The Republican tax cuts plan, now with more people losing their health insurance

What was definitely missing from the Donald Trump Tax Cuts Act the House Republicans unveiled this week? It didn’t have enough Obamcare repeal. So they’re going to add it. Because it’s just one more way to screw over the middle class.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Friday that lawmakers are considering repealing ObamaCare’s individual mandate as part of their tax-reform bill given President Trump’s repeated demands to do so.
Brady said Trump has told him twice by phone and once in person that he wants the mandate repealed in the tax bill. Trump has also publicly called for the idea. […]

“No decisions have been made; we’re listening to members and certainly the president as well,” Brady said.  

Still, he noted that the idea is under consideration. He said lawmakers have asked the Congressional Budget Office for an updated analysis with the mandate’s repeal

Continue reading “The Republican tax cuts plan, now with more people losing their health insurance”

The Republican tax cuts plan, now with more people losing their health insurance

What was definitely missing from the Donald Trump Tax Cuts Act the House Republicans unveiled this week? It didn’t have enough Obamcare repeal. So they’re going to add it. Because it’s just one more way to screw over the middle class.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Friday that lawmakers are considering repealing ObamaCare’s individual mandate as part of their tax-reform bill given President Trump’s repeated demands to do so.
Brady said Trump has told him twice by phone and once in person that he wants the mandate repealed in the tax bill. Trump has also publicly called for the idea. […]

“No decisions have been made; we’re listening to members and certainly the president as well,” Brady said.  

Still, he noted that the idea is under consideration. He said lawmakers have asked the Congressional Budget Office for an updated analysis with the mandate’s repeal

Continue reading “The Republican tax cuts plan, now with more people losing their health insurance”

Trump’s Obamacare sabotage backfires, which means free health care for many!

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How rich of this? Donald Trump’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act, his work to send premium costs so high no one would sign up, has actually resulted in free health insurance for lower-income people in 98 percent of counties. Premiums aren’t skyrocketing for the very big majority of consumers in the Obamacare markets—they’re shrinking.

Trump’s refusal to pay cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies meant those companies had to figure out how to recoup their losses. In doing so, they did the exact opposite of what Trump wanted to happen—they made free health insurance available to people who qualify in 98 percent of counties, according to a analysis by Avalere. Astounding, isn’t it? What that means is this:

“This year, more than ever, it is important for consumers to shop around and compare their options across metal levels,” said Chris Sloan, senior manager at Avalere. “The

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Tom Price is coming after Medicare, Obamacare under the guise of helping doctors

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Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, arguably the most corrupt member of the Trump administration outside of the Trump family, is going after Medicare and the Affordable Care Act and government all in one fell swoop. He’s doing it for his fellow physicians, he says, which is probably true. But there’s no doubt that his toxic anti-government, anti-Medicare ideology is at work here.

It was, on its surface, another of the health secretary’s many meetings with “victims” of Obamacare — this time with some of the conservative physicians who felt the law was hurting their patients and their own bottom lines. An official readout from Price’s staff trumpeted the eight participating physicians as “witnesses” to Obamacare’s failings.
But that wasn’t Price’s only message to the doctors, according to two participants in the meeting. The health secretary also signaled he would protect the doctors from a raft of

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Sen. Mike Lee escalates Republican war on CBO with astounding dishonesty

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), best known as Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) sidekick, just can’t let go of his hurt feelings over the reliably disastrous scores the Congressional Budget Office gave the various iterations of Trumpcare. He’s taking his war on nonpartisan, reality-based economic projections to the Senate floor, and op-ed pages. The CBO, he insists, was off “by more than 100 percent” in its projections of coverage on the health insurance exchanges. He also said it was off “by around 100 percent” on its Medicaid enrollment projections. But if you click on the links Lee is providing in his op-ed, you’ll notice that he’s linking to the 2010 estimates from the CBO—the ones before the Supreme Court decided that not every state had to participate in the Medicaid exchanges. But in reality, when you consider the CBO’s subsequent analyses:

The CBO actually nailed the overall impact of the law on

Continue reading “Sen. Mike Lee escalates Republican war on CBO with astounding dishonesty”

Sen. Mike Lee escalates Republican war on CBO with astounding dishonesty

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), best known as Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) sidekick, just can’t let go of his hurt feelings over the reliably disastrous scores the Congressional Budget Office gave the various iterations of Trumpcare. He’s taking his war on nonpartisan, reality-based economic projections to the Senate floor, and op-ed pages. The CBO, he insists, was off “by more than 100 percent” in its projections of coverage on the health insurance exchanges. He also said it was off “by around 100 percent” on its Medicaid enrollment projections. But if you click on the links Lee is providing in his op-ed, you’ll notice that he’s linking to the 2010 estimates from the CBO—the ones before the Supreme Court decided that not every state had to participate in the Medicaid exchanges. But in reality, when you consider the CBO’s subsequent analyses:

The CBO actually nailed the overall impact of the law on

Continue reading “Sen. Mike Lee escalates Republican war on CBO with astounding dishonesty”

Sen. Mike Lee escalates Republican war on CBO with astounding dishonesty

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), best known as Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) sidekick, just can’t let go of his hurt feelings over the reliably disastrous scores the Congressional Budget Office gave the various iterations of Trumpcare. He’s taking his war on nonpartisan, reality-based economic projections to the Senate floor, and op-ed pages. The CBO, he insists, was off “by more than 100 percent” in its projections of coverage on the health insurance exchanges. He also said it was off “by around 100 percent” on its Medicaid enrollment projections. But if you click on the links Lee is providing in his op-ed, you’ll notice that he’s linking to the 2010 estimates from the CBO—the ones before the Supreme Court decided that not every state had to participate in the Medicaid exchanges. But in reality, when you consider the CBO’s subsequent analyses:

The CBO actually nailed the overall impact of the law on

Continue reading “Sen. Mike Lee escalates Republican war on CBO with astounding dishonesty”

Another day, another threat from the White House to insurance companies

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There’s been a rampant rumor that this was going to be the week that the Trump administration pulled the plug on cost-saving reduction (CSR) payments to insurance companies on Obamacare exchanges. The threats have been coming daily since the Senate failed to pass an Affordable Care Act repeal, and Wednesday is a repeat.

“We said from the very beginning that we would look at that on a month by month basis,” said Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney on CNN Wednesday. “That has not changed.” […]
However, Mulvaney left open the possibility of ending the subsidies as the White House moves soon to decide on what to do about the CSR payments, which he and the president have called insurance company bailouts.

“The way to fix that is not by bailing out the insurance companies. These cost sharing reduction payments are payments to the insurance

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Trump is not going to let Trumpcare go

It is now August. The House of Representatives got the hell out of town last week. Senate leadership is rushing to the doors. And popular vote loser Donald Trump is still having his Trumpcare tantrum.

While Republicans in the Senate have announced plans for bipartisan hearings on health care beginning when Congress returns to work after Labor Day, the White House is making clear that President Donald Trump continues to look for more immediate answers on a GOP health care bill that would involve getting only a majority of Republican votes in the Senate, as he meets Wednesday afternoon with one key GOP lawmaker, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. […]
Portman has made clear to reporters in recent days that while last week’s defeat of the GOP ‘skinny’ bill was a setback, he’s not ready to give up on the GOP figuring out how to get to 50 votes in

Continue reading “Trump is not going to let Trumpcare go”

Trump is not going to let Trumpcare go

It is now August. The House of Representatives got the hell out of town last week. Senate leadership is rushing to the doors. And popular vote loser Donald Trump is still having his Trumpcare tantrum.

While Republicans in the Senate have announced plans for bipartisan hearings on health care beginning when Congress returns to work after Labor Day, the White House is making clear that President Donald Trump continues to look for more immediate answers on a GOP health care bill that would involve getting only a majority of Republican votes in the Senate, as he meets Wednesday afternoon with one key GOP lawmaker, Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio. […]
Portman has made clear to reporters in recent days that while last week’s defeat of the GOP ‘skinny’ bill was a setback, he’s not ready to give up on the GOP figuring out how to get to 50 votes in

Continue reading “Trump is not going to let Trumpcare go”

As new Obamacare rates come in, insurers and state officials point finger at Trump and GOP

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Insurers participating in the Affordable Care Act’s markets are having to file their proposed rate increases for next year, and as they file in, states are seeing 30 percent increases as the norm. There’s one reason for the hikes everyone agrees to: Republicans. Between Congress’s Trumpcare fiasco and popular vote loser Donald Trump’s sabotage, there’s just too much uncertainty and insurers have to hedge their bets by increasing rates.

Big insurers in Idaho, West Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa and Wyoming are seeking to raise premiums by averages close to 30% or more, according to preliminary rate requests published Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Major marketplace players in New Mexico, Tennessee, North Dakota and Hawaii indicated they were looking for average increases of 20% or more. […]
Together the filings show the uncertainty in the health-insurance marketplaces as insurers around the U.S.

Continue reading “As new Obamacare rates come in, insurers and state officials point finger at Trump and GOP”

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

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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

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

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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”

What we’re talking about when we talk about Trump sabotaging Obamacare

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Popular vote loser Donald Trump has had one remarkably consistent idea when it comes to Obamacare: his ability to destroy it from within, or try to anyway, by withholding critical payments from the federal government to insurers who are essentially subsidizing the out-of-pocket expenses for lower-income people buying insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. Basically, the payments compensate insurance companies who are making low-deductible plans available to lower-income people. Those enrollees, by the way, make up about 58 percent, or about 7 million, of all the Obamacare customers.

What happens if they go away, as early as today, as rumors suggest? The individual markets would be drastically disrupted and could potentially collapse completely. And who gets really hit? The middle class and lower-income people.

Insurers would have to decide whether to increase premiums for everyone in order to lower co-pays for people who get the

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

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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”

No rest for the so-far victorious: Republicans trying to revive the Zombie of Zombie Trumpcare

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We’ve had a weekend to celebrate, to rub popular vote loser Trump’s nose in the defeat of Trumpcare, but the party’s over. The fight continues because Republicans are assholes and won’t stop until only the people who can afford to pay directly for medical care can get it. Obamacare repeal can, and very well might, still come back.

Despite a reddit post to the contrary that’s been getting an awful lot of attention, the repeal bill is still on the Senate calendar with the threat of once again crawling out of its coffin. That doesn’t mean Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ready to bring it back—his last words on the issue were “It’s time to move on” directly following last week’s dramatic failure. That failure was on the Better Care Reconciliation Act which was just an amendment to the actual bill on the floor—the House-passed American Health Care

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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

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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.

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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.

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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”