Inspector General Probing Trump Move To Pull Obamacare Enrollment Ads

The inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services has launched an investigation into the Trump administration’s move to yank ads that encouraged people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act during the enrollment period. By shutting down such outreach, the action could be seen as a stealth way to starve the health plan without legislative authority.

The Trump administration insisted the ads were a waste of money, but Democrats have characterized the action as sabotage.

In response to a request to investigate the actions from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the inspector general said his office is conducting a “fact-finding” review, the Hill reported.

The office will examine exactly what was done and when by the administration, and its effect Continue reading “Inspector General Probing Trump Move To Pull Obamacare Enrollment Ads”

Open thread for night owls. Bonavoglia: Fighting to save the affordable care act is a class battle

Angela Bonavoglia is a journalist and health communications consultant, and the author of Good Catholic Girls: How Women Are Leading the Fight to Change the Church. At The Nation, she writes—Starting to mitigate America’s yawning class divide is exactly what the ACA did. And that’s exactly what the Republican plan would undo:

[…] Contrast that with the responses to the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid, a program that today covers over 70 million children, adults, people with disabilities, and seniors—one in five Americans. A just-released Kaiser tracking poll found that 84 percent of those surveyed believed it was important for states that expanded Medicaid with federal funds to continue to receive those funds, including 69 percent of Republicans. While only 12 percent of Americans said they wanted to see Medicaid funding decreased, nearly half (48 percent) wanted the funding to stay the same, and more than

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Continue reading “Open thread for night owls. Bonavoglia: Fighting to save the affordable care act is a class battle”

Left out of AHCA fight, Democrats let their grass roots lead – and win

There was no big rally at the Capitol, because the activism in districts was seen as more effective.

Trump Reportedly Miffed At Kushner For Skiing As Trumpcare Crashed

President Donald Trump is reportedly irritated that his top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner took a family ski vacation to Colorado while the GOP’s Trumpcare health plan was going down in flames.

Kushner and wife Ivanka Trump and their three kids were photographed hanging loose in Aspen this week as Trump and congressional Republican leaders worked in Washington to save their Obamacare replacement. The measure failed to gain enough support to pass the House and was withdrawn before a vote on Friday.

CNN, citing an unnamed source close to the president, reported Trump was “upset that his son-in-law and senior adviser was not around during this crucial week.”

The White House denied Trump was angry at Kushner, but it was clearly an all-hands-on-deck kind of week. Even the president skipped Continue reading “Trump Reportedly Miffed At Kushner For Skiing As Trumpcare Crashed”

GSA rules Trump isn’t violating his hotel lease because he promises to not spend the profits yet

In a move that can only be described as, well, odd, the General Services Administration officer who oversaw the original contract giving Donald Trump control of the government property that would soon be refurbished into a new Washington, D.C. hotel, has ruled that Donald Trump is not breaking the rules in the lease that prohibits any elected official from profiting off that lease.

The reasoning goes like this; yes, Donald Trump is now an elected official. And yes, the lease says that elected officials can’t profit from the arrangement. But it’s all right because, and see if you can follow the logic here because it’s a bit murky to us, he won’t be able to directly pocket those untoward profits until he’s back out of office.

Today, Kevin Terry, a GSA contracting officer who oversaw the original contract negotiations with Trump, released a letter declaring that there was

Continue reading “GSA rules Trump isn’t violating his hotel lease because he promises to not spend the profits yet”

Inside the GOP’s Health Care Debacle

Donald Trump had heard enough about policy and process. It was Thursday afternoon and members of the House Freedom Caucus were peppering the president with wonkish concerns about the American Health Care Act—the language that would leave Obamacare’s “essential health benefits” in place, the community rating provision that limited what insurers could charge certain patients, and whether the next two steps of Speaker Paul Ryan’s master plan were even feasible—when Trump decided to cut them off.

"Forget about the little shit," Trump said, according to multiple sources in the room. "Let’s focus on the big picture here."

The group of roughly 30 House conservatives, gathered around a mammoth, oval-shaped conference table in the Cabinet Room of the White House, exchanged disapproving looks. Trump wanted to emphasize the political ramifications of the bill’s defeat; specifically, he said, it would derail his first-term agenda and imperil his prospects for reelection in Continue reading “Inside the GOP’s Health Care Debacle”

Gorsuch may have clerked for Kennedy, but hearings show he’s more like Scalia

If confirmed to the Supreme Court, Trump’s nominee fit comfortably on the court’s right wing.