was right about the effects of this bill, they’ll own the disastrous consequences. Either way, it looks very much like they’re about to be forced to go on the record on one of these bad options.

“Governors, industry and policy experts are not really the right experts for the problem at hand. This is no longer about salvaging what is left of the individual market. This about salvaging what’s left of the Republican Congress,” one health care lobbyist said…..

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All those stories about Senate Majority Leader McConnell being a great political tactical guy?

Huh?

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McConnell puts pressure on moderate GOP Senators to go along Healthcare Bill…

Right now the Senate Majority Leader has what appears to be TWO firm Republican ‘No’ votes against the Senate Republican Healthcare Bill….

Senator’s Collins of Maine and Paul of Kentucky….

Republicans cannot afford ANOTHER….

Several moderate Republican Senator’s SAY they are against the Bill which in the 2.0 version STILL is has the same issues they said they did NOT like still in place…Drastic Medicaid cuts and a Cruz amendment that would erase the pre-existing coverage of the present system…

But McConnell and others have tries to buy off those on the fence with ‘sweetener’s’ of the type that used to be called ‘earmarks’, which are special money aimed at specific programs in a political state ….

The process worked in the House to get passage on their bill…

Will it work in the Senate?

Only two senators—Susan Collins (R-ME) and Rand Paul (R-KY)—came out as firm no’s on the procedural motion to proceed to debate on the bill. If just one more joins them, the effort is dead.

But that third no vote is proving stubbornly elusive—despite the fact that in revising the bill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell largely moved to appeal to his most right-wing senators, throwing moderates who had promised to protect Medicaid and people with pre-existing conditions under the bus.

The revisions pair more deregulation of the health care marketplace, largely via Sen. Ted Cruz’s controversial amendment, with a rollback of tax breaks for the wealthy and the allocation of more money to stabilize insurance markets and treat opioid addiction. But not only is the bill’s additional money counted multiple times to meet multiple needs, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the hundreds of billions that will cut over time from Medicaid and tax credits for low-income and older Americans.

This makes things extremely awkward for senators like Dean Heller (R-NV), who just a few weeks ago blasted the legislation and demanded it be amended to either keep Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion intact or increase traditional Medicaid spending.

The new bill does neither—and Heller admitted Thursday that “Fundamentally, they haven’t changed” the legislation—yet he did not come out against it.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

And then there’s Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), who reportedly went off in a closed-door meeting with GOP leadership about the bill’s cuts to Medicaid and pleaded with them to leave the program alone, but would not say publicly how she plans to vote on the bill itself. Murkowksi has previously said she can’t vote for a bill that repeals Alaska’s Medicaid expansion, and can’t vote for a bill that defunds Planned Parenthood. The Senate’s health care bill does both.

Murkowski, however, will be shielded from some of the worst impacts of the Medicaid cuts by a carveout tucked into the bill specifically for her state. Dubbed the “Polar Payout” or “Klondike Kickback,” the provision would give Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars to help lower insurance premiums….

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Healthcare Ins Group warns Senate Republicans against Cruz plan….

Senator Cruz’s plan is actually a walk around the preexisting part of the Affordable Healthcare Law….

It would allow younger and healthier Americans to join a separate insurance plan. Of course, this would take millions out of the existing insurance plan which would be force to charge MUCH higher rates…..

Those higher rates would mean that those people would eventually be priced out of the healthcare insurance markets sending things back to the pre-Obamacare  era…..

It essentially penalizing Americans who get older and need additional medical care….

The two leading health insurer trade groups sent a strongly-worded letterFriday expressing opposition to a controversial conservative provision included in the latest GOP ObamaCare replacement bill.

America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association warned that the provision from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) would mean “premiums will skyrocket for people with preexisting conditions” and “millions of more individuals will become uninsured.”

The letter expresses opposition to a provision, included in the new GOP repeal bill, that would allow insurers to sell plans that do not meet ObamaCare regulations, including the ban on discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, if they also sold plans that did meet the requirements.

Conservatives argue this move would allow younger, healthier people to buy cheaper plans.

The insurers, and many health experts, warn that only sick people would remain in the more expensive, more generous ObamaCare plans, leading to premium spikes for people with pre-existing conditions.

“This would allow the new plans to ‘cherry pick’ only healthy people from the existing market making coverage unaffordable for the millions of people who need or want comprehensive coverage, including, for example, coverage for prescription drugs and mental health services,” the letter states…..

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The bill , as written for the Senate , also would DRASTICALLY cut Medicaid funds to the state’s giving ANOTHER blow to those who are not as well off and getting older……

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Republicans find themselves in a pickle….Cancel part of their Summer off…

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They will need more time to get stuff done….

Republicans LEAD in the three centers of power in running America from the nations capital……

The hold the Presidency…..

The are the majority party in the nation’s Congress….

They hold the majority in the nation’s highest court…..

So?

They have having a shitload of problems and issues…..

A President that is ill prepared to BE President, and it turns out a family that does understand what it means to actually be with him….

A Republican party that has found that being the majority with a President who isn’t interested in their actions, doesn’t under them and doesn’t really care isn’t gonna help them with members who are now have scant cover from their parties adopted leader that actually  campaigned AGAINST what they DO……

And finally a highest court that seems to be getting ready to give this President’s off the wall stuff their majority backing….

The guys who put this place together where smart….

They made sure to make their legislative body and check on ITSELF by elections every two years for the lower House and longer terms for the upper Body ….

Checks and Balances, eh?

People…..

Oh, and maybe President Obama wasn’t so dumb in putting together a healthcare law, eh?

Republicans are failing at governance. And they know it.

Their senatorially painful decision announced on Tuesday to sacrifice some of lawmakers’ usually sacrosanct August recess was a public confession that they have not gotten the job done even while controlling the White House, Senate and House of Representatives.

In deciding to forgo at least the first two weeks of their regular summer getaway, Senator Mitch McConnell and his colleagues essentially admitted that they could not afford to go home to face constituents without making a concerted effort to pass contentious health care legislation and put some other points on the board.

“It is time to get results for the American people,” said a group of 10 Republican senators who had pressed Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader, to force the Senate to stick around.

Legislative results have been in short supply for unified Republican government as first the House and now the Senate have gotten badly bogged down in trying to overhaul the Obama administration’s health care law — a top priority of Republicans since 2010. The stalemate has been ugly, preventing Republicans from moving ahead on long overdue budget, spending and tax priorities and leaving Mr. McConnell and Senate Republicans frustrated and doubting their abilities…..

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image…concordmonitor.com

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Obamacare isn’t collapsing….

But it DOES have issues….

…from AXIOS….

Georgetown’s Sabrina Corlette notes that Friday’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report on the Affordable Care Act’s reinsurance and risk adjustment programs didn’t exactly portray a market in collapse. In fact, it suggested, in the dry language of the CMS bureaucracy, that the programs to help insurers cover sick people are actually in good shape:

  • The two programs “functioned smoothly for the 2016 benefit year.”
  • The predictability of the risk scores “was noticeably improved.”
  • “Risk scores were stable in the individual market and decreased in the small group market.”

Why it matters: The report isn’t enough to negate the real problems of the ACA market. Insurers have been pulling out and premiums have been increasing, although some of that is influenced by the Trump administration’s hostility to the law. But this is one of the first CMS reports in the new administration that hasn’t tried to emphasize the law’s problems. Instead, it’s a rare “business as usual” report — a change in tone that suggests some in the agency are still just trying to implement the law.

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Are the tax cuts for the rich in the Senate Healthcare Bill in jeopardy?

Some in the Media and on the Democratic side have called the Senate Healthcare Bill proposal a tax cut bill in disguise….

We now have whispers of some GOP Senator’s thinking about dropping the cuts…

Several Senate Republicans began to question Wednesday whether their health-care bill should repeal a tax on high-income Americans imposed by Obamacare when the legislation would scale back subsidies for the poor.

Susan Collins of Maine and Mike Rounds of South Dakota both criticized the draft bill released by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for repealing a surtax on net investment income imposed under Obamacare.

Susan Collins

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

“I do not see a justification for doing away with the 3.8 percent tax on investment income, because that is not something that increases the cost of health care,” Collins said. “So I distinguish between those tax increases that were part of Obamacare that increase premiums and the cost of health care versus those that do not.”

A third Republican, Bob Corker of Tennessee, expressed discomfort with the idea of cutting taxes on the rich while transferring burdens on the poor.

Scaling back the tax cuts could provide a path to winning over key moderate senators who have recoiled at the soaring premiums and deductibles for millions of low-income people as scored by the CBO, and the estimated 22 million fewer people who would have insurance in a decade. Meanwhile, conservatives have pushed to wipe out all of the taxes, though senators like Ted Cruz have not insisted every tax cut remain as part of an overall deal. Conservatives have been focused more on cutting regulations to lower premiums…..

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