Republican Congress finally showing signs of moving on, beginning work on Obamacare fixes

Campaign Action

The White House is apparently not ready to let Trumpcare die, bringing in Republican governors and this week’s most worthless Senate hacks, Republicans Dean Heller (NV), Lindsey Graham (SC), and Bill Cassidy (LA) to try to keep repeal alive. The rest of the Senate? They’re moving on.

In what could be seen as a not so subtle rebuke of both Trump for his sabotage threats and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his subversion of Senate norms and traditions in trying to ram through repeal, a powerful committee chairman is actually following regular order to do something to fix the Affordable Care Act.

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the influential chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, announced that his panel would begin work in early September on legislation to “stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance market” for 2018. He publicly urged Mr. Trump

Continue reading “Republican Congress finally showing signs of moving on, beginning work on Obamacare fixes”

Remember that dumb lawsuit over Obamacare payments? It’s a big problem for Trump

Campaign Action

Popular vote loser Donald Trump received notice Tuesday that his threats to sabotage Obamacare are going to land him in court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that states can step in to the administration’s appeal of a lawsuit from the House of Representatives challenging the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies Trump has been threatening.

The court agreed with the state officials that there’s reason to believe the Trump administration isn’t adequately acting on behalf of states. The Trump administration and House Republicans opposed the states’ effort. […]
The Trump administration and House Republicans sought and received several delays from the appeals court this year, arguing in part that the repeal and “replace” effort on Capitol Hill―now stalled―could make the case irrelevant.

But at any time, Trump could drop the appeal or simply order the Treasury to end the payments.

That, coupled

Continue reading “Remember that dumb lawsuit over Obamacare payments? It’s a big problem for Trump”

Idaho turns on Trump in wake of big health insurance premium hikes, demands Congress act

Campaign Action

This is something you don’t see … ever. Idaho’s very Republican insurance commissioner is very pissed at popular vote loser Donald Trump and the Republican over big Affordable Care Act premium increases announced by insurers—an average 38 percent hike, with 50 percent hikes for some silver plans.

Idaho said the proposed increase for silver plans was because of “the potential refusal by the federal government to fund the cost share reduction mechanism.”
Insurers are required under law to lower co-pays and deductibles for lower-income Obamacare customers, with the government reimbursing them. But the Trump administration has not decided if it will make the payments in 2018.

President Trump has repeatedly said he wants to let Obamacare implode as a way to get Democrats on board for repealing the law.

Idaho’s insurance director, Dean Cameron, said the uncertainty is leading to price increases.

“I call on Congress to

Continue reading “Idaho turns on Trump in wake of big health insurance premium hikes, demands Congress act”

Idaho turns on Trump in wake of big health insurance premium hikes, demands Congress act

Campaign Action

This is something you don’t see … ever. Idaho’s very Republican insurance commissioner is very pissed at popular vote loser Donald Trump and the Republican over big Affordable Care Act premium increases announced by insurers—an average 38 percent hike, with 50 percent hikes for some silver plans.

Idaho said the proposed increase for silver plans was because of “the potential refusal by the federal government to fund the cost share reduction mechanism.”
Insurers are required under law to lower co-pays and deductibles for lower-income Obamacare customers, with the government reimbursing them. But the Trump administration has not decided if it will make the payments in 2018.

President Trump has repeatedly said he wants to let Obamacare implode as a way to get Democrats on board for repealing the law.

Idaho’s insurance director, Dean Cameron, said the uncertainty is leading to price increases.

“I call on Congress to

Continue reading “Idaho turns on Trump in wake of big health insurance premium hikes, demands Congress act”

Are Republicans learning from their Trumpcare failure? Of course not

It’s just possible that the Republican party will move on from the finger-pointing and circular firing squad over Trumpcare failure, but not likely. House Republicans are blaming Senate Republicans. Senate Republicans have been blaming the ignorant and unhelpful occupant of the White House. And popular vote loser Donald Trump is lashing out at all the Republicans. So much for the big blame the Democrats strategy. In all the finger-pointing, there’s little hope that Republicans will land on the actual problem: they can win elections, with a bit of cheating, voter suppression, and gerrymandering, but they are incapable of governing.

Now that Republicans have failed to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement, the GOP faces an existential Obamacare problem with no immediate answer. Do they keep trying to undermine it, as they’ve promised for seven years? Or do they try to make it work better—even if that means

Continue reading “Are Republicans learning from their Trumpcare failure? Of course not”

Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again

Petulant popular vote loser Donald Trump does not like losing. At all. He’s on day four of a tear against the Senate for not repealing Obamacare. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that there wouldn’t be any more bailouts for insurance companies OR Congress ever again, and he’s back on that theme Monday morning.

x

<

p class=”is-empty-p”>

One of those things he can do—he can seriously destabilize the health insurance markets by refusing to pay cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), payments the government makes to insurers that help reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. The other thing he can’t do—he can’t take away Congress’s health insurance. Only they can do that, and it doesn’t seem too likely that they will,

Continue reading “Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again”

Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again

Petulant popular vote loser Donald Trump does not like losing. At all. He’s on day four of a tear against the Senate for not repealing Obamacare. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that there wouldn’t be any more bailouts for insurance companies OR Congress ever again, and he’s back on that theme Monday morning.

x

<

p class=”is-empty-p”>

One of those things he can do—he can seriously destabilize the health insurance markets by refusing to pay cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), payments the government makes to insurers that help reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. The other thing he can’t do—he can’t take away Congress’s health insurance. Only they can do that, and it doesn’t seem too likely that they will,

Continue reading “Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again”

Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again

Petulant popular vote loser Donald Trump does not like losing. At all. He’s on day four of a tear against the Senate for not repealing Obamacare. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that there wouldn’t be any more bailouts for insurance companies OR Congress ever again, and he’s back on that theme Monday morning.

x

<

p class=”is-empty-p”>

One of those things he can do—he can seriously destabilize the health insurance markets by refusing to pay cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), payments the government makes to insurers that help reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. The other thing he can’t do—he can’t take away Congress’s health insurance. Only they can do that, and it doesn’t seem too likely that they will,

Continue reading “Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again”

Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again

Petulant popular vote loser Donald Trump does not like losing. At all. He’s on day four of a tear against the Senate for not repealing Obamacare. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that there wouldn’t be any more bailouts for insurance companies OR Congress ever again, and he’s back on that theme Monday morning.

x

<

p class=”is-empty-p”>

One of those things he can do—he can seriously destabilize the health insurance markets by refusing to pay cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), payments the government makes to insurers that help reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. The other thing he can’t do—he can’t take away Congress’s health insurance. Only they can do that, and it doesn’t seem too likely that they will,

Continue reading “Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again”

Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again

Petulant popular vote loser Donald Trump does not like losing. At all. He’s on day four of a tear against the Senate for not repealing Obamacare. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that there wouldn’t be any more bailouts for insurance companies OR Congress ever again, and he’s back on that theme Monday morning.

x

<

p class=”is-empty-p”>

One of those things he can do—he can seriously destabilize the health insurance markets by refusing to pay cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), payments the government makes to insurers that help reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income people. The other thing he can’t do—he can’t take away Congress’s health insurance. Only they can do that, and it doesn’t seem too likely that they will,

Continue reading “Trump continues tweeting tirade, threatens Congress and insurers on Trumpcare again”

Latest House Republican effort to derail Trump-Russia investigation cribbed from conspiracy group

Gone almost unnoticed during last week’s healthcare battles, House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee last Wednesday pulled the latest in their ongoing effort to block investigation of Russian election hacking and its potential connections to the Donald Trump campaign and administration. Specifically, they blocked a Democratic amendment asking for more information about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, replacing it instead with an amendment demanding more investigation of … Hillary Clinton.

By the next evening, Twitter sleuths had identified where the text of that House Republican amendment had been cribbed from: a pro-Trump Reddit conspiracy subgroup.

Thursday night, three Twitter users discovered that a staffer for one of the resolution’s sponsors attempted to crowdsource a number of the resolution’s salient points from r/The_Donald, a subreddit notorious for playing host to unfounded conspiracy theories and anti-Islam tendencies. In other words, not a conventional source of legislative inspiration.

The frequent r/The_Donald visitor

Continue reading “Latest House Republican effort to derail Trump-Russia investigation cribbed from conspiracy group”

Senate Republicans release ‘skinny’ healthcare repeal bill, schedule vote for dead of night

What a joke:

Mere hours before the Senate prepared to vote on a “skinny repeal” health care bill that would get rid of Obamacare’s individual mandate, among other provisions, Senate Republicans finally released the bill they plan to vote on.

The Health Care Freedom Act would repeal the individual mandate, which requires people to buy insurance or pay a fine; the law’s employer mandate, which requires employers to provide coverage to their employees; and its medical device tax (temporarily). States would also have the ability to waive some Obamacare requirements for health plans.

True to its name, the “skinny repeal” bill is a mere eight pages long.

Several Senate Republicans, like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, say they don’t want this bill to become law, but of course they’re probably going to vote for it anyway. These phonies claim they’re satisfied by assurances that House Speaker Paul Ryan

Continue reading “Senate Republicans release ‘skinny’ healthcare repeal bill, schedule vote for dead of night”

Senate Republicans continue to pretend like McConnell isn’t totally screwing them on Trumpcare

The wheels are falling off this thing we call Congress over Trumpcare, and it’s all going to come down to whether anyone can trust Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Which means we, as a nation, are fucked. At the lunch today in which Senate Republicans were supposed to be writing the next iteration of the bill—the one that leadership said would pass tonight—the discussion instead was “focused on whether they can be assured House won’t pass skinny, will conference. Senate doesn’t want it to become law.”

Just let that sink in: they don’t want the bill they are about to pass—the bill that they promised was coming for the last fucking seven years—to become law. From what it looks like, McConnell made that promise to them.

x

A helluva way to run a government: House, Senate, Republicans in utter chaos over Trumpcare

We’ve seen an awful lot of chaos on repealing Obamacare, that thing that was going to happen on day one of the Trump administration. Seven years after Republicans vowed to repeal it and seven months into 2017 and Senate Republicans might have cobbled together a bill over lunch that might just be a shell to go to conference with the House, or might be the bill the House passes, and it might get enough votes or it might not depending on if anyone knows what they’re doing. Maybe?

This is a story that can only be told in tweets.

x

x

House Republicans move one step closer to criminalizing dissent in the United States

Donald Trump hasn’t been able to tweet-harangue Jeff Sessions into resigning as attorney general (yet), but his constant stream of attacks on Sessions for not targeting Hillary Clinton is having an effect in the House of Representatives, where Republicans on the Judiciary Committee took the next step toward Trump’s goal of criminalizing dissent. When Democrats on the committee pushed for an investigation of Trump’s firing of James Comey—you know, the possible obstruction of justice a special counsel is investigating—committee Republicans decided they’d rather investigate Clinton’s emails again, targeting Comey’s investigation of the emails specifically.

“If it’s in the public interest to investigate the Trump administration, it is most certainly in the public interest to investigate the real crimes by the real criminals,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a committee member.

Sure, we could investigate the sitting president’s campaign’s ties to a foreign country’s interference in our democratic elections, and the

Continue reading “House Republicans move one step closer to criminalizing dissent in the United States”

Republicans admit it: ‘Skinny repeal’ is a Trojan horse to turn Trumpcare over to the House

Campaign Action

Texas Sen. John Cornyn freely admits it: the whole strategy guiding the Senate this week is passing any damned thing they can so that they can take it to the House in conference, then cook up whatever they feel like—with a minimum of input from anyone outside of that room.

The No. 2 Senate Republican told reporters Wednesday that a scaled-down, “skinny” bill “seems to have a lot of benefits, getting us to conference.” […]
Cornyn noted that new Senate ideas — such as Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) amendment to let insurers sell plans outside of ObamaCare’s regulations and Sen. Rob Portman’s (R-Ohio) amendment to add $100 billion to help people losing Medicaid afford private coverage — could be included and could help pave the way for a deal in the conference committee.

“We use the template of the House bill that addresses all of these issues

Continue reading “Republicans admit it: ‘Skinny repeal’ is a Trojan horse to turn Trumpcare over to the House”

House Democrats band together to hand Republicans embarrassing defeats on two bills

House Democrats are tired of the fact that nothing in the GOP-controlled Congress is being done through regular order—no open debate, no amendment process, and often times, their votes are inconsequential after Republicans rig the system on controversial bills like health care.

But on Monday Democrats had the opportunity to make a statement on two bills—one related to intelligence funding and the other to veterans’ affairs—that Republicans were trying to rush through once again without debate or amendments by suspending House rules for an expedited vote. The catch is, the bills had to be approved by two-thirds of the House, which made Democrats relevant. It’s a process typically used for measures that are deemed non-controversial, but Democrats opposed one on procedure grounds and the other on substance, handing GOP leaders an embarrassing defeat. Politico writes:

First, the House voted down the 2018 intelligence authorization bill, which sets policy for intelligence

Continue reading “House Democrats band together to hand Republicans embarrassing defeats on two bills”

Daily Kos Elections 2Q 2017 House fundraising reports roundup

Quarterly fundraising reports for federal candidates, covering the period from April 1 to June 30, were due at the Federal Elections Commission on July 15 at midnight. Below is our chart of fundraising numbers for House candidates in all key races this cycle. (Click here for our companion chart for the Senate.) That includes, among others:

  • Races we expect to be competitive in this year’s general elections
  • Open seats in otherwise safe districts with contested primaries
  • Under-the-radar contests where a candidate raised an unexpectedly high sum
  • Incumbents who might face a credible primary challenge
As always, all numbers are in thousands. The chart, and an explanation of each column, can be found below.

Trump’s sabotage of Obamacare runs very deep

Campaign Action

The taxpayer dollars you are sending to Washington, D.C., to help people get health insurance coverage are actually being used by the Trump administration to destroy the very program that would achieve that goal. Does that sound like something the federal government should be doing, using funding for a program to destroy that program? No? Well, it’s happening.

The Trump administration has spent taxpayer money meant to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it.

The effort, which involves a multi-pronged social media push as well as video testimonials designed at damaging public opinion of President Obama’s health care law, is far more robust and sustained than has been publicly revealed or realized.

The strategy has caught the eye of legal experts and Democrats in Congress, who have asked government

Continue reading “Trump’s sabotage of Obamacare runs very deep”

Democrats file resolution of ‘no-confidence’ in Trump, citing 88 reasons why he’s unfit to serve

Campaign Action

Here’s legislation that has zero chance of passing, at least at the moment, but it sure does feel good. Democrats, led by Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen, have formally compiled at least 88 instances in which Donald Trump has demonstrated that he has no business serving as the country’s commander in chief. Surely, there’s more than 88, but that’s a start! TPM’s Nicole LaFond writes:

Citing issues ranging from inaccurate reports about crowd sizes at inauguration to the gender pay gap at the White House to the way the President has handled the investigation into Russian interference in the election, Democratic lawmakers have filed a “no-confidence” resolution against President Donald Trump that lists 88 reasons why he’s unfit to serve as President. […]

The resolution points to Trump’s refusal to divest or “otherwise give up his ownership interest in his worldwide business holdings” and his refusal to

Continue reading “Democrats file resolution of ‘no-confidence’ in Trump, citing 88 reasons why he’s unfit to serve”